"A few years ago, I heard about a 'vampire facial,' and I was so intrigued," Kardashian West wrote. Right before she signed up to try the treatment, she found out she was pregnant, which meant that she couldn't use the a numbing cream or painkiller before the treatment as doctors typically recommend, she says. That made for a super uncomfortable experience. "It was really rough and painful for me. It was honestly the most painful thing ever! It's the one treatment that I'll never do again."
First, the injector (1) uses HA fillers to create a beautiful shape. (2) Then, the physician isolates growth factors from the patients blood. (3) When these growth factors enter the face (injected by the physician), then multi-potent stem cells become activated to grow new tissue. This new tissue includes new collagen, new fatty tissue (for smoothness), and new blood vessels (for a healthy glow).
Step 3 is taking the isolated PRP created from the previous step and injecting it into strategic areas. Using a very small needle, you will be injected with your own growth factors in a particular way. These growth factors then activate multi-potent stem cells already in the skin, tricking them into “thinking” there’s been an injury and then generate newer, and younger tissue.
Not only do you feel it during the procedure and see it almost immediately after, but it has been five weeks since I received the facial and my skin has gotten more compliments in that short time than it has during my entire 27 years on earth. I used to suffer from cystic acne and I still get pretty bad breakouts now and again, but ever since the PRP Facial my skin been glowing. It looks smoother, feels firmer, and my acne scars have almost completely faded.
The statement doesn't mention which specific practices might have led to infections. But hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV can all be spread through contact with bodily fluids, including blood. The owner of VIP Spa is also encouraging clients to get tested, though she told local news station KOB 4 that she always used new needles during the treatments.
Briefly, here's how it works: A doctor will draw blood from you, spin it in a centrifuge to extract the PRP, and then inject or apply it topically. The treatment "is being used to improve skin tone and texture, smooth fine lines, and even promote hair growth," Joshua Zeichner, director of clinical and cosmetic research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City previously told Allure.
Some dermatologists I talked with did offer plasma injections, but not exactly in the way Kardashian got hers. Anthony Sclafani, a facial plastic surgeon at the New York Ear and Eye Infirmary, performs single-needle injections for wrinkles and acne scars. Sclafani also authored one of the only actual studies about platelet-rich plasma for wrinkles, a small study of 15 people published last year. The study was supported by Aesthetic Factors, the Pennsylvania-based company that makes the technology for separating plasma from the blood in the doctor's office, a procedure that previously had to be done in labs.
Ever since Kim was seen walking into a spa with her BFF Jonathan Cheban to get the snap-worthy procedure, the world of influencers and everyday beauty lovers converged, making way for this crazy facial to be the topic of conversation and consideration IRL. And so I made an appointment to sit down with Dr. Marina Peredo at Skinfluence in New York City to get the 4-1-1 on all things bloody and beautiful.
While I didn’t have many wrinkles, dark spots, or acne scars originally, to really show the magical effects of this treatment, the fact that a cystic period pimple was able to RIP in just three days when it usually takes seven-plus was reason enough for me to believe in this star-studded skin-care fave. So much so that I’ll be returning to Skinfluence in just a few weeks for round two.
This treatment is more than just celebrity endorsed nonsense and a media sensation, it actually works! I must say, the first time I heard about it was when Kim Kardashian had her vampire facial. I thought it was not even real and didn’t take much notice of it but after the media hype, I thought I would give it a go. It has been almost a year now and I am now seeing the full results and I can say it really works. The dark circles under my eyes have gone, the two sun spots I had have almost disappeared and the texture of my skin is looking much better.
The process starts with a careful assessment of your medical history and skin concerns. After determining you are a candidate for this treatment, blood is taken similar to a normal laboratory blood draw. This blood is then processed in our COLA certified moderately complex laboratory in a centrifuge that spins down your blood. We separate the blood components, filtering the portion of the blood which is called platelet-rich plasma or PRP. The PRP has a large amount of platelets (cells that help clot your blood when bleeding) and are very rich in growth factors and stem cells. After being activated the PRP is re-injected into the face in conjunction with a hyaluronic acid filler to simulate an injury that will help the body create new blood vessels and blood flow. It will also stimulate collagen production to help improve the texture of the skin.
Sclafani's injections are an off-label use of Selphyl, the Aesthetic Factors technology that separates plasma from the blood. Bruce Katz, another New York dermatologist who offers individual injections, uses a similar technology made by the Swiss company Regen Lab. Katz advertises "twilight plasma renewal treatment" on his website. His patients get about 20 injections at once in the face, neck and décolleté, he says.
Sclafani is enthusiastic about the injections for certain patients. "It's been terrific," he says. "It's not for everybody," he continues, saying that some patients don't see any difference from the treatment. For those for whom it works, it appears to last a long time. Sometimes patients come back in six to eight months to get further treatments done, Sclafani says.
PRFM is an outpatient procedures that, as of March 2011, costs about $900 to $1,500 in the U.S. and takes less than half an hour. Blood is drawn from the patient's arm and spun in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets, which are then injected back under the patient's facial skin. It can also be combined in a specific way with other fillers. A procedure using this combination has been marketed as the "Vampire facelift"."
The New Mexico Department of Health announced this week that that a client of VIP Spa developed an undisclosed infection that may have come from having a vampire facial treatment done at the spa. The organization is urging people who got any "injection related service, including a vampire facial," to get tested for hepatitis B and C along with HIV. (The clinic has been shut down, BTW.)
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.