The Vampire FaceLift® Procedure™ is not as gruesome as a visit from Count Dracula. Your board-certified plastic surgeon begins by drawing blood from your arm. He or she then spins the blood to separate out the plasma. Blood plasma contains platelets, which are proteins and growth factors that stimulate collagen production, among other bodily functions. Collagen, in turn, is the protein that makes our skin look and feel supple, elastic and youthful.
I have a few questions about vampire facials. First off, do you have more than one done? So if I have one this summer and the results are not what I expect, can I go back at a later date and have another one done? Or is this just a one time thing? I also would like to know how soon can I expect to see results? And what is the downtime of having a vampire facial?
Vampire facials aren’t all that new, but you can pretty much narrow down their popularity in the past few years to one woman: Kim Kardashian. In 2013, she Instagrammed a rather shocking photo of her blood-soaked face as a way to promote that night’s episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami (RIP), leading to a barrage of news outlets to ask, “Uh, what’s the deal with this weird new skin care thing?”
The first step of the Vampire Facelift Treatment is defining the treatment area. This typically consists of the cheeks, under the eyes, or another area of the face that the patient wants to augment. Similar PRP therapy procedures such as the Vampire Breast Lift, Vampire Facial, and Vampire Hair Growth are used for treating other areas of the face, hairline, and breasts.
The Vampire FactLift™ procedure lasts about 30 minutes. Blood is drawn from the patient’s arm. The blood is placed in a centrifuge where it is processed to isolate the platelets from the red blood cells and other blood components. The blood is then treated, most commonly with calcium chloride. This process releases the PRFM (platelet rich fibrin matrix), growth-rich platelets.
The incisions are generally made in front of your ears, along the temple and continues around and behind the ear. This is to minimize noticeable scaring. After the operation is completed, small tubes will be inserted beneath the skin to drain away fluid that might otherwise accumulate. There is generally very little discomfort after the facelift surgery.
This unique procedure uses the patient’s own blood so there is no risk or rejection or complications. It is all natural unlike the injectable fillers that are on the market. The procedure take only about 30 minutes in a safe and sterile environment. Blood is drawn from the patient and then is put into a centrifuge where the growth-rich platelets are separated. These platelets are then put into a calcium chloride solution which causes them to release growth factors. The patient is numbed with a topical anesthetic and then the growth-factor platelets are injected into the areas needed. There are no side effects, little or no discomfort and the patient is able to return to work.
Chang begins the 90-minute procedure with a deep cleansing of the face and the application of numbing cream. During the numbing process, Chang draws blood from the patient’s arm and then places two vials of blood in a centrifuge for 10 minutes to isolate the PRP. Chang then removes the numbing cream from the patient’s face, applies some PRP to the face and then injects the plasma into the skin with a microneedling machine.
The New Mexico Department of Health has since shut down the spa and is urging any of its clients who received a vampire facial or other injection-based treatments in May or June of this year to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C for free at the Midtown Public Health Office. The statement does not mention which of these infections the client contracted, nor which specific treatment the individual had received.
While I didn’t have many wrinkles, dark spots, or acne scars originally, to really show the magical effects of this treatment, the fact that a cystic period pimple was able to RIP in just three days when it usually takes seven-plus was reason enough for me to believe in this star-studded skin-care fave. So much so that I’ll be returning to Skinfluence in just a few weeks for round two.
The day leading up to my appointment, my best friend continually cringed at the idea of my soon-to-be bloody face while my mom made sure to text me every five minutes asking if this is really something I wanted to go through with, having sensitive skin and all. While their concerns pushed me to the point of advising my editor that I may need to work from home the next day if I look busted AF (since bruising and redness are possible short-term results), I stuck to my appointment and headed to the Upper East Side to arrive early for a treatment that, at the very best, could change the way I view my complexion, and, at the very worst, put me out of commission for a couple of days.
Later that night my skin was pretty red but when I woke up the next morning most of the redness had disappeared. It takes four to six weeks to see the treatment’s full results (collagen takes a bit of time to grow), but I can assure you that I saw benefits almost immediately. I’ve had a fair share of facials that left me wondering if the treatment worked or if my skin was just having a good couple of weeks. Trust me — you will never once question whether or not this treatment is effective.
When I’m conducting my aesthetic PRP training in Beverly Hills & Nashville for doctors and clinic staff on how to perform PRP aesthetic procedures in the office or discussing the procedures with patients, one of the most frequent questions I hear is: “What’s the difference between the Vampire Facelift and the Vampire Facial?” They certainly sound similar, so the confusion isn’t surprising. Even though both of these trademarked procedures utilize PRP (platelet rich plasma), there is actually a significant difference in how they are completed and the results they provide.
There are many benefits to the vampire facelift, cosmetically and financially. For your face, this procedure is great because not only are you getting the benefits of a smoother and brighter face, but you are getting injected with only natural resources. Other types of filler procedures use artificial materials. Also, the vampire facelift is a lot less expensive than other, similar types of skin tightening procedures. As for safety, since you are only having natural things injected into your face, the vampire facelift is typically safe. There are no known side effects, and your body easily accommodates the filler because it’s made from your own blood. Also, there is a theory that using your own body tissues will cause your tissue to regenerate collagen. Although this has yet to be fully proven.
These platelets, when injected into certain areas of the face, can encourage blood flow, assist with the production of collagen, and activate multipotent stem cells already present in the skin. In time, this procedure will even stimulate the body to produce new skin cells, generating younger tissue and reducing the signs of aging throughout the treated area. This will promote healthy collagen production and restore vitality to the blood vessels and fatty tissues in the neck and face.
Executing the technical aspects of the PRP process so that you get all of the added benefits: PRP is a new technology, but to the extent that it has been studied thus far, we know that the processes used to isolate and concentrate the serum is very important in terms of its effectiveness. We use a system that creates a serum that has 8x the concentration of growth and healing factors found in normal blood. Typical systems used by other practices often get concentrations in the 2-3x range.
First, the physician (1) isolates growth factors from the patient's blood. Then (2), the provider uses a micro-needling device to create multiple micro-punctures --both driving the isolated growth factors into the skin & creating stimulus for tightening and rejuvenation of the collagen of the face. Then (3), these provider paints the growth factors onto the micro-punctures so that the growth factors soak into the tissue for further stimulation of tightening and skin rejuvenation.