(in fact, it has a fairy tale ending!)
The name alone is enough to put you off, let alone the awful images that pop up when you Google ‘Vampire Facial’ but I can assure you, the reality is very different.
The Vampire Facial, unsurprisingly, earned its name from the use of blood in the treatment. However, the correct name is the PRP facial (as in; Platelet-Rich Plasma) and it is only the plasma that is reinjected into the skin (not the blood). In fact, the only ‘blood aspect’ of the treatment is when you have your blood taken- the same way you would at the Doctors. The vial of blood is then put through a centrifuge for 10 minutes to separate the red blood cells from the plasma. Plasma is rich in antibodies, enzymes and proteins, it is a crucial component of the blood which aids healing in wounds so has incredible regenerating abilities.
Techy-bit alert! Sorry!
The quality of the plasma largely depends on the way it is harvested (i.e the kit that is used to extract it from the blood). I had my PRP facial with the super-skilled Dr Tatiana Lapa at The Studio Clinic on Harley Street; Dr Lapa is hugely respected in the industry and will only use the highest quality in aesthetics, her PRP ‘kit’ of choice is Cellenis. It is worth asking your practitioner which kit they use (and then researching it) as this treatment does not come cheap and the results will noticeably differ depending on the kit used. Cellenis is a market leader in the US, and the UK is fast following suit due to the special coating in the pharmaceutical grade glass tubes and the patented separation gel, it is far superior to older style methods.
Despite how advanced this treatment is, it can actually be performed on your lunch break! After a thorough consultation with Dr Lapa, concerning skin goals and current lifestyle factors (this is not an ideal treatment for smokers due to the (poorer) quality of their blood) a numbing cream is applied over my entire face. While we are waiting for the cream to take effect, my blood is painlessly taken from my arm and put through the centrifuge. 10 minutes later we are ready to start! The extracted plasma is injected with the finest of needles into my face, and I can honestly say, I didn’t feel a thing! My whole face was treated and then Dr Lapa concentrated on areas I was more concerned about and areas that she thought I would most benefit from.
After the plasma has been injected, Dr Lapa uses a needling technique to push hyaluronic acid, vitamins and amino acids into the skin for an extra boost. The needling- similar to dermaroller- mechanically stimulates injury to the skin which tricks it into ‘repair mode’ and accelerates the rejuvenation process. And that’s the treatment complete! If you are going back to the office, there are definite signs that you have had an intense treatment so you may want to disguise the evidence with some mineral makeup powder (ideally you should leave the skin bare though).
This facial is great for any age group and any skin type (except active acne) as it works on lines/wrinkles and dull/dry/sallow skin but the real miracles are to be seen on scarred skin! The results on scars, especially acne scarring, are absolutely incredible- often after just 3 treatments the rejuvenation is such that the skin heals to a totally ‘normal’ state again.
Although you will see an initial boost to your skin a few days after the facial, the real results won’t be seen until 6 weeks to 3 months after the first treatment. I noticed a significant difference to my skin after 8 weeks; it very suddenly felt more supple, looked more radiant and responded better to products. I am struggling to think of a treatment I have ever had with such striking, long-term results -and I have had a lot of treatments in my time!
Your skin is an investment and this is a treatment you are guaranteed a return on!
1 Harley Street, London W1G 9QD.