After months of seclusion with only the blue light from our computer screens filling the room, most of us are probably feeling a little ‘vampy’ right now.
Start with a pale face, sunken eyes, and a cozy blanket turned cape, and you have a starter kit for a vampire costume!
All joking aside, as we prepare to return to post-pandemic “normal” and the sun is hanging around for longer, we could use a little skin prep and maybe even a procedure to restore our skin’s natural healthy glow.
A vampire facial might just do the trick!
What Is A Vampire Facial?
The vampire facial, also known as the vampire facelift or dracula facial, actually has the opposite effect that you might associate with a blood sucking vampire; It doesn’t leave your skin shriveled or dull, rather, it plumps, hydrates, and nourishes our skin using your own blood.
Technically it is a bloody procedure, but it’s not as invasive as it sounds.
Vampire facials get their name because of their unusual and somewhat gory methods.
During a vampire facial, a sample of your own blood is drawn from your arm.
Then, the vial is placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from the red blood cells.
Once the blood is separated, the doctor performs a procedure similar to microdermabrasion in which tiny needles penetrate the skin.
Finally, the platelet-rich plasma (and a hyaluronic acid filler if you are going for a face lift) is applied and absorbed back into your face.
The suggested benefits of a vampire facial are:
- Reduced wrinkles
- Plump skin
- Faded or diminished acne scars
- Brightened skin
If this sounds a little macabre or fringe to you, you might be surprised to learn that even the biggest celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Bar Refaeli and British actor Rupert Everett have all undergone the “dracula treatment”.
Platelet-rich plasma has been used for over 50 years!
It started as a method to help patients recover from open-heart surgery, but soon became a popular restorative procedure in sports medicine and now, as an anti-aging method.
After a year of DIY facials and masks, experts say that the vampire facial will be among the top in-office procedures done in 2021.
So Does It Work?
The efficacy of vampire facials comes down to plasma.
Plasma is rich in protein and helps to carry nutrients, protein, and hormones to the rest of the body.
This is thought to help stimulate collagen production and elastin in the skin, resulting in firm, youthful skin.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is also a natural way to stimulate healing in the body.
It can also be applied at the hairline to also help improve hair growth.
Aside from encouraging youthful glowing skin and thick glossy hair, it can also be used to help heal sports injuries, damaged muscles, arthritis, and more.
Though there is limited research specifically on vampire facials, research suggests PRP may help stimulate hair growth, reduce pain from osteoarthritis, and treat acute sports injuries.
One study found that “both fine and coarse texture improved significantly more with a single treatment of PRP than with normal saline.”
Is it Safe?
Vampire facials are generally thought to be safe if done with sterilized equipment in a clean environment.
Anyone with premature wrinkles or hyperpigmentation who wants to even their skin tone is an ideal candidate for the procedure.
However, as with most cosmetic procedures, unsterilized equipment increases the risk of infection and disease so make sure to do thorough research before choosing your provider.
With that said, vampire facials are a noninvasive procedure that can safely be done by a doctor or dermatologist with the correct equipment and certifications.
What to Expect
Here’s what you can expect pre, mid, and post-procedure.
Your body replenishes its plasma roughly every three days, so you should try to eat a healthy diet at least for the 3 days leading up to your appointment.
Before your procedure, the doctor will cleanse your skin and apply a topical anesthetic to numb the area.
While your face numbs, a sample of blood will be taken from your arm and put in the centrifuge to separate the platelets.
Once you are nice and numb, the doctor will use a small needling device to permeate the skin.
Finally, the PRP will be applied and worked into the skin.
To top it all off, your doctor might apply a cream that will help speed up the healing process and protect your skin from infection.
All in all, it takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes.
Typically, vampire facials have little to no downtime and you can even drive yourself home from the appointment!
Since you are using your body’s own blood components, there is no risk of rejection.
Possible side effects following the procedure may include:
- Dry skin
The Road to Recovery and Results
You might experience some redness or bruising in the days following your procedure.
Oftentimes, your doctor will give you specific aftercare instructions but as a general rule, use a gentle cleanser and avoid alcohol-based products, artificial fragrances, and exfoliants for at least 72 hours post-procedure.
Make sure to apply SPF daily and avoid the sun whenever possible to avoid sun damage to your freshly facialed skin!
Though the side effects and irritation will likely fade within the first couple of days, results likely won’t be evident from a single session alone.
Depending on your skin’s condition (wrinkles, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, etc.) it could take multiple sessions to see your desired results.
Regardless of whether you want a follow-up appointment or not, your doctor will likely recommend that you come back to the office after your skin has had time to recover to see its impacts and discuss whether further treatment is needed.
After your 72 hour marker, you may be able to prolong the effects of your procedure by using a brightening daily cleanser and lightweight moisturizer.
Oral collagen supplements may also help you to build up your body’s natural collagen stores to promote healthier, firmer skin for the weeks and months to come.
Cost of Vampire Facials
Vampire facials are not covered by insurance.
Though the prices may vary depending on your location and provider, the average vampire facial cost is around $750-$1000 per session.
Given that an individual may have to undergo anywhere from 2-6 procedures to see desired results, this could total anywhere from $1500-$7500 on the low end.
For some, vampire facials can come with a pretty scary price tag.
Luckily there are other more affordable options on the market if you want to dive into the world of cosmetic procedures.
Let’s explore some options to get similar results for a smaller cost!
