Is acupuncture the new Botox?

Is acupuncture the new botox.

Is acupuncture the new botox.

For over a year I’ve been investing in an alternative needle to the Botox needle – the traditional Chinese medicine practice of acupuncture and for the first time I’ve documented the results through before and after pictures, for my new column on

Unlike Botox, facial acupuncture is not a quick fix for anti-ageing the face but rather a longer term investment into the quality, strength and tone of facial skin and muscles. Instead of paralysing the muscles, acupuncture stimulates the blood flow and energy to the skin, waking muscles up and bringing skin to life. Skin is refreshed, enlivened and energised. Like you’ve had the best sleep ever…

I go to see Maggie Brown at Beaute Chinoise in north London and I’ve written about her before but have never documented the differences in my skin, before and after the treatment. So much of it is to do with increased energy and vibrancy which is difficult to capture on camera but I went for the plunge and was thrilled to see the results: you can really see a difference in the brightness and freshness of my face, especially in the white of my eyes.

To read the full article and to see the essential before and after pics head over to for Is Acupuncture the New Botox? …and let me know what you think! Leave a comment or tweet me at @YanarBeauty…Would love to hear from you on this subject…


Beauty acupuncture

I’ve decided to hit the needle. Having just had my second beauty acupuncture session with the delightful Maggie Brown (who I reviewed a few months ago for Natural Health magazine) I’ve decided facial acupuncture is going to be my anti-ageing splurge – let’s call it an investment to save my face.

Unlike Botox – which freezes the muscles and makes them redundant – acupuncture and acupressure massage activate and strengthen the muscles; they wake up the face by bringing life and energy into it through the surge of oxygen and blood flow.

Having just spent the last few months juggling the stress of a new job, daily rush hour tube travel, late nights and general life ups and downs, my skin was breaking out and dragging down before my eyes. I decided I needed to help before it was too late so I called Maggie for an appointment. Pronto. As a beauty journalist I get almost unlimited access to beauty treatments and services so to actually pay for something (quelle horreur!) is a real testament to its value.

Maggie does facial acupuncture in a gorgeous town house in north London but as well as the needles, it’s also a good 90 mins of genuine beauty therapy: Vigorous acupressure massage, hand-blended oils, leaf tea, lots of chat to solve your beauty problems and homework. Yes, lots of homework  – facial massage to improve muscle tone, lymphatic drainage to sweep away toxins and regular pressure point activation to release tension and sluggishness. I’ve got it all written down and I’m ready to go.  See the cute drawings that are my take-away instructions below. Love.

I’m also using Maggie’s own face as an incentive to keep me on track and massaging daily. She says she’s been having facial acupuncture and doing nightly massages regularly for the last 15 years and no exaggeration, she looks about ten years younger (without any other kind of needle). Her skin is totally toned and glowing so if I can look like that in a few years time, I’m in. In fact, I’ve just booked appointments every three weeks for the next three months.

If you’re looking for that next step in anti-ageing, I highly recommended the whole natural needle approach – it’s not a quick fix (which is why I’m starting early, at 32) but a long term investment. If you’re in London check out Maggie – Beaute Chinoise  –


New beauty oils with a Chinese twist

Beaute Chinoise Yang No.4So as I continue to wait for a Heathrow flight to Africa (three days late and counting now!), my morning post cheers me up as I find the cutest little bottles of facial oil by Beaute Chinoise, a brand created by facial acupuncturist Maggie Brown.

I’m a HUGE oil fan and anti-ageing benefits are of serious interest too. That’s why I LOVE rose oil, as it’s great for dry or mature skin and great for anti-ageing. So I instantly loved Yin No.1 – predominantly rose with added neroli, patchouli and sandalwood. Beautiful.

Yang No. 4 is for normal skin and contains jasmine, rose, sandalwood and geranium. Maggie says this one “stimulates cell regeneration, whilst protecting, nourishing and firming the skin and uplifting the senses.” This basically means it helps your skin grow strong and it smells nice too, (someone said it smells like Turkish Delight – in nice way!).

I interviewed Maggie for a feature I’m writing on Chinese facial mapping for Women’s Fitness magazine (February ’11 issue) and it’s such a fascinating subject. The philosophy is that your face holds visual clues of imbalances in your body and signals for potential health problems.

At Beaute Chinoise clinic in London Maggie treats people who have beauty concerns such as problem skin, dark circles and signs of premature ageing, using acupuncture, dietary changes and supplements as a treatment. After a lot of research into the Chinese way for dealing with health problems – i.e. treating the mind, body and emotions as a holistic system – I think it’s a really effective approach and would recommend anyone struggling with health niggles to check it out. If you know anything about this subject, let me know!