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Traditional Chinese Medicine for Facial Rejuvenation by Lance Li

The practice of facial rejuvenation, also known as Cosmetic Acupuncture, enjoys a long history in China. Numerous medical classics have included a wide variety of herbal formulas for beauty purposes.

Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic(Huang Di Nei Jing) set up the solid medicinal and theoretical base for the formation and development of cosmetology with Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The Divine Husbandman's Classics of Materia Medica(Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing) has documented more than three hundred different therapeutic herbs and those herbs, named as Superior Herbs, had anti-aging and facial rejuvenating properties.

In Tang dynasty, Sun Si Miao, the most famous practitioner compiled two books, Thousand Ducat Formulas(Qian Jin Yao Fang) and Supplement to the Thousand Ducat Formulas(Qian Jin Yi Fang), which created  new methods of incorporating herbs, acupuncture, and diets to promote general health and beauty.

Li Shi Zhen(Ming Dynasty) wrote the classic text, Materia Medica (Ben Cao Gang Mu). In his text he emphasized many kinds of detailed treatment for eyes, nose, lips, teeth and hair and mentioned many herbs for beauty and health.

Facial Rejuvenation by ways of Traditional Chinese Medicine is classified into 5 major protocols, which are Chinese Herbal Medicine, Chinese Dietary Recipes, Acupuncture, Chinese TuiNa, and Qi Gong.

Because blood is the source of our life, therefore it is very essential for the blood to bring the spirit and vitality to the body and to the face as well.


In terms of regulating the blood, it is advised that one make sure to differentiate the following Traditional Chinese Medical Patterns in relation to the blood.

1.     Blood Deficiency

Blood Stasis

Blood Heat

Besides, in order to maintain the natural beauty, one is suggested to detoxify the body on the regular basis. Here it is divided into 3 types of toxicity.

1.     Water Toxicity: It is referred as Phlegm-Dampness.

Blood Toxicity: It is referred as Liver Qi Stagnation that accumulates into the toxicity in the blood.

Food Toxicity: It is the result of excessive consumption of greasy and sweet food.

The last factor of maintaining the beauty is to nourish Yin. In terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yin nourishment is very essential to regulate the facial resilience and maintain the luster in the face.

The treatment for the wrinkles, in terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is based on Root and Branch treatments.

Root Treatment:

a. Heart Blood Deficiency

Acupuncture treatment:

UB15―Tonifies and nourishes the blood and calms the spirits

UB17-Works with UB15 to further nourish the yin and blood

UB20-Manages the blood to nourish the face

ST36-Helps the body to send more nutrients up to the face

SP10-This point is named as the sea of the blood and it helps tonify the blood to transport it efficiently to the face


Herbal Treatment: Si Wu Tang(Four Essence Decoction) and Ba Zhen Tang(Eight Treasure Decoction).

Food Therapy: Red Dates, Red Bean, Black Seasame, honey, and Black Chicken.

b. Qi Stagnation and Blood Stasis

Acupuncture Treatment:

LIV3-Moves the stagnant Qi and relieves the irritability.

LI4-Works with LIV3 to moves the stagnant Qi.

UB18-Moves the stagnant Qi and regulates the menstrual cycles.

UB17―Helps regulate the blood to further relieve the Qi Stagnation.

ST36-In this case, it helps with bringing more energy to the entire body and to the face.

Herbal Treatment: Xiao Yao San(Rambling Powder).

Food Therapy: Lotus seed, Citrus Peel, Chrysanthemum, peach flower, eggplant, Chinese Chives, and Black bean.

c. Kidney Essence Deficiency

    Acupuncture Treatment:

    REN4-Tonifies the lower jiao Qi and strengthens the kidneys.

    KI3-Shu-Stream point of Kidney meridian and it strengthens the kidney 


    SP3-Shu-Stream point of Spleen meridian and it harmonizes the earth and water.

    SP6-Tonifies the Spleen and Kidneys and nourishes the kidney essence.

    LIV3-Nourishes the Liver Blood and Yin and replenishes the Kidney Essence in men.

    UB18-Nourishes and spread the Liver Blood to generate the Kidney Essence.

    UB23-Benefits the Kidney Essence.


    Herbal Treatment: Liu Wei Di Huang Wan(Six-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia)

    Food Therapy: Chinese Yam, Ginseng, Gou Qi Zi, Chinese Chives, and Wu Wei Zi, shrimp, and sea cucumber.

d. Spleen Qi Deficiency


    Acupuncture Treatment:

    REN4-Tonifies the middle jiao to help strengthen the spleen.

    ST36- Strengthens the Spleen and Stomach to help with the digestion.

    REN12-Front-Mu point of Fu Organ and it regulates the middle jiao Qi to help transform and transport the nutrients to the body and to the face.

    SP3-Harmonizes the Spleen and Stomach to treat puffy eyes.

    SP6-Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach and transport the blood to the face.

    Herbal Treatment:

    Ba Zhen Tang(Eight Treasure Decoction) and Ren Shen Yang Rong Wan(Ginseng Decoction to Nourish the Nutritive Qi).

    Food Therapy: Walnuts, peanuts, Cinnamon Powder, tomatoes, and pumpkin.

      Branch Treatment:


    Branch treatment is more focused on where the wrinkles are.

    Normally, it is advised to needle along the wrinkles and needle the starting and ending point of the wrinkles. Then one may choose some points around the wrinkle area. The needling direction is pointing upward to have the successfully lifting effect.


    Some basic anti-wrinkle facial masks:

    Lemon and milk facial Mask

Pearl Powder and Banana facial Mask

Orange and Aloe Vera facial Mask

Chinese Barley Powder facial Mask

Mung Bean and Milk Facial Mask


1.     A comprehensive Hand Book for Traditional Chinese Medicine Facial Rejuvenation, by Ping Zhang, Ph.D., Lac.

Lao zhong Yi Jiao Ni Meirong(Chinese Version), by People's Military Medical Press

Most welcomed natural facial mask(Chinese Version), by Chinese Textile Publishing House