I Tried a $475 Acupuncture Facial, and TBH, I've Been Glowing Ever Since

Acupuncture facial review

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If there are two things I’m absolutely obsessed with, they would be acupuncture and facials. I started getting regular acupuncture early on during the pandemic, and it’s done wonders for everything from my anxiety to headaches. And while facials are a more occasional treat, nothing beats that just-left-my-aesthetician’s-office glow. So when Ora invited me to its new location to try its new treatment, an acupuncture facial, I was basically in heaven.  

Since the first location opened in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood in 2020, Ora has been a mainstay for the city’s wellness-minded. And it recently opened its second outpost, located on the Upper East Side (so new, in fact, that when I arrived for my first appointment, it hadn’t even officially opened yet—fancy!). Also new is the acupuncture facial, a $475-a-pop treatment that’s just what it sounds like: a combination service that blends the traditional Chinese medicine staple with a glow-boosting, tension-busting skincare treatment.

Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Courtesy Ora

The new Upper East Side space.

Like any first-time acupuncture session, I first filled out an intake form. Then I was led to the cushy treatment room to meet Marisa Anaya, licensed acupuncturist and developer of the Ora facial. Marisa first asked me several questions about my health—everything from sleep (ugh) to stress levels (argh) to digestion (meh). 

Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Courtesy Ora

Next, we took a close look at my face to discuss my skincare goals. That’s the Ora facial twist: This treatment is a two-in-one. It has all the benefits of regular, full-body acupuncture but with a facial rather than traditional rest. Sounds nice, right? 

Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Courtesy Ora

Once the needles were placed (painlessly!) from the shoulders down, Marisa began the facial. She started with three cleansing steps, including a gentle clay exfoliant followed by a peptide serum. Then came the microcurrent tool. If you haven’t had microcurrent before, it feels, well, weird. Like strong magnets are buzzing around your face. But it’s not painful (although, you should tell your practitioner if you have dental fillings, as they may trigger irritation). The results are hard to ignore, particularly when it comes to muscle sculpting and lymphatic drainage. 

Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Courtesy Ora

After some time, Marisa removed the needles on my body, and then applied some to my face (again, not painful). Then, she added blue and red LED lights, which help with acne and anti-aging, respectively. While these tools worked their magic simultaneously, she gave me a quick pressure-point massage on my hands and feet. 

Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Courtesy Ora

Next was my favorite part: the lymphatic-drainage massage. I have pretty bad jaw pain, so I found that the massage helped relieve some of that tension. However, if you’re sensitive, this part may be a bit intense. Then I was on my way!

I had a total of four sessions (each spaced about a week apart), and they had the same general structure with a few small tweaks. For instance, in one appointment, Marisa added facial cupping to the mix as well.  

Here were my results after each session:

After Session One
Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Lindy Segal
After Session Two
Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Lindy Segal
After Session Three
Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Lindy Segal
After Session Four
Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Lindy Segal

Final verdict: Overall, I really enjoyed this treatment and would recommend it for anyone looking for self-care in spades. I saw great results from the facials, and they lasted for days if not weeks. The biggest barrier is the cost. The acupuncture facial doesn’t come cheap. Each session is $475 (for about 90 minutes), although, again, it does combine two treatments in one.

Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Lindy Segal

Several products by Environ are used during the facial, including the brand's peptide serum.

This clay mask can be used as a daily gentle exfoliant, a 20-minute treatment, or an overnight mask.

Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Lindy Segal

Ora offers products from Yina, including this prebiotic-rich face mist.

Facial cupping was used for added sculpting during one of my treatments and can easily be done with at-home tools.

Ora NYC acupuncture facial

Photo:

Lindy Segal

The popular Nuface facial microcurrent tool offers similar at-home sculpting when used regularly and correctly.

Of course, gua sha is a go-to tool for lymphatic drainage.

Ora sells its popular teas online, including this blend of ginger, peach, and orange peel, which aids digestion.

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