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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.
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.

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Because the procedure utilizes the body’s own rich blood, it revitalizes and enhances the skin in a way that synthetic products can’t without side effects or surgery.  The platelet growth factors, platelet rich fibrin matrix [PRFM], stimulate new growth and energy to correct lines, wrinkles and enhance color.  It uses your own body to help beautify your body.
If the procedure is carried out properly, the risks are low, except for people with blood-related medical issues, especially those which require blood-thinning medication. The microneedling causes temporary bleeding—hence the name "Vampire facial". Meanwhile, bruising, swelling, redness and pain may persist over the injection site, but these side effects usually disappear within a few days.
Step 3 is taking the isolated PRP created from the previous step and injecting it into strategic areas. Using a very small needle, you will be injected with your own growth factors in a particular way. These growth factors then activate multi-potent stem cells already in the skin, tricking them into “thinking” there’s been an injury and then generate newer, and younger tissue.
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At this point, you’ve probably seen photos and videos circulating on Instagram and Snapchat showcasing blood-splattered selfies, all taken in the name of beauty. What sounds (and looks) like an absolute nightmare is actually one of the industry’s most-requested treatments: the vampire facial. And, as with many seemingly crazy beauty habits and trends, we have the Kardashians to thank for it.
In case you don’t remember high school biology, “Platelets are the cells that circulate within our blood and bind together when they recognize damaged blood vessels,” says Dr. Marlene Williams of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. When the body is wounded, platelets come to the wound site and stick together to create a clot and stop bleeding. They also encourage the growth of new tissues. This new tissue growth is what scientists, doctors, and spas that use Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy are after.
If you haven't heard of the PRP facial, that's probably because it's more commonly called a vampire facial. What is a vampire facial? The name doesn't mean it's administered by vampires. (Sadly, it's not even administered by werewolves.) Below, we attempt to answer the most frequently asked vampire facial questions, with some help from two PRP-facial providers: Dr. Soroosh Mashayekh of Irvine Wellness and Cosmetic Clinic and Dr. Tali Arviv of Arviv Medical Aesthetics.

“In medispas, you can have untrained people doing procedures without proper supervision in unsafe settings,” explained Dr. Michael McGuire, communications chair of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, to Prevention. There was the Pennsylvania woman in 2001 who went to a medical spa for laser hair removal and ended up with second-degree burns, and in 2004, a college student died from brain damage caused by a numbing gel applied at a medical spa in North Carolina. Other horror stories involve infections from tattoo removal services, counterfeit Botox, and dangerous allergic reactions from microdermabrasion.
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?”
Watch and wait: Growth factors contained in the plasma stimulate the release of the skin’s stem cells. The skin is being tricked into believing that it has been injured and must heal itself with new, fresh tissue. This somewhat sneaky process allows the skin to create new collagen, new blood vessels, and new cells. The results will not be immediate, so while you patiently wait a few weeks and even a few months, your skin will begin to transform itself.
The same process is used in the Vampire Facial. The patient’s own blood is drawn, treated, and then the platelet-rich plasma is injected into the patient’s face. Injections are made into strategic areas to encourage skin healing and renewal through new collagen production and fresh skin cells full of human growth factors. This increase in collagen and growth factors creates a more youthful, plumper, and firmer appearing skin.
Typically, the results of a Vampire FaceLift are not immediate. Patients typically see changes between two and three months after receiving treatment, with effects lasting between one and two years. The treatment often addresses many different signs of aging, including poor texture, sagging, and lack of structure. Only a few months after your treatment, you can expect a healthier, younger looking face.
The vampire facial involves injecting part of the patient’s own blood directly into the face. Key to the treatment is platelet-rich plasma (PRP), the yellow-colored portion of blood that remains after red and white blood cells and other components have been removed. PRP helps blood clot and contains proteins that support cell growth. By stimulating collagen production, PRP helps rejuvenate aging skin by giving it more elasticity.

Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including: plans to have surgery; had surgery on your face; have trouble raising your eyebrows; drooping eyelids; any other abnormal facial change; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant (it is not known if BOTOX® Cosmetic can harm your unborn baby); are breast-feeding or plan to (it is not known if BOTOX® Cosmetic passes into breast milk).


While your face will look red, swollen and bloody immediately after the treatment (it can last a few hours to up to three days after), the results (you’ll see glowing skin immediately but it can take a month or so for the full results, which last about three months, to surface) it provides for cellular rejuvenation are unparalleled because it shortens healing time and stimulates collagen. “Athletes have used it to heal sprains, and now dermatologists are using the technique for hair restoration,” says Dr. Cheung.
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t super amped about this assignment because it sounded like this was going to hurt, but I’ll do whatever it takes for a good story. Plus, I knew I was in good hands because one of my favorite estheticians, Rhiannon Terese would be performing the treatment at Lorenc Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Med Spa. Dr.Lorenc is famous for inventing the Botox brow lift. As a fan of Botox I took this as a very good sign. That and the fact that I’d heard nothing but rave reviews about the plastic surgeon and his practice.
Another thing you should be prepared for? The way to care for your skin post-treatment. Dr. Peredo advised that since vampire facials drive tiny needles into your skin, creating pathways for PRP to dive deep into your pores for truly transformative results, you want to stay away from anything else that could seep into that sacred space and irritate it. Think: makeup and skin-care acids. Don’t worry though, living in the no-makeup world that we live in, no one will bat an eye, and you’ll be able to return to your favorite cosmetics in two short days. With acids, on the other hand, it’s best to wait a full week. Simple enough. 

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The Vampire Facelift procedure only takes about an hour to complete, and that includes the: blood draw, preparation of the PRP, platelet-rich fibrin matrix, and The Vampire Facelift® treatment itself. Since skin renewal and rejuvenation is using the body’s own active regeneration components, facial skin renewal is continual for about 3 months after the procedure. The overall effects of the Vampire Facelift® can last for over a year.
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?”
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