At this point, you’ve probably seen photos and videos circulating on Instagram and Snapchat showcasing blood-splattered selfies, all taken in the name of beauty. What sounds (and looks) like an absolute nightmare is actually one of the industry’s most-requested treatments: the vampire facial. And, as with many seemingly crazy beauty habits and trends, we have the Kardashians to thank for it.
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.
The idea is that this will cause skin to appear younger — and for skin care nerds, this makes the few-hundred-dollar price tag and non-minuscule amount of pain worth it. The prevailing attitude toward skin care these days seem to be, “Even if there haven’t been loads of studies about whether or not this one product will erase all my wrinkles, it still might, and also it’s probably not going to harm me.”
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?
While the first line of action to fight fine lines and other signs of aging is likely some new skin care products or potent serums and boosters, some aging processes can’t be improved to the level we’d like with topical products alone. Now, women (including, reportedly, Kim Kardashian) are taking a page from True Blood and using their own blood to turn back the clock on aging skin.