“Need to look your best but better? Try David Peters.” – The Mail
With a recommendation like that, who wouldn’t want to have a treatment done by David Peters, the award-winning cosmetic acupuncturist at the stunning Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge?
David is lovely. He instantly made me feel at ease, explained the steps of the treatment very clearly, and patiently answered several questions I had (many of which you will see below).
The treatment was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was my first time with acupuncture, let alone on my face! Though it agreeably sounds daunting, the feeling of the needle touching the skin was similar to plucking a stubborn eyebrow hair at times. Most times, however, you couldn’t feel a thing!
The LED light treatment after the placement of the needles was amazing! David gives you goggles if it’s your first time, although if you’re an old hand at this, you wouldn’t need them. The colors changed from red to pink to blue; it was bright but beautiful.
The chilled jade scraper and roller at the end felt like heaven. It was the perfect way to end the lush, relaxing treatment. Afterward, my skin looked the clearest it has been, and it felt remarkably smooth and plump. It was just like the quotation above – my best but better.
Read on for our interview with David.
What is cosmetic acupuncture, and what are its benefits?
Based on a traditional technique spanning 3000 years, the main purpose of cosmetic acupuncture is to revive and rejuvenate the face. I gently place tiny, hair fine Hinai-shin needles at selected points of the face, based on the unique features of the client’s skin. Through my treatments, I’m aiming to make people look and feel more youthful with my main priority being to support skin health. The result is a deeply hydrated, glowing look and feel to the face. Treatments improve circulation, lymphatic drainage and significantly increase hydration, as well as encouraging new collagen production to smooth fine lines.
How did you get started in this amazing field?
I decided to leave a successful career in film spanning almost ten years, having worked on prestigious franchises including Harry Potter and Bond, in search for my true passion. At the time, I observed that many popular solutions to health and rejuvenation were that of invasive surgery and drug based therapy, and I discovered a different, more natural approach through traditional Chinese medicine. My light-bulb moment came after receiving treatments in the powerful and ancient systems of Acupuncture and Tui Na [twee nahr] – Chinese Medical Massage, both practiced in China for over 3000 years. It was essentially a natural progression in my personal development. I started incorporating traditional philosophies and practices into my lifestyle such as Qi Gong, yoga and meditation, and there was also a shift towards exercising and eating in a healthier but in a more traditional way.
You’ve described the time you spent working in China as “fundamentally [changing] everything about [your] practice.” Could you elaborate on this?
My time in China fundamentally changed everything about my practice. I learnt the importance of simplicity, discipline and how the ability of the practitioner is of upmost importance. When learning Tui Na massage for example, you start to practice techniques on a rice bag before you’re allowed to work on someone. I would see experienced Doctors in the hospital still practicing their techniques on rice bags in-between patients. That dedication to your work was hugely inspiring. It was a real game changer, a lot of the esoteric aspect of acupuncture that is so prevalent in the West, was stripped away and the importance of immaculate application of technique to deliver results was really evident.
What would you say you found most impressionable from your time in China?
The thing I found most inspiring was the dedication of the Doctor I was working under. He was always looking to improve and always deliver his best. He was essentially treating 30+ people per day and was never flustered. He had 4-5 junior doctors working under him and then myself also shadowing him, yet he always remained cool and self-aware. It really taught me about the type of mindset that one would need to maintain as well, when treating people.
Your treatments have won several awards and renown – congratulations! Can you tell us a bit about what makes them unique?
I think the fusion of contemporary knowledge with traditional methods and techniques. I always wanted to keep an authentic feel to the treatments and why I still use traditional jade tools and massage techniques for example. However I’m also aware that my clients still demand to be at the forefront when it comes to results so incorporated elements such as the Dermalux LED light machine and a bio cellulose mask to help elevate them beyond their traditional roots.
Which types of needles do you use in your practice? How do you determine where to put them?
The points I choose dependent on the individual and areas we want to focus the treatment on. If someone is most concerned about the forehead area, I’ll pay special attention there. There are similar points I use on everyone – around the cheekbones and mouth for example however although the areas are the same in each person a lot of where I place the needles is down to what I see in front of me.
I thought the incorporation of the LED lights in the treatment was incredible. What role does it play in treating the skin?
The Dermalux LED machine works on the principle that living cells are able to absorb and are influenced by light. The exposing of the skin to low levels of beneficial light energy is a natural response similar to that of plant photo-synthesis. The benefits can be numerous and several studies have shown it to treat acne, rosacea and inflammatory conditions as well as deliver skin rejuvenation, accelerate healing and improve general wellbeing of skin.
During my treatment, you used a fantastically cold jade roller. What does this do (besides feel amazingly refreshing)?
Aside from feeling great the jade roller also encourages lymphatic drainage and is a great all round tool of the face that has been used for centuries in the East. The coolness of the roller, is very much a nod to Japanese beauty traditions that historically finished with a cold-water splash, just for that final invigoration of the skin.
What results can your clients expect to see from the treatments?
Increased firmness, radiance, brighter and a more even skin-tone to name but a few, are all achievable through my treatments, but it’s important to remember that looking and feeling better always starts on the inside. All the ancient methods I have studied have that as the starting point. Good products, a good regime and seeing people such as myself regularly are important however the foundation comes from the inside. Eating clean and organic wherever possible, exercising but also resting and relaxing to reduce the stress in your life, are what will ultimately dictate how you’re looking and feeling. On some level my treatments are about guiding the body’s natural resources, increasing collagen production, repairing and revitalizing, however the raw materials come from the person and will invariably dictate the strength of the results.
To whom would you recommend cosmetic acupuncture? Also, which facials are safe for pregnant women?
I’d recommend cosmetic acupuncture to everyone! My clients are both male and female with the youngest in their early 20s and the oldest in her 70s. Because the technique can be likened to a ‘work out’ for the skin, as well as being designed to help improve the overall wellbeing of the face, it’s suitable for absolutely anyone looking to give their face a boost in the right direction.
Dependent on the products used most facials are safe for pregnant women, including those with acupuncture. I consider everything on a case-by-case level, so it will be dependent on the type of pregnancy my client is having, which trimester they are in, etc. Many people avoid the first trimester as a precaution, as well as the final trimester, where it isn’t safe to lay on the back for long periods of time, therefore facials where you’re fully reclining, should be avoided. Things can always be adapted though and I’ve performed facials for people who have almost sat upright throughout! My advice would be if in doubt contact your Doctor to discuss any concerns, before commencing any treatment.
To book a treatment, head to the Contact page on David’s site. Happy pampering!
*Treatment was c/o David Peters & Scoop PR but experience and opinions are all mine!