The Vampire Facial – Just for Suckers?
by Portia QuinnThe Vampire Facial had its mainstream launch in 2013 (though it was around for several years before that) when a voucher for a treatment was put in the Oscars goodie bags. Then when reality TV celebrity Kim Kardashian posted pics of her bloodied face on Instagram post-treatment in 2014, many of us were put off by the gruesomeness of the idea. PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), its real name, still holds a fascination for many of us, in part due to its gimmicky nickname. What’s surprising is that it is actually quite simple and pain-free; and the before-and-after photos I’ve seen look amazing.
The procedure itself involves using a tiny needle to withdraw a small amount of your blood (a couple of tea spoonsful); then this blood is processed to take out just the platelet-rich plasma which is then injected back in to the skin.
Sounds like a gimmick? Well, here are some fun facts about PRP that might change your mind: PRP contains several different growth factors and other cytokines that can stimulate healing of soft tissue. This is applied in many areas other than cosmetic rejuvenation such as some dental and hair loss treatments; the treatment of musculoskeletal or nerve injuries; to promote healing of tendon and muscle injuries and arthritis; and to aid the accelerated healing of bone grafts and wounds.
With that in mind the positive claims for PRP in facial rejuvenation are more compelling. In fact they are far-reaching: tightening and lifting sagging jowls; double chins; reducing lines and wrinkles on the forehead; plumping thinning lips; and around and under the eyes. Apart from the tightening and lifting the skin is also said to have a really healthy glow post treatment.
The magic of separating the red blood cells from the platelet-rich plasma occurs by placing the blood sample into a centifruge where it is spun for about 10 minutes. The isolated PRP is then put into a vial.
An anaesthetic cream is applied to numb your skin and the magic substance is injected using a very small needle into the dermis of the face, chin and neck. The idea is that the punctured skin tries to heal itself with the aid of PRP which should promote the production of collagen to naturally plump and lift the skin. The full effects are said to take about 6 weeks to see.
Variations on the treatment exist. Some providers use microneedling/dermapen instead of needles to apply the PRP. And in some cases a radio frequency machine is rolled over the skin for about 10 minutes after the injections, producing a warm feeling for the patient and increasing the absorption of the PRP into the dermis.
Other positives are also clear: No toxins are introduced into your body; no loss of movement occurs, as with Botox; and no over-plumping, as with fillers, which can look a bit odd and unnatural.
Having said all that, no-one at the Best Ever Me team has had the guts to try it yet. Have you? If so let us know! Would you recommend it to a friend? Post a review and, better still, send us your before and after photos!