A Cost Comparison: Cosmetic Acupuncture, Botox, Juviderm and Restalyne
Anti-aging treatments are costly. After all, gravity and time are always working to undo the youthful firmness and healthy glow that we want to hold onto for as long as possible. Making the decision to soften or eliminate slackening muscles and wrinkles to stay younger looking, is a long term commitment. It is wise to evaluate both the cost and the value of anti-aging treatments over time — before choosing an approach. I did an informal cost analysis of the 4 most popular anti-aging treatments to see how they compare over a 3-year time frame. What are the cost/benefits/risks of Cosmetic Acupuncture, Botox, Juvederm and Restalyne, in the San Francisco Bay Area? Here are the results of my inquiry:
What it is and what it does:Cosmetic acupuncture uses specialized needling techniques (Mei Zen System) to increase circulation to the face to promote a healthier complexion. It also increases natural collagen and elastin production, reduces muscle tension in the face and promotes exfoliation for a healthy glow.
How long it lasts: a 10-session treatment lasts up to 3 years with quarterly maintenance
Average cost: $1,500 for the initial treatment (10-sessions) plus $500 (4 quarterly follow-up “afterglow treatments”) x 3 years = $1,500
Total Investment: $3,000
Benefits: Acupuncture facial rejuvenation restores the health and vitality of the face safely and naturally. Turns back the clock on aging without risk of side effects or “down time”
Risks: Five percent of needle insertions may experience bruising.
What it is and what does: Botox is an injection of botulism that paralyzes the muscles under the skin to prevent wrinkles from forming. It is used for brow creases, forehead wrinkles, crows feet, and for laugh lines around the mouth.
How long it lasts: 3-4 months.
Average cost: Botox is sold both by the unit(vial) and by the area treated so it is difficult to get a set price. On average, in the San Francisco Bay area $15 per unit (some places have a minimum of 5 units), for areas it can be anywhere from $275-$600 every 3-4 months depending on the number of areas covered (eyes, forehead, mouth)
Cost over 3-years: $2,475 — $5,400 (using base of $275-$600 3x’s year)
Benefits: Botox produces the most dramatic results in wrinkle reduction in a relatively short period of time.
Risks: Frozen face effect, shiny forehead, bruising, paralysis of eyelids, and other risks, though it is generally considered “safe.”
What it is and what does:Juvederm is a hydraulic acid injection that fills and softens the lines usually around the mouth.
How long it lasts: 6-9 months
Average cost: $500 per vial, 1-2 vials per treatment
Cost over 3-years: $3,000-6,000
Benefits: Hydraulic acid is a protein, and part of the cell wall so it is a safe choice, generally speaking. Any lumps that might form can be “erased or corrected with an enzyme that will dissolve the injection so it can be reversed. It is good for deep lines such as laugh lines and finer lines around the mouth.
What it is and what does:Restalyne is another brand of Hydraulic Acid. It is thicker than Juvederm with bigger particles and is used to fill lines around the mouth. It can also be used to fill dark circles around the eyes.
How long it lasts: 6-9 months around the mouth. Up to 2 years around the eyes.
Average cost: $500 per vial. 1-4 vials depending on areas of coverage. $500-$2,000 per visit
Cost over 3-years: $3,000 — $9,000
Benefits: You can get slightly better correction on large line wrinkles than Juvederm.
Risks: Bruising that can last 48 hours. Needs recovery time and should not be done right before a big event..
Cosmetic acupuncture works on the level of the dermis, and includes acupuncture points on the body as well as the face. Better health and tension relief are added benefits to this approach. Cosmetic acupuncture is a safe and effective way to promote healthy aging, not just anti-aging. There is always better value in better health. You just can’t put a price on that.
The Healing Point Acupuncture Clinic
Natalie Miner, L.Ac., C.SMA
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