I Got a Blood Facial and Lived to Tell the Tale
You might recall a few years back when Kim Kardashian made headlines for getting a blood facial (see her Instagram selfie below). Some call it the "vampire facial" but the technical term for the treatment is the MicroPen with PRP facial. Whatever you call it, it sure is an interesting treatment. That's why I decided to give it a try with registered nurse Angela Sarff at Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD's office in Los Angeles.
The treatment involves drawing the patient's blood and spinning out the red blood cells in a centrifuge. What's left is a golden liquid (not red blood) called platelet-rich plasma that is then applied to the patients face. The person performing the treatment goes over the patient's face with a MicroPen, which is a tool that has a bunch of teeny tiny needles that go back and forth really fast into the patient's skin. It looks and sounds like a tattoo gun.
When I went in to the office, they put numbing cream all over my face. After all, I was about to have a bunch of needles run over my skin. They took a vial of my blood and did their magic to turn it into the serum.
Once I was numbed up, it was time for the MicroPen. Angela applied a bit of the serum over my skin and started going over it with the MicroPen. There was still a little bit of discomfort, even with the numbing cream, but it was tolerable. I think the most painful area was just above my lip.
It took about 15 to 20 minutes for the whole treatment (not including numbing) and afterwards I looked like I had a pretty gnarly sunburn (see below). Cute, right?
As you can see, my after picture doesn't look nearly as scandalous and bloody as Kim's. There were a few tiny spots where I bled a little, but it was mostly just redness.
Now I'm sure you're wondering: why on earth would anyone do this? At least that's what my dad's reaction was when he found out I got this treatment. "Sounds like a gimmick to me," he said in his I don't want to say you're crazy, but you're crazy voice.
Well, microneedling basically creates tiny wounds in your skin and to heal itself, your skin produces extra elastin and collagen. Collagen is what makes our faces look plump and youthful and elastin is what helps fight gravity. On top of that, it helps reduce the appearance of acne scars and wrinkles. The PRP part benefits your skin because platelets are the cells in the blood that help tissue heal and grow new cells. When it's applied topically, it helps smooth out your skin texture and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
I was red for about 24 hours and just slightly puffy. From there my skin had what Angela calls a "bronzy glow" to it, and then it started to peel on my cheeks and around my lips. The peeling lasted for a few days and was the worst on my chin. We're talking Austin Powers Goldmember flakes here.
Obviously, no one wants to go out into public with red or peeling skin, but I actually found it to be a conversation starter with friends. They were all fascinated that I would put my own blood on my face and then run a bunch of needles over it.
As for the results, I'm super pleased with how my face looks right now. I feel like my skin texture has improved, it has a healthy glow to it, and the best part is that the wrinkles that bothered me on my forehead are a lot less noticeable. Hooray!
I would definitely give this treatment a try, even if it's just for the sake of saying you did it. It's pretty unique. That said, it costs more than a normal facial. It's $450 for the treatment I received or you can skip the PRP part and do a MicroPen treatment for $350.