I got quite excited when I stumbled on this piece of research into cosmetic acupuncture because I had long assumed that that in spite of the growing popularity of this procedure, nobody was really doing any research into it. Cosmetic acupuncture is a relatively new use of acupuncture (for example you will not really find any reference to it in any of the traditional books) and therefore the gap in the accumulated collective clinical experience ought to be filled by some other source of reliable information. This research is relatively brief, but its a good starting point. Some of the references cited are a little bit eccentric- for example, in support of the statement that there is increasing prevalence of dry skin, the authors have cited the website of a Japanese cosmetics company and moreover the website is in Japanese, which is thoroughly useless for an English speaker. What is somewhat stranger still is that it is published by the journal Acupuncture in Medicine which is an imprint of the British Medical Journal, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world- I would have thought they would have been stricter on referencing rules. This was a small preliminary study carried out on only two women, one ages 50 and one aged 29, who received 5 acupuncture sessions once a week for a month (this is fairly typical of usual clinical practice). The researchers used a machine called Skin Analyzer Clinical Suite 2.1, which they say measures skin oil and water content to compare the subjects skin condition between the first and the fifth treatments. They found a significant increase in both oil and water content in the subject’s skin and thus they theorised that this may account for the improvement in appearance of the skin reported by many users of cosmetic acupuncture. This was a small pilot study and the authors state that they plan to replicate their findings in a larger study, though so far no larger study has been published.