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?
Sclafani is enthusiastic about the injections for certain patients. "It's been terrific," he says. "It's not for everybody," he continues, saying that some patients don't see any difference from the treatment. For those for whom it works, it appears to last a long time. Sometimes patients come back in six to eight months to get further treatments done, Sclafani says.
Runels is very serious about protecting the vampire name, emphasizing that he defined and named the procedure and does not want people being confused. He goes to great lengths to prevent "Vampire Facelift" from become a generic term for any procedure that uses PRP and makes it clear the procedure is not for everyone, including patients on blood thinners.
Isolating PRP: The drawn blood is placed in a centrifuge for 5 to 10 minutes. This equipment spins the blood at high speed to separate the lighter plasma from the rest of contents of the blood. This isolated platelet rich plasma is “activated” with calcium chloride to begin releasing growth factors that, once injected into the body, will increase collagen production and have other healing effects.
A vampire facial is a type of facial treatment that rejuvenates the face using via PRP, or platelet-rich plasma—a serum made from the client's own blood. Vials of withdrawn blood are spun in a centrifuge until it separates, isolating the red and white blood cells from the plasma, an amber serum rich in platelets. "If it's a little hazy, you might have some other stuff floating around [in it], and you can spin it again to maximize your serum," Dr. Arviv said.
“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.
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.
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.
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But, you know what wasn’t disappointing? The day-three results. While the hours immediately following the hour-long appointment were characterized by an unsightly red, ultra-puffy complexion (which was really just exacerbated by the fact that I have sensitive skin), with the help of an even layer of Alastin Regenerating Skin Nectar (the post-treatment product Dr. Peredo told me to use for the next week), by day two it looked like I had a low-key sunburn and day three my skin looked radiant and refreshed.
Dermal fillers add youthful volume to the face, while keeping a natural appearance. Hyaluronic acid fillers do not paralyze facial muscles like Botox, so volume is added without inhibiting facial movement or expressions. There is an art to the application of fillers for a natural and youthful appearance, and you can be confident that Dr. Prasad will apply his natural artistic abilities, technical skills and 20 years’ worth of experience to perform your procedure in the best possible way.
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 women knew how much a face lift costs, a real surgical face lift that is, they would never even think twice about getting the vampire facial. Apart from being less expensive, it is really comfortable to go through. It’s a bit weird in the beginning, you feel sort of awkward getting your own blood injected into your face, or the areas which you treat. But once you accept it and get used to it, it’s amazing. It’s so modern and it really gives it all that it can. My cheeks now don’t sag that much. They don’t look like old bags of tea anymore, but are more plump now. The rest of my face has changed a bit as well, it’s not that dry anymore, and the skin just looks and feels different. I would describe it as a non surgical facelift, with great benefits, less expenses, less pain, less recovery.
“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.”
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"The jury is still out on how effective this procedure is, but many feel that it can significantly help improve skin tone, texture, and fine lines," says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York City–based board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Basically, the idea is that it can make your skin look plump and glowy (and younger).
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 key ingredient for the Vampire Facelift® is the platelet-rich fibrin matrix, which is derived from the patient’s own blood before being mixed with other factors. These properties make platelet-rich fibrin matrix an ideal natural serum for rejuvenating facial skin quality, as it increases collagen production, increases blood supply, and triggers new skin and fatty tissue generation, thus creating the youthful appearance that comes with generating new, healthier skin in a safe and natural way.
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.
The vampire facial was only supposed to sound scary. Sure, it involves extracting the patient's own blood, isolating the platelet-rich plasma by spinning it in a centrifuge and then re-injecting it into the face. But the results are touted to be rejuvenated, smooth and supple skin, not an HIV or hepatitis scare, as clients of the VIP Spa in Albuquerque, N.M., are now facing.