‘Natural botox’ is the latest beauty trend promising to boost skin tone and luminosity and TikTok is *obsessed*

An ancient practice is being labeled as ‘natural botox’ and there’s actually scientific proof behind it too

a needle on a pink background
(Image credit: Getty Images)

TikTok is awash with weird hacks, talked-about beauty trends, and the latest style statements and while we usually don’t like to take too much notice, the latest skincare buzz has caught our attention.

In videos popping up on the social media platform, cosmetic acupuncture is being hailed as ‘natural botox’ promising to soften lines and wrinkles and plump skin. Of course, acupuncture is clearly not a new trend, having been around for thousands of years, and is often used to combat an array of medical conditions like fatigue, chronic pain, and headaches. But using acupuncture as part of your skincare routine is suddenly in vogue with luxurious facials incorporating the ancient Chinese practice into their beauty-boosting rituals. TikTok is filled with people extolling the benefits of the ancient needling practice, with many hailing it as a natural way to boost skin tone and luminosity.


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Top cosmetic acupuncturist Athena Giralea is no stranger to the benefits of facial needling. With a background in physiotherapy, anatomy, and physiology, she has created a different approach to cosmetic acupuncture, resulting in a Western-Eastern style hybrid treatment that combines traditional Chinese acupuncture practices with innovative Western, age-supporting full-facial skincare solutions. Her very own unique cosmetic acupuncture treatment launched into London’s Harvey Nichols earlier this year.

Athena explained the process to woman&home, “Needling the skin initiates electrical depolarisation in the tissue, which, in turn, initiates a change on the cellular level known as the healing cascade. As a result, collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic are naturally produced in the body to heal the micro-injuries produced by the body. The tissue scaffolds build up with higher collagen levels in the skin where the sub-dermal scaffold may have weakened or collapsed. These changes take place on the cellular level, which guarantees the treatment's long-term effect. The results manifest externally in the form of enhanced skin tone, healthier and plumper skin, and softened fine lines or wrinkles.”



Athena's approach is a combination of her Western style with Traditional Chinese Medicine. She takes the best of my background in Anatomy and Physiology training, research, and clinical reasoning and uses it to expand the traditional acupuncture map.

Medical studies back up Athena’s expertise with one stating that facial acupuncture has the potential to improve age-related wrinkle length, skin laxity, muscle thickness, and changes in pigmentation.

As well as helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (much like other needle focussed treatments such as skin boosters) the practice can also benefit the mind and improves the entire body’s state of well-being in a number of ways such as improved sleep, hormonal balance (great for perimenopause and menopause), and deep skin rejuvenation. This is one trend we can seriously get on board with.

Lydia Swinscoe
Travel writer & editor

Lydia is a travel writer and editor, based mostly in London. Her work has been published in print and online for the likes of Harper's Bazaar UK, ELLE UK, Marie Claire US, Condé Nast Traveller Middle East, Town&Country, BBC Good Food, Oh magazine, MailOnline, and woman&home.