Yes, you read that right: an acupuncture facial. I first found out about this treatment from Elaine Welteroth's (former editor in chief at Teen Vogue) Instagram story. She had documented the entire process and swore that it was something everyone must try at least once. Since I work out a lot, I'm always looking for new ways to give my skin some major TLC and get rid of all the dirt and other mysteries hiding in my pores.
How It Works
Stefanie DiLibero, L.Ac, cosmetic acupuncturist, and owner of Gotham Wellness, explained to me that cosmetic acupuncture combines Eastern medicine with Western technology to address issues like poor sleep and compromised digestion. Oftentimes, these problems can show up on the face as dark circles, puffiness, and acne.
First, Stefanie began with a Chinese medical intake to find out what areas to address during my treatment. I was asked what my concerns were (adult acne and hyperpigmentation) and what I was currently doing to treat my concerns. Next, we discussed my current skincare routine, where she gave me suggestions on what items to incorporate into my routine to combat my concerns. After that, the treatment began with Stefanie placing needles in my feet and legs. Then she treated the muscles and acupuncture meridians of my face with a microelectronic current.
"This helps to increase Qi and blood to the face, which gives the skin a brightness . . . and strengthens the muscles, which creates a natural facelift," Stefanie said. She also said that using a microelectronic current prepares the face for acupuncture by energizing the tissue of the face, making the effect of the needles stronger.
From here, Stefanie began to place acupuncture needles into different points on my face, scalp, ears, and neck to address internal imbalances (i.e., headaches and allergies) and others to relax muscles. Once the needles were in, she placed an LED light over my face to help reduce bacteria and inflammation and improve cellular health. This is all I remember, because I was so relaxed that I feel asleep on the table, waking up an hour later, once my session was over. The entire treatment took approximately two hours, and it was the most relaxed I have felt in a long time.
I would be lying if I said years of hyperpigmentation disappeared after two hours. The following day, I did notice that the puffiness that typically accompanies my 4:45 a.m. wake-up calls was practically gone. To date, I've only done one session with Stefanie, and my complexion is a lot better. Being that you can only do so many treatments externally, acupuncture is a great way to combat any internal issues. I also try my hardest to avoid dairy products, as they tend to contribute to my breakouts. Unfortunately, sweat from exercising also makes me break out, which is why I try to always wash my face immediately after a workout. In order to achieve long-lasting results, Stefanie recommended I come in every four to six weeks.