A "blood facial" or "vampire facial" is a cosmetic procedure during which a doctor draws a couple vials of blood from your arm, centrifuges the blood to separate out the plasma and platelets from the red blood cells, and then adds the platelet-rich plasma back into your face. For extra absorption, the doctor pokes your face all over with a bunch of micro-needles before applying the plasma. Reminds me a little bit of making a Jell-O poke cake.
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.
This unique procedure uses the patient’s own blood so there is no risk or rejection or complications.  It is all natural unlike the injectable fillers that are on the market.  The procedure take only about 30 minutes in a safe and sterile environment.  Blood is drawn from the patient and then is put into a centrifuge where the growth-rich platelets are separated.  These platelets are then put into a calcium chloride solution which causes them to release growth factors.  The patient is numbed with a topical anesthetic and then the growth-factor platelets are injected into the areas needed.  There are no side effects, little or no discomfort and the patient is able to return to work.
There's no evidence at all that this gory procedure works, and only the babiest starting evidence that injecting platelets into the skin works at all against the appearance of aging. But there probably is little harm, at least, to plasma injections because they deal with the patient's own body fluids, dermatologists say. The technologies dermatologists use for the facials are U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved for adding plasma to bone before orthopedic surgery... but not for wrinkle-busting.
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.
The vampire facelift takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes to perform. Before the procedure is performed, the surgeon needs to first draw blood from the patient (not with fangs, but with a syringe), then separate the platelets from the blood. The platelets and various natural fillers are then injected into the areas the patient has requested, such as the cheeks, mouth lines, under the eyes, etc. The vampire facelift costs anywhere between $800 to $1500, depending on where you have it done. If you have it done in a bigger city like San Francisco or New York, you’re going to pay a little more. As for recovery time, your face may be a little red afterwards, but it will go away in a few hours.
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?
This injection of PRP into the face activates multipotent stem cells and tricks the body into generating new tissue, as it would after an injury. The patient’s system will naturally grow collagen for moisture and a more youthful face, new fatty tissue for smoothness and new blood vessels for a glowing complexion. The procedure was inspired by how your body heals after an injury.
Do not use LATISSE® if you are allergic to one of its ingredients. If you use/used prescription products for eye pressure problems, use LATISSE® under doctor care. May cause brown darkening of the colored part of the eye which is likely permanent. LATISSE® may cause eyelid skin darkening which may be reversible. Only apply at base of upper lashes. DO NOT APPLY to lower lid. Hair may grow outside the treatment area. If you have eye problems/surgery, consult your doctor. Common side effects include itchy and red eyes. If discontinued, lashes gradually return to previous appearance.
If the procedure is carried out properly, the risks are low, except for people with blood-related medical issues, especially those which require blood-thinning medication. The microneedling causes temporary bleeding—hence the name "Vampire facial". Meanwhile, bruising, swelling, redness and pain may persist over the injection site, but these side effects usually disappear within a few days.

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.
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