The Vampire Facial has grown hugely in popularity since Kim Kardashian’s 2013 grisly photo of herself midway through treatment, with over 232 thousand mentions on Instagram and 37.6 million views on TikTok. The treatment combines microneedling with platelet-rich plasma derived from the clients’ own blood; and it’s been claimed that the procedure can give a youthful appearance that rivals that created by injectables like Botox or filler.
How Is The Treatment Performed?
Step One – The Blood Draw: The blood is usually drawn from the arm, then placed into a centrifuge and spun to separate the red blood cells and the platelet-poor plasma from the Platelet-Rich Plasma.
Step Two – Facial Cleansing and Numbing: The clients’ face is cleansed and a numbing cream is applied to lessen the pain from the microneedling process.
Step Three – Preparation: The Platelet-Rich Plasma is drawn into a needleless syringe for ease of applying small quantities to the clients’ skin during the facial, and the microneedling device is prepared for use.
Step Four – The Facial: The Platelet-Rich Plasma is smoothed onto sections of the face, followed by the microneedling device. The microneedles push the plasma deep into the epidermis, alongside creating tiny controlled injuries to the epidermis that trigger skin healing and stimulates collagen production.
Downtime From the Vampire Facial
Although the Vampire Facial is ‘non-invasive’, this isn’t necessarily a treatment that clients can fit into their lunch break. It can cause swelling and redness for up to twelve hours following the procedure due to the microneedling process, so clients may prefer to make this an after-work treat.
Results From the Treatment
There isn’t a massive body of research on Vampire Facials. Still, practitioners and clients have reported that after a course of three treatments; the appearance of fine lines, acne scarring and skin roughness are much improved. The results from a course of Vampire Facials should last a client up to 12 months.
Risks of the Vampire Facial
Microneedling alone presents some risk to clients. Bacterial infections can occur if the skin or the machine is not cleansed properly. Clients with darker skin tones are also at risk of Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), which leaves darker patches of skin in the treated areas.
When blood is added to the microneedling procedure; other, scarier risks come into play. Two clients at a New Mexico salon in the USA contracted HIV after having Vampire Facials, potentially as a result of cross-contamination. Although this may be an isolated case, it is still something that clients should be aware of before undergoing the treatment.
At MATA, we see non-ablative laser treatment as a safe alternative to the Vampire Facial, improving the appearance of fine lines, scarring and skin texture without breaking the skin or requiring blood handling. To register your interest in our newly restructured Laser and Light qualifications, please complete this webform.
Is the Vampire Facial Here to Stay?
Although the Vampire Facial may have become popular due to a celebrity endorsement, almost ten years on it is still a favourite; available in clinics across the UK and the world. As such, it would seem like the procedure is here to stay. As always, we recommend that clients are made fully aware of the risks and rewards of the treatment. In the case of this particular treatment, we’d also recommend that the procedure takes place in a suitable setting and is carried out by a practitioner with experience in the safe handling of blood products.