Cosmetic Procedures with Similar Benefits
If you’re not ready to commit to your own vampy facial but still want some of the results, there are a handful of other cosmetic procedures that might be a better fit for your wallet and skin type.
Chemical peel is a broad category of different controlled applications of toxic chemicals and acids to the skin.
Similar to a vampire facial or microneedling, small superficial wounds are used to stimulate skin repair and renewal from the deepest layers of the epidermis.
There are three different types of chemical peels, superficial, medium-depth and deep, and each can be done with various strengths of acids like glycolic, salicylic, and retinoic.
Chemical peels will remove the damaged upper layer of the epidermis to reveal fresh, newer cells beneath.
Depending on the strength of your chemical peel, costs can be as low as $150, or as high as $3,000.
The benefit is that you don’t need immediate follow-up appointments to see results!
After a brief period of redness or tender skin, you should see hydrated, even, fresh skin should be revealed.
Also similar to microdermabrasion and vampire facials, electro-mesotherapy or electroporation helps products to penetrate the skin deeper without the use of needles.
In this, a small device is used to generate an electromagnetic field within which cell membranes reorganize and open ‘channels’ for products to penetrate deep within the skin.
It can be used to remove fat, reduce cellulite, fade wrinkles, firm skin, and lighten hyperpigmentation.
A single session can cost between $250 and $600 and results vary depending on your skin type and desired outcomes.
There are many different types of laser skin treatments including CO2, erbium, pulsed-dye, and fractional lasers.
Each is used to treat common skincare concerns such as uneven skin tone, texture, wrinkles, or dullness.
Many people, especially those with mild skincare concerns, choose laser treatments because they often require fewer sessions to see results.
You can get one-time, yearly, or even monthly procedures depending on the severity of your skin condition and your budget.
Both the individual cost of a treatment and the amount of sessions required will vary, but the average cost is around $1,963 for ablatives and $1,201 for non-ablative procedures.
Products That Make Vampire Facials Bite the Dust
Still not down with the costs? We hear you!
At Skincare by Alana, we believe that quality and clinically proven skincare should be affordable and accessible.
Luckily, there are affordable, powerful, natural products available that can help you achieve your skincare goals.
Whether you’re looking to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, improve your skin texture, or simply restore your natural dewy glow, we’ve got you covered.
If you want to deeply penetrate the skin and promote renewal from the inside out, here are some products you can apply at home!
For Mature Skin
HydroPeptide Peel: Anti-Wrinkle Polish & Plump Peel:
This two step at-home peel allows you to receive all the benefits of microdermabrasion, a facial peel & more for a fraction of the cost! Check out the ingredients list to learn more about their unique blend of AHAs, friendly bacteria, and antioxidants that make this duo a power couple.
The Tria Age-Defying Laser is an FDA-cleared fractional laser that treats multiple signs of aging on the entire face. Designed with dermatologists and plastic surgeons, the Age-Defying Laser uses the same technology as professional in-office treatments but makes it easy to do at your leisure from the comfort of your own home.
Eminence Organics Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel:
This is a powerful pigment-correcting product that will do wonders for hyperpigmentation! Natural Hydroquinone Complex from African potato and tara tree helps to lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation while licorice root brightens skin’s overall appearance. Regular use can visibly improve the skin’s tone, restoring it to a youthful glow and leaving it soft, smooth and revitalized.
Alana Mitchell Brightening & Exfoliating Pumpkin Anti-Aging Masque:
Reveal your most rejuvenated and youthful skin instantly! One treatment of the 100% natural Brightening & Exfoliating Pumpkin Anti-Aging Masque by Alana Mitchell will remove dead skin cells and debris to reveal a softer, smoother complexion. Near instant results, gentle yet effective ingredients, and a price point that’s under $20 makes this a no-brainer for anyone considering an at-home alternative to the vampire facial.
For Dull Skin
Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel:
Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel is a professional-grade at-home peel that contains a unique complex of phytoactive AHA extracts, Lactic Acid, and fermented plant enzymes helps reveal new, firmer skin, and removes dulling surface debris without causing dehydration. It gives you ten individually portioned tubes for less than 1/7th of the cost of a vampire facial!
Slow and steady wins the race right? This easy to apply overnight peel helps your skin tone become more radiant, pigmentation is evened and age spots are visibly diminished. It contains 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) for the safe, effective removal of dead surface skin cells to reveal your inner glow!
For Acne Scars
This powerful scar gel is enriched with Allicin (from onion bulb), Allantoin and Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), to help visibly break down scars and encourage healthy skin. In fact, it’s clinically proven to significantly improve scar texture, color and overall appearance! At only $19.95 a jar, you can’t beat that.
Alana Mitchell Night R1 Retinol Facial Oil:
This gentle yet effective retinol works to repair acne scarring while you sleep! The all-natural formula easily absorbs, leaving you with a moisturized, glowing complexion, and the light citrus scent is the perfect way to end the day. No flaking, redness, or peeling like traditional retinol products, but with all the benefits!
The vampire facial isn’t so scary after all!
When done safely and correctly, it can help you to bid a lackluster complexion and uneven skin tone goodbye with little to no side effects.
Getting the treatment is only half of the battle, however.
Taking care of your skin before and especially after your procedure will make all the difference in how long your effects last and will protect you from damaging your fresh skin.
For more information about building your own perfect skincare regimen, check out the Skincare by Alana blog!
In it, we discuss some of the buzzy and mysterious new products and ingredients on the market from rice water to snail mucin.
We also have tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your at-home skincare routine without breaking the bank or damaging your skin with harmful chemicals.