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.
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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.
Yasemin is a staff writer at Live Science, writing about biology and neuroscience, among other science topics. Yasemin has a biomedical engineering bachelors from the University of Connecticut and a science communication graduate certificate from the University of California, Santa Cruz. When she's not writing, she's probably taking photos or sitting upside-down on her couch thinking about thinking and wondering if anyone else is thinking about thinking at the exact same time.
The concept of non invasive cosmetic surgery by only needle injections makes vampire facelift ideal for elder people as incisions made by traditional facelift surgery usually take a lot longer to heal for them and there are generally a lot of after surgery complications related to it. Having said that, vampire facelift, being a none invasive facelift cosmetic surgery, does have its limitations. For example, one cannot expect to have a 70 year old face turned into a 20 year old just by doing vampire facelift injections. Please refer to our vampire facelift before and after photos section for more info. Also a periodical maintenance injection every 9 to 12 month is required in order to keep your face at its tip top condition.
Going in for a vampire facial, only to see a few drops of blood on the apples of my cheeks, the area surrounding my nostrils, and where the Dermapen abruptly burst a particularly stubborn period pimple on my chin, was disappointing. Not that I’m a super-gory human, but I love me some My Favorite Murder and the idea of going under the pen to come out equally as bloody (and beautiful) as her royal Kim-ness.
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 has become popular thanks to celebrities having the procedure to keep their skin looking camera ready and glowing. The Vampire Facial is a procedure which combines platelet rich plasma (PRP) with the use of micro needle dermal stimulation.(Rejuvapen). The medical micro needle procedure using the Rejuvapen is a method of “collagen induction therapy” also referred to as “CIT”. The small entries into the dermis cause the skin to respond with collagen which softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as superficial sun damage.
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.
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.
"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.
Professional athletes from almost every sport have shown us the regenerative and healing power of PRP treatments by using them to return to the game sooner from damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. During PRP treatments, the platelets in the blood that contain growth factors that command the immune system are isolated from the blood and injected back into the effected area. Many people have used PRP treatments as an effective way to avoid risky medication side effects and surgery. The treatment offers a quicker recovery and supports the body’s natural healing process organically without an invasive procedure. The power of platelets are no longer restricted to internal treatments however, vampire facials take the science of platelet treatments and uses it to improve your skin.
There are several prescription injections that are FDA-approved for temporarily improving wrinkles or padding the face to look younger. Some of the better-known names include Botox, Restylane and Juvederm, but there are lots of others. Sclafani and Katz say the reasons to use platelet-rich plasma instead of other injections is that the plasma is "natural" and doesn't carry the risk of allergy or rejection—because it's your own blood.
The Vampire Facelift is considered a medical treatment in all states. Consult with patients about their medical history and conduct a brief physical exam to accept them for treatment. The exam should be performed by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Only doctors and licensed medical professionals can draw blood and make injections, but trained medical spa employees can apply surface PRP without needles or micro-needling devices. Talk to your state medical board or health care attorney to learn more about the rules in your state.
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.
You've probably seen the photos on Instagram: A celebrity or influencer's face covered with blood splatter. No, it's not Halloween makeup, it's actually one of the latest treatment trends in skin care, also known as a "vampire facial." Celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West and Bar Refaeli, are fans of the facial, which might look quite scary, but boasts big-time results.