Christine is a contributing lifestyle and beauty writer for Zwivel. Her work has been featured in several major Canadian publications (The Huffington Post, La Presse, Clin d'Oeil, etc). Health advocate. Free thinker. HarvardEdx "Leaders of learning" student. The favorite part of my career is the privilege of learning from people who are the best at what they do.
Earlier this week, the New Mexico Department of Health announced the closure of a spa in Albuquerque after one of their clients reportedly developed an “unspecified infection” sometime after getting a “vampire facial.” During an inspection of the facility on Friday morning, health department officials became concerned about the way the spa was managing the storage, handling and disposal of needles.
The vampire facial involves injecting part of the patient’s own blood directly into the face. Key to the treatment is platelet-rich plasma (PRP), the yellow-colored portion of blood that remains after red and white blood cells and other components have been removed. PRP helps blood clot and contains proteins that support cell growth. By stimulating collagen production, PRP helps rejuvenate aging skin by giving it more elasticity.
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).
4) 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” by a special process to begin releasing growth factors that, once injected into the body, will increase collagen production and have other healing effects.
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A Stem Cell Facelift with Fat Transfer combines PRP with Nanofat and Fat Transfer. For those with thin, sagging skin and loss of fat volume, this offers the longest-lasting and most natural results possible. Nanofat is a process of harvesting the stem cells in your fat. In this procedure, we combine those stem cells with the growth and healing factors of PRP for skin texture, tone, and elasticity. We also use your own fat, taken from your midsection, to replace what your face has lost with age (or weight loss). This procedure creates brand new cells, for results that are all you. It is more expensive than a Vampire Facelift and does have about 3-7 days of downtime.
In between microneedling different sections of my face Rhiannon continuously applied more plasma. It’s hard to explain how soothing this felt. Since the “serum” came from my own body it literally felt like it was coming home. Each time it touched my face my skin immediately felt calmed in a way I am 100% sure no product could ever reproduce. My face was pretty much in the middle of a battle with a microneedling pen so I’d like to think each application of plasma reassured my skin that this was all going to be over soon and everything was going to be okay.
The before and after photos look convincing but I am still skeptical as I have tried lots of cosmetic procedures that promise the world and end up doing very little to improve the face. Given the $1500 price tag I would say you are quite possibly much better of buying a course of laser treatments instead. The Vampire Facelift procedure just seems a tiny bit primitive in my opinion.
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.