Facial Acupuncture: Benefits, How It Works, & Side Effects

Unlock your natural beauty and rejuvenate the skin with this Chinese medicinal technique.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD Dr. Vindhya L Veerula Dr. Vindhya L VeerulaMD, FAAD facebook_icontwitter_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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Facial acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicinal technique that has been practiced for thousands of years. This healing technique supposedly improves your well-being and health by balancing the energy that runs through you. A decrease in breakouts and fine lines, as well as an improvement in overall tone and texture, are some of the benefits of facial acupuncture. If you are looking for a powerful anti-aging treatment with few adverse effects, facial acupuncture may be the way to go for you.

But, it is also crucial to be aware of the adverse effects of facial acupuncture so that you know what is coming and can physically and mentally prepare for them. Keep reading if you want to learn more about this procedure!

What Is Facial Acupuncture?

What Is Facial Acupuncture
Image: Shutterstock

If you are familiar with the process of acupuncture, you have already won half the battle. Facial acupuncture is a cosmetic extension of the traditional practice of acupuncture. It is considered to be a safe alternative to botox. In this treatment, the practitioner inserts very fine needles into specific points on your face. The needles that are used on the face are different from the needles that are used on the body. Facial needles are exceptionally fine and are only half as thick as a hair strand.

protip_icon Fun Fact
Earlier, acupuncture needles were made of stone, bone, or bamboo instead of stainless steel.

This cosmetic treatment improves your skin’s texture, makes it smoother, reduces signs of aging, and makes it look younger and healthier. It improves the external appearance and overall health of your facial skin.

Scroll down to the next section to find out what happens during a facial acupuncture session.

How Facial Acupuncture Works And What To Expect

How Facial Acupuncture Works And What To Expect
Image: Shutterstock

Note: It is better to go for full-body acupuncture (including the face) instead of facial acupuncture. This is because acupuncture optimizes and harmonizes the energy flow in your body. If you only opt for facial acupuncture, the energy flow may get congested and restricted to your face. As a result, you may experience discomfort and headache.

Now, let’s talk about how facial acupuncture is done. Once your full-body acupuncture procedure is over, the therapist performs facial acupuncture.

  • The acupuncturist uses very fine needles to puncture your facial skin.
  • They may insert about 40-70 tiny needles at specific points on your face.
  • These needles are inserted at various depths to create wounds. These wounds are also called positive microtrauma.
  • The acupuncturist may move or twirl the needles.
  • The needles are removed after 10 minutes while you are lying still.

When your body senses a wound, it responds and starts repairing the wound immediately. It sends collagen building cells to the wound’s surface to make up for the collagen loss. In other words, the natural healing process of your body is triggered by the strategically placed needles in your skin. This helps in improving your skin’s elasticity and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

protip_icon Trivia
According to traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, there are more than 2000 acupuncture points in our body.

To put it simply, it’s like pressing the reset button on your skin. It offers a ton of benefits that will make your skin glow. Check them out in the next section.

Benefits Of Facial Acupuncture

Benefits Of Facial Acupuncture
Image: Shutterstock

1. It Improves Blood Circulation

The tiny wounds that facial acupuncture creates boost blood circulation to your skin. Blood carries nutrients and collagen to your skin’s surface. This helps to improve your skin’s texture and makes it look radiant and glowing.

2. It Reduces Fine Lines And Wrinkles

When the needles are inserted into your facial skin, collagen production is triggered to cover up those wounds. This reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and makes your skin glow. Acupuncture optimizes your overall health internally, which reflects on your face.

3. It Improves Your Muscle And Skin Tissues

Acupuncture stimulates the skin and muscle tissues. It claims to tone your facial muscles to make them firm and improve the appearance of sagging skin.

4. It Works On Acne

Acupuncture practitioners also claim that this procedure reduces the appearance of acne, blemishes, and age spots.

5. It Improves Skin Elasticity

A study conducted in South Korea examined the effect of facial acupuncture on skin elasticity. The study involved 28 female participants, out of which 27 finished the study. They underwent five sessions of facial acupuncture over the course of three weeks. Out of 27, 15 subjects claimed to experience an improvement in skin elasticity (1).

On a similar note, Shelly Hickman, a YouTuber shares her experience of why she switched from botox treatment to facial acupuncture. She said, “I do think that I have noticed a difference in brightness and healthiness so far from just four treatments (i).”

protip_icon Did You Know?
Acupuncture first became known in Korea in the 6th century AD, then the medical missionaries made it popular in Japan and then in Europe, beginning with France.

Just like every other skin care treatment out there, facial acupuncture comes with its fair share of risks. Before you try it out, check out the risk factors involved in this procedure.

