Facial Acupuncture - A Face Lift Alternative?

When you’re looking for ways to reduce wrinkles and get rid of fine lines, it doesn’t take long to realize face lift surgery is no longer the only option. Face lift surgery is a fairly extensive procedure that involves multiple incisions and requires weeks of healing; however, today’s innovative procedures can mimic the effects of surgery without a single incision. 

Thermage skin tightening helps make skin tighter and stronger, while dermal fillers help plump up fine lines and wrinkles.  Some experts suggest cosmetic acupuncture – or facial acupuncture – is another effective way to improve the skin. Acupuncture needles strategically positioned in the facial compartments can help rejuvenate the skin and even improve the contours of the face.

Is facial acupuncture really an alternative to the face lift, or is purely hype? Here’s a closer look at how facial acupuncture works:

How Facial Acupuncture Works

Facial acupuncture, also known as cosmetic acupuncture, involves using fine needles that are inserted in key facial compartments to promote blood circulation. The procedure is similar to acupuncture treatments for the body, and allows the body to produce more elastin and collagen in the treatment points. Facial acupuncture treatments can be found at many spas and salons around the country, but many acupuncturists also offer the service as part of a complete body treatment package. Lorraine H. Harri, a licensed acupuncturist in Asheville, North Carolina offers the Mei Zen cosmetic acupuncture treatment at her practice.  This anti aging treatment is designed to be an alternative to botox treatments and facelift surgery, because it can:

  • Fill out deep facial lines
  • Even out muscle tone
  • Enhance overall health and feelings of well-being
  • Help fade age spots
  • Make the skin appear radiant, smooth and silky
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines

Is Facial Acupuncture a Facelift?

According to Charles Yarborough, a licensed Acupuncturist, facial acupuncture is not really a facelift.  He explains that the the American Cosmetic Acupuncture Association discourages the use of the term, “facelift” in connection with acupuncture, as this creates unrealistic expectations and, ultimately, disappointment. Remember, it took decades of stress, sun damage and exposure to environmental toxins for your skin to reach a state of crisis, and the damage will not be instantly undone. The remedy cosmetic acupuncture may offer is the reduction or erasure of fine lines and the softening of deeper ones (Source: Acupuncture.com).

Cosmetic acupuncturist Siamak Shirazi explains how the procedure works in this video:


Facial acupuncture alone will not permanently get rid of wrinkles or deliver ‘instant’ results, but it can help improve the overall contours and texture of the skin. The procedure can help enhance and tone up the skin so that it appears healthier over time, but cannot be compared to face lift surgery.

Finding a licensed acupuncturist ensures you do receive a valuable facial acupuncture treatment, but there are several skin rejuvenation options that can complement this procedure.  Learn more about facial rejuvenation in our information guide, or consult with an anti-aging specialist in your area for more information about getting rid of wrinkles and fine lines.