Ever since Kim was seen walking into a spa with her BFF Jonathan Cheban to get the snap-worthy procedure, the world of influencers and everyday beauty lovers converged, making way for this crazy facial to be the topic of conversation and consideration IRL. And so I made an appointment to sit down with Dr. Marina Peredo at Skinfluence in New York City to get the 4-1-1 on all things bloody and beautiful.
Using numbing cream and a very small needle (for almost no pain), the patient’s own growth factors are injected back into her face in a particular way. These growth factors then activate multipotent stem cells already in the skin which is tricking them into “thinking” there’s been an injury and new younger tissue is generated. The multipotent stem cells then develop into new collagen, new blood vessels, and new fatty tissue trying to “repair” the skin that was never injured!
The Vampire Facial has become popular thanks to celebrities having the procedure to keep their skin looking camera ready and glowing. The Vampire Facial is a procedure which combines platelet rich plasma (PRP) with the use of micro needle dermal stimulation (rejuvapen). The medical micro needle procedure using the Rejuvapen is a method of “collagen induction therapy” also referred to as “CIT”. The small entries into the dermis cause the skin to respond with collagen which softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as superficial sun damage.
The basic PRP treatment has been used for almost 20 years to accelerate the healing of wounds and burnt skin, and help athletes - including, reportedly, tennis ace Rafael Nadal - recover from injury. But it was when Dr Charles Runels from Alabama trademarked the name "Vampire Facelift" in 2010, during the craze for the Vampire Diaries and Twilight Saga, that the procedure became attractive for A-listers.
As a result, skin spas and dermatologist offices like Skinfluence have seen more requests for PRP facials than ever before. Dr. Peredo explained that while the skin tightens after just one vampire facial, the more frequently you undergo the Dermapen (as in, once a month), the better your results will be. In other words, if you want a quick mini face-lift that leaves your skin looking refreshed and refined, drop $800 and give it a go. But, if you’re looking for more noticeable results in terms of fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, and pore size, get ready to dedicate a bit more time to your overall transformation—not to mention a pretty chunk of change.
“Thanks to modern science, we now know that platelets contain various factors that stimulate the production of collagen, elastic fibers and new blood vessels,” says Mandeville. “Microneedling causes direct trauma to the skin. As a result, the body rushes to repair the wounds, sending platelets and cells to the rescue. As platelets play a significant role in terms of growth factors, it seems particularly appealing to inject the plasma back into the skin through the punctured holes to really speed up the healing of the tissues.”
So, what is it and how does it work, exactly? Don't let the name fool you. In fact, "It's usually done in full light of day," says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Ava Shamban. In all seriousness, the treatment is a "combination of a microdermabrasion, followed by the application of PRP (platelet-rich plasma)," says Shamban. "The PRP is derived from the serum portion of the blood, which contains platelets. The platelets contain high levels of growth factors, which, when applied to the skin, will stimulate cell turnover."