When my editorial team first received an e-mail asking if one of us wanted to try a procedure that most people mistakenly refer to as the Vampire Facial, everyone except for this brave soul was too nervous to try it. The reason why? During the treatment blood is drawn from your arm and its platelet-rich plasma is extracted to be used as a serum during the process of microneedling.
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?
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.
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.
The basic PRP treatment has been used for almost 20 years to accelerate the healing of wounds and burnt skin, and help athletes - including, reportedly, tennis ace Rafael Nadal - recover from injury. But it was when Dr Charles Runels from Alabama trademarked the name "Vampire Facelift" in 2010, during the craze for the Vampire Diaries and Twilight Saga, that the procedure became attractive for A-listers.
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.
The next generation PRP is here at FACE! It’s called Selphyl® PRFM (Platelet Rich Fibrin Matrix) and it is the most advanced Stem Cell and plasma facial to help aging, scarring, skin tone and texture. FACE has taken this a step further to launch its Stem Cell DIVA™ to incorporate oxygenation and phototherapy, and PRP Stem Cell VIVA™ using fractional RF for even greater rejuvenation and tightening. FACE is the first in the world to bring these advances together. A celebrity favorite to beautiful skin without the downtime!
Because the procedure utilizes the body’s own rich blood, it revitalizes and enhances the skin in a way that synthetic products can’t without side effects or surgery. The platelet growth factors, platelet rich fibrin matrix [PRFM], stimulate new growth and energy to correct lines, wrinkles and enhance color. It uses your own body to help beautify your body.
Vampire facelift is an aesthetic medical treatment that offers a younger looking skin. When providing a patient with the treatment, the certified dermatologist draws the blood of the patient, to create a unique substance, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is again injected into the aged or wrinkled skin, which has to be treated. The procedure ensures that no harmful side effects and allergies occur, as the filler substance is sourced from the skin of the patient. With this therapy, according to physicians and medical science, the wrinkles and other signs of aging can be cured effectively.
Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including: plans to have surgery; had surgery on your face; have trouble raising your eyebrows; drooping eyelids; any other abnormal facial change; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant (it is not known if BOTOX® Cosmetic can harm your unborn baby); are breast-feeding or plan to (it is not known if BOTOX® Cosmetic passes into breast milk).
The vampire facelift takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes to perform. Before the procedure is performed, the surgeon needs to first draw blood from the patient (not with fangs, but with a syringe), then separate the platelets from the blood. The platelets and various natural fillers are then injected into the areas the patient has requested, such as the cheeks, mouth lines, under the eyes, etc. The vampire facelift costs anywhere between $800 to $1500, depending on where you have it done. If you have it done in a bigger city like San Francisco or New York, you’re going to pay a little more. As for recovery time, your face may be a little red afterwards, but it will go away in a few hours.
While the first line of action to fight fine lines and other signs of aging is likely some new skin care products or potent serums and boosters, some aging processes can’t be improved to the level we’d like with topical products alone. Now, women (including, reportedly, Kim Kardashian) are taking a page from True Blood and using their own blood to turn back the clock on aging skin.
If you’ve ever wanted a facelift but were too afraid to go under the knife, a vampire facelift can be a great solution for you. And no, it’s not as scary as it sounds! For example, does your face look a little tired and your skin a little dull? Maybe you just want your face to look younger and more refreshed. Would you like to try something a little unconventional to help you deal with these problems? Well, a Vampire Facelift is a non-surgical facelift in which a mixture of natural fillers and plasma from the patient’s own blood is injected into specific areas of the patient’s face. It smoothes out lines and wrinkles in your face, using only natural products from your own body. The vampire facelift is a relatively new procedure and is very popular with celebrities. This kind of procedure is used by people who don’t want to use lasers and would prefer a more natural approach. So now you’re probably asking yourself, how does this work? Are any vampires involved in the vampire facelift? Will I live forever and have to sleep in a coffin? Does the Vampire Facelift really work? Are there any side effects associated with the Vampire Facelift? How long does it take to see a result?
Platelet Rich Plasma contains growth factors which are important for new cell generation and functions, such as creating new collagen and strengthening elastins, and are extremely beneficial to the skin. Microneedling allows for deep penetration of the growth factors and improves the results of the treatment significantly. This procedure is appropriate for those patients looking to:
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t super amped about this assignment because it sounded like this was going to hurt, but I’ll do whatever it takes for a good story. Plus, I knew I was in good hands because one of my favorite estheticians, Rhiannon Terese would be performing the treatment at Lorenc Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Med Spa. Dr.Lorenc is famous for inventing the Botox brow lift. As a fan of Botox I took this as a very good sign. That and the fact that I’d heard nothing but rave reviews about the plastic surgeon and his practice.
As far as risks go, there aren't as many as you might think. In fact, Shamban explained that the only risk you really run is bruising at the time of the venipuncture. Aside from the discomfort of a blood draw and bruising from injection or microneedling, Zeichner says the vampire facial is "extremely safe, as it is your body's own blood being recycled."