Many people learn about the benefits of The Vampire Facelift® when they understand how the procedure works for their unique facial anatomy. Some patients may also combine The Vampire Facelift® with other facial procedures. The benefit of the Vampire Facelift® continues for a time after the procedure as the growth factors in the blood stimulate the body to create collagen and new blood vessels that result in the improvement facial skin.
Your surgeon draws blood from your arm (not your neck, as many a movie vampire has been known to do) and spins it to separate out the plasma, which contains platelets. These are the proteins and growth factors that may stimulate collagen production and thereby promote skin regeneration and rejuvenation. There are several kits available to isolate these growth factors, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Once collected, the PRP is injected back into your face.
The procedure has been around for several years, but became more widely available after Kim Kardashian posted a blood-slathered selfie on Instagram in 2013, after filming the procedure for an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians spin-off Kourtney & Kim Take Miami. Earlier this year, Kardashian reflected on the experience in a post on her blog; the text is only available to paid subscribers, but honestly, the bloody photo, headline (“The Skincare Treatment I’ll Never Do Again”) and caption (“So Not Worth It!”) – not to mention the mysterious infection in Albuquerque – just about sums it up.
In case you don’t remember high school biology, “Platelets are the cells that circulate within our blood and bind together when they recognize damaged blood vessels,” says Dr. Marlene Williams of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. When the body is wounded, platelets come to the wound site and stick together to create a clot and stop bleeding. They also encourage the growth of new tissues. This new tissue growth is what scientists, doctors, and spas that use Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy are after.
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."