Vampire facials aren’t all that new, but you can pretty much narrow down their popularity in the past few years to one woman: Kim Kardashian. In 2013, she Instagrammed a rather shocking photo of her blood-soaked face as a way to promote that night’s episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami (RIP), leading to a barrage of news outlets to ask, “Uh, what’s the deal with this weird new skin care thing?”
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.
Chang begins the 90-minute procedure with a deep cleansing of the face and the application of numbing cream. During the numbing process, Chang draws blood from the patient’s arm and then places two vials of blood in a centrifuge for 10 minutes to isolate the PRP. Chang then removes the numbing cream from the patient’s face, applies some PRP to the face and then injects the plasma into the skin with a microneedling machine.
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.
Runels is very serious about protecting the vampire name, emphasizing that he defined and named the procedure and does not want people being confused. He goes to great lengths to prevent "Vampire Facelift" from become a generic term for any procedure that uses PRP and makes it clear the procedure is not for everyone, including patients on blood thinners.
As we age our faces naturally lose that youthful vibrancy and healthy glow. Fortunately, you may be able to restore much of the elasticity you’ve lost with the new Vampire FaceLift. Using a nonsurgical method, our professionals can utilize the growth-stimulating components in a patient’s own blood to encourage new cell production and restoration in the desired area.
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 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 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.
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.
Ever heard of the Platelet-Rich Plasma Facial? If not, maybe you’ve heard of its more Instagrammable moniker “The Vampire Facial.” And we know, we’re STDcheck, so you might be thinking this has to do with Twilight and erotic fan fiction, but it doesn’t. This treatment first came to public light in 2013 when Kim K famously posted a bloody selfie after undergoing the procedure. Since then, celebrities, bloggers, and civilians alike have praised the good name of the Vampire Facial, citing it as the source of their dewy skin and radiant complexion. But recently, the publicity surrounding this mythologically-named derma treatment has turned negative after a spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico urged its Vampire Facial patrons to get tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
A Stem Cell Facelift with Fat Transfer combines PRP with Nanofat and Fat Transfer. For those with thin, sagging skin and loss of fat volume, this offers the longest-lasting and most natural results possible. Nanofat is a process of harvesting the stem cells in your fat. In this procedure, we combine those stem cells with the growth and healing factors of PRP for skin texture, tone, and elasticity. We also use your own fat, taken from your midsection, to replace what your face has lost with age (or weight loss). This procedure creates brand new cells, for results that are all you. It is more expensive than a Vampire Facelift and does have about 3-7 days of downtime.
The first step of the Vampire Facelift Treatment is defining the treatment area. This typically consists of the cheeks, under the eyes, or another area of the face that the patient wants to augment. Similar PRP therapy procedures such as the Vampire Breast Lift, Vampire Facial, and Vampire Hair Growth are used for treating other areas of the face, hairline, and breasts.
The Vampire FactLift™ procedure lasts about 30 minutes. Blood is drawn from the patient’s arm. The blood is placed in a centrifuge where it is processed to isolate the platelets from the red blood cells and other blood components. The blood is then treated, most commonly with calcium chloride. This process releases the PRFM (platelet rich fibrin matrix), growth-rich platelets.
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.
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.
With incidents like the one at the Albuquerque spa making headlines, it is increasingly clear that there’s a need for more oversight and more standardization in the industry. Each state currently has different rules about how med spas can be run. Often, they don’t require a medical doctor to be on the premises, as long as one is available on call. These spas market themselves like salons but are actually offering potentially life-threatening procedures requiring knowledge of proper infection control practices.
PRP is the “magic” behind both the Vampire Facelift and the Vampire Facial. PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma and is a component of your own blood. It contains platelets including both stem cells and growth factors. PRP is obtained by drawing blood and then processing it in a centrifuge to separate these vital growth factors. Because the PRP is “spun out” from the blood, the concentration of the growth factors and stem cells is much higher than what is found in regular blood. Then, the PRP can be utilized in either an injection (for the Vampire Facelift) or as part of a microneedling procedure (for the Vampire Facial).
