The vampire facial is one of the most popular modern trends in facials, and if you’re self-conscious about the lines and wrinkles that are revealing your age or even making you look older than you really are, it could be the answer. More effective than any over-the-counter products, but without the downsides and risks of surgical procedures, this facial is a breakthrough treatment we offer at Infinity MedSpa in Sudbury, MA.
What It Is
This facial combines microneedling with the topical application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) taken from your own blood. When combined, these two powerful treatments can address an array of skin issues, from correcting the look of scars to rejuvenating lax tissue and minimizing the signs of aging.
The microneedling part of the treatment jump-starts your body’s own natural healing process, while the PRP signals to the body to work more quickly and effectively to rebuild stronger, younger skin. The result is a refreshed, firmer, and smooth look.
What It Addresses
This is the perfect treatment for improving overall skin health. It can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, even skin tone, firm up lax skin, minimize the appearance of pores, correct issues with hyperpigmentation and sun spots, and reduce the look of scars: including acne scars.
How Does a Vampire Facial Work?
The Problem of Aging
To understand how the facial works, it’s important to know why we see the signs of aging in our skin that we do. There are two big culprits to skin aging that must be dealt with. The vampire facial addresses both.
Aging and the Sun
The sun causes an estimated 80% of the damage we see in our skin, and while many people start wearing sunscreen as soon as they notice an issue, by that time it’s far too late. The damage to the skin occurs from our earliest years, as the UV rays of the sun tell our skin to produce melanin. Melanin is what gives skin its color, and everyone has more or less of it in their skin.
Those who naturally have more will be evenly darker all over, which is perfectly healthy. Spending time in the sun can cause naturally lighter exposed skin to also become darker, but this is not at all healthy: it’s a sign the skin cells are suffering damage. While it may appear fairly even at first, over time, the melanin will begin to gather in elevated levels in patches, forming spots.
Aging and Collagen
The other big issue in the aging of our skin is the loss of collagen. Collagen is a protein that keeps our skin strong, and in our youth, our bodies produce plenty of it. It gathers in a kind of webbed matrix directly under the outermost layer of our skin, providing a strong foundation to keep the skin firm, taut, and smooth. It also anchors the outer and middle layers of skin to the innermost muscles and fat pads.
As the production of this key protein drops naturally with age, our skin starts to sag. The bad news is that this process of lowered collagen production is a normal part of aging and not (yet) something we can stop. The good news is that the body will still produce elevated levels of collagen under certain circumstances, and the vampire facial is all about creating those specific circumstances.
The Role of Microneedling
Microneedling is a key part of this treatment. A microneedling treatment is designed to “trick” the body into thinking it has suffered an injury. It uses hair-thin needles to create micro-injuries, which starts up the body’s natural process for healing wounds, increasing collagen production.
The needles themselves, and the resulting micro-injuries, aren’t enough to hurt you, but they are just enough to create the specific circumstances your body needs to create fresh, new skin and collagen to get rid of sun damage and stop the skin from falling into lines or dropping.
The Role of PRP
Our blood contains multiple important substances, and platelets are just one. During a PRP treatment, we remove a small amount of your blood and then spin it in a centrifuge, which separates the different parts of the blood based on their molecular weight. The platelets and colorless plasma are isolated and separated from the red blood cells, which give blood its color.
These platelets contain many healing and growth factors that the body uses to recruit and activate cells as part of the healing process. If you cut yourself, for example, blood rushes to the area, and it is the platelets in that blood which signal to the body to get to work repairing the wound. If you break a bone or tear a ligament, platelets send the same important signals for cellular repair in these situations, too.
During this facial, the isolated PRP is applied as a serum and spread over the freshly microneedled skin. There it amplifies the production of collagen, causes the body to produce new blood vessels more quickly, and increases the rate of cellular turnover so that the healing results of microneedling are more pronounced than they could be otherwise. PRP also makes the whole process go more quickly.
Process and Results
It all starts with a simple blood draw. As your blood is being spun to separate the PRP, we apply a topical anesthetic that numbs your face. We then use the microneedling device across your skin. This device contains sterile, single-use cartridges for each patient.
