The platelets, in particular, contain pockets called alpha granules, which secrete high levels of growth factors — more than 20, if you want to talk specifics. “They’ve been shown to be effective for wound healing, as well as improving skin elasticity, volume, and texture,” Kim says.
When platelet-rich plasma is reintroduced to skin on its own through a non-invasive procedure, cell turnover is stimulated, and in turn, collagen and elastin production is ramped up for a plumper, tighter, and smoother complexion, Marina Peredo, a board-certified dermatologist and an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, previously shared with Allure.
What is the vampire facial process like?
Now, you’re probably wondering how your blood goes from flowing through your veins to spread onto your face. Well, you’ll need to get your blood drawn first. Then, the vials of your blood are placed in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets from your red blood cells.
From there, your dermatologist could go a couple of different routes with PRP. Your platelets can be injected directly into your skin like fillers “to stimulate collagen production and achieve rejuvenation,” Kim says.
Alternately, you can combine your PRP treatment with other ones, like microneedling (occasionally with radiofrequency), microdermabrasion, or a resurfacing laser, like Fraxel, he adds. These procedures prep your skin for your PRP to be spread all over it. These pairings further stimulate collagen production, reduces fine lines, and accelerates wound healing. In Korea, PRP treatments are also often done in conjunction with Skin Botox, which involves shallow injections just below the skin’s surface of a neurotoxic protein, for the ultimate skin elasticity-boosting elixir, Lee says.
Depending on how aggressive the microdermabrasion was, recovery might take a day or two of downtime before you’re ready to hit the streets, Shamban says. You’re sure to emerge from treatment a bit red, almost like a sunburn. Post-procedure sunscreen is even highly recommended. However, makeup is discouraged.
Who benefits most from PRP treatments?
Those with premature wrinkles, high levels of sun damage, or anyone who desires a fresher, more even-toned complexion are ideal candidates for the vampire facial, Shamban says. However, if you have a history of blood diseases, including clotting or bleeding disorders, you should avoid PRP treatments.
In the risks and side effects department, you won’t find as many as you may imagine. In fact, Shamban explained that the only risk you really run is bruising from getting your blood drawn, as well potential, minor bruising on your face from the injections or microneedling.
How much does PRP cost?
In a dermatologist’s office (where you should definitely pursue the procedure over other options), the treatments will probably set you back around $1,000, according to Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The price truly varies depending on your provider, though. Multiple treatments may be needed for optimal results, he adds. Also, keep in mind the treatment should be performed no more than once a month.
Read more about blood-based treatments:
Now, watch as an Allure editor gets a bee venom facial: