Does the idea of lying on a couch with dozens of needles in your face sound like a top day out? Granted, there's not much competition on that front at the moment but this week presenter Lisa Snowdon posted a picture of herself in full facial pincushion mode declaring that this was "what my peace looks like".
Model Poppy Delevingne and Take That's Howard Donald are also converts to facial acupuncture or facial needling as it's sometimes known, where ultra-fine acupuncture needles are placed at specific points to stimulate your lymphatic and circulatory system, where they are left in for around 20 minutes. The result? More youthful, smoother and healthier-looking skin as well as whole body and mind benefits.
Lisa's photo was taken during an acupuncture, reiki and reflexology session with acupuncturist Sarah Bradden at her London clinic. She added that the treatment helped her "rebuild, rebalance and recharge" after a difficult year, and had with helped her long Covid symptoms. "The tiredness and the symptoms that I recognise as long Covid do come back from time to time," she reflected. "I have to say some days I’m already wiped out before I’ve had a chance to do anything which is somewhat frustrating, but I’m practicing being kind and patient with myself."
Celebrity tanner James Read commented: '"I need this for sure." Lisa replied, "I believe everyone should do it!!"
What does facial acupuncture do?
Appearance-wise as well as for overall wellbeing, facial acupuncture is a big-hitter. "Facial acupuncture can help make the skin look younger, smoother, and healthier," says acupuncturist Dr Nitasha Buldeo, who operates out of her clinics in London and Bedfordshire.
"Unlike other cosmetic procedure, facial acupuncture addresses not only the signs of ageing but also the skin's overall health. It works internally to optimise your health and externally to enhance the appearance of your skin."
Lisa's therapist Sarah Bradden explains more benefits of facial acupuncture, including hormone balancing, reducing puffiness of the skin, improving sun damage pigmentation, and lifted and toned sagging muscles, sometimes referred to as a natural facelift. "The needles I use have been shown to clinically enhance the improvement of wrinkles, skin tone, and acne scarring," she says on her website . "Facial needling improves skin moisture balance, cellular turnover and reduces inflammatory conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis in keeping with traditional Chinese medicine practice."
As for Lisa Snowdon's claims it helped with her long Covid, Sarah Bradden explains, "Facial acupuncture helps with the exhaustion caused by long Covid by supporting the nervous system and strengthening the immune system."
How does facial acupuncture work?
With such a long list of reported benefits, how can these ultra-fine needles create such a hardworking treatment?
The application of needles at specific points delivers nutrients and oxygen to your skin cells while nourishing the skin from the inside out, explains Dr Nitasha. "The needles also stimulate the fibroblast cells that lie deep within the dermis layer of the skin and also encourages the production of collagen. It helps improve elasticity and therefore minimises fine lines and wrinkles."
How quickly can you see results from facial acupuncture?
Most people see improvement after one treatment, according to Dr Nitasha but to maintain results she recommends repeat treatments every four to 12 weeks.
Does facial acupuncture hurt?
If Lisa Snowdon's experience is anything to go by, it doesn't. "For those of you asking if this treatment hurts, the honest truth is it doesn’t," she said on her post. Dr Nitasha agrees, telling us that because the needles are so fine you only feel a gentle scratch when they're inserted and then it's painless.
Book a facial acupuncture appointment from £40 with Dr Nitasha Buldeo or £300 with Sarah Bradden for her 90 minute Bradden Method treatment which combines facial acupuncture with light therapy, activated oxygen, reflexology and reiki.
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