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.
"It's one of the most popular treatments at my practice," says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. "We use it to treat acne, acne scarring, melasma, surgical scars, and fine wrinkles and lines." (PRP can also be used on your scalp to treat hair loss because it can stimulate hair growth.)
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.
The facial, which is technically a Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment, is, according to some skin care experts one of the best anti-aging procedures out there. “PRP is created from your own blood. It involves a simple blood draw into a special test tube, which is then spun in a centrifuge so that the plasma, with millions of platelets, floats to the top,” says Willowbrook, IL, dermatologist Jessie Cheung, MD. The PRP solution is then used in tandem with micro needling, creating hundreds of microscopic holes in the skin (the solution is applied to the skin after the holes have been made).
The patient is numbed with a topical anesthetic gel. The PRFM is then injected with a short, small gauge needle into the desired areas of the face. The PRFM induces growth of new blood vessels, skin cells and collagen resulting in a healthy glow, better color, better tone, reduced wrinkles and sagging. The new blood flow helps create volume and shape, lifting the skin and sculpting the face. In 30 minutes, you are on your way to a new you with a more youthful appearance!
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Not only do you feel it during the procedure and see it almost immediately after, but it has been five weeks since I received the facial and my skin has gotten more compliments in that short time than it has during my entire 27 years on earth. I used to suffer from cystic acne and I still get pretty bad breakouts now and again, but ever since the PRP Facial my skin been glowing. It looks smoother, feels firmer, and my acne scars have almost completely faded.
That’s why it’s imperative that when you receive treatment (whether medical or for physical changes), you ensure that the needles used are either new or were properly sanitized. Before beginning a procedure, be sure to ask about their sanitizing procedures. Ask if you can watch them open a new needle or sanitize a used one. If they don’t use disposable needles, ask to watch the needle undergo its sanitization, and check that their sanitizer has been recently inspected. This may feel awkward at the time, but a true professional will understand your concern and the risks that are involved.
This is so funny, because my friends used to tease me my entire life that I looked like a vampire because of my under eye circles. They were bad. I am pale, and they were so dark, I was beginning to think I was related to Dracula. My friend said that I should go do a Vampire face-lift, and I thought it was some kind of a joke, obviously. But she was really serious. Then I read about it, and it’s actually like a mini face lift, that is supposed to rejuvenate your face and improve the areas you are not happy with, by using your own blood. That didn’t sound bad to me, and after all the years of teasing I decide to try out the platelet rich plasma therapy, that was so raved about. I have to say that the results weren’t immediate. But after a few months my dark circles became lighter and lighter…I still kept my nickname, but now it’s funny to me, since I know it’s the Vampire therapy that actually helps me.
First, the injector (1) uses HA fillers to create a beautiful shape. (2) Then, the physician isolates growth factors from the patients blood. (3) When these growth factors enter the face (injected by the physician), then multi-potent stem cells become activated to grow new tissue. This new tissue includes new collagen, new fatty tissue (for smoothness), and new blood vessels (for a healthy glow).
A Vampire Facelift and Vampire Facial are similar in that they are both non-invasive aesthetic treatments only offered by practitioners who have undergone extensive proprietary training, certification, and follow-up education. Patients can feel confident that the process will be as comfortable as possible and give results that exceed expectations. In addition, both procedures utilize PRP in a way that encourages the skin to heal itself and look its best for a significant time after the procedure. Results will continuously improve for a few weeks after the process and usually last for at least 12 months, and often times longer.
The Vampire Facial, on the other hand, is a type of skin resurfacing treatment (such as microneedling or microdermabrasion) which is followed by microneedling of PRP into the skin. The benefit of this method of treatment is that the tiny needles used with microneedling “trick” your body into thinking there is an injury, so new collagen is produced. Though the tiny needles may make the skin look red or irritated for a short while after treatment, it is well known to look much worse than it feels! The results are extremely beneficial for those with fine lines or those who have acne scars or other imperfections they would like to improve.
Your best bet is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with all facial rejuvenation techniques and technologies. Due to the large number of doctors promoting themselves as qualified cosmetic surgeons, choosing a surgeon can be a challenge. To make this task easier, Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery has created a directory that exclusively lists surgeons who are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Certification by the ABPS is widely accepted as the highest level of certification possible for plastic surgeons in the United States. Choosing one of these doctors guarantees you will be treated by a surgeon who has undergone extensive education, training and testing and is in excellent standing among his or her peers in the medical field.
While the first line of action to fight fine lines and other signs of aging is likely some new skin care products or potent serums and boosters, some aging processes can’t be improved to the level we’d like with topical products alone. Now, women (including, reportedly, Kim Kardashian) are taking a page from True Blood and using their own blood to turn back the clock on aging skin.
A. Think of Selphyl® PRFM as the next generation PRP. The Selphyl® System is designed for the safe and rapid preparation of Platelet-rich Fibrin Matrix (PRFM) from a small sample of blood (only 10cc). Many PRP systems require operator skill, have varying results and have extensive contamination with red blood cells and white blood cells. Selphyl® removes virtually all contaminating cells and is independent of operator technique. PRP is converted to PRFM through a controlled process (mixed w/ calcium chloride in a vial) to form a fibrin matrix scaffold that serves to protect and preserve platelets, thus creating more therapeutic rejuvenation.
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I wasn’t able to do my usual skin care regimen for a few days after the facial. I had to use a gentle face wash (I used Sonya Dakar Sensi Face Wash) and a hydrating moisturizer — nothing too thick — so I used Tatcha The Water Cream. My skin was insanely red, even after washing the blood off. However, that didn’t stop me from going to Eataly that night and indulging in some carbs. I deserved it, quite frankly.