If you haven't heard of the PRP facial, that's probably because it's more commonly called a vampire facial. What is a vampire facial? The name doesn't mean it's administered by vampires. (Sadly, it's not even administered by werewolves.) Below, we attempt to answer the most frequently asked vampire facial questions, with some help from two PRP-facial providers: Dr. Soroosh Mashayekh of Irvine Wellness and Cosmetic Clinic and Dr. Tali Arviv of Arviv Medical Aesthetics.
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."
Another thing you should be prepared for? The way to care for your skin post-treatment. Dr. Peredo advised that since vampire facials drive tiny needles into your skin, creating pathways for PRP to dive deep into your pores for truly transformative results, you want to stay away from anything else that could seep into that sacred space and irritate it. Think: makeup and skin-care acids. Don’t worry though, living in the no-makeup world that we live in, no one will bat an eye, and you’ll be able to return to your favorite cosmetics in two short days. With acids, on the other hand, it’s best to wait a full week. Simple enough.
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.
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.
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I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t super amped about this assignment because it sounded like this was going to hurt, but I’ll do whatever it takes for a good story. Plus, I knew I was in good hands because one of my favorite estheticians, Rhiannon Terese would be performing the treatment at Lorenc Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Med Spa. Dr.Lorenc is famous for inventing the Botox brow lift. As a fan of Botox I took this as a very good sign. That and the fact that I’d heard nothing but rave reviews about the plastic surgeon and his practice.
The basic PRP treatment has been used for almost 20 years to accelerate the healing of wounds and burnt skin, and help athletes - including, reportedly, tennis ace Rafael Nadal - recover from injury. But it was when Dr Charles Runels from Alabama trademarked the name "Vampire Facelift" in 2010, during the craze for the Vampire Diaries and Twilight Saga, that the procedure became attractive for A-listers.
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.
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.
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.
A. Using blood plasma to heal and regenerate the body originated from Orthopedics (FDA approved) and has numerous studies substantiating the regeneration and healing of injuries and tissue repair. PRP evolved from there for the purpose of skin rejuvenation. PRP means PLATELET RICH PLASMA, where the platelet concentration is generally considered to be double the normal concentration in whole blood. Red blood cells (RBC) and white blood cells (WBC) should be removed as much as possible from a PRP preparation. Some kits that tout high platelet concentrations often do so at the expense of having contaminating RBCs or WBCs – these cells are known to have inflammatory and catabolic effects – just the opposite of the desired effect. If the PRP in the syringe has any tinge of pink or red, it is mostly likely that you are injecting a preparation that has RBC contamination. The ideal PRP solution will be a golden, straw-like color.
First, the injector (1) uses HA fillers to create a beautiful shape. (2) Then, the physician isolates growth factors from the patients blood. (3) When these growth factors enter the face (injected by the physician), then multi-potent stem cells become activated to grow new tissue. This new tissue includes new collagen, new fatty tissue (for smoothness), and new blood vessels (for a healthy glow).
Do not take BOTOX® Cosmetic if you: are allergic to any of the ingredients in BOTOX® Cosmetic (see Medication Guide for ingredients); had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product such as Myobloc® (rimabotulinumtoxinB), Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA), or Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA); have a skin infection at the planned injection site.
The procedure would be done by Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Brent Moelleken and not an actual vampire, so I knew I would be in good hands. Dr. Moelleken says that the treatment has become more popular in recent years especially with patients who are looking into more natural ways of rejuvenating their face or body, without using Botox or fillers. It is also used for hair loss.