I was nervous to look in the mirror during and after the procedure because I was expecting my face to be covered in blood à la Kimmy K. Each time I snuck a peek I saw that the bleeding was minimal and it seemed to stop whenever fresh plasma was applied. Rhiannon explained that she tries to use all of the patient’s nutrient-rich plasma during the procedure to ensure the best results. By the end of the treatment, she had made many sweeps across the different sections of my face with the pen and my skin was happy to soak up all the plasma it could get.
The efficacy of PRFM is contested. As of March 2011, according to a New York Times report, it is attested by several plastic surgeons who use it but remains unproven by research. Phil Haeck, the president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, dismissed the procedure as "creepy", "a gimmick" and as "antiquated as bloodletting". It is marketed as Selphyl, TruPRP, Emcyte, Regen, and Pure Spin.
So, what is it and how does it work, exactly? Don't let the name fool you. In fact, "It's usually done in full light of day," says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Ava Shamban. In all seriousness, the treatment is a "combination of a microdermabrasion, followed by the application of PRP (platelet-rich plasma)," says Shamban. "The PRP is derived from the serum portion of the blood, which contains platelets. The platelets contain high levels of growth factors, which, when applied to the skin, will stimulate cell turnover."