Cosmetic Acupuncture: debunking the myth that pain is beauty

I’ve never been particularly afraid of needles. Thanks to my asthma I’ve had enough flu jabs over the years that the sight of one doesn’t reduce me to tears. But when one needle suddenly becomes 70 – yes 70 – I’ll admit a little trepidation sets in.

This was my experience just last week when I paid a visit to John Tsagaris in Chelsea – the renowned acupuncturist who has pioneered facial needling in the Western market. Having spent two years in the East mastering the arts of Chinese Medicine his techniques are revered and seriously effective – and that’s coming from a skeptic who’s never been convinced anything but hard-core prescription tablets will help my woes and ails.

One hour down, however, after John had poked my face and confirmed my worst fears, (I have an aversion to sugar, this is pain) I was pleasantly surprised. My skin was glowing, plump and redness free – enough so that I felt comfortable heading straight back to the office sans make-up – something’s that never happened before and is unlikely to happen again, believe me.

A little chat with John helped me understand exactly how my skin had reacted to this treatment, a fight or flight response that forces it to heal itself resulting in a healthy, youthful glow. Improved collagen production, reduced puffiness and a reduction of fine lines are all welcome side effects, but as John states below this isn’t an anti-aging solution, rather an age adapt approach that uses the beauty of our skin at any age to help itself.

Q: For novices like myself John, can you please explain the philosophy behind your beauty acupuncture treatment?

A: Cosmetic acupuncture is based on the idea that triggering certain areas of the skin will allow it to naturally renew, repair and regenerate itself, addressing chronological factors as well as adapting to its surroundings. The principles behind Chinese medicine help facilitate this healing process, triggering physical responses such as microcirculation, anti-inflammatory and the stimulation of fibroblasts, which activate collagen and elastin. By stimulating the bodies own healing energy through multiple mini injuries, the treatment leaves you looking and feeling completely revived.

Q: Part of the treatment included Swarovski crystals being stuck on the ears. What does this do?

A: An Auriculo-therapy using Swarovski ear crystals provides a sophisticated, holistic approach to healing. The quality and lightness of Swarovski pellets make them the most effective in channeling healing energy to restore the harmony of the body and mind. Each crystal is carefully placed on specific parts of the ear to effectively target concerns such as allergies, stress, depression or weight, a very popular method in LA, which is gaining a lot of respect and credibility here in the UK.

Q: How would you advise a consumer to maintain the result of the treatment at home?

A: Some consumers attempt to recreate treatments at home based on techniques they read online, don’t. It’s unlikely to yield the required results and incorrect techniques can actually cause the hastening of certain concerns such as creases and frown lines. In order to get the best results start from the inside, taking care of the diet and making sure there are no nutritional deficiencies. Appropriate supplementation, regular facial routines including cleansing, exfoliating and nourishing is the best way to prevent and help maintain results.

Q: How do you view the aging process and the beauty industry’s obsession with promoting ‘anti-aging’ solutions? 

A: The aging process is inevitable, but there’s no doubt that the stress and pressures of everyday life accelerate the process as well as non-nutritional diets and environmental factors. Therefore, rather than looking for ‘anti-aging solutions’, we should look to resurrect and repair the skin from within by addressing the true, internal causes. I believe in the Age-Adapt approach, which embraces ageing and utilises our body’s potential at any age.

Q: How do you see the beauty industry and the wellness industry coming together in the next few years? 

A: There has been a large shift in people’s approach to health and wellbeing in recent years. Consumers are becoming increasingly educated about health, wellbeing and meditation and how these concepts can be used to care for our body and enhance natural beauty. As a result, consumers are investing a lot more time and money in these areas and are experiencing the physical as well as mental benefits of this approach.

Q: The consumer is becoming more and more interested in natural alternatives in both product and treatment – why do you think this shift has occurred and what part do you think traditional Chinese Medicine has and will play?

A: In the past decade consumers have been made more aware of exactly how many chemicals and toxins are in our beauty products. Our skin absorbs so much from the atmosphere already that it’s vital we’re aware of what we’re putting on to it. Chinese medicine can help this, being an exploratory mind-field with the vast potential to research and develop breakthrough products. In my own SkinPointEight collection we have employed sophisticated Chinese medicinal herbs to treat pathological skin aging factors, Adaptogenic herbs so skin adapts to time aggravating triggers and cosmeceutical actives to optimise skin performance, creating a blend of East and West in its most refined balance.


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