Don't let the name fool you. In fact, this skin care treatment is almost exclusively performed during daylight hours. In all seriousness, "Vampire Facial is the term used when we incorporate the use of the patient’s own Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) with micro-needling," explains George.
Vampire facials have been effective in treating a variety of skin concerns, from general ageing and preventative ageing to acne scars and uneven skin tone.
Micro-needling encourages skin resurfacing and cell turn-over, while the PRP stimulates the production of new collagen and elastin. The result is a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, minimising the appearance of scaring, improving skin turgor and evening the overall tone and texture of the skin.
Additionally, PRP injections can be used to treat the following: Lines around the mouth, under eye bags, dark circles and crepey skin and hair loss injections.
Sound serious? Well, it sort of is - since the treatment begins with a blood draw. But, contrary to popular belief, it's relatively painless — aside from the first needle pinch. What's more? True downtime is only two days.
Kelly George took us through the steps of a typical treatment, explaining:
"Upon arrival, a topical numbing cream is applied to ensure the procedure is comfortable. We then take a small amount of blood (usually from the patient’s arm, like a normal blood test). This blood is then spun down in a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells from the plasma. Plasma is the yellowish component of the blood, which is rich in the platelets required for the treatment.
"Once the patient is numb, we fully cleanse the face and apply a serum to enable “slip” of the micro-needling device. Then while we are performing the micro-needling, we are “infusing” the plasma into the tissue. The tiny micro-needles essentially push the plasma into the layers of the skin.
"Depending on the patient’s individual requirements, we may also take the procedure one step further and inject the plasma directly into the skin around the eyes or mouth (areas of the face that tend to age more quickly). This helps to significantly thicken and tighten the skin in those areas."
Side effects are short lived because blood platelets are rich in growth factors that repairs damaged tissue, combining PRP with micro-needling actually speeds up the healing process.
Immediately afterwards, your skin will look sunburnt - warm and tight, but not uncomfortable at all. By the next day, the skin will appear only a light shade of pink and a little rough to touch.
"On rare occasions, patients might get a little bit of bruising around the eyes or mouth. While the skin is resurfacing, there might be mild peeling or crusting of the skin," George notes. "By day seven the skin will feel substantially softer and smooth to touch."
You can expect to see results over the coming weeks; with your complexion appearing plump and nourished with the new collagen within skin cells.
Are you a candidate?
In short, most likely. PRP facials are suitable for all ages. From younger clients with problematic skin or acne scarring to older clients looking to rejuvenate their visage. For the best results, George recommends 3-4 sessions, approximately a month apart and then a maintenance schedule to boost client's collagen production.
"At around thirty, we stop producing new collagen." Concurrently, the existing collagen starts to decline (fast), so anything we can do to promote the production of collagen will improve skin's texture and elasticity.
"If you're in your thirties, I recommend a minimum of one PRP facial per year for preventative ageing and for those in their forties, two treatments per year."
The cost will vary depending on what combination of treatment is required, the price will range from around $400 - $800 per session.
Looking for more anti-ageing beauty tips? Check out, The 6 Best Vitamin C Serums For Brighter, Radiant Skin; a beginner's guide to getting your glow back.