If you use social media, you’ve probably seen images of people with their faces covered in blood. No, they aren’t showing off a Halloween costume or prepping to be extras in a horror film. It’s more likely they’re all in the process of undergoing a vampire facial, aka a blood facial or PRP facial. Perhaps the best-known vampire facial selfie came from Kim Kardashian West, who posted a post-procedure shot of herself to promote an episode of her TV show.
So-called “extreme” facials have become increasingly popular recently — and not only because they’re great for racking up the likes on social media. The vampire facial helps minimize the appearance of specific signs of aging. This treatment helps repair the skin, smoothing wrinkles, reducing dark spots and improving texture. Learn more about this cosmetic treatment to see if it’s a good option for you. You can also schedule a consultation at Synergy Wellness Center to get more details on the PRP facial.
Understanding the Vampire Facial
A vampire facial is a minimally invasive cosmetic treatment that aims to improve skin. Although many people call it by its well-known nickname, this solution goes by several names, including:
- PRP facial
- Vampire mask
- Blood facial
- Microneedling with PRP
- Plasma facial
Whatever you call it, several features define a vampire facial. First, the treatment depends on platelet-rich plasma, which comes from the patient’s blood. PRP contains growth factors that can stimulate cell growth and turnover and speed up healing in the body. Along with its use in cosmetic treatments, doctors often use PRP to help athletes recover from injuries or to encourage hair growth in people struggling with baldness.
The vampire facial is a type of microneedling treatment. During microneedling, a medical provider moves an automated device with tiny needles over the skin. The needles create microscopic puncture wounds, stimulating cell turnover and encouraging collagen and elastin production. While you can get microneedling without PRP, the addition of PRP can greatly improve treatment results.
Vampire Facial Terms to Know
Some of the terms you’re likely to encounter as you learn about a vampire facial include the following.
- Platelet-rich plasma: PRP comes from blood and plays a crucial role in clotting and the body’s healing process. Once extracted from the blood, plasma can play a role in treatments designed to help speed up wound healing, ease pain, restore lost hair and improve the skin.
- Microneedling: Sometimes called “collagen induction therapy” or “dermarolling,” microneedling creates hundreds of tiny wounds across the skin’s surface. As the skin heals from the injuries, it produces more collagen, making the skin firmer and more elastic.
- Collagen: Collagen is a protein naturally found in the skin. It provides structure and support and is partly responsible for making the skin firm, supple and elastic. As people get older, their body produces less and less collagen. The loss of collagen can make skin saggy and can increase the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Benefits of a Vampire Facial
If you want to reduce the signs of aging or otherwise improve your skin’s appearance and health, you have options, from skin resurfacing to injectable fillers, as well as a PRP facial. Each choice has benefits, depending on your goals. Consider these advantages of a vampire facial.
- Improves the skin: Microneedling performed during a PRP facial helps boost collagen production, leading to firmer skin and fewer visible lines. The PRP used during the facial boosts the benefits of microneedling by further stimulating collagen production and speeding up cell turnover, so dullness and dark spots become less visible.
- Safety: PRP facials use your blood, meaning there is no chance of you having an allergic reaction to the substance and a reduced risk of infection from the treatment.
- Requires little downtime: Since it is a minimally invasive treatment, the vampire facial has little to no recovery time. You can get back to your usual activities pretty much right after treatment if you’d like. Your provider will give you details on caring for your skin after the facial to improve results.
- Performed in-office: The vampire facial is a relatively quick in-office treatment. The procedure consists of two steps, which take about 30 minutes each.
- Relatively pain-free: You might feel a slight pinch during the blood draw, and you may experience a pricking sensation as the needles move across your skin, but the PRP facial is relatively pain-free. To make it more tolerable, your provider will apply a numbing ointment to your face before starting the procedure.
What Does the Vampire Facial Process Entail?
Although a vampire facial takes less time to perform than some other cosmetic treatments and has a shorter recovery period afterward, several steps are involved. Knowing what to expect from a vampire facial, both before and after the procedure, will help you know how much time to allow for your appointment and what you might need to do in advance.
Before the Facial
The first step of the vampire facial process is to schedule a consultation at Synergy Wellness Center. During this meeting, you’ll learn more about the treatment and can decide whether it’s the right option for you.
If you decide to go ahead with the facial, you’ll complete any necessary paperwork at our wellness center. The aesthetic assistant will then clean your face to remove any dirt, oil or makeup. They’ll then apply a numbing cream to the skin. The topical anesthetic will need about 20-30 minutes to take effect.
During the Facial
After your skin is fully numb, the facial can begin. The PRP facial is a two-step process. During step one, your provider will draw blood. The arm is a common location for the blood draw. To help expedite the process, they might take the blood while you are waiting for the numbing cream to take effect.
Then, your provider will spin the blood in a centrifuge. The rapid spinning separates the plasma, which floats to the top of the vial. The other blood components sink to the bottom.
