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.
The procedure has been around for several years, but became more widely available after Kim Kardashian posted a blood-slathered selfie on Instagram in 2013, after filming the procedure for an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians spin-off Kourtney & Kim Take Miami. Earlier this year, Kardashian reflected on the experience in a post on her blog; the text is only available to paid subscribers, but honestly, the bloody photo, headline (“The Skincare Treatment I’ll Never Do Again”) and caption (“So Not Worth It!”) – not to mention the mysterious infection in Albuquerque – just about sums it up.
Providers of the Vampire Facelift (R) procedure take into account the mathematics of beauty as defined by much research (starting with the notebooks of Lonardo da Vinci) to avoid at all costs creating an unnatural shape. These ideas about the HA fillers are not commonly known even among the best of cosmetic surgeons and constitute part of the intellectual property protected by the trademarked name (Vampire Facelift®).
The process starts with a careful assessment of your medical history and skin concerns. After determining you are a candidate for this treatment, blood is taken similar to a normal laboratory blood draw. This blood is then processed in our COLA certified moderately complex laboratory in a centrifuge that spins down your blood. We separate the blood components, filtering the portion of the blood which is called platelet-rich plasma or PRP. The PRP has a large amount of platelets (cells that help clot your blood when bleeding) and are very rich in growth factors and stem cells. After being activated the PRP is re-injected into the face in conjunction with a hyaluronic acid filler to simulate an injury that will help the body create new blood vessels and blood flow. It will also stimulate collagen production to help improve the texture of the skin.
A Stem Cell Facelift with Fat Transfer combines PRP with Nanofat and Fat Transfer. For those with thin, sagging skin and loss of fat volume, this offers the longest-lasting and most natural results possible. Nanofat is a process of harvesting the stem cells in your fat. In this procedure, we combine those stem cells with the growth and healing factors of PRP for skin texture, tone, and elasticity. We also use your own fat, taken from your midsection, to replace what your face has lost with age (or weight loss). This procedure creates brand new cells, for results that are all you. It is more expensive than a Vampire Facelift and does have about 3-7 days of downtime.
“Selphyl is not a filler – it’s a truly regenerative treatment that involves harvesting the body’s own wound healing and regenerative growth factors to improve skin texture, as well as age-related changes like fine lines and laxity,” says Dr. Jennifer Pearlman, staff physician at Mount Sinai Hospital, menopause clinic and owner of PearlMD Rejuvenation, where the treatment is also offered.
Many people learn about the benefits of The Vampire Facelift® when they understand how the procedure works for their unique facial anatomy. Some patients may also combine The Vampire Facelift® with other facial procedures. The benefit of the Vampire Facelift® continues for a time after the procedure as the growth factors in the blood stimulate the body to create collagen and new blood vessels that result in the improvement facial skin.
I had mine done 3 days ago. There is bruising around my mouth and under my left eye and it was far from painless. However, the improvement in my brow and skin above my eyelids was instantaneous. I no longer feel like my face is melting! My eyebrows were right above my eyes and I had a lot of looses skin that came down and covered my eyelids. My brows are now lifted and you can actually see my eyelids! I continue to see improvements every day.
Hyaluronic acid fillers lift the skin from the bone to restore youthful volume and shape. Fillers alone do not correct texture and color. This is why the Vampire Facelift® is a great option for people who want both benefits. They offer a way of restoring a natural shape and providing volume, improving tone and texture, as well as helping rejuvenate new and younger tissue.
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’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.
Huge thank you to @the_glam_nurse at @healthfinity for this amazingggg #VampireFacial today!!💉💀😈 After numbing your face, your blood is drawn & spun down into a gel-like plasma that's injected into the skin with a micropen. This stimulates collagen production to increase facial volume while diminishing pores, fine lines & wrinkles for an overall youthful radiance! Safe to say I'm obsessed already😍 Use me as a referral for a discount on all your skincare needs!! @healthfinity @healthfinity @healthfinity #PreventativeSkinCare #PRP #PlateletRichPlasma
When I expressed my concern for the blood-free end result, Dr. Peredo and Nurse Shellock explained that part of why Kim K looked so bloody is because, back in 2013 when that particular episode of Kim and Kourtney Take Miami aired, the normal vampire facial procedure was to apply whole blood to the skin while microneedling, where nowadays technology has advanced to using the most regenerating part of blood, the PRP. While both methods use blood drawn on site, the PRP method extracts the platelets from the red blood cells after being put through the centrifuge. And so, I finally understood why my Kim K-inspired expectations weren’t fully met.
Aside from the novelty of having a Dracula-inspired skin treatment done, the benefits of the PRP facial appealed to me. The PRP injections can help stimulate collagen. Combined with microneedling, the treatment can result in scar reduction, correction of sun damage, and minimizing fine lines and pores. And because the PRP is coming out of your own bod, there are no risk of side effects! However, patients who have blood disorders or take blood thinners should skip this type of procedure.
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.
When it comes to weird and outrageous skin care, I’m the first to sign up. Not only is testing new products and treatments part of my job as a beauty editor, I truly enjoy it. Skin care is my jam! So, when vampire facials became popular (thanks to Kim Kardashian West), I was immediately intrigued. First of all, I love a spa treatment, but a kind of facial that sounds like something Elvira would get? I would come running as fast as I could. I am a goth at heart, after all. So, when the cosmetic procedure website RealSelf invited me to try a vampire facial, I was more than down to do it. But, it wasn’t until later I realized what a vampire facial would actually entail. My actual blood being procured from my body and going back into my face?! What in the name of Sarah Michelle Gellar did I get myself into?