The needles move up and down and can be adjusted to greater or less depth to address different areas of the face, such as the cheeks (where skin tends to be thicker) or closer to the eyes (where the skin is at its thinnest). We then spread the PRP over your skin. A treatment session will take around an hour.
You should leave the PRP on for a while to allow it to do its work. If you can leave it on as long as 24 hours, you’ll see the most benefits, though it’s possible to wash it off earlier if needed. During the next two to three days, protect your skin from the sun diligently and use physical sunblocks with zinc oxide. Skip the makeup and minimize your skincare routine: just a simple cleansing and moisturizing is all you need. It’s also a good idea to avoid anything that would cause you to work up a strong sweat during this time.
By seven to 14 days, you’ll be seeing the first results of your facial, and those results will continue to improve over the month following your treatment. Your skin will become firmer, less wrinkled, and look rejuvenated and fresh. Meanwhile, you’ll notice scars and spots of hyperpigmentation fading away.
Most people get the best results after a series of treatments. It’s common to get three treatments, but we’ll talk with you about your unique needs and goals when you come to our office. We’ll also discuss the best spacing for those treatments.
Key Questions About the Facial
Is This a Safe Treatment?
Since this treatment involves using a part of your own blood, it’s natural to wonder if it’s perfectly safe. The answer is: yes! The fact that the key treatment serum comes from your own blood makes it safer than most treatments because it’s not possible for you to have an allergy to yourself or reject something that comes from your own blood. The microneedling process itself is also perfectly safe when performed by trained, licensed professionals like those at Infinity MedSpa.
What About Home Microneedling Devices?
We always discourage anyone from doing microneedling at home. At our office, the process is safe because of the device we use, the training we have, and the protocols we follow to ensure your skin is perfectly sterile. At home, you run the risk of introducing infection into your face through the skin or a dermal roller that isn’t perfectly sterile.
Additionally, the needles in at-home dermal rollers are not as thin as those we use, meaning they cause pain, and they cannot be adjusted. That means you can’t get the best effect by changing the depth of penetration to match the thickness of your skin in different places.
Is This the Same As a PRP Facial or Collagen-Induction Therapy With PRP?
Technically, these are all referring to the same general process, but the term “vampire facial” is a licensed service mark. In order to use this term, a service provider must use only FDA-approved equipment, become a member of the Vampire Facial Provider Group, and have a license. This indicates everyone providing your facial is highly trained and you can expect the best results.
Is This Right for Me?
If any of the following are true of you, it might be time for this facial:
- Your skin’s texture is rough in places
- You see fine lines and wrinkles
- Your skin looks grayer than you remember
- You have scars from acne or trauma
- You see areas of hyperpigmentation or sun spots you’d like to erase
There are only a few conditions that could mean you’re not a candidate for this type of facial. The best way to find out if this is for you is to arrange a consultation with us so we can evaluate your skincare goals and needs.
Are the Effects Permanent?
The effects of your facial will last about a year on average. After that, an occasional maintenance treatment will help you maintain them as long as you wish. No anti-aging treatment can every be completely permanent because they cannot stop the aging process entirely. Also, each individual is different, so all of us age at different rates. However, with maintenance treatments, you will significantly slow that process and keep up enhanced collagen production.
How Can I Enhance the Benefits of a Facial?
There are some things you can do to ensure your results last as long as possible. The most important is to protect your skin from the sun. If you haven’t made sunscreen a regular part of your beauty regime, now is the time to start.
You can also talk with us about the most effective cleansers, serums, and moisturizers to upgrade your regular skincare routine. Using the right products for your skin can have a profound effect. Finally, remember that a healthy diet and good hydration will always help your skin look and feel its best.
Find Out How It Works for Yourself!
If you’re interested in this facial, visit Infinity MedSpa in Sudbury, MA now to set up a consultation. Our experts are ready to help you find the perfect treatment to enhance your beauty and return you to a more youthful look.