Once the plasma is ready and your face is numb, the medical provider can begin the microneedling treatment. They will move an automated device over the surface of your skin, creating tiny puncture marks. After microneedling, the provider will apply the PRP to your skin, massaging it in. These small wounds help the skin absorb the PRP better.
After the Facial
After massaging the PRP into the skin, your provider might apply a balm or lotion to help soothe it and reduce redness. You’ll be ready to go home as soon as the treatment is over.
You can resume most activities right after your appointment, and might feel well enough to drive yourself home. In some cases, you might decide to wait a day or so before going back to work or resuming other daily activities.
How Does a Blood Facial Work?
A blood facial or plasma facial works by combining two treatments: microneedling and PRP therapy. Microneedling creates tiny puncture wounds over the surface of the skin. A medical provider can perform the treatment with a roller covered in tiny needles or an automated device with a needle-covered tip.
When performed on its own, microneedling aims to stimulate collagen production. The body’s response to the small injuries is to produce more collagen to heal them. As the minuscule injuries heal, the increased collagen also helps resolve common concerns such as hyperpigmentation, uneven texture and fine lines.
During PRP therapy, a trained professional injects the plasma into areas of the body. The growth factors in the plasma speed up healing time by increasing cell turnover. Though there is the option of injecting PRP into the skin during a treatment called a vampire facelift, during a vampire facial, your provider massages the PRP into your skin after microneedling. Since microneedling has created tiny puncture wounds in your skin, it can absorb the PRP more thoroughly. You’ll also notice your moisturizers, serums and other topical products penetrate more deeply after your microneedling procedure.
Vampire Facial Target Areas
While microneedling on its own can be beneficial for the face and other areas like the hands and chest, the PRP facial is typically only for your face. It can help improve many of these common skin concerns.
- Dark spots: Microneedling stimulates cell turnover, which can remove dark spots like melasma, sun damage and freckles from the skin’s surface. The PRP encourages new cells to form, often erasing any hyperpigmentation and helping improve skin tone.
- Dullness: Increasing cell turnover helps exfoliate the skin, removing dead, dull cells. The new skin cells that form make you look more refreshed and youthful.
- Fine lines: While a vampire facial might not be able to treat deep creases and wrinkles, it can reduce the appearance of fine lines by encouraging cell turnover and improving collagen production.
Who Should Get a PRP Facial?
If you’ve recently started to see signs of aging on your face, such as delicate lines, uneven texture and sun spots, you might be an excellent candidate for a vampire facial. People who have scars, such as acne scars, might also see an improvement after a PRP facial. Depending on your goals and skin concerns, you might be able to combine a vampire facial with other non-surgical cosmetic treatments to get the best possible results.
Who Shouldn’t Get a Vampire Facial?
Although many people are well-qualified for a PRP facial, some people might need to reschedule the treatment or may not be qualified for it at all.
If you are currently pregnant, you might want to wait to have a vampire facial. We also don’t recommend this treatment for people who have skin conditions like rosacea or eczema. If you are currently treating acne with Accutane, you might want to postpone a vampire facial, as Accutane makes your skin hypersensitive. It’s also a good idea to wait to get a vampire facial if you’re currently experiencing an acne breakout, as the pimples you have now might leave scars that you’d want to treat later on.
Before your facial, let your doctor know about your complete medical history so they can give you the most accurate advice about the treatment.
Does a PRP Facial Hurt?
The thought of rolling tiny needles over your skin — creating hundreds, if not thousands, of pinpricks — sounds pretty painful, right? In reality, the vampire facial is pretty comfortable. The needles don’t go very deeply into the skin, and you won’t feel much of anything, thanks to the numbing cream. After treatment, your skin might feel slightly irritated and be a little red. You can easily manage any discomfort by using a gentle facial cleanser and applying a soothing lotion to your skin. Taking it easy and avoiding excess sun exposure will also help you avoid pain and irritation after the treatment.
How Long Will My Results Last?
How long can you expect to enjoy your renewed appearance after your vampire facial? That depends on a few factors, including the number of treatments you’ve had and how you care for your skin afterward. Avoiding excessive sun exposure, not smoking and eating a healthy diet will help you maintain your results. Scheduling follow-up or maintenance treatments, usually about once a month at first and every year or so after that, will also help extend your results’ duration.
Generally speaking, it might take some time before the full outcome is visible. Collagen production typically continues after the initial treatment, leading to an ongoing improvement in your skin’s texture, tone and overall appearance.
How Many Treatments Do I Need?
Usually, people see the best results from a vampire facial if they schedule three or four treatments, spaced one month apart. After this initial treatment series, many decide to schedule maintenance treatments, usually once or twice a year. Your needs might vary, and your doctor can help you choose the facial schedule that works best for you.
Contact Synergy Wellness to Schedule a Vampire Facial Consultation
If you’re ready to say goodbye to dark spots, fine lines or uneven skin texture, a PRP facial might be right for you. Synergy Wellness Center in Bakersfield, California, offers vampire facials and various other minimally invasive cosmetic treatments. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your goals and needs and to see if a vampire facial is the best treatment for you.