The Vampire Facial requires little recovery time. There may be redness and some tenderness on the first day that appears much like sunburn. Occasionally some bruising may occur. The initial redness will subside on the second day, and some patients then notice some swelling and a sandpaper texture to the skin the day after treatment. By the third day, the swelling should diminish. The sandpaper texture to the skin may persist for up to a week.
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I was nervous to look in the mirror during and after the procedure because I was expecting my face to be covered in blood à la Kimmy K. Each time I snuck a peek I saw that the bleeding was minimal and it seemed to stop whenever fresh plasma was applied. Rhiannon explained that she tries to use all of the patient’s nutrient-rich plasma during the procedure to ensure the best results. By the end of the treatment, she had made many sweeps across the different sections of my face with the pen and my skin was happy to soak up all the plasma it could get.
The procedure would be done by Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Brent Moelleken and not an actual vampire, so I knew I would be in good hands. Dr. Moelleken says that the treatment has become more popular in recent years especially with patients who are looking into more natural ways of rejuvenating their face or body, without using Botox or fillers. It is also used for hair loss.
A Vampire Facelift is performed by injecting a filler (such as hyaluronic acid, Juvederm or Restylane) into areas of the face that need a “boost” and then injecting the PRP. You’ll get the benefits of the filler adding volume and shape as well as the growth factors that help the body generate new, younger tissue. Essentially the skin is “fertilized” from the inside out. You’ll see a reduction in fine lines and an increase in volume but also improved tone, color and texture. The Vampire Facelift is an excellent solution for patients who have facial volume loss that occurs after weight loss or due to aging.
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.
Once the microneedling was in full swing I was surprised at how little it actually hurt. I’m not going to say it was painless, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined. It helped that throughout the 30-minute procedure Rhiannon made sure to check with me to see if I was in too much pain or needed a break. She also told me exactly what she was doing so there were no surprises and kindly warned me when it was time to needle my non-fatty areas because those are the spots that made me flinch.
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So, what is it and how does it work, exactly? Don't let the name fool you. In fact, "It's usually done in full light of day," says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Ava Shamban. In all seriousness, the treatment is a "combination of a microdermabrasion, followed by the application of PRP (platelet-rich plasma)," says Shamban. "The PRP is derived from the serum portion of the blood, which contains platelets. The platelets contain high levels of growth factors, which, when applied to the skin, will stimulate cell turnover."