Does It Work? – Beautiful With Brains


Have you heard of the Vampire Facelift facial? Kim K made it famous when she posted a selfie with her blood covering her face. Looks more like a Halloween costume than a beauty treatment, if you ask me. And one I’m not sure I’ll ever get on board with. Call me a wimp, but the sight of blood makes me queasy.

Once, when I was about 12, it also made me faint. I like to think that now that I’m all grown-up, I’m stronger and less impressionable, but the truth is that I’ll always be a wimp who recoils at the sight of blood. Even fake blood! I have to watch most True Blood and Game Of Thrones episodes through my fingers…

So, I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would be willing to take some of their blood out and reinject it back (after it’s been separated with a centrifuge) into their face in the name of beauty (unless Eric Northman performs the procedure, ahem. 😉 )

This creepy treatment is called Selphyl, platelet-rich plasma injections, or PRP facial. But we all know it as vampire facelift. According to the Vampire Facelift website, it’s supposed to promote “collagen growth and long-term skin rejuvenation.” That’s scientific jargon for “treating wrinkles and making skin smoother.” But, does the vampire facelift really work?

What’s Blood?

I have to get a bit scientific here, but I’ll try to make it fun. Human blood is made up of four parts: red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma.

  • Plasma is the liquid portion of blood where blood cells float. It also contains lots of other important stuff, such as proteins, hormones, nutrients and waste materials.
  • Red blood cells transport oxygen around your body.
  • White blood cells are the guardians of the body and defend it from diseases.
  • Cell platelets help the blood clot. They also contain growth factors and proteins that help repair and regenerate tissue.

How does all this help you get rid of wrinkles? Let’s find out…

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What’s The Vampire Facelift?

The vampire facelift is a cosmetic treatment that uses your own blood to rejuvenate your skin. If you’re the adventurous type who thinks getting pricked by a needle in the name of beauty is no big deal, here’s what to expect:

Step 1: The doctor will first draw blood from your arm (still sure you want to give it a go? I’m outta here already!). Usually, they collect between 10 and 15ml of blood (the equivalent of one tablespoon).

Step 2: Your blood goes into a centrifuge (a machine that separates blood components by density).

Step 3: The red blood cells are the densest, so they sink to the bottom. They’re all removed from the solution. You don’t need them for this.

Step 4: The platelet-rich plasma solution is ready. It has only two layers: a small layer of white blood cells and platelets and a bigger one of plasma.

Step 5: Calcium chloride or thrombin are added to the platelet-rich plasma solution to activate the growth factor before injection.

Step 6: Blood is injected back into your face.

The entire procedure takes between

FUN FACT: Remember those creepy pix of Kim K all slathered in blood? That’s nonsense. It’s the red blood cells that give blood their colour and they remove all of those from the final solution. But hey, that makes for an intriguing story, doesn’t it?

Vampire Facelift Benefits

Why go through this ordeal (yes, being pricked by a needle IS an ordeal, if you’re a wimp) in the first place? The reasoning behind it is this: the platelet-rich plasma contains plenty of growth factors, so it should promote the growth of cells and speed up the healing process.

  1. It helps treat wrinkles: Platelet-rich plasma triggers cellular turnover (the skin’s natural exfoliating process) and boosts the production of collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep skin firm and elastic. The more collagen and elastin your skin has, the slower wrinkles develop and the less deep they are. According to a 2010 study, it does improve the appearance of nasolabial folds (the deep wrinkles that form from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth).
  2. It fades away dark spots: A 2021 study shows that PRP therapy is effective at treating melasma – although it works better when combined with other therapies, like micro needling. I wouldn’t rely on a Vampire Facelift for this, but if you have dark spots, this’ll help you fade them away faster, too.
  3. It helps with scarring: A Vampire Facelift accelerates the skin’s natural exfoliating process, which in turns leads to a visible improvement in the appearance of acne scars. The catch? This too works better when PRP therapy is paired with micro needling than on its own. Together, they’re more effective than Vitamin C (which isn’t the stronger treatment to begin with) at this.

Does The Vampire Facelift Work?

The Vampire Facelift does something. It reduces wrinkles and can even help treat melasma and scarring. The catch? It works better when paired with other (expensive!) treatments, like micro needling. “During a traditional microneedling treatment, needles create tiny insults in the skin, stimulating the skin to repair itself with new collagen and elastin,” explains board-certified dermatologist Melissa Doft. A Vampire Facelift contains growth factors to help stimulate repair that, when paired with micro needling, can penetrate deeper into your skin and give you better and faster results.

Vampire Facelift Side Effects

A Vampire Facelift is a non-surgical procedure that requires only topical anesthesia and minimal downtime. After the facial, your skin may look red for up to 12 to 24 hours. You may also experience a slight swelling and itching (no pain!). Some people also experience peeling. If that’s you, don’t use makeup until that’s over.

How Many Sessions Do You Need?

Although you sill see an improvement after just one session, board-certified dermatologist Kim Nichols says you need “a series of at least six PRP injection treatments, spaced about four weeks apart,” to achieve best results. She continues: “You can see a visible reduction in redness, diminished acne scarring, and improved overall skin texture.” The price changes depending on the area you live and who is performing it, but it usually ranges between $250 and $1000 (and that’s usually for one session!). Results last for about a year.

Who Should Get A Vampire Facelift?

In theory, anyone can get a Vampire Facelift, but you’ll get the most benefits if you have fine lines, wrinkles, or lots of sun damage.

Who Should NOT Get A Vampire Facelift?

Although a Vampire Facelift doesn’t have any serious side effects for most people, you should avoid it if you history of blood diseases, including clotting or bleeding disorders. It’s also not suitable for people with Hepatitis C, HIV or AIDS, and skin cancer in the area to be treated.

Vampire Facelift VS Vampire Facial

Vampire facelifts and vampire facials are easy to confuse. You’ll be forgiven for thinking they are the same thing. They’re similar, but not identical. A vampire facelift combines a filler, like hyaluronic acid, with PRP. These fillers have plumping and smoothing effects, so your skin will immediately look younger. This combination is best suitable for those who want to firm skin.

Vampire facials combine PRP with micro needling, which uses tiny needles to make tiny pricks on your skin. This allow the blood to penetrate deeper into your skin and give you better results. This combination is best suitable for those who want to reduce the appearance of acne scars.

The Bottom Line

The vampire facelift, unlike an encounter with a real vampire, is safe. But I’m still not convinced it’s as effective as other treatments, especially as you need to pair it with other fillers or treatments to get the most out of it. I’ll just skip the needle and stick to a retinoid serum for now, thank you very much.



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