It's commonly known as the Vampire Facial, but it's also known as PRP, which stands for platelet rich plasma. PRP claims to restore volume, tighten skin and improve fine lines and wrinkles.
La Therapie Spa in Cary welcomed us into their spa to show us how the procedure is done. Jennifer Torres, a medical esthetician at the spa, said PRP Skin Rejuvenation is appealing since it's natural.
DIFFERENT FROM BOTOX
"It's very different than Botox or a filler because it's more superficial," Torres said. "We're putting it on the skin and then needling it deeper inside of the skin, but we're not going as far deep as we would if we were to use Botox. It's natural so anybody could have it done and they wouldn't have to worry about or be concerned about allergies."
Torres explains that the procedure begins by drawing blood from the patient. That blood is then run through a centrifuge where the plasma and platelets from the blood are separated out. During this time, a numbing creame is applied to the face.
Once the blood is finished being run through the centrifuge, the plasma and platelets are placed on the face.
Torres uses a tool that looks like a pen with tiny needles on the end of it and micro-needles the plasma into the skin.
"We use this little tool here to gently manipulate the skin to put tiny perforations inside the skin so that the plasma will penetrate deeper into the skin which is what creates the collagen stimulation," Torres said, and she added that the skin cells begin to heal and rejuvenate as a result of the plasma and platelets.
Wendy Brown was having the procedure done when we were in La Therapie and when I asked her what it feels like during the micro-needling.
"It feels uncomfortable, but it doesn't hurt," Brown said. "I would say the more time that goes on the least you feel it because you get used to it."
When it comes to recovery, Torres says patients are typically a little irritated, red and inflamed the next day or two.
BUT DOES IT WORK?
The big question is - does it work?
PRP first got Maria Cuebas' attention as she wanted something natural.
"I was looking for something that would help shrink my pores a little bit and help with some fine lines," Cuebas said. "I'm very much on the natural side of things."
Since PRP only uses your blood and not botox or fillers, Maria tried it out.
"It was just a little uncomfortable in the beginning because it involved needles and I had it all in my head, but I didn't feel anything," she said. Once the procedure was complete, Cuebas was thrilled with the results. "I felt my skin was a little smoother, the texture was soft, smooth, the skin tone was even, and that made me really happy,"
Like any procedure, there are some risks to using PRP, but Torres claims they are minimal.
"There's never going to be no risk for anything, but the risks are so minimal with this procedure because it's your natural blood," Torres said.
The risks that Torres shared include bruising for the face or extra bleeding if you are on blood thinners.
For the best results, Torres said, patients need to return for treatment anywhere from three to five weeks after their initial procedure. After three visits, she explained, patients can come in about twice a year for touch up treatments to keep their skin looking youthful. Each PRP treatment costs about $900.
PRP is typically not covered by insurance since it is considered cosmetic. Besides facials, PRP has been used for years in athletes as it helps to heal tendons and reduces pain.