Potential Side Effects And Risk Factors Of Facial Acupuncture

Potential Side Effects And Risk Factors Of Facial Acupuncture
Image: Shutterstock

The common side effects of acupuncture include:

  • Minor bleeding
  • Soreness
  • Redness
  • Bruises
  • Pain

You should avoid acupuncture (both facial and full-body) if:

  • You have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners. In this case, the chances of needle bruising and bleeding are very high.
  • You have a pacemaker. Certain acupuncture procedures that involve applying mild electrical pulses can affect the functioning of your pacemaker.
  • You are pregnant. Facial and whole body acupuncture is not recommended for women who are trying to conceive or are already pregnant. Some forms of acupuncture can induce labor in pregnant women, which can lead to premature delivery.
  • You have uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

What’s next? If you are worried about how to take care of your skin after your acupuncture session, here’s the answer.

Post-Facial Acupuncture Care

Post-Facial Acupuncture Care
Image: Shutterstock

No, you don’t have to lock yourself inside your home, avoid the sun, or stop doing your regular work after getting facial acupuncture. Taking care of your skin after facial acupuncture is very simple. Make sure that:

  • You keep yourself hydrated and drink lots of fluids.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, and have a balanced diet.

That’s it!

The results of acupuncture may vary depending on your age and lifestyle habits. While some people may notice immediate results, others might take more time and multiple sessions to see any results. You need to be patient.

Also, it is important to have an idea of how much facial acupuncture costs before you book your session. Read on to learn more about that.

Cost Of Facial Acupuncture

On average, a single session of facial acupuncture costs between $100 to $250. However, prices can differ significantly depending on geographic location, session duration, and the practitioner’s experience. Some practitioners offer package deals or discounts for multiple sessions. It is essential to inquire about specific costs, including consultation fees and additional services, before starting treatments. Moreover, the overall cost might vary if additional therapies like herbal supplements or facial massages are included. Prioritize finding a licensed and experienced acupuncturist to ensure safe and effective facial acupuncture treatments tailored to your skin care needs.

There is no empirical evidence to prove the benefits of facial acupuncture. However, you will find plenty of anecdotal evidence from people who have tried this method and found it helpful in minimizing skin issues. It is said to minimize signs of aging and promote blood circulation. If you wish to give it a try, it is best to consult a doctor to understand whether the treatment is suitable for you or not. Also, consult a trained acupuncturist to understand all the aspects of the treatment and then go for it. This will help avoid further complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is facial acupuncture better than microneedling?

It all comes down to personal preferences. Nevertheless, both techniques work their holistic wonders in noticeable and appealing ways. Time is one of the most significant distinctions. Acupuncture depends on needles staying in the same area for around twenty minutes, whereas microneedling utilizes tiny, super-fast pinpricks to the skin. In addition, acupuncture only treats the places where an energy blockage is perceived, but microneedling addresses the entire face.

Can you wear makeup while getting facial acupuncture?

It is okay to put on light makeup and avoid heavy creams or moisturizers on the day of your treatment. However, there are no other strict preparation protocols to follow.

Can facial acupuncture remove eye bags?

Facial acupuncture improves blood circulation and reduces dark circles, puffiness, and sagging eyelids. In addition, your face will be revitalized from within.

Key Takeaways

  • Facial accupuncture helps tone and improve your facial muscles and skin texture.
  • Done with microfine needles, it is a safe procedure with anti-ageing benefits that helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Minor bleeding, soreness, or pain might be some of the initial side-effects of facial acupuncture.
  • You should avoid acupuncture if pregnant, have any bleeding disorder, or use a pacemaker.


The rejuvenating benefits of facial acupuncture are quite well known. If you considering it, click on this video to get a detailed overview of the various skin effects and results that you can expect with this technique.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Veerula (Dr. V) is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons. She is an energetic, proactive, and compassionate medical practitioner with 5 years of experience and a thorough understanding of overall mind-body-spiritual wellness.

Read full bio of Dr. Vindhya L Veerula
Ramona Sinha
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze with 11 years of experience in writing and editing. She has authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and did her post-graduation from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal.

Read full bio of Ramona Sinha
Anjali Sayee
Anjali SayeeAssociate Editor
Anjali is an associate editor at StyleCraze. She specializes in hairstyles and hair and skin care and has written over 200 articles in these domains. She has 7 years of experience, and her philosophy about hair and skin care is simple: if you love and care for it, it will be healthy.

Read full bio of Anjali Sayee
Monomita Chakraborty
Monomita ChakrabortyBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Monomita has a graduate degree in mass communication and video production from St. Anthony's College, Shillong, and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the Royal Global University, Guwahati. She is also a certified skincare coach with a keen interest in skin, hair, tattoos, nail art, and lifestyle trends.

Read full bio of Monomita Chakraborty