Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture: The Natural Equivalent to Botox

As we age, many of us start to see things like glabellar lines, crow’s feet, vertical lip lines, and smile lines in the mirror and are curious about the methods available to minimize them.

To combat these signs of aging, Millions of individuals receive Botox and facial fillers each year. With the incredulous rise of injectables, we’ve all seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

With that said, it’s no wonder why I receive so many questions about their natural equivalent, cosmetic facial acupuncture!


What is Facial Acupuncture?

Facial acupuncture has a few different names in our profession. It can be referred as cosmetic acupuncture, facial acupuncture, or facial rejuvenation. Regardless, all of these practices do the exact same thing- bring oxygen rich blood to the face and increase production of collagen and elastin. In this blog we will refer to it as facial acupuncture to prevent confusion.

What Does Facial Acupuncture Do?

Facial acupuncture, is a non-surgical procedure that reduces signs of the aging process and has many benefits. It restores the skin’s integrity by increasing collagen and elastin production in the dermis.


Other benefits of facial acupuncture are:

  • Reduction and elimination of puffiness and bags underneath the eyes and around the face.
  • Lifts drooping eyelids and sagging jowls or double chin.
  • Improves facial muscle tone, dermal contraction and elasticity.
  • Increases circulation of the face resulting in improved radiance and color.
  • Reduces the appearance of discolorations and dryness.
  • Oxygenation of the skin.




I have studied with the top cosmetic acupuncturists: Martha Luca (who is the founder of the Mei Zen protocol) Mary Elizabeth Wakefield and Virginia Doran. Through years of experience and seeing what works with my patients, I created my own thorough approach to natural anti-aging and cosmetic acupuncture. My approach minimizes fine lines and softens deep wrinkles making them less noticeable.

How Does Facial Acupuncture Work?


Facial acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural production of collagen and elastin. The ultra-thin needles are inserted into the dermis of the skin causing a form of micro trauma. This stimulation to the dermis specifically encourages the skin’s own repairing mechanisms that stimulate cell regrowth.

The body quickly creates a “band-aid” to heal this micro trauma. This takes the form of proteins called collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are the main compounds that create the firmness and elasticity of the skin.  

Facial acupuncture is effective because you’re telling the collagen where to go, in this case, directly to your face.  

If you were to take collagen supplements it will distribute to where the body needs it the most. This would be bones, cartilage, muscles, and tissue. With cosmetic acupuncture, collagen goes right to that area where we caused the trauma: your wrinkles!

More elastin and collagen in facial skin means fewer wrinkles and smoother, tighter, plumper, glowing skin.


Who Can Benefit from Facial Acupuncture?


Men and Women between the ages of 20-70 benefit from facial acupuncture. Whether you want to keep your youthful appearance or ease the aging process, cosmetic acupuncture will help.


Other people who can greatly benefit from this service:


  • Women and men in their 20’s and 30’s who are looking to prevent the onset of wrinkles.
  • People in their 40’s and 50’s who are looking to minimize the appearance of fine to medium lines and maintain a youthful glow and appearance to the skin.
  • Individuals in their 60’s and 70’s who are looking for an overall facial rejuvenation effect that will soften the appearance of deep wrinkles, and give the complexion a youthful glow that has been lost over the years.



Can Acupuncture help with facial wrinkles?

Yes! Facial acupuncture absolutely helps reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles.

Wrinkles that are minimized include:

  • Glabellar lines: vertical wrinkles between the eyebrows (from lines, “the 11”).
  • Crow’s feet: wrinkles at the outer corner of the eyes.
  • Vertical lip lines: small wrinkles around the mouth.
  • Jowls: sagging of the lower part of cheeks.
  • Eyelid lines.
  • Under eye lines.
  • Smile lines: deep folds between the nose and the mouth (laugh lines, nasolabial folds).
  • Forehead lines: horizontal wrinkles across the forehead.
  • Chin lines.
  • Neck lines: YES, I even have a neck protocol!

