Herbal Facial: What Herbs Are Used For A Facial?

Facial Massage

Interested in what herbs are used in a herbal facial rejuvenation treatment here at IAOM? In addition to facial acupuncture, gua sha massage to the face, and body acupuncture to support and correct underlying imbalances, we incorporate the use of high quality powdered Chinese herbs in the form of topical cleansers and masks. These herbal products are matched to individual skin types and used in our acupuncture for facial rejuvenation treatments. Whether you are looking to preserve your youthful glow, are looking to moisturize and rehydrate sun-damaged skin, have problems with acne or suffer from rosacea; we have a special herbal facial formula suited for you!


Inner Balance

As I mentioned in a previous post, when we are talking about acupuncture for facial rejuvenation, we are talking about addressing our health from the inside out. The goal is inner balance – outer beauty. Many of the herbs that are used topically on the skin, may also be prescribed (in varying combinations) for a similar purpose to be taken internally as pills or tea. Working both internally and externally simultaneously allows us to achieve quicker and longer lasting results.



The most basic formula of Chinese herbs that we use on the face is for dry or mature skin that needs a little extra moisturizing. This combination of herbs is added to a base of organic oats and White Kaolin Clay that is the mildest of cosmetic clays; it is reported to smooth and firm the skin without being too drying. This would be suitable for all skin types and is gentle enough for sensitive skin. The herbs used here nourish the Blood and Yin, moisten the skin, and invigorate Blood. In Traditional Chinese medicine, Blood and Yin are very closely related and help to nourish all the tissues and muscles in our body, including the skin of our face. What herbs are used in a facial? In this case, it includes herbs such as Dan Shen (salvia), Dang Gui (angelica), Gou Qi Zi (goji berries), and He Shou Wu (Fo-Ti Root). These herbs work synergistically together to nourish the blood through the skin on the face and to provide nourishment of skin. This will moisturize the skin and brighten the complexion without being overly drying.



When we have too much Heat in our bodies, it can rise to the head creating things like redness, inflammation and breakouts to occur. When acne and rosacea become a problem, we want to incorporate herbs that are much more cooling in nature; also herbs that draw out toxins and resolve Damp (pustules; cystic acne). Herbs used to clear heat from the skin include Pu Gong Ying (dandelion), Huang Bai (phellodendron root), Huang Qi (scutellaria root), Zhi Zi (gardenia). We can use herbs such as Kun Bu (kelp) and Shi Gao (gypsum) to reduce inflammation and soften nodules (ie. Acne, cystic acne).



Another formula we use is for those who have melasma (dark patches, or uneven skin color). This blend uses a different type of clay (Fuller’s Earth clay) that is known for absorbing excess oils and brightening the complexion. Here, herbs that invigorate and nourish Blood are used to help even out the skin tone and brighten the complexion. In this formula herbs such as Hong Hua (safflower) and Mu Dan Pi (tree peony bark) are used to invigorate blood in the skin and brighten the complexion.


Whatever your skin type is, there is a formulation of Chinese herbs that can be right for you; one that helps to restore balance in your skin and body. For the most effective and long-lasting results this done in conjunction with acupuncture, dietary therapy and possibly herbal formulas taken internally as well. If you are interested in incorporating an herbal facial with Chinese medicine into your skincare routine, give us a call.