Working in the beauty industry, I’ve been lucky enough to try out many different facial treatments over the years. From cryotherapy to seaweed wraps – if there’s a buzzy skincare technique out there, my face is fair game. But, having tried out many a whacky facial, I now approach treatments with a fair amount of scepticism.
If someone had told me having just one facial would make me reconsider getting botox, I probably wouldn't believe them.
But that’s exactly what happened after I had a recent facial with celebrity skin & wellness expert Ada Ooi.
What is acupuncture and how can it benefit skin?
"Acupuncture helps to stimulate the body's natural processes of cell reproduction and growth", says international facialist and TCM practitioner Ada Ooi. "It has been shown to increase blood circulation throughout the body, meaning more efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients, it also increases lymphatic activities to flush out excessive toxins and water, which can help depuff and brighten the skin."
"For lines and wrinkles, acne/pigmentation or scars, I apply the ‘surround the dragon’ methodology. I surround the concerned area with multiples needles or micro intra-pins to help boost metabolism while stimulating new cells to grow or recover from the issue."
My acupuncture facial with Ada Ooi
With a celebrity client roster which includes Rooney Mara, Lily Allen and Ellie Goulding (plus some royals thrown in there too), Ada is known in the beauty business for her unique take on skincare therapy, which often combines traditional Chinese Medicine with facial-massage techniques. Her treatments don’t come cheap, but oh boy do you notice a difference straight away.
Ada started off by steaming and cleansing my face, before performing a thorough facial massage. This wasn't a soothing process FYI, we’re talking deep tissue massage, lymphatic drainage and ‘ouch-that-hurts-but-ok-carry-on’ pummelling. Ada performed the massage on half of my face first, before showing me the difference in my skin. Sure enough, the left hand side of my face looked lifted, tightened and more sculpted.
After the facial massage came the acupuncture – the real star of the show.
Ada positioned needles all over my face (as well as a few in my feet and ankles) and left me to relax for a few minutes. She then pinpointed my frown lines – which have become deeper and a permanent fixture on my forehead in the last year or so – with thicker, larger needles. The idea is that these larger needles would create trauma in the area (similar to microneedling) which results in blood rushing to the area, boosting collagen production and in turn, plumping the skin.
When my facial was over and I was handed a mirror, I definitely thought my face looked tighter, more lifted and seriously glowy – but Ada assured me that my skin (and in particular, my frown lines) would appear even better as the days went on and she was absolutely right.
In the next 2-3 days I noticed that my frown lines were 100% smoother than they were previously. Had they completely vanished? No, but that botox appointment I’d been considering for the last six months had gone straight to the bottom of my priorities.
It’s now been about 8-weeks since my facial with Ada and I’d say that my frown lines are beginning to slowly reappear. So while it may not be an ultra-long lasting alternative to botox, if you’re looking for something to give your skin a youthful boost, acupuncture might just be it.