But simply getting facial injections of dermal filler and PRP does not mean it's a Vampire Facelift. The true "Vampire Facelift" was designed and trademarked Dr. Charles Runels of Alabama. In order to use the vampire term in connection with a facial PRP injectable procedure, professionals must pay for Runels' special training, and use his specific techniques and HA fillers.
The vampire facelift takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes to perform. Before the procedure is performed, the surgeon needs to first draw blood from the patient (not with fangs, but with a syringe), then separate the platelets from the blood. The platelets and various natural fillers are then injected into the areas the patient has requested, such as the cheeks, mouth lines, under the eyes, etc. The vampire facelift costs anywhere between $800 to $1500, depending on where you have it done. If you have it done in a bigger city like San Francisco or New York, you’re going to pay a little more. As for recovery time, your face may be a little red afterwards, but it will go away in a few hours.
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.
The New Mexico Department of Health has since shut down the spa and is urging any of its clients who received a vampire facial or other injection-based treatments in May or June of this year to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C for free at the Midtown Public Health Office. The statement does not mention which of these infections the client contracted, nor which specific treatment the individual had received.
A. Think of Selphyl® PRFM as the next generation PRP. The Selphyl® System is designed for the safe and rapid preparation of Platelet-rich Fibrin Matrix (PRFM) from a small sample of blood (only 10cc). Many PRP systems require operator skill, have varying results and have extensive contamination with red blood cells and white blood cells. Selphyl® removes virtually all contaminating cells and is independent of operator technique. PRP is converted to PRFM through a controlled process (mixed w/ calcium chloride in a vial) to form a fibrin matrix scaffold that serves to protect and preserve platelets, thus creating more therapeutic rejuvenation.
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.
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.
The main differentiator of the Vampire Facial is that instead of injecting the patient’s PRP in to the face, you use microneedling device, such as the Dermapen, to create microscopic pinpoint injuries to the face and then apply the PRP directly onto the surface of the skin. This process was famously used on reality TV star Kim Kardashian and went viral in 2014.
That’s why it’s imperative that when you receive treatment (whether medical or for physical changes), you ensure that the needles used are either new or were properly sanitized. Before beginning a procedure, be sure to ask about their sanitizing procedures. Ask if you can watch them open a new needle or sanitize a used one. If they don’t use disposable needles, ask to watch the needle undergo its sanitization, and check that their sanitizer has been recently inspected. This may feel awkward at the time, but a true professional will understand your concern and the risks that are involved.
If I were someone with a ballin’ budget and had the type of lifestyle that allowed me that kind of recovery time, I would try it again. I’d be curious to see the results of having multiple treatments. However, us broke betches should probably stick to regular facials and our AHAs. Still, it was an interesting experience and I enjoyed scaring people with my photos.
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.
The procedure has been around for several years, but became more widely available after Kim Kardashian posted a blood-slathered selfie on Instagram in 2013, after filming the procedure for an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians spin-off Kourtney & Kim Take Miami. Earlier this year, Kardashian reflected on the experience in a post on her blog; the text is only available to paid subscribers, but honestly, the bloody photo, headline (“The Skincare Treatment I’ll Never Do Again”) and caption (“So Not Worth It!”) – not to mention the mysterious infection in Albuquerque – just about sums it up.
Going in for a vampire facial, only to see a few drops of blood on the apples of my cheeks, the area surrounding my nostrils, and where the Dermapen abruptly burst a particularly stubborn period pimple on my chin, was disappointing. Not that I’m a super-gory human, but I love me some My Favorite Murder and the idea of going under the pen to come out equally as bloody (and beautiful) as her royal Kim-ness.
The effects of the procedure improve for 2 to 3 months after the procedure and last for at least 1 to 2 years! Unlike most procedures, the Vampire Facelift (R) offers a way of restoring shape, and improving tone and texture, as well as literally rejuvenating new and younger tissue! The multipotent stem cells then develop into new collagen, new blood vessels, and new fatty tissue trying to “repair” the skin that was never injured! The result…younger-appearing skin!
Also known as the Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial (which is not nearly as goth), the procedure can only be performed by a licensed medical professional – a regulation that VIP Spa in Albuquerque was allegedly violating. A “vampire facial” involves drawing blood from the patient, and then using a centrifuge to extract the platelet-rich plasma (PRP). After a round of microdermabrasion or microneedling – procedures which cause tiny injuries to the skin – the plasma is injected or slathered on the patient’s face like a mask.
"The term “vampire facial” may throw some people off, leading to a misconception that this is a quick, easy treatment," Hah said. "However, PRP therapy is a medical procedure that should always be performed by a physician who has specific experience with the technique. In addition to blood needing to be drawn safely and with sterile instruments, micro-injuries are created in the facial skin during the microneedling process—which can leave room for infection if the proper care is not taken."
"Maybe there's still some blood in it," suggests Sclafani, who's done extensive research on the competing $1,500 Selphyl system. He also injects platelet-rich plasma for facial rejuvenation, but without mixing in the added fillers. It's a simple injection, much like getting Botox or Restalyne. "No needle is fun, but most people are able to do this without any anesthesia," he says. "They shouldn't scream in pain like that."
The Vampire FaceLift® Procedure™ is not as gruesome as a visit from Count Dracula. Your board-certified plastic surgeon begins by drawing blood from your arm. He or she then spins the blood to separate out the plasma. Blood plasma contains platelets, which are proteins and growth factors that stimulate collagen production, among other bodily functions. Collagen, in turn, is the protein that makes our skin look and feel supple, elastic and youthful.
When I’m conducting my aesthetic PRP training in Beverly Hills & Nashville for doctors and clinic staff on how to perform PRP aesthetic procedures in the office or discussing the procedures with patients, one of the most frequent questions I hear is: “What’s the difference between the Vampire Facelift and the Vampire Facial?” They certainly sound similar, so the confusion isn’t surprising. Even though both of these trademarked procedures utilize PRP (platelet rich plasma), there is actually a significant difference in how they are completed and the results they provide.
Vampire facials could be an alternative for people concerned about the potentially harmful ingredients in most cosmetic products that promise the same results. The average price for a complete vampire facial treatment, which is usually comprised of 3 treatments over the course of a year, is anywhere from $1,500-1,700. The procedure may be pricey for some, but when you consider the risks and cost points of other procedures like face-lift surgery and chemical facial treatments, vampire facials may be the treatment that’s worth your while.
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."