Vampire Facials: What’s The Big Deal?

Blood and vampires used to mean just one thing: Dracula. Then came the HBO hit series True Blood and the world became a little bit obsessed with all things blood sucking (he-llo, Alexander Skarsgard)…

These days, however, any beauty connoisseur worth her retinol sees the word ‘vampire’ and immediately veers towards 2017’s hottest, medical-grade skin rejuvenating treatment, the vampire facial. Otherwise known as Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy (PRP), the benefits of having plasma from your own blood injected into your face (using microneedling such as the MicroPen) are endless – and the added bonus is there’s very little risk involved.

But it’s kinda weird, right? Your own blood? Taken out of your body and put back in your face? What the… whaaaaat?

In a bid to find out if PRP is all it’s cracked up to be, we caught up with Holly Madden, 28, Marketing Manager and Cosmetic Consultant at Shahin Fazilat, MD in Mountain View, CA to hear about her first experience.

Q. Hey Holly, so let’s talk PRP with the MicroPen. Did you have any preconceptions about having the treatment (ie: what it would entail and the kind of results you would see)?

“Absolutely. I was nervous about downtime and the pain associated with the treatment. I’m a big baby when it comes to needles, so the thought of 12, 32 gauge needles going into my face sort of terrified me. I was hoping to see a reduction in pore size and overall skin rejuvenation, and I’m still in awe of my actual results. Luckily the things I was worried about were no big deal.”

Q. Why did you decide to give it a go?

“I’m 28, so fine lines and wrinkles are starting to show up on my face and I know that the MicroPen is truly a treatment that fits all patients. At Shahin Fazilat, M.D. we recommend MicroPen and PRP for acne scarring, anti-aging, dark spots, discoloration and just about every other concern you can think of. I wanted to try something that had minimal downtime to address my texture, acne and aging issues. Many of our patients have the treatment done and I love their results, so I figured I would try it.”

Q. Did you have specific skin concerns you wanted to address?

“Yes, I have large pores, texture issues and residual acne scarring from teenage years.”

Q. Talk us through the treatment. First off, how long did the procedure take?

“The treatment took just one hour, from start to finish. No time at all.”

Q. Can you talk us through the different steps and how they felt?

“First, the nurse drew my blood and spun it in a centrifuge to separate out the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Our nurses have a really gentle touch, so the blood draw was painless. Then, I was instructed to wash my face and pat it dry. A topical numbing cream was applied 30 minutes prior to the actual treatment start time, then, once I was numb, my nurse started the first pass with the needle tips on each area of my face. She used my own PRP to help glide the needles over each area and the PRP seeps into the micro-channels made by the needles and helps to stimulate new collagen and elastin production. PRP is often referred to as liquid gold because of its healing properties.”

Q. Be honest, did it hurt?

“The areas that were a bit more uncomfortable were my upper lip and forehead. Areas of the face that have less fat tend to be a little more sensitive.”

Q. Was it exactly what you expected?

“No! I thought it was going to be painful, but it was easy and the results were totally worth the mild discomfort.”

Q. What was the best and worst part about the procedure?

“My favorite part has been my teeny tiny pores, fewer breakouts, reduced fine lines and over all texture improvements. My skin has never looked or felt better! The worst part was how much I worried about it beforehand! It’s an easy treatment, with beautiful results.”

Q. How did your skin look and feel…

Immediately afterwards? “Red and really tight. The PRP dries and you’re not supposed to wash it off until the next day – pretty gross but worth it!”

The next day? “Still red and slightly sunburned. My face then started to peel a little on days three and four.”

A week/two weeks later? “Glowing, super-soft and I was already able to see a reduction in pore size. The results continued to improve… and they still are a few months later!”

Immediately after treatment…

… and 24 hours later

Q. How did the results compare to other treatments you may have tried?

“I haven’t tried anything like MicroPen and PRP, so I can’t really compare. It’s such a unique treatment with so many benefits. Most treatments are targeted to address one or two issues, but this addresses all of them.”

Q. Would you have MicroPen and PRP again or was once enough?

“For sure, I already have myself on the schedule for my next treatment. It’s now a firm part of my beauty plan. The recommended course of treatments is between three and five treatments, four to six weeks apart, so I’m going to finish this first round and then do it once or twice a year for maintenance.”

Q. Who would you recommend it to?

“Everyone! We are all aging, all the time, so I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to see an improvement in their skin.”

Q. Lastly, if you had to describe MicroPen and PRP in one word?

“Effective. Who doesn’t want better skin?”