In the world of anti-ageing treatments, an armoury of options exist on a continuum from least to most invasive. On one side, are topical skincare preparations with ingredients like hydrating hyaluronic acid or more potent formulas such as retinol serums and chemical peels. At the other end of the spectrum are anti-wrinkle injections and cosmetic surgery procedures including facelifts.
But, facial acupuncture, a natural procedure is on the rise that's said to offer effects similar to cosmetic treatments - but without going under the knife. And, although there are needles involved, they're not used in the way you'd expect and no fillers nor anti-wrinkle substances are injected into the skin. Introducing: Cosmetic acupuncture.
The natural anti-ageing procedure is quickly gaining popularity thanks to its ability to deliver skin firming, brightening and wrinkle-reducing benefits with no downtime required. marie claire caught up with Cosmetic Acupuncture Melbourne Founder and Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor, Vivian Tam, to get the lowdown on the treatment from what it involves to the realistic results you can expect.
How Does Anti-Ageing Facial Acupuncture Work? There are three levels at which facial acupuncture works as an anti-aging treatment. It’s an anti-ageing 'triple threat' that starts by targeting weakened and drooping muscles to tighten, lift and tone. Secondly, it works on the soft tissue level stimulating collagen and elastin production to soften lines and promote firmness. Thirdly, the ultra-fine painless needles help boost blood circulation to the face, helping to promote oxygenation of the cells and resulting in a fresh, healthy glow.
What Signs Of Ageing Does Facial Acupuncture Reduce And/Or Prevent? Any signs of ageing that will benefit from a boost of blood circulation and oxygenation - so, think dry and dehydrated skin, uneven skin tone, skin sensitivities, dull and lacklustre skin. It can also help with pigmentation and melasma. Because cosmetic acupuncture can help to promote collagen production, it can help with fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and loss of volume/firmness.
Are There Any Other Benefits From The Treatment? Because of the intense blood flow to the area during treatment, you are pumping oxygen and nutrients to the skin and this results in a nice glow. The added benefit of cosmetic acupuncture is that you also receive a body balancing treatment with it too, so you leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated.
What Can One Expect To Happen During The Treatment? Ultra-fine needles (they're just 0.12 of a milimetre) are inserted into the skin, which causes a 'microtrauma' in the local area, signalling the body’s healing cells (fibroblasts) to start a process of collagen and elastin production to 'repair' the area. The increase of density of collagen and elastin in the local area helps with loss of volume and firmness in the face. At my clinic, there is also a mini gua-sha facial and massage as part of the treatment. It's all very relaxing - and the needles are totally painless.
How Many Treatments Are Needed To See Results? You should be able to see changes with your skin and a nice glow within one to two sessions. More significant anti-ageing changes will be seen with four to six sessions. These are usually spaced one to two weeks apart.
Do The Treatments Require Any Downtime? No! This is the wonderful thing about facial acupuncture. If done correctly, there should be no downtime. You can leave the clinic, go out for lunch and no-one will know anything has happened. You may have some mild flushing from the treatment however that only lasts around half an hour or so - kind of like someone has slapped you - due to all the blood flow. Very minor bruising is possible but quite uncommon. If it occurs this should only last two to three days and be as small as a sultana.