Acupuncturist Q&A: Facial Acupuncture Benefits for a Vibrant Complexion

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing acupuncture – in any form – you know how immediate + profound the results can be.

At Primally Pure, we believe in the power of holistic modalities to bring healing + widespread health to the body. We have a special place in our hearts for skin treatments that assess + acknowledge the full person, not just their skin. After all, skin is a reflection of inner health. 

Facial acupuncture (aka cosmetic acupuncture) is an excellent way to bring healing from deep within the body, not just the surface.

That’s why cosmetic acupuncture is one of our favorite ways to prevent premature aging + age gracefully. 

We’ll go over how it works along with the long list of benefits. We even have a bonus Q&A with a special guest.

Let’s dive into the basics.

What is Facial Acupuncture? 

Facial acupuncture is not too different from normal acupuncture. But to understand cosmetic acupuncture, it’s important to review the basics of how standard acupuncture works. 

Standard acupuncture resolves pain, injury, trauma, and tension. It’s a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice that balances the flow of energy (qi) throughout the body. This balanced energy supports overall well-being by managing: 

  • Stress
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic pain
  • Tense muscles
  • Fertility struggles
  • Immunity

Acupuncture targets pressure points throughout the body. Depending on your goals, your acupuncturist determines which points to target, at what depth, + how long the needles stay in. When the needles are removed, your treatment is complete.

The process in cosmetic acupuncture is similar but with slightly different goals.

What Can I Expect With a Facial Acupuncture Treatment? 

Facial acupuncture is a fairly similar procedure, with facial acupuncture points stimulated. But don’t worry – it’s not painful at all. All you have to do is relax. Some people even fall asleep!

Here’s what to expect, step by step.

First, the acupuncturist will want to cover your medical history as well as skin concerns + goals.

Then they gently place anywhere from 10-40 needles on the face. These target specific facial acupuncture points that coordinate with the “meridians” in your body. Meridians are the channels in which your energy/qi flows. In most cases, they place 10-15 needles on the body too. 

Depending on your needs, the needles remain in your body anywhere from 15-30 minutes. They may incorporate a gua sha treatment or infrared light therapy session as well. Afterward, they remove all needles, leaving you feeling light + rejuvenated.

Similar to a massage, you could feel lightheaded – or just very relaxed. Drink plenty of water and rest up after your appointment.

Facial acupuncture is a powerful holistic modality. It brings the body into alignment + addresses the root cause of many skin conditions. Cosmetic acupuncture is a safer holistic alternative to Botox and other conventional treatments. 

Here’s why. 

Facial Acupuncture vs. Conventional Treatments

Cosmetic acupuncture has some impressive results with consistency. Facial acupuncture provides many of the same results as conventional treatments – without all the risks. 

Let’s take Botox as an example.

On the surface, cosmetic acupuncture and Botox may seem the same. Both leave your face feeling rejuvenated and younger-looking. Both involve needles. With both treatments, you’re likely to experience:

  • Less fine lines and wrinkles
  • Tighter, taut skin
  • Improved skin appearance

But at what risk? 

Treatments like Botox have a long list of negative side effects like:  

→  Its “paralyzing” effect could migrate to other areas of the face
→  Increasing your body’s toxic load
→  Possible drooping eyelids or skin
→  Body aches and/or allergic reactions 

That’s why we always recommend avoiding risky treatments like Botox. It’s not worth it. Not to mention – these treatments don’t address the root cause of skin concerns. 

Opt for holistic beauty tools and practices that nourish the skin + support its innate healing properties. Facial acupuncture provides the same results, without all the downsides.  

Benefits of Facial Acupuncture (Skin + Otherwise)

With cosmetic acupuncture, you're likely to see the benefits of conventional skin treatments. But  you can also expect: 

  • Immediately plumper skin (hello jello skin)
  • Improved blood flow + nutrients to the skin
  • Better circulation (which impacts oxygen delivery, detoxification, blood flow, and lymph)
  • Brighter complexion – aka glowing skin
  • Improved elasticity from the stimulation of collagen and elastin1
  • Fewer wrinkles (and/or improved appearance of wrinkles)2
  • Improvement in acne + other inflammatory skin conditions3
  • Tighter pores + improved skin texture2

But that’s not where it stops. In addition to skin improvements, we also see facial acupuncture help:

Relax/de-stress. Stress can cause people to look (and feel) older, so this is an added benefit that’ll make you healthier – from head to toe.

