But simply getting facial injections of dermal filler and PRP does not mean it's a Vampire Facelift. The true "Vampire Facelift" was designed and trademarked Dr. Charles Runels of Alabama. In order to use the vampire term in connection with a facial PRP injectable procedure, professionals must pay for Runels' special training, and use his specific techniques and HA fillers.
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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).
"It’s rare for an incident like what happened in New Mexico to occur with PRP therapy, though it can be avoided by working with a qualified properly licensed physician provider," Hah said. "The spa operating in New Mexico did not have the credentials to perform this kind of medical procedure. Since their license expired, there was no oversight of the spa’s safety and cleanliness practices. Per the Department of Health’s findings, it appears the spa in question did not properly store, handle, or dispose of used needles."
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.
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.
"It's one of the most popular treatments at my practice," says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. "We use it to treat acne, acne scarring, melasma, surgical scars, and fine wrinkles and lines." (PRP can also be used on your scalp to treat hair loss because it can stimulate hair growth.)
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.
When it comes to weird and outrageous skin care, I’m the first to sign up. Not only is testing new products and treatments part of my job as a beauty editor, I truly enjoy it. Skin care is my jam! So, when vampire facials became popular (thanks to Kim Kardashian West), I was immediately intrigued. First of all, I love a spa treatment, but a kind of facial that sounds like something Elvira would get? I would come running as fast as I could. I am a goth at heart, after all. So, when the cosmetic procedure website RealSelf invited me to try a vampire facial, I was more than down to do it. But, it wasn’t until later I realized what a vampire facial would actually entail. My actual blood being procured from my body and going back into my face?! What in the name of Sarah Michelle Gellar did I get myself into?
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The Vampire Facelift® is actually not a surgical facelift at all, but rather a type of skin treatment using the body’s own natural healing and growth factors that are derived from your own blood (hence the name The Vampire Facelift®), combined with a hyaluronic acid dermal filler. The procedure is a near painless series of injections into strategic areas of the face to reduce wrinkles, add youthful volume, and improve the quality of your skin.
The procedure was made famous by Kim Kardashian, who underwent a procedure called “The Vampire Facial” in 2013 (referring to it as a “blood facial”). When The Vampire Facelift® or the Vampire Facial is done properly, the patient will not experience any significant pain or have much blood on their face, unlike Kim Kardashian’s much publicized experience with the procedure.
You will be asked to drop smoking in advance of the operation. Certain medications that increase the risk of bleeding such as Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and some vitamins/homeopathic regimens should be discontinued prior to surgery. Having long hair before the surgery is going to help you cover the incisions while they heal. Any chemical processing of your hair should be done prior to surgery.
The Vampire Facelift procedure only takes about an hour to complete, and that includes the: blood draw, preparation of the PRP, platelet-rich fibrin matrix, and The Vampire Facelift® treatment itself. Since skin renewal and rejuvenation is using the body’s own active regeneration components, facial skin renewal is continual for about 3 months after the procedure. The overall effects of the Vampire Facelift® can last for over a year.
These platelets, when injected into certain areas of the face, can encourage blood flow, assist with the production of collagen, and activate multipotent stem cells already present in the skin. In time, this procedure will even stimulate the body to produce new skin cells, generating younger tissue and reducing the signs of aging throughout the treated area. This will promote healthy collagen production and restore vitality to the blood vessels and fatty tissues in the neck and face.
Once the treatment was complete my face was covered in Aquaphor to protect it from the dirt and grime that is NYC and I made my way back onto the subway where I received many sideways glances. It’s a rare thing on a packed train during rush hour to have some personal space, for some reason people didn’t want to sit next to the girl whose blood-speckled face was covered in goo.