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.
The fun part was scaring my friends with my photos. The not-so-fun part was that I couldn’t wear makeup, which was tough, especially because my skin was still beet red for two days after the procedure. I just wanted to dip my entire head in concealer. I had to stay out of the sun, so when I went on a picnic with my BFF, I made sure to keep my face covered with two parasols. So goth!
Dr. Peredo explained that a vampire facial, also known as a blood facial or PRP facial, involves extracting blood from a patient’s arm and using a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma from the red blood cells. From there, Dermapen, microneedling, infuses skin with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that stimulates collagen and elastin fibers to promote cell turnover for your most brilliant complexion through a series of thousands of tiny pinpricks. Okay, so no wonder Kim looked terribly in pain. But anything in the name of beauty, right?
If women knew how much a face lift costs, a real surgical face lift that is, they would never even think twice about getting the vampire facial. Apart from being less expensive, it is really comfortable to go through. It’s a bit weird in the beginning, you feel sort of awkward getting your own blood injected into your face, or the areas which you treat. But once you accept it and get used to it, it’s amazing. It’s so modern and it really gives it all that it can. My cheeks now don’t sag that much. They don’t look like old bags of tea anymore, but are more plump now. The rest of my face has changed a bit as well, it’s not that dry anymore, and the skin just looks and feels different. I would describe it as a non surgical facelift, with great benefits, less expenses, less pain, less recovery.
We may use numbing injections to make your procedure more comfortable. Dermal fillers often include some of this medication, called lidocaine, which is very similar to what dentists use when filling cavities. So we don’t always have to add more numbing injections, but it is available if needed. The numbing sensation lasts a few hours. When it wears off you shouldn’t expect to need any pain medication.
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Watch and wait: Growth factors contained in the plasma stimulate the release of the skin’s stem cells. The skin is being tricked into believing that it has been injured and must heal itself with new, fresh tissue. This somewhat sneaky process allows the skin to create new collagen, new blood vessels, and new cells. The results will not be immediate, so while you patiently wait a few weeks and even a few months, your skin will begin to transform itself.
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.
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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.
Later that night my skin was pretty red but when I woke up the next morning most of the redness had disappeared. It takes four to six weeks to see the treatment’s full results (collagen takes a bit of time to grow), but I can assure you that I saw benefits almost immediately. I’ve had a fair share of facials that left me wondering if the treatment worked or if my skin was just having a good couple of weeks. Trust me — you will never once question whether or not this treatment is effective.
With my face completely numb and my platelet-rich plasma ready to go, I hopped onto the table. From there Rhiannon and I discussed the microneedling I had been bracing for. She explained that she would adjust the pen to penetrate my skin anywhere from .5 mm to 2 mm deep depending on the area of my face. On parts with less fat, like my forehead and around my nose, the pen would go just .5 mm deep. On the rest of my face she would bump it up to 1 mm. Once all of those details were squared away I felt confident to start the treatment. Bring it on!
At this point, you’ve probably seen photos and videos circulating on Instagram and Snapchat showcasing blood-splattered selfies, all taken in the name of beauty. What sounds (and looks) like an absolute nightmare is actually one of the industry’s most-requested treatments: the vampire facial. And, as with many seemingly crazy beauty habits and trends, we have the Kardashians to thank for it.
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.