Vampire Facial (PRP ~ Platelet Rich Plasma)
You've probably seen the photos on Instagram: A celebrity's face covered with blood splatter. No, it's not Halloween makeup, it's actually one of the latest treatment trends in skin care, also known as a "Vampire Facial." Celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West and J-Lo, are fans of the facial, which might look quite scary, but boasts big-time results.
What is it and how does it work?
Don't let the name fool you. In fact, "It's usually done in full light of day." In all seriousness, the treatment is a combination of a microdermabrasion, followed by the application of PRP (platelet-rich plasma). 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.
In laymen's terms: It's a facial that essentially uses your own blood to help promote the healthy activity of your skin cells. Our blood is comprised of red blood cells and serum, which contain our white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are rich in growth factors, which essentially act as energy boots for our skin. This helps our skin function optimally, increasing everything from collagen to elastin, while also bringing antioxidant and hydrating properties. Platelet-rich plasma is now commonly used topically as part of a regular facial, used along with microneedling to enhance penetration into the skin, and is even being injected into the skin in the same manner as dermal fillers.
The process includes the initial blood draw from your arm, then running the blood through a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. You'll then receive microneedling or microdermabrasion just before your PRPs are slathered across your face. It sounds gory and mysterious, but in fact, it is central to evolving and understanding of the physiology of the skin and advanced techniques with which to improve the quality of the skin.
Recovery is around one to two days downtime, depending on how aggressive the microdermabrasion was on your skin. At the end of the treatment you'll appear a bit red, and your face will feel tight, almost like a sunburn, which means post-procedure sunscreen is highly recommended. Applying makeup, and washing your face for that day is discouraged.
Are you a candidate?
Those with premature wrinkles, high levels of UV damage, or anyone who wants an even tone and fresher appearance to their skin is an ideal candidate for the procedure. However if you have a history of blood diseases, including clotting or bleeding disorders, you should not seek PRP treatment.
As far as risks go, there aren't as many as you might think. In fact, the only risk you really run is bruising at the time of the venipuncture on your arm. Aside from the discomfort of the blood being draw and bruising from injection or microneedling, the vampire facial is extremely safe, as it is your body's own blood being recycled.
How much does it cost?
Here at The Four B's treatment will set you back £150. Please note that multiple treatments may be needed for optimal results and that treatments should be performed no more than once a month.