“Thanks to modern science, we now know that platelets contain various factors that stimulate the production of collagen, elastic fibers and new blood vessels,” says Mandeville. “Microneedling causes direct trauma to the skin. As a result, the body rushes to repair the wounds, sending platelets and cells to the rescue. As platelets play a significant role in terms of growth factors, it seems particularly appealing to inject the plasma back into the skin through the punctured holes to really speed up the healing of the tissues.”
The procedure was made famous by Kim Kardashian, who underwent a procedure called “The Vampire Facial” in 2013 (referring to it as a “blood facial”). When The Vampire Facelift® or the Vampire Facial is done properly, the patient will not experience any significant pain or have much blood on their face, unlike Kim Kardashian’s much publicized experience with the procedure.
When I expressed my concern for the blood-free end result, Dr. Peredo and Nurse Shellock explained that part of why Kim K looked so bloody is because, back in 2013 when that particular episode of Kim and Kourtney Take Miami aired, the normal vampire facial procedure was to apply whole blood to the skin while microneedling, where nowadays technology has advanced to using the most regenerating part of blood, the PRP. While both methods use blood drawn on site, the PRP method extracts the platelets from the red blood cells after being put through the centrifuge. And so, I finally understood why my Kim K-inspired expectations weren’t fully met.
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).
When you hear the name vampire facelift, it can make you think of a lot of different things. Pale skin, long fangs, Brad Pitt… However, it’s a great alternative to an actual, surgical facelift. What makes the vampire facelift even more enticing, is that this kind of facelift doesn’t use any artificial products, thus making it a much safer choice. That’s reassuring to hear since it’s going into your own body. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to brighten up your face a little bit, and with a vampire facelift, you can do this pretty quickly, with few side effects and a short recovery time.
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.
The same process is used in the Vampire Facial. The patient’s own blood is drawn, treated, and then the platelet-rich plasma is injected into the patient’s face. Injections are made into strategic areas to encourage skin healing and renewal through new collagen production and fresh skin cells full of human growth factors. This increase in collagen and growth factors creates a more youthful, plumper, and firmer appearing skin.
PRFM has been available on the U.S. market since 2009. It was developed and is marketed by the Aesthetic Factors corporation. While a platelet extraction centrifuge was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 As of March 2011 platelets extracted in this centrifuge have not been cleared or approved by the FDA for facial rejuvenation. Nonetheless, Selphyl has been described as a "FDA approved dermal filler" in YouTube videos and trade publications.
The vampire facial was only supposed to sound scary. Sure, it involves extracting the patient's own blood, isolating the platelet-rich plasma by spinning it in a centrifuge and then re-injecting it into the face. But the results are touted to be rejuvenated, smooth and supple skin, not an HIV or hepatitis scare, as clients of the VIP Spa in Albuquerque, N.M., are now facing.
Most of the people who have opted to try a vampire facial treatment rave about the results. The procedure usually starts by applying a mild numbing agent to the face, and a simple blood draw from your arm. Much like the PRP process for internal joint and muscle injuries, for the vampire facial, your blood is placed in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets in the blood for extraction. While your platelets are being concentrated, your specialist will perform a process called micro-needling on your face. The process involves using a tool to make tiny pricks on your skin to open access for the PRP treatment. When the platelets are ready, they are applied to the face, and the growth factors are called to the site of each skin prick to repair the location with new collagen. The result is a more youthful looking appearance, minimized pores, even tone and complexion and increased elasticity.
Your best bet is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with all facial rejuvenation techniques and technologies. Due to the large number of doctors promoting themselves as qualified cosmetic surgeons, choosing a surgeon can be a challenge. To make this task easier, Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery has created a directory that exclusively lists surgeons who are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Certification by the ABPS is widely accepted as the highest level of certification possible for plastic surgeons in the United States. Choosing one of these doctors guarantees you will be treated by a surgeon who has undergone extensive education, training and testing and is in excellent standing among his or her peers in the medical field.
As for recovery, it might take a day or two of downtime before you're ready to hit the streets. Shamban says recipients may need one or two days, depending on how aggressive the microdermabrasion was on your skin. You'll emerge from treatment a bit red, almost like a sunburn, which means post-procedure sunscreen is highly recommended. Applying makeup, though, is discouraged.