The Truth About Before and After Photographs Amanda Shayle MAcS MPCHM


By Amanda Shayle MAcS MPCHM, Founder & CEO Acuregen Ltd

Marketing Cosmetic Acupuncture can be full of challenges.  Our potential customers still feel that it is clouded in mystery and most do not understand the various ‘stars and moons’ descriptions of how it works and what benefits they can really achieve.

Widely known in the beauty field is skin-rolling which is also called ‘Dermaroller’, named after a brand, rather like the famous Hoover brand with vacuum cleaners.  Many claims are made about the effectiveness of skin rolling and the public (our potential customers) believe that this can solve most of their aesthetic concerns.  The evidence behind skin rolling is good but the public still do not appreciate the added value of the work we acupuncturists can achieve.

In most cases the most convincing selling tools are the famous before and after shots.  As I scour the web looking at the websites of surgeons, skincare, fillers and Botox companies, there is a strong message that they can deliver the results that clients dream of.  Clients are, however, more concerned these days (due to their busy lives) about the cost, recovery time and pain from surgery, together with the risks and knowledge that a repeat visit will be due in the future.   There is always the possibility that a successful surgical outcome may not be quite what they expected.

The good news about acupuncture for beauty is that with a course of treatments and maintenance, the results develop progressively with time and can continue to improve. We need to be able to explain to our clients why we cannot magically change them overnight. Results will vary depending on the self-abuse or daily insults our clients inflict on themselves such as sun worship, smoking, poor diet and general lifestyle issues – not to mention those stressful and often unavoidable life stresses.  All this is well known and will have a negative effect on outcomes.  As part of Acuregen training, we arm our colleagues with the answers so that from the outset we can work as a team and ethically manage client expectations.

So here is the issue:

How do we give ethical before and afters and what are we competing against?

Slow improvement (rather like losing weight) has many benefits, not least avoiding side effects.  Recovery is usually no more than 24 hours.  Unless a photographic record is taken, clients just don’t see the subtle effects.  Also unless we audit the beneficial side effects such as improved sleep, relaxation and clearer, brighter skin – these are not considered.

It is common practice for cosmetic manufacturers and often surgeons to create convincing images with some clever tricks – not just Photoshop.

As we age the landscape of our faces through movement, loss of fat, bone and wear and tear affecting the texture of the skin creates a relief map.  Think of the moon surface – it catches all the shadows that accentuate the textures further.  An easy way to impress a potential client is to allow the shadows to form on the BEFORE shot and blast the AFTER shot with loads of light.  I have not given any examples here but now you know what to look for on the sites!  If you are attending my lecture next week in Tel Aviv, please bring some printouts of what you discover so we can discuss them.

The effect, therefore, of the dermal abrasion techniques and even scrubbing skin – all potentially damaging the epidermis in the long term – is to create a smoother surface or smoother looking surface, depending on the treatment. All reflect light differently.

I advise the professionals I train to be honest about their work.  Using the same lighting, facial expression and angle is the only way to be true and ethical about what we can achieve.  As my understanding of tissue has increased over the last decade, so have my techniques and products.  We are genuinely seeing fantastic results and by using a simple I-phone the results are now speaking for themselves.

The following images demonstrate this and also show some of the approaches taken by a surgeon I collaborate with.  In this case he uses black and white images – an honest way to see genuine improvements? In our case we lose the benefits seen with the glow and skin tone changes but this is one way of evaluation and matches those of this surgeon.

While teaching in Israel at the ICCM 22-24 June.  I will cover this further and also reveal what aging really is, the physiological changes and how Acuregen Cosmetic Acupuncture techniques are overcoming some of these.


Face is softer and more relaxed. More about this significance next week.

12 weeks of Cosmetic Acupuncture

12 weeks

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Using auricular acupuncture support techniques.  After 4 weeks.



1 year since treatment began.  Premature aged woman in 40s


This post is also available in: Hebrew

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