Vampire facials have proven benefits, but are they worth the thousands of dollars?

Photo from ExpressUK.org
Photo from ExpressUK.org

Using your own blood in the name of beauty has become all the rage as of late. Moisturizers and facials now include this ingredient, which many influencers credit for their flawless skin. The vampire facial (or platelet rich plasma facial), made popular by Kim Kardashian, uses your own blood to treat the effects of time on your skin.

To get this facial, you first have to fork out upwards of $800. And if you haven’t already become faint by this, the doctor then draws blood from your arm. Next, they put the vile of your blood into a machine called a centrifuge that separates the plasma from the red and white blood cells. Your plasma, which is full of platelets and growth factors, is then micro-needled into your skin. W180 (a regenerative medicine practice in Kelowna that offers these facials) claims that this non-invasive treatment promotes the production of collagen and heals damaged tissue. They say that it aids in anti-aging, so it repairs sun spots, texture, and elasticity. The alleged benefits of this facial seem endless, but are they real?

According to New York City doctor, Bruce E. Katz, topical treatments like creams or moisturizers that contain plasma are not effective because the plasma dies before it can be used. Also, the plasma cannot be absorbed into the skin, so you don’t get any additional benefits compared to other anti-aging skin products. So, if you’re thinking of getting a cream, save some money and go to Sephora.

Dr. Katz does, however, say that vampire facials do, in fact, “stimulate collagen, new blood supply and vessels, and even hair follicles.” This is because the plasma is injected into the skin. For the best results, beauty clinics suggest receiving three sessions four weeks apart.

A writer for Nylon.com named Rebecca Norris tried the vampire facial to see if it’s all that it’s made out to be. At the time, she was 24 years old and had very few wrinkles and sun spots, but she did say she had a cystic period pimple on her chin.

The first few days after the facial, Norris experienced bruising and redness on her face, saying she looked as though she had gotten a bad sun burn. After three days, though, she expressed that she was glowing. Norris also noted that the pimple on her chin (that would typically take up to 7 days to vanish) was completely healed. Honestly, this seems like a lot of money spent to reduce the life of a pimple by 4 days, but this proves that the facials do in fact work.

Although these vampire facials seem to have real benefits, there is limited evidence supporting this, and the long-term effects have not been widely researched. Also, they seem to cause negative short-term effects such as bruising, swelling and redness. The cost for this facial seems high, because you would definitely have to book off a few days of work afterwards. But, if you are keen on extracting your blood in the name of clear skin, and have an extra +$800 kicking around, then this might be the treatment for you. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it, so if you’re like me and don’t have the time or the money, then a Bioré strip will have to do.