The incredible healing power of the blood was discovered in the 1960s when scientists found the hematopoietic stem cells hiding there. Research into the power of these and many other stem cells has made ground-breaking strides in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases ever since. As we learn more about what stem cells can do and how we can use them to treat a wider array of conditions the procedures have most often been up to the task making headway in degenerative and chronic conditions that previously had no other treatment but management and coping. As they grow in popularity, procedures focused on using stem cells and growth factors already present in our bodies have expanded to including cosmetic procedures like hair loss and beauty treatments. The Vampire Facial, also known as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial Treatment, surged in popularity when Kim Kardashian braved the procedure on her reality show. The pictures circulating of her sporting a bloody face sparked conversation among beauty influencers everywhere asking is this treatment effective and how does it work?
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.
Isolating PRP: The drawn blood is placed in a centrifuge for 5 to 10 minutes. This equipment spins the blood at high speed to separate the lighter plasma from the rest of contents of the blood. This isolated platelet rich plasma is “activated” with calcium chloride to begin releasing growth factors that, once injected into the body, will increase collagen production and have other healing effects.
No, a Vampire Facial mixes PRP with Microneedling to address skin texture and thickness. It doesn’t offer the lifted result that a Vampire Facelift does, and it doesn’t address wrinkles. Typically, Vampire Facials are more of a preventative treatment used by younger patients who want to build collagen actively before it starts to diminish with age, or for those who are looking to improve mild acne scarring without the downtime of a laser.
Executing the technical aspects of the PRP process so that you get all of the added benefits: PRP is a new technology, but to the extent that it has been studied thus far, we know that the processes used to isolate and concentrate the serum is very important in terms of its effectiveness. We use a system that creates a serum that has 8x the concentration of growth and healing factors found in normal blood. Typical systems used by other practices often get concentrations in the 2-3x range.
After using injectable fillers to achieve a more youthful appearance, your injector will draw your blood. Typically, we’ll only need to draw around 2 teaspoons. Your blood will be run through a centrifuge to separate and isolate platelet rich plasma, which is also known as growth factors. These specific “growth factors” have been identified to help heal damaged tissue. These growth factors have been known to work like magic to cause increased collagen and improved blood flow to the tissue.
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.
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!