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.
The Vampire Facial has become popular thanks to celebrities having the procedure to keep their skin looking camera ready and glowing. The Vampire Facial is a procedure which combines platelet rich plasma (PRP) with the use of micro needle dermal stimulation (rejuvapen). The medical micro needle procedure using the Rejuvapen is a method of “collagen induction therapy” also referred to as “CIT”. The small entries into the dermis cause the skin to respond with collagen which softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as superficial sun damage.
In between microneedling different sections of my face Rhiannon continuously applied more plasma. It’s hard to explain how soothing this felt. Since the “serum” came from my own body it literally felt like it was coming home. Each time it touched my face my skin immediately felt calmed in a way I am 100% sure no product could ever reproduce. My face was pretty much in the middle of a battle with a microneedling pen so I’d like to think each application of plasma reassured my skin that this was all going to be over soon and everything was going to be okay.
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.
Typically, the process includes the initial blood draw, then running the blood through a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. You'll then receive microneedling or microdermabrasion just before your PRPs are slathered across your face. This can be accompanied with or without radio frequency, too. "It sounds gory and mysterious, but in fact, it is central to our evolving understanding of the physiology of the skin and advanced techniques with which to improve the quality of the skin," says Shamban.