While Vampire Facials sound scary, they are really anything but. They do, however, involve blood. First made popular by none other than Kim Kardashian, the Vampire Facial has gone mainstream. But what exactly is a Vampire Facial and what does it have to do with vampires anyway? Is it really the fountain of youth or just another skincare trend du jour? I asked several medical experts to reveal the untold truth of Vampire Facials.
They cannot be a substitute for plastic surgery
While Vampire Facials are a very effective treatment, unfortunately they cannot do exactly what plastic surgery can. Dr. Gary Goldenberg, also of Goldenberg Dermatology, explained, “Plastic surgery such as a facelift pulls the skin up and laterally (to the sides). The extra skin is cut out. A Vampire Facial helps with skin complexion, etched in wrinkles and lines, melasma, acne, and acne scarring. These are different problems than what a facelift or plastic surgery can help with.”
Comparing plastic surgery to a Vampire Facial is kind of like comparing apples and oranges. They’re both fruits, but definitely not the same thing. “Plastic surgery cannot help with the problems Vampire Facial can address,” he said. “Surgical treatments cannot solve the problems that the Vampire Facial can address.”
…But vampire facials can be a great alternative to other treatments
Despite the differences between surgical procedures and Vampire Facials, they can both help you achieve a more youthful look. The Vampire Facial can be a great alternative if you don’t want the expense or downtime of surgery.
Dr. Kristina Goldenberg explained to me how this is possible. “Vampire Facials allow for facial rejuvenation to happen in a natural way, by stimulating collagen production and improving elasticity of the skin. Although this treatment is very effective, the results can take weeks to months. A surgical facelift, however, will give immediate results because the correction is achieved by the surgeon rather than by the skin itself. Also, results from Vampire Facial will never be as dramatic as from a surgical facelift because it’s a natural, more subtle approach.”
To make a Vampire Facial even more effective, she suggests combining it with ultherapy to tighten the skin.
These procedures can help all of your skincare products work more effectively
Many people who get PRP Facials might be under the impression that their skincare products are suddenly working better, but that is incorrect. The products themselves aren’t changing, but rather, the skin is healing itself.
Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Sheila Nazarian explained why. “[Because] the procedure is used in conjunction with microneedling, it tricks the face into thinking it is massively injured. PRP contains the signals that are triggered when your body is trying to heal an injury. By creating micro-injuries with microneedling and also placing PRP into those injuries, you get heightened collagen growth.”
You need to take proper precautions after your procedure
As with any medical procedure, you need listen to your doctor and follow his or her aftercare instructions. But luckily because the Vampire Facial uses your own blood as opposed to artificial substances, there aren’t too many precautions you need to take.
However, Dr. Sal says you still need to watch for swelling. “The injection of platelets back into your face (either by direct injection with a standard needle or by diffusion after microneedling) will cause your face to become a bit swollen and flushed. So to reduce the swelling post-procedure, I recommend avoiding any strenuous activity for at least one to two days, as well as using a couple pillows under your head, to keep your head slightly propped while sleeping during the first night.”
You should have them done regularly
Unlike a surgical procedure, Vampire Facials aren’t one and done. While the results are long lasting, they aren’t permanent and the procedure may need to be repeated again.
Dr. Sal told me, “The effects of the Vampire Facial are fairly long lasting due to the growth factor in the platelets causing increased collagen production. However, due to the body’s normal aging process, collagen in your face constantly depletes each year. So to counteract the constant collagen depletion, I recommend repeating the vampire facial once a year to ensure renewed collagen production.”
Is this just a fleeting trend?
While we can’t seem to get enough vampire movies, television shows, and books, are Vampire Facials here to stay or are they just a fleeting trend? The answer, given everything we’ve discovered here, is probably that they are here to stay.
Unlike many popular skincare procedures, the Vampire Facial is the only one that does not require injecting a foreign substance into your body. It is also unique because it can help with a variety of skincare problems. So you can think of PRP as a procedure for the people and the Kardashians.