PLASMA FACIAL | Heather | partialtopink.com |


vampire facial prp

The PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Facial, also known as the Vampire Facial, was an overnight sensation when Kim Kardashian West posted a selfie during the process in 2013.  I’ve always been intrigued with this treatment, partly because I’m a science nerd with an interest in cosmetic dermatology.  The PRP Facial, when performed in a series of treatments, has been clinically shown to help stimulate collagen and reduce complexion issues, such as melasma, acne, and acne scarring.  It’s always been on my treatment bucket list, so when Slate Medspa (formerly Nu Image Medspa) in Paramus, NJ reached out to me for a complimentary treatment, I was ecstatic to choose the vampire facial.  Read all about the vampire facial process, vampire facial cost, and see before and after results below!

What is a Vampire Facial?

In this facial, a vial of your blood is drawn and spun in a centrifuge.  The machine spins the blood to separate the blood cells from the platelets, which are rich in growth factors.  The skin is then micro-needled with a special tool, and the plasma is massaged into the skin immediately afterwards.  This technique is repeated 1-2 times over each treatment area.

Both the microneedling and the PRP induce collagen production. Most practitioners recommend a series of 2-3 treatments to yield improved skin tone, skin-tightening, and better skin volume with results continuing to improve up to a year.  Yearly maintenance is recommended after the initial series of treatments.

vampire facial

Why Did I Try the Vampire Facial?

I love preventative treatments, such as microneedling and lasers.  I turned 36 this year, and I’m happy that I don’t feel or look my age.  I think a large part of looking and feeling youthful can be attributed to a nutritious diet, not smoking, getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and largely abstaining from alcohol.  That being said, I’m a believer in incorporating a preventative treatment or two per year to go the extra mile in anti-aging!

While I’ve never struggled with serious acne, I went through an intense bout of melasma all over my face in my early thirties.  A combination of cumulative sun exposure and birth control for close to 15 years threw my skin over the edge.  After taking myself off birth control, it took an entire year for the melasma to resolve (thank God).  The occasional microneedling and laser treatment has also helped fade residual dark spots, however by and large, correcting the underlying hormone imbalance was the single most effective intervention.  By undergoing the vampire facial, I was hoping to improve the occasional residual brown spot, improve fine lines, and most importantly, promote collagen production.

The Process

Prior to the treatment, I was instructed to avoid aspirin and NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, for 1-2 weeks before the facial to avoid bruising.  The spa also instructed me to eat as healthy as possible 1-2 days prior to my treatment.  As the spa’s coordinator expertly educated me, “your plasma is only as good as what you put inside your body, and the goal is to have rich, amber colored plasma”, so I was sure to stay extra hydrated and ate very healthy that week to maximize my results.

It goes without saying that anyone scared of needles should avoid this treatment.  I was relieved that a licensed, qualified nurse practitioner with years of cosmetic experience would be performing the treatment.  She expertly outlined the entire procedure, reviewed my past medical history, and answered questions regarding after care.  The nurse practitioner drew my blood and placed the vial in a centrifuge for about 10 minutes to separate the plasma — or “liquid gold” — from my red blood cells.  She disinfected my skin with an antibacterial prep, and then carefully drew up the plasma in a few syringes.

vampire facial

vampire facial PRP

She then got to work. The entire treatment took about 40 minutes.

SPOILER ALERT — Kim Kardashian’s infamous vampire facial pictures are extremely fabricated.  At no point during the treatment will you have red blood smeared all over your face.  Plasma is clear and gold colored.  Aside from slight bleeding from the microneedle, you will NOT look like Kim K.  Leave it to Kim to be extra!

She began by applying a layer of plasma all over my face.  Next, it was time to microneedle.  She started on the forehead, which she warned was going to be most uncomfortable.  I took two Tylenol twenty minutes prior to treatment to minimize discomfort.  In all honesty, the microneedle was slightly painful (probably a 6/10 on the pain scale), but tolerable.  She then moved the microneedle over each quadrant of my face, and precisely targeted my under eyes, which was an area I wanted to highlight for collagen production.  After completing one pass over my entire face, plasma was re-applied, and a second pass was done.  She finished the treatment by applying the last of the plasma all over my face, and instructed me to not wash my face for 24 hours to maximize plasma absorption.

vampire facial

vampire facial

Since I’m a nurse practitioner myself and deeply ingrained in the medical world, I was not even remotely disturbed by this instruction.  Aside from tasting a little salty (haha yes, I sampled my plasma), the plasma felt like the residue left over from a sheet mask — slightly runny, but then making the skin feel a little tight.  My skin felt like sandpaper for 1-2 days after treatment, but the redness resolved by the next day.  I got the treatment done on a Saturday, and by Monday, I looked fresh for work.

You’re permitted to wear makeup the next day.  You must use a gentle facial wash and avoid retinols, retinoids, or glycolic acid containing products for one week post-treatment.

My Results & Final Thoughts

Over the next week, I experienced gradual skin peeling, as new, healthy skin formed beneath my epidermis, also known as the outermost layer of skin.  It was nothing that a mask didn’t cover — thanks, COVID-19 — and I didn’t feel self conscious at all.  About a week later, my skin looked glowy.  Approximately, two to three weeks later was when I noticed a rather significant improvement in under-eye fine lines.  While it’s recommended to get 2-3 PRP facial treatments for maximum results, the cost can mount up.  The cost of each PRP facial can run between $700-$1,300.  Slate Med Spa is running a great promotion where you can get 20% off your first treatment.  Click here to learn more.

Would I do it again?  Yes.  This is one of the least invasive and most effective treatments out there.  PRP microneedling is the definition of tough love skincare. You literally wound the skin by creating micro-trauma, which in turn, causes your skin to amp up collagen production.  Was it effective?  In short, yes.  My skin had definitely improved in texture, tone, and radiance.  While I only had one treatment performed, I cannot speak to the cumulative effects of the recommend 2-3 treatments.  Here are a few videos of the process: One and two.

Slate Medspa is an excellent med-spa in the Northern New Jersey area, and I highly recommend their practice if you’re in the area.  It’s conveniently located on Route 4 West in Paramus, NJ.  The spa was clean and their staff is highly trained.

Vampire Facial Review: PRP Facial

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