When Kim Kardashian West’s selfie of her bloody post-facial face broke the internet, it probably left most of us wondering, “WTF did she do?”. These out-there beauty treatments are definitely nothing new for some, but now microneedling + PRP treatments — aka the vampire facial — are gaining major steam. As someone who’s still new to the skincare game, it sounded a little extreme. But I decided to take the plunge: I made an appointment at Facile Dermatology + Boutique and awaited the day. The things we do for beauty, right?
If you’re not yet familiar with microneedling + PRP procedure, it’s more than just a pretty prick: it’s a magical procedure that helps even skin tone, shrinks pores, treats fine lines, and reduces hyperpigmentation. It combines the benefits of microneedling with the magic potion straight from your own blood that is PRP, also known as platelet-rich plasma. PRP has been used for decades because of its healing properties, and clinical research shows evidence that it can effectively treat issues like acne scarring, volume loss, and hair loss. As someone who’s annoyingly dealt with dry skin and eczema all my life, I knew this was something worth trying. I wanted to target my new under-eye wrinkles (hello, 30s) and dark spots that my eczema left over from years of itching and dryness. After hours of late-night googling, the prospect of glowing, plumped skin convinced me that this was the treatment for me. Since I still haven’t crossed over to traditional dermal fillers, I felt that using my body’s natural healing pathways was a safer bet for a newbie like me.
So what’s the treatment like? To start, I sat on the treatment chair while numbing cream was applied to my face. I was fully numb for about 30 minutes as I watched my Facile provide, tap my arm a few times for my blood draw. That’s right — they use your own blood. I thought “OK cool, this isn’t so bad…yet.” Then she placed the vial in a centrifuge to spin for 10 minutes, to separate the plasma from my blood. Once I heard the centrifuge beep, I watched as she filled several syringes with the liquid gold concoction from my blood cells. Now, I was ready.
“The skin gods had answered my prayers.”
Then came the injections. The plasma was injected into several areas of my face, focusing on my under-eyes, cheeks, and frown lines. I’m not going to lie: the pain level here was real for this part of the procedure. I mean, the sting was brief but being injected in areas you’re not used to can be slightly uncomfortable. When she was done injecting, we went straight into microneedling. She let the leftover plasma drip over parts of my forehead and ran the microneedling pen through it and around my cheeks, lips, nose, and chin. This is the moment where the plasma works its magic by penetrating into the skin through those tiny puncture wounds. Once she was done, I inspected my post-prick face. If there was any way to describe it, it felt and looked like a really bad sunburn to the touch.
Now, don’t expect to head to dinner with friends right after. You’ll want to stay low-key while your face begins its healing process. Things I was told not to do right after: stay out of direct sunlight and hold off on your normal skincare routine until after the 3rd day. I admit though, I was in heaven letting my face go bare while I waited for the redness to subside. When I woke up the next morning, I washed my face and hopped to the mirror hoping to see fresh, dewy skin but instead noticed some bruising and shedding from the day before instead. I also felt dry and tight, but was told this was normal. On the third day, the redness had subsided but I still saw some peeling. My cheeks and forehead were rough with flakes. But by the end of the week, there SHE was. My face was as bright and dewy as ever. I went back to my normal routine and was amazed that my skin looked fresh, evenly toned, and completely poreless. The skin gods had answered my prayers.
So was microneedling + PRP worth it? Absolutely— but there are some drawbacks. Like they say, beauty is pain and yes, the process can be painful for some, although you do have the option for numbing beforehand. If you’re someone with a high pain tolerance, I commend you. Also, the downtime isn’t ideal for someone with a busy schedule. You know, we all got places to go, people to see. If you can compromise the downtime, then I say YES, go for it. I patiently saw my skin transform over the course of a few days and the glow-up was amazing. Overall, I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with major hyperpigmentation and a dull complexion. The results are so worth it, but you must trust the process.
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