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The key ingredient for the Vampire Facelift® is the platelet-rich fibrin matrix, which is derived from the patient’s own blood before being mixed with other factors. These properties make platelet-rich fibrin matrix an ideal natural serum for rejuvenating facial skin quality, as it increases collagen production, increases blood supply, and triggers new skin and fatty tissue generation, thus creating the youthful appearance that comes with generating new, healthier skin in a safe and natural way.
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.
Most of the people who have opted to try a vampire facial treatment rave about the results. The procedure usually starts by applying a mild numbing agent to the face, and a simple blood draw from your arm. Much like the PRP process for internal joint and muscle injuries, for the vampire facial, your blood is placed in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets in the blood for extraction. While your platelets are being concentrated, your specialist will perform a process called micro-needling on your face. The process involves using a tool to make tiny pricks on your skin to open access for the PRP treatment. When the platelets are ready, they are applied to the face, and the growth factors are called to the site of each skin prick to repair the location with new collagen. The result is a more youthful looking appearance, minimized pores, even tone and complexion and increased elasticity.
The incredible healing power of the blood was discovered in the 1960s when scientists found the hematopoietic stem cells hiding there. Research into the power of these and many other stem cells has made ground-breaking strides in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases ever since. As we learn more about what stem cells can do and how we can use them to treat a wider array of conditions the procedures have most often been up to the task making headway in degenerative and chronic conditions that previously had no other treatment but management and coping. As they grow in popularity, procedures focused on using stem cells and growth factors already present in our bodies have expanded to including cosmetic procedures like hair loss and beauty treatments. The Vampire Facial, also known as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial Treatment, surged in popularity when Kim Kardashian braved the procedure on her reality show. The pictures circulating of her sporting a bloody face sparked conversation among beauty influencers everywhere asking is this treatment effective and how does it work?
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 facial was only supposed to sound scary. Sure, it involves extracting the patient's own blood, isolating the platelet-rich plasma by spinning it in a centrifuge and then re-injecting it into the face. But the results are touted to be rejuvenated, smooth and supple skin, not an HIV or hepatitis scare, as clients of the VIP Spa in Albuquerque, N.M., are now facing.
"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."
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?
So my face was in a lot of discomfort to say the least and it was difficult to sleep the first night. There was minimal swelling when I left, but it seems with every hour my face is less and less recognizable! I called earlier in the day with concerns and I was told it was normal, I am starting not to believe so now. My eyes are almost swollen shut. I believe I am just having a bad reaction.
Not only do you feel it during the procedure and see it almost immediately after, but it has been five weeks since I received the facial and my skin has gotten more compliments in that short time than it has during my entire 27 years on earth. I used to suffer from cystic acne and I still get pretty bad breakouts now and again, but ever since the PRP Facial my skin been glowing. It looks smoother, feels firmer, and my acne scars have almost completely faded.
The Vampire Facial, on the other hand, is a type of skin resurfacing treatment (such as microneedling or microdermabrasion) which is followed by microneedling of PRP into the skin. The benefit of this method of treatment is that the tiny needles used with microneedling “trick” your body into thinking there is an injury, so new collagen is produced. Though the tiny needles may make the skin look red or irritated for a short while after treatment, it is well known to look much worse than it feels! The results are extremely beneficial for those with fine lines or those who have acne scars or other imperfections they would like to improve.
Most likely, says Shamban. Those with "premature wrinkles, high levels of solar damage, or anyone who wants an even tone and fresher appearance to their skin," is an ideal candidate for the procedure, she says. However, Zeichner warns that if you have a history of blood diseases, including clotting or bleeding disorders, you should not seek PRP treatment.