What Are the Side Effects of Facial Acupuncture?


Facial acupuncture is 100% natural. There are many skin treatments that are used to reduce signs of aging, but unlike fillers, surgery, and chemical peels, there is no downtime, puffiness, drugs, or side effects from cosmetic acupuncture. 

If anything, the “side effects” are “side benefits!”

Additionally, because I use acupuncture in conjunction with cosmetic acupuncture, I will address your overall health in all of your treatments. You will notice improved sleep, less anxiety, less body pain, and overall improved well-being.

It’s easy to be passionate about cosmetic acupuncture. It’s a natural form of anti-aging that gets results. A 2013 study found that facial acupuncture significantly improved skin elasticity. While a 2017 study found that facial acupuncture significantly raised the jowls of participants.


Does Facial Acupuncture Get the Same Results as Botox?


The main benefit of cosmetic acupuncture is that we aren’t atrophying your facial muscles (which is what Botox does). The issue of having atrophied muscles around the face is that it decreases the plumpness available and creates a sagging appearance of the skin. If you deplete the plumpness of your face, you’ll be setting yourself up for fillers in the future. 

Cosmetic acupuncture’s popularity is partly because it gives women a natural alternative to Botox. More women today want to age gracefully without looking like they have had work done.


Can I Get Botox and Facial Acupuncture Together?


I recommend utilizing cosmetic acupuncture after your Botox has fully degenerated, preferably 6 months after your last injections. The issue is that cosmetic acupuncture is so effective in getting blood and oxygen to the face, it will cause your body to metabolize and break down the Botox well before its time.


Why Choose Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture Over Other Treatments?


With cosmetic acupuncture your health is never at risk. You will never have to worry about long-term, adverse reactions and side effects that are not yet known from injecting your face with harsh chemical fillers and toxins.

According to Medline, “Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It’s the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism.” It’s used in small doses to treat a wide variety of issues including wrinkles. 

Botox works by paralyzing and weakening targeted muscles or by blocking nerves. Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin that when injected enters nerves and destroys vital proteins. This stops communication between nerves and muscles. Only the growth of new nerve endings can restore muscle function, and that can take months. This muscle atrophy smooth out expression lines and wrinkles.

It was just in 2002 that the FDA approved Botox to minimize facial wrinkles. We really don’t know what the outcome is going to be in 30 years time. How is everyone going to look after 30-40 years of consecutive Botox treatments?

In 2010 the FDA added a safety warning that said the toxin “may spread from the area of injection to produce symptoms of botulism,” which includes difficulty breathing and muscle weakness that can occur hours or weeks after an injection.

A recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found evidence from animal tests that Botox was in fact able to move between nerve cells, raising the possibility that the same could occur in humans.


Really when making this choice it comes down to how comfortable you are injecting a neurotoxin into your face.


How often Should You Have Facial Acupuncture?


Generally a course of 10 treatments is done twice a week or once a week. I recommend receiving two treatments a week to maximize your results. After your 10th treatment maintenance of one treatment per month is needed depending on the aging of your skin. Otherwise you can come back in three to five years for another ten treatments. 

Consistency is the key to success. Treatments are cumulative, meaning each appointment has a snowball effect as blood flow, collagen, and elastin return to the face again and again.

Treatments will be about an hour to an hour and a half long.

Can I Get Facial Acupuncture In Denver?

Yes! My Denver based cosmetic acupuncture treatments include anti-aging LED light therapy, gua sha facial massage, facial cupping, and jade roller. We will discuss lifestyle choices, food choices, supplements, and herbs that will benefit your skin and maximize your results.

To learn more about cosmetic acupuncture, visit my website here. 

If you are looking for acupuncture in Denver, Colorado and need an acupuncture facelift feel free to schedule an appointment here.

Looking for a Denver acupuncture clinic to help you with all of your general health, mental health, chronic pain, fertility, gynecological, facial acupuncture, or digestive needs?

Contact Wellnest Acupuncture + Holistic Medicine at 720.618.0770 or book an appointment online.

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