A "blood facial" or "vampire facial" is a cosmetic procedure during which a doctor draws a couple vials of blood from your arm, centrifuges the blood to separate out the plasma and platelets from the red blood cells, and then adds the platelet-rich plasma back into your face. For extra absorption, the doctor pokes your face all over with a bunch of micro-needles before applying the plasma. Reminds me a little bit of making a Jell-O poke cake.
Typically, the process includes the initial blood draw, then running the blood through a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. You'll then receive microneedling or microdermabrasion just before your PRPs are slathered across your face. This can be accompanied with or without radio frequency, too. "It sounds gory and mysterious, but in fact, it is central to our evolving understanding of the physiology of the skin and advanced techniques with which to improve the quality of the skin," says Shamban.
Christine is a contributing lifestyle and beauty writer for Zwivel. Her work has been featured in several major Canadian publications (The Huffington Post, La Presse, Clin d'Oeil, etc). Health advocate. Free thinker. HarvardEdx "Leaders of learning" student. The favorite part of my career is the privilege of learning from people who are the best at what they do.
Your doctor draws blood from your arm and spins it to separate out the plasma, which contains platelets. These are the proteins and growth factors that stimulate collagen production and thereby promote skin regeneration and rejuvenation. There are many kits available to isolate these growth factors, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Once collected, the platelet-rich plasma is injected back into your face.
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Once the treatment is complete, Chang applies a soothing cream that contains stem cells and then sunscreen to the patient’s face. She compares the treatment to a chemical peel or a laser in terms of inducing local trauma to boost collagen. To further accelerate the healing process for patients, Chang often uses an LED light. For about 20 minutes post-procedure, patients remain on the treatment table under a tri-paneled lamp. Infrared light is known to accelerate skin recovery and red light is known to reduce inflammation.
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.
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."