Just from the name alone my initial reaction was probably like yours- revolted, yet also intrigued.
I don’t keep up with the Kardashians so I missed the episode where Kim K got one and put this facial on the map, so I’m a little behind on the fad. In case you missed it as well, here’s a pic of her in the middle of the procedure looking like she’s starring in a budget slasher film.
Why would anyone do this? Of course I had to spend countless hours after midnight googling it to find out. Once I was convinced there was no downside and overall very positive reviews I booked my own with James Christian Cosmetics who himself came with rave reviews.
About Me & My Skin
- Just turned 34
- Combination oily-dry skin, not often prone to break outs
- Sun worshipper (sorry, mom, I know)
- In the past year have seen an increase in fine lines popping up particularly around eyes and mouth, and deeper lines on my forehead
- My biggest gripe about my skin has always been (well, before I found my first wrinkle) how large my pores are and my uneven skin tone. I use foundation not to cover up acne but for these two reasons.
About the Vampire Facial
There are two main components of the facial, the use of your own Platelet Rich Plasma and Microneedling.
What’s the deal with Platelet Rich Plasma (or PRP)?
- Plasma is the liquid part of your blood. Platelets are cells in your blood best known for their importance in clotting, but they also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are very important in the healing of injuries.
- For almost 30 years surgeons have been using PRP to speed up recovery time because those growth factors recruit and increase reparative cells.
Microneedling is a procedure using a device covered with tiny, shallow needles to essentially poke holes in the skin surface. Those holes cause a “micro injury” that prompts skin to stimulate collagen production, which not only heals the injury, but also fills in fine lines and plumps up the skin. Collagen is a main component that helps keep our skin tight. As we age our body stops naturally producing it and environmental factors like smoke, pollution, toxins, and the sun damage the collagen we already have.
Average cost of the facial is $1,100-1500 a session. 2-3 are recommended per year, but if you have the budget and like the results you can do them as many times as you want.
Step 1: Numbing it Up
In preparation for the needles a numbing cream was applied to my face. Took about 30 minutes for it to kick in.
Step 2: Time to suck your blood
This is where the “Vampire” part of the facial gets its name. Your blood is drawn from your arm, no more than any normal blood test. Then it is put into a centrifuge that whips it around separating the red blood cells from the plasma, and there you get your PRP.
Step 3: The Microneedle
This microneedling device is rolled over the skin, causing the micro-tears which are then immediately injected with your PRP. Because of the numbing cream, there was almost no pain, in fact regular facials are more painful! If you can take one of those, you can definitely survive this tear free- unless your Kim Kardashian and have to cry for the cameras. It took about 20 minutes total , so the entire procedure is done in under an hour.
The After Effects
(The pictures of myself have not been altered or filtered in any way)
I told my boss I could come in after the procedure, but I would have to lock myself in my office and I could under no circumstances be face to face with clients. I don’t think he took me seriously because when he saw me he actually let out a yelp and then, after composing himself, asked mid conversation if I needed to be driven to the emergency room. But, as I told him, it looks a hell of a lot worse than it feels. Even as the numbing cream started to fade off there was no pain just a bit of discomfort, like I got a bad windburn.
Day 2. Although it does look like I took a beating, bruising was particularly bad under the eyes where the skin is always more sensitive, but there was no pain. You are also allowed to put on foundation, I chose not to, but it was nice to know that option was there in case I needed it.
Day 3. I woke up and expected it to look like how I went to sleep the night before, and instead found this in the mirror. Wow! Not even 48 hours and all the redness and bruising was almost completely gone and my skin literally looked “dewey”. The guy I always get my coffee from in the morning actually said “Wow! I don’t know what’s different, but you look great!” Someone else stopped me and told me I was “glowing.”
6 Weeks Later
(It takes 12-16 weeks for the full results to show up and I will be updating in a few months)
My skin looks and feels tighter and smoother, the overall skin tone is even for the first time since pre-adolescence. My pores are microscopic compared to what they were before. The fine lines are all but gone; deeper lines will need botox or filler, but I knew that going in there. My freckles even seem to have faded. I often go out now with only moisturizer, which is not something I used to do. I would absolutely recommend this procedure and will be doing it again with James!
James Christian has three locations, one in Manhattan and two in Long Island. He, and his staff, are absolutely wonderful, professional, and talented.