Resolve painful jaw issues like TMD and TMJ. Similar to buccal massage, facial acupuncture helps bring blood flow, reduce tension, and provide better mobility to the jaw.4 

→ Balance the internal systems. When the whole body is in balance everything works better + more energy can be directed toward healing your skin.

Provide insight into possible internal imbalances in the body. Similar to the concept of face mapping, inflammation in certain areas can signal an imbalance within a specific organ or area of the body.

Wow. Facial acupuncture seems pretty incredible as a holistic beauty treatment, right? 

But don’t just take our word for it. We asked a certified expert to answer the most common questions and concerns in our community.

FAQ With Vivian Vaughan, TCM Practitioner + Cosmetic Acupuncture Specialist

If you’ve never considered facial acupuncture before, or you’ve got a few questions now, we’ve got answers. We had the pleasure of connecting with Vivian Vaughan, a respected Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner – and our Founder Bethany’s acupuncturist! 

We got to pick her brain on some of the biggest-hitting questions when it comes to this holistic approach to skin healing + rejuvenation. 

Q: Are there any risks or side effects associated with cosmetic acupuncture?
A: There are no adverse side effects. Possible bruising could occur.

Q: Is facial acupuncture similar to microneedling? 
A: Facial acupuncture is a more gentle approach than microneedling. Facial acupuncture is an excellent approach to staying young and vibrant. We treat the entire body and we say, when the internal system is balanced (such as digestion) it will shine on the face. 

Facial acupuncture stimulates the body to produce collagen and elastin and has a proven effect on relaxation. We know how stress can cause one to look "older." 

Q: Can someone do facial acupuncture if they've had cosmetic work (such as fillers, laser, or Botox)? Is there a suggested "waiting period"? 
A: Absolutely. I just recommend waiting for 2-3 weeks after any Botox, fillers, or lasers so it can settle in and the skin can heal.

Q: Can someone with acne or inflammatory skin conditions (especially severe, like all over the face) still get acupuncture done?
A: I highly recommend facial acupuncture if someone is dealing with acne or other skin issues, as we can treat the root cause.

Q: Does it hurt? What if I’m scared of needles?
A: Facial acupuncture does not require any numbing. It’s very gentle and pain-free if you’re seeing someone that has done extensive training in facial acupuncture.

Q: How many sessions will I need to see results? 
A: I recommend starting with 10 sessions. You can do this over a span of 5 weeks or more, going in 1-2 times a week. Just like with other facial treatments, you do need to come in for maintenance treatments – typically once every 4-6 weeks. My ideal situation is for men or women to start early to maintain overall health and continue to keep collagen production stimulated. Collagen is our most abundant protein, declining as early as 25 years old.

Q: Does facial acupuncture have other health benefits too even though it's isolated to the face?
A: Yes! The great thing about facial acupuncture is that we treat the entire body. So you may see things improve that you didn’t intend – such as better sleep or improved digestion.

As you can tell, cosmetic acupuncture is a beautiful way to maintain a youthful appearance + age gracefully. You’ll experience personalized care, safe results, and maybe even a boost to your full-body health. ;)

Graceful Aging + Results Catered to You

If you can’t tell by now, supporting whole-body health leads to long-lasting skin rejuvenation – instead of just temporary “results.” So in our book, facial acupuncture is an answered prayer to deep-seated healing for your skin.

Facial acupuncture is a powerful way to support your internal and external beauty + health. It's deeply personalized to your situation, body, needs, emotions, and goals.

It’s a beautiful thing when we can merge health with glowing, radiant skin.  

Have you tried acupuncture before? What was your experience? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear! 



  1. National Library of Medicine | Effect of Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture on Facial Elasticity: An Open-Label, Single-Arm Pilot Study 
  2. Aesthetic Surgery Journal | Acupuncture and Facial Rejuvenation
  3. National Library of Medicine | Acupoint Stimulation for Acne: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials 
  4. Practical Pain Management | Acupuncture: New Approach for Temporomandibular Disorders
  5. National Library of Medicine | Treatment of Rosacea Using Acupuncture for Improving the Local Skin Microcirculation


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Facial acupuncture is an excellent way to address the root cause of common skin conditions + restore youthful, healthy skin. No side effects, all the results. | Primally Pure Skincare


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