Facial Acupuncture vs. Microneedling: What’s the Difference?

You may have heard the hype surrounding cosmetic acupuncture and microneedling in recent years, but what’s the difference between these two cosmetic procedures? Both involve needles, don’t they? Are there any proven benefits to getting one over the other? There’s lots of questions surrounding the spotlight on these two cosmetic procedures, so let’s dive in and take a look at the differences between the two.

Facial Acupuncture vs. Microneedling

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What is Facial Acupuncture?

Facial Cosmetic Acupuncture (FCA) is the traditional practice of acupuncture that focuses on points on and surrounding the face to produce beautifying effects. This type of acupuncture is considered a generally safe, natural and effective alternative to more invasive cosmetic procedures such as Botox. Studies have shown the benefits of FCA which include improved elasticity [1] ,anti-ageing effects such as reduced fine lines and improved skin texture and improved overall skin health.

Facial acupuncture involves inserting 40 or more tiny acupuncture needles (don’t worry they’re painless) into various points on the face and body. While it’s called Facial Acupuncture, needles need to be inserted into particular points on the body to avoid energy congestion. These needles stimulate the lymphatic and circulatory system allowing your body to flush the area and increase blood flow which can give you the results of reduced puffiness, and a healthier overall skin appearance.

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling uses a similar concept to Facial Acupuncture in that it punctures the skin with lots of tiny needles, however Microneedling typically involves more, smaller needles often inserted using a roller tool to gently roll them over the face.

Microneedling is also called collagen induction therapy as the technique can help with the production of collagen. In addition to boosting collagen production, microneedling has been used to help with resurfacing of the skin, acne, reduced skin elasticity and fine lines/wrinkles.

What are the Cons of Facial Acupuncture vs. Microneedling?

While it shouldn’t be considered too much of a downside, Facial Acupuncture tends to be a longer process than other cosmetic procedures like botox. Typically patients will see results after 5 treatments [2] , but it’s definitely more of a long-term regular appointment kind of procedure vs. other cosmetic procedures where results are seen on the first visit and last for months or years.

Other than being a more long-term commitment and not a quick fix, there are few side-effects to acupuncture in general. Common side effects are usually minimal but may include bruising. It’s a generally safe procedure for most but if you have a bleeding disorder or diabetes you should avoid FCA or discuss it with your primary care doctor.

Microneedling is similar to FCA in that it can take 4 or more treatments to see full results but some results are visible after the first treatment. Unlike FCA which has little to no healing time, microneedling, depending on how deep the needles puncture the skin, can sometimes take days or weeks to fully heal and you may experience minor redness for a day or two after your treatment. Some people may also experience minor pain, peeling skin, skin tightness and bruising.

Those who are using certain acne medications, have bleeding disorders or have overly-sensitive skin should avoid microneedling or consult their primary care doctor before receiving treatment.

Who Can Perform Facial Acupuncture vs. Microneedling?

Facial Acupuncture and Microneedling can really differ when it comes to the types of practitioners that can perform them. In the case of Facial Acupuncture which is considered a health treatment, it can typically only be performed by a licensed acupuncturist, naturopathic doctor or other health practitioner with proper acupuncture certification. Microneedling, however, is strictly a cosmetic or beauty treatment and can be performed by a licensed acupuncturist but may also be performed by estheticians with the proper training.

In the case of both FCA and Microneedling you really want to make sure you do your research before booking an appointment, as both involve the use of needle you want to ensure the person performing your treatment is qualified and follows all the necessary health and safety protocols, which is why a wellness center like Yaletown Wellness Centre is a great choice. Most wellness centers are health clinics that offer additional wellness services so they follow the strictest of protocols when it comes to any procedures performed at the center. It’s always best to be safe when it comes to any cosmetic treatme

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3745857/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3745857/

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