“In medispas, you can have untrained people doing procedures without proper supervision in unsafe settings,” explained Dr. Michael McGuire, communications chair of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, to Prevention. There was the Pennsylvania woman in 2001 who went to a medical spa for laser hair removal and ended up with second-degree burns, and in 2004, a college student died from brain damage caused by a numbing gel applied at a medical spa in North Carolina. Other horror stories involve infections from tattoo removal services, counterfeit Botox, and dangerous allergic reactions from microdermabrasion.
The Vampire Facelift® is actually not a surgical facelift at all, but rather a type of skin treatment using the body’s own natural healing and growth factors that are derived from your own blood (hence the name The Vampire Facelift®), combined with a hyaluronic acid dermal filler. The procedure is a near painless series of injections into strategic areas of the face to reduce wrinkles, add youthful volume, and improve the quality of your skin.
"[It's] a broad term that was originally coined by a provider in Southern California—it doesn’t really describe a specific treatment," Wilbur Hah from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery told Newsweek. "Generally speaking, the term “vampire facial” is used to describe platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, with most physicians performing a microneedling treatment with PRP to both trigger the body’s natural healing response and provide the skin with regenerative growth factors."
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Lauren Crain is a writer, designer, and joke-teller. As a sexual health and wellness researcher and writer, she's adamant about spreading credible knowledge and eliminating misinformation. Her writing has been featured on The Muse, Insider, Clutch, Her Campus, and Business News Daily. When she's not writing, designing, or trying to make people laugh, you can find her watching 30 Rock with her partner and their cat and dog.
The day leading up to my appointment, my best friend continually cringed at the idea of my soon-to-be bloody face while my mom made sure to text me every five minutes asking if this is really something I wanted to go through with, having sensitive skin and all. While their concerns pushed me to the point of advising my editor that I may need to work from home the next day if I look busted AF (since bruising and redness are possible short-term results), I stuck to my appointment and headed to the Upper East Side to arrive early for a treatment that, at the very best, could change the way I view my complexion, and, at the very worst, put me out of commission for a couple of days.
The facial, which is technically a Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment, is, according to some skin care experts one of the best anti-aging procedures out there. “PRP is created from your own blood. It involves a simple blood draw into a special test tube, which is then spun in a centrifuge so that the plasma, with millions of platelets, floats to the top,” says Willowbrook, IL, dermatologist Jessie Cheung, MD. The PRP solution is then used in tandem with micro needling, creating hundreds of microscopic holes in the skin (the solution is applied to the skin after the holes have been made).
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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 Vampire Facelift® is a procedure developed for people who want healthy, youthful, and rejuvenated skin, but done quickly and without surgery. This procedure is able to do this by harnessing your own body’s healing and regenerative properties. The Vampire Facelift® is an outpatient procedure, and results can be experienced on the same day, with continual benefit of skin regeneration lasting for months—even over a year—after the procedure.
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.
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.
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."