The “Vampire Facial” – also known as a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial – first made a splash five years ago when Kim Kardashian was famously featured enjoying the procedure during an episode of her television show, “Kim and Kourtney Take Miami.” The widely circulated photos of the procedure were fairly gruesome, showing Kim with blood all over her face. Yikes!
When Cherry Hill MedSpa introduced the PRP Facial to Longview, I was intrigued. Would it live up to the billing of being similar to a facelift? I recently had the pleasure of experiencing the procedure firsthand. And guess what? It was nowhere near as scary as it sounds. The lowdown on my experience follows, but first, a little background …
Platelet rich plasma has been used in sports medicine for years, re-injected into the body to repair injured muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. It also has been used in other cosmetic applications, just as hair regeneration. Incorporating PRP into facials is a logical next step.
You may recall the SkinPen facial I wrote about last year; the SkinPen is a microneedling tool that pricks your skin to create tiny channels in your face so that it better absorbs product that is infused during the procedure. In addition, the tiny micro injuries to your skin stimulate collagen production.
The PRP Facial takes SkinPen to a whole new level – here’s where the vampire part comes in. Rather than using a commercially produced serum on your skin while applying the SkinPen, the aesthetician uses your very own platelet rich plasma obtained by centrifuging your very own blood. Benefits include smoothing of fine lines, wrinkles and crepey texture, reduction in appearance of sunspots, broken capillaries and redness as well as improved hydration and plumpness.
At my appointment, I laid back in the treatment chair as Gina Archer, who is a registered nurse, explained the procedure and applied numbing cream to my face and neck. Next, Gina drew a vial of blood from my arm. As I waited for the numbing cream to take effect, Gina centrifuged my blood in the adjacent work area. The result was the yellowish-clear plasma rich protein, free of red blood cells.
Side note: I asked Gina about the crazy Kim Kardashian pictures – the ones with her face covered in blood after her Vampire Facial. Gina said she suspected that the centrifuge that was used for her procedure didn’t spin all the red blood cells out. She assured me that that PRP that would be applied to my face would not be bloody. Relief!
Next, Mandy Faughn joined us for phase two of the facial. She finished prepping me for the SkinPen by cleansing the numbing cream from my face and neck. Then she applied the PRP to my face in sections, followed by passes of the SkinPen microneedling device. The numbing cream does a pretty great job; the only areas where I had any discomfort were around my hairline and the bridge of my nose, both areas without much fat to cushion the SkinPen. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the discomfort as a 3, so not a big deal.
The entire procedure – from application of the numbing cream to walking out the door – took about an hour. I experienced some minor redness immediately following the procedure, though I don’t think it was enough to be considered downtime. There was one aspect of my post-procedure appearance that gave me pause, however; Mandy advised me to wear the dried PRP on my face for six to eight hours. I looked fine to wait in the car line to pick my kids up from school (nobody screamed when they saw me), but going back to the office with dried plasma all over my face would give me pause.
As you can see from the pictures, my skin tone improved and the redness diminished quickly. I was able to use normal moisturizer and apply makeup the following day, and all redness subsided within three or four days. When I followed up with a VISIA Skin Complexion Analysis at Cherry Hill several weeks later, the computer could definitely tell a difference in my pores and fine lines. I continue to see improvement in my skin tone and elasticity even several months after the facial.
Don’t be scared of the vampire – treat yourself to a PRP Facial!
Bye Bye Eye Baggage
I recently discovered a new product that I love – Dr. Brandt Needles No More No More Baggage eye de-puffing gel. The gel uses Filmatrix technology, peptides and botanical extracts to visibly reduce circles and bags. I am not sure what Filmatrix technology is, but it works. You feel an instant tightening sensation, but not drying, when applied.
Pair the Dr. Brandt gel with one of my two favorite under eye concealers and you will be bright eyed and ready to tackle anything. Merle Norman Dual Action Concealer is fabulous for covering dark circles and lasts all day without fading or faltering. Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer is a lightweight formula available in 12 shades with a cool applicator tip reminiscent of a pencil eraser.