On the day of my facial I was feeling nervous and a little glamorous as I hopped a train to the Upper East Side and made my way to the med spa for my A-list treatment. After being greeted by Dr.Lorenc’s friendly staff I was taken into a treatment room where a strong numbing cream was applied to my face. Then I was taken to have my skin photographed by a Visia Complexion Analysis machine. The high-tech machine printed out a detailed analysis of my skin’s spots, wrinkles, pores, UV spots, brown spots, red areas, texture, and acne-causing bacteria.
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After using injectable fillers to achieve a more youthful appearance, your injector will draw your blood. Typically, we’ll only need to draw around 2 teaspoons. Your blood will be run through a centrifuge to separate and isolate platelet rich plasma, which is also known as growth factors. These specific “growth factors” have been identified to help heal damaged tissue. These growth factors have been known to work like magic to cause increased collagen and improved blood flow to the tissue.
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.
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.
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 facialist can reintroduce this PRP serum into the client's skin in two ways: by direct injection or microneedling. (Many treatments include both methods.) A vibrating microneedling pen opens tiny holes in the skin so that once the plasma is smeared on the face, it penetrates deeply. To minimize discomfort, Dr. Arviv's team preps the client's skin for microneedling with a numbing cream.
The efficacy of PRFM is contested. As of March 2011, according to a New York Times report, it is attested by several plastic surgeons who use it but remains unproven by research. Phil Haeck, the president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, dismissed the procedure as "creepy", "a gimmick" and as "antiquated as bloodletting". It is marketed as Selphyl, TruPRP, Emcyte, Regen, and Pure Spin.
As far as risks go, there aren't as many as you might think. In fact, Shamban explained that the only risk you really run is bruising at the time of the venipuncture. Aside from the discomfort of a blood draw and bruising from injection or microneedling, Zeichner says the vampire facial is "extremely safe, as it is your body's own blood being recycled."