What is a Vampire Facial?
A Vampire Facial combines micro-needling with topical application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) derived from your blood for a treatment that can reduce scars, correct hyperpigmentation, tighten lax skin, and minimize fine lines and pores. The microneedling creates tiny pinpricks in your skin, triggering a healing response that stimulates your skin’s natural collagen and elastin production. It also makes it easier for your skin to absorb the PRP, which further boosts cell renewal.
How does a Vampire Facial work?
The PRP from your blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets that contribute to essential growth functions and healing. To prep the PRP, a sample of your blood is run through a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. In the case of a Vampire Facial, the microneedling device creates hundreds of tiny holes in the skin through which the PRP is absorbed. You’ll likely need multiple sessions for optimal results, though you’ll see increased radiance immediately. Over time, the PRP stimulates collagen production, increases cell turnover, and spurs the growth of new blood vessels, resulting in even longer-term effects.
What are the pros and cons of a Vampire Facial?
- The treatment is fast (typically less than an hour) and requires little downtime.
- It’s safe for all skin tones and types. Still, providers may microneedle to a more shallow depth and/or pretreat patients with olive or brown skin, to minimize the risk of hyperpigmentation.
- Benefits are seen immediately and improve over time as collagen production increases.
- There’s little chance of an allergic reaction since the PRP is derived from your own blood.
- While the Vampire Facial is a trademarked procedure that’s standardized by those licensed to perform it, many doctors offer customized treatments to meet the patient’s goals.
- The treatment can be mildly painful.
- Several monthly treatments are recommended to see full benefits, followed by maintenance sessions every six months.
- You’ll have some restrictions on exercise and other activities for a few days following your treatment.
- Because this procedure involves blood, there can be a risk of bloodborne disease transmission (including HIV) with an inexperienced provider who doesn’t follow proper safety protocols.
What happens during a Vampire Facial?
After we go over any questions you may have about the process, your blood will be drawn so the PRP can be concentrated. A topical anesthetic will be applied to numb your face.
The microneedling device, which contains single-use, sterile needle cartridges, will be moved across your skin in a stamp-like motion. Most devices have an adjustable needle head that customizes the depth of the needle pricks according to your skin type and the part of the face being treated. Usually, we will go deep enough into the skin to produce pinpoint bleeding.
Once the microneedling is complete and your skin is cleansed, the PRP is spread over your skin. We recommend leaving the PRP on for up to 24 hours, to reap the most benefits. If the dried blood looks too obvious, it’s okay to gently wash the PRP off after at least six hours and preferably after 12 hours.
What happens after a Vampire Facial?
Afterward, you’ll look and feel like you have a mild sunburn. In addition to being red, your face will be dry and a little flaky for up to two weeks after the procedure. This is because the dead skin is broken up and the tiny perforations will initially allow moisture to escape. Since your skin will be extra-sensitive, it’s important to avoid direct sun exposure and to use sunscreen for a few days following treatment—physical sunblocks that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are less likely to irritate sensitive skin. You’ll also want to avoid wearing makeup for at least two days, to avoid irritating the skin. Mild bruising under the eyes, where the skin is most sensitive, is also possible. To minimize discomfort, it may be recommended that you avoid exercise and other activities for a few days following your treatment. The entire recovery process shouldn’t take longer than a week.
Hyperpigmentation is possible after microneedling, especially for people with olive or brown skin. Some doctors may recommend a shallower needle depth with extra treatments, or they may pretreat the skin with medication intended to minimize the risk of hyperpigmentation. We skin-type each microneedling patient to anticipate for this and adjust the treatment depths according to the skin type. The good news is that hyperpigmentation from inflammation and small amounts of bleeding/bruising almost always fades away on its own.
What’s the difference between a Vampire Facelift and a Vampire Facial?
These treatments are easy to confuse, given their names; but aside from both using PRP, they’re actually very different.
A Vampire Facelift combines injections of PRP with hyaluronic acid-based fillers, like Juvederm or Restylane, to smooth lines and wrinkles, soften creases, enhance facial contours, lift sagging skin, and restore volume lost over time. A Vampire Facial targets large pores, acne scars, pigmentation, and fine lines with microneedling plus a topical layer of PRP. The facelift plumps, while the facial brightens and smooths your complexion.