I just had mine done yesterday. There is no way I could go out anytime soon. I’d say I have about two more days..so three days max of being indoors (because I look like a fried chicken, lol). So far, I am astonished by the results. There’s no pain today or yesterday (there was for about 5-10 min after the procedure), and no swelling. I can tell you that as of now, I’ve lost 10 years (including some significant stress).
Whether you want to give these vampire fillers a try or are interested in other facial rejuvenation procedures, your first step should be to schedule a consultation with a facial plastic surgeon who has experience with all the available procedures. Choosing a surgeon can be a challenge, as there are many doctors advertising their services. To make your search easier, All About Facial Rejuvenation has created a directory of highly trained and skilled surgeons. Just click on the Find a Surgeon button below to locate a surgeon in your area. During your initial consultation, he or she will listen to your concerns, perform a physical exam and help you decide whether this treatment is right for you.
If you decide to get this procedure please run screaming from the room if anyone other than a doctor tries to draw your blood. This is something that must be done by a doctor. The rest of the procedure can be performed by a well-trained and highly skilled esthetician. Before you book, do your research! When there are needles and blood involved in anything whether it’s a spa treatment, tattoo, or piercing — you need to know exactly who you’re working with to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.
Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Amiya Prasad has appeared on Fox News New York performing The Vampire Facelift®, and has made a commentary about the procedure in The New York Post, The Daily News, and Access Hollywood. The procedure has been featured nationally on The Doctors, Dr. Oz, CBS News, the New York Times, ABC’s Nightline and The Huffington Post. Dr. Prasad is recognized as one of the leading doctors of The Vampire Facelift® by his clients, the viewing public, and by The Vampire Facelift® Inventor, Dr. Charles Runels.
Earlier this week, the New Mexico Department of Health announced the closure of a spa in Albuquerque after one of their clients reportedly developed an “unspecified infection” sometime after getting a “vampire facial.” During an inspection of the facility on Friday morning, health department officials became concerned about the way the spa was managing the storage, handling and disposal of needles.
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!
Your surgeon draws blood from your arm (not your neck, as many a movie vampire has been known to do) and spins it to separate out the plasma, which contains platelets. These are the proteins and growth factors that may stimulate collagen production and thereby promote skin regeneration and rejuvenation. There are several kits available to isolate these growth factors, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Once collected, the PRP is injected back into your face.
Once the treatment is complete, Chang applies a soothing cream that contains stem cells and then sunscreen to the patient’s face. She compares the treatment to a chemical peel or a laser in terms of inducing local trauma to boost collagen. To further accelerate the healing process for patients, Chang often uses an LED light. For about 20 minutes post-procedure, patients remain on the treatment table under a tri-paneled lamp. Infrared light is known to accelerate skin recovery and red light is known to reduce inflammation.
I have had 2 of these treatments 6 weeks apart…. I am due for my 3rd treatment this coming Monday but considering canceling as I really have not noticed any results…. The pain was excruciating – even with the topical numbing agent on my face for 20-30 min. I also was swollen for a couple days and bruised for well over a week. Not sure I want to go through the pain for this last treatment if I am not going to see any results….
The procedure is relatively simple and performed in the office in under an hour. First, while your skin is numbing topically, we draw your blood and separate your platelets. Then we spread them over the treatment area and use a micro needling device to deliver the platelets deep into your tissues. The micro needling will stimulate the cells that you already have in your skin to make new collagen and elastin while causing tightening and lightening. Meanwhile, the platelets will signal to your natural stem cells to migrate to the treated areas and they will become brand new skin cells.
A Vampire Facelift and Vampire Facial are similar in that they are both non-invasive aesthetic treatments only offered by practitioners who have undergone extensive proprietary training, certification, and follow-up education. Patients can feel confident that the process will be as comfortable as possible and give results that exceed expectations. In addition, both procedures utilize PRP in a way that encourages the skin to heal itself and look its best for a significant time after the procedure. Results will continuously improve for a few weeks after the process and usually last for at least 12 months, and often times longer.
Yasemin is a staff writer at Live Science, writing about biology and neuroscience, among other science topics. Yasemin has a biomedical engineering bachelors from the University of Connecticut and a science communication graduate certificate from the University of California, Santa Cruz. When she's not writing, she's probably taking photos or sitting upside-down on her couch thinking about thinking and wondering if anyone else is thinking about thinking at the exact same time.
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."