The rise of ‘Vampire Facials’
If you faint at the sight of blood, or if the sight of needles makes you shiver, this latest beauty trend might not be for you. It promises to banish wrinkles, brighten the skin and has already gathered an impressive list of a-list superfans. Head to Instgram and search for #vampirefacial to see scores of celebrities and ordinary people with their faces smeared with blood, all in the name of beauty. You’d be forgiven for thinking Halloween has come early, but no, this isn’t a costume. It’s the latest beauty treatment known as the vampire facial, or PRP therapy, and could be on track to become more popular than the chemical peel.
How does it work?
This extreme anti-ageing treatment works by extracting the platelet-rich plasma from your own blood, and then injecting this back into the face with microneedles. It isn’t as gruesome as it sounds, and most recipients report little to no pain.
A trained professional extracts a few tablespoons from the arm in a non-invasive way, similar to how you would give blood in a medical setting. This blood is then processed by spinning it in a machine to separate the plasma-rich platelets from the red and white blood cells. This PRP is then injected into the face using a dermapen. The needle in the pen penetrates the skin’s surface by 2.5mm, resulting in a light pinprick feeling.
As the dermapen causes slight trauma to the skin which encourages the lower layers of the dermis to renew and produce collagen. The presence of the platelet-rich plasma works to supercharge the effects of the dermapen and
How was it discovered?
This isn’t a new kind of treatment, and has been used in a medical setting for the past 30 years. PRP therapy has been used to help burn victims with their recovery, and even helped athletes such as Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal to recover from injury. It is now making waves as a cosmetic treatment that can help to treat a number of skin conditions, in addition to providing anti-ageing benefits.
Is it safe?
Provided the treatment is carried out by a registered aesthetician, the vampire facial is a very safe treatment. The real danger with this treatment comes from the extraction of your blood. This must be done in a clean environment by a trained professional to ensure you aren’t at risk of any blood-borne diseases.
What if something goes wrong?
As this is still a relatively new treatment, there will be plenty of unqualified professionals cropping up and trying to make a quick buck on the back of this trend. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is, so avoid any disappointment and potential lasting damage by doing your research before having this treatment. If you have an adverse reaction or suffer an infection as a result of a PRP treatment, you may be able to make a cosmetic surgery claim. The important thing is to make sure you only use a qualified professional who has plenty of experience in carrying out the treatment.