What The Vampire Facial Is Really Like
‘Wow, did you do something to your face?! You look great?!’. Well actually I recently got my face injected with my own blood. Yes, you read that right – and no, it’s not some weird cult practice but an actual medical procedure used across the globe to rejuvenate skin and give a long-lasting youthful glow. And the difference here is that, unlike loads of beauty products which claim to do the same thing, the Vampire Facial (or ‘PRP’, Platelet Rich Plasma treatment as it’s formally known) actually does work. Not grossed out yet? Good. Because it’s really worth reading on…
I used to say that I’ll grow old gracefully (that was back in the day when I imagined I’d have loads of time to practice yoga, grow my own vegetables and be so zen-like that I’d just radiate health and banish wrinkles with the power of positivity). Three children and many years later, I’m ready to try anything out there to eliminate some of those lines, cling onto my youth and bring some life back to my very tired face. Even getting it injected with blood. So I booked in with the brilliant Dr. Maurizio Viel from the very well respected London Center of Aesthetic Surgery in Dubai Healthcare City and headed off to get vampired!
Read More: Sassy Mama’s Guide To Botox In Dubai
For the first stage of the procedure a nurse removed all of my makeup and then prepared my skin with a numbing cream to eliminate any chance of discomfort before drawing a small vial of blood from my arm and taking it off to be ‘spun’ in a special machine to separate the platelets (those are later used to inject back into your skin so as to create more collagen, give a ‘filler’ type result and make skin look fuller and more youthful). Once everything was fully prepped, Dr. Viel came to chat to me in his charming Italian way, putting my mind at ease and explaining the full process (read below for his answers to my many, many questions about PRP). I lay back on a bed as he moved a special ‘pen’ made up of lots of teeny tiny needles across my face for an initial microdermabrasion, which was strangely quite relaxing and not in the least bit painful or scary, after which the PRP’s were slathered across my face. I know it sounds weird but there’s plenty of science behind it – platelets are rich in growth factors, which essentially act as boosts for our skin. They help our skin function optimally, increasing everything from collagen to elastin, while also bringing antioxidant and hydrating properties. And it’s totally safe and actually quite ‘organic’ as it’s your very own blood that’s being used.
After a short time it was all done!
I looked like I was badly sunburnt and my skin was given a good layer of mebo cream which gave it a high sheen but Dr. Viel explained that this stage would only last a day or so and then, with the help of some specially created LCAS serum, my skin color would return to normal and I could wear makeup again – hooray! You might have seen pictures of Kim Kardashian with a very red looking face – well mine was nowhere near as dramatic. I left the clinic looking a little terrifying but not so much that it stopped me from heading to the grocery store (ok and maybe scaring a few shoppers in the process). For the next 24 hours my skin felt a bit tight and dry but the serum really helped and it wasn’t long before it felt good and looked great. And by great I mean a much more even skin-tone and smoother complexion as if I was wearing foundation all the time. Friends started to comment on how refreshed and well I looked too so I knew that it wasn’t all in the mind – and the results got better over time, finally reaching their best at around three weeks after treatment. I can honestly say that this treatment has worked wonders. Yes I’m still exhausted, yes I’m still operating on minimal sleep and maximum stress, juggling all the things a mama of three little ones does but at least my face doesn’t show it! It’s not a cheap procedure but results are long-lasting – and it’s a small price to pay for feeling happy every time you look in the mirror, right?!
Want to know more from the Dr. himself? Here you go, mamas!
What exactly is PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a non-surgical treatment, used in the cosmetic industry to rejuvenate the facial complexion. When we cut ourselves, these platelets and plasma come to the area of injury to heal the skin. To take advantage of our natural healing process, doctors now extract the PRP from our blood and use a concentrated amount of PRP for their patient’s healing process. A small amount of blood is withdrawn, spun in a centrifuge to extract only the platelets and plasma. This is then prepared by the clinic and re-injected all over the patient’s face to help rejuvenate the quality of their skin. It can help with various indications like sunspots, dark circles, and fine lines.
How long has it been around for?
The treatment has been around for nearly a decade now, and still very popular because of its healing effects. Not only is it used in the beauty industry but by sport athletes like Tiger Woods and Rafa Nadal to help with their sports injuries, and the equine industry to treat injured horses too.
Can you describe what happens from a medical point of view
When the micro needles deliver the PRP into the skin, there are growth factors in the platelets that are being activated. These growth factors play an important regulating role in renewing facial tissues and rejuvenating skin. The blood platelets activate the natural stem cells that exist in the facial tissue and stimulate your own skin cells to produce collagen and elastin and therefore rejuvenate the skin.
What kind of skin is this good for?
If any treatment could be described as ‘organic’, it is most likely to be this one as it is using the patient’s own blood so there is little chance to no chance of an allergic reaction so this treatment can be used by any skin type. Patients who see signs of ageing and those who wish to prevent ageing are eligible patients.
Is a one-off treatment ok or do you need to book in for more?
It would depend on the skin indication, aging process and lifestyle of the patients. Older patients with thinner skin might do 1 treatment every month for 3 months with results lasting 6 months to 1 year depending on lifestyle. Younger patients might do the treatment 1 once every 6-8 months.
What are the benefits?
The benefits described often include glowing skin seen from 4 – 6 weeks after treatment. The patients also see that they use less foundation as the quality of their skin is better, and those with sunspots also saw a huge reduction and fade of most of them, and those with skin discolouration especially under the eyes saw a huge improvement.
What can go wrong?
As with all treatments, it is important to go to a licenced practioner, like a surgeon or dermatologist to ensure that they are using quality products in a sterile environment. If quality products are used, the treatment is safe.
How much does it cost?
One treatment will cost AED3,000 (not including VAT), A package of three will cost AED2,500 per treatment (not including VAT).
For more information or to book in for a consultation/treatment visit www.lcas.ae
Facial image sourced via pinterest