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  • Apply nightly for happy, healthy skin

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The inside scoop on vampire facials

This skincare treatment isn’t as scary as it sounds.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Oct 10, 2023 • 6 min read
Medically reviewed by Donna McIntyre, NP-BC
doctor holding tube of blood
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Oct 10, 2023 • 6 min read
Medically reviewed by Donna McIntyre, NP-BC
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Ready to sink your teeth into the world of vampire facials? If you’re considering getting platelet-rich plasma injections in your face, you’re in the right place for some helpful information—we’ll explain everything you need to know, including what exactly a vampire facial is, the role of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), how the treatment works, and its potential benefits and side effects.

What is a vampire facial?

Vampire facials, also known as PRP or plasma facials, have been making waves in the skincare world for their potential to promote a more youthful, radiant complexion. These in-office treatments use microneedling in combination with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) with the goal of stimulating collagen production and rejuvenating the skin. These facials may help reduce fine lines, plump up sagging skin, smooth out deep creases, improve overall complexion, and diminish acne scars.¹

What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP)?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is autologous blood with a high concentration of platelets.² The PRP used in facials is derived from the patient’s own blood, which is drawn and then placed in a centrifuge to separate it into different layers.³ The plasma layer where PRP is found is rich in platelets, cells that play a vital role in the body’s healing process. When applied to the skin, PRP supplies multiple growth factors⁴ that may stimulate collagen production, rejuvenating the skin and giving it a youthful glow. Recent research suggests PRP is a promising treatment for many dermatologic conditions.⁵ 

All about the vampire facial process 

Dermatology providers administer PRP microneedling (another name for vampire facials) in-office. Microneedling is considered highly effective and minimally invasive.⁶ Overall, the vampire facial process should be quick, straightforward, and relatively painless. Here’s what to expect: 

  1. A licensed technician draws your blood.

  2. The blood goes into a centrifuge to separate the PRP from the rest of the layers. 

  3. Numbing cream is applied to the treatment area.

  4. A licensed practitioner uses the PRP in a microneedling procedure, during which tiny needles create controlled micro-injuries on the skin.

  5. The PRP is then applied topically to the treatment area.

Potential vampire facial benefits

If you’re considering getting a vampire facial, you’re probably wondering what kind of results to expect. While there are limited studies on the effectiveness of these facials, platelet-rich plasma may benefit the skin in several ways. The potential benefits include the following:

  • Improved collagen density:⁷ Collagen is a protein that gives structure to the skin, so increasing its density via the injection of plasma-rich platelets may help improve the skin’s overall appearance. 

  • Reduced wrinkles: PRP may help plump up sagging skin, which could help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, plus other signs of aging.⁸

  • Improved complexion: A vampire facial may help improve the skin's overall tone and texture, giving you a radiant, healthier-looking complexion.⁹

  • Diminished acne scars: Some patients have reported that PRP may help reduce the appearance of acne scars.¹⁰ It may be especially effective for acne scarring when combined with ablative laser therapy.¹¹ Ablative lasers vaporize the skin’s top layer to help potentially reduce the signs of facial aging. 

  • Decreased inflammation: Research suggests PRP may help combat localized microinflammation.¹² 

  • Improved skin elasticity and smoothness: A recent study showed that three sessions of PRP injections at one-month intervals significantly improved skin elasticity and smoothness.¹³

While vampire facials may be beneficial for people with scars, wrinkles, or sun damage, more research is needed to figure out exactly how they help our skin.

Potential vampire facial side effects 

Vampire facials are typically well tolerated, but as with any skincare treatment, they have a handful of potential side effects. Here are a few possible adverse effects you may experience after undergoing this procedure:¹⁴

  • Pain: Some patients may experience pain or discomfort during or after a vampire facial. Your dermatology provider may recommend over-the-counter pain medication or cold compresses. 

  • Swelling: It’s not uncommon for the treatment area to become swollen after a vampire facial. The swelling should subside within a few days.

  • Bruising: Another potential side effect of vampire facials is bruising, but it’s usually mild and should resolve quickly.

The healing process can vary from person to person. While it should take approximately one week to recover from a vampire facial, discussing your expected healing time with the dermatology professional performing your procedure is always a good idea. If you have any concerns about what to expect or how you’re healing, don’t hesitate to reach out to your medical provider for guidance.

It’s also important to be aware that the biggest risk associated with vampire facials comes from handling blood. Your blood must be handled correctly and kept sterile to prevent the risk of infection.¹⁵

Curology can help you treat the signs of aging 

If you’re not quite ready to commit to in-person treatments like vampire facials, or if you’re looking for topical products to use in conjunction with these treatments, consider Curology! 

Founded by board-certified dermatologists in 2014, Curology’s mission is to provide accessible, full-service skincare to all. We currently treat the signs of aging, acne, hyperpigmentation, and rosacea. Our licensed dermatology providers can prescribe personalized prescription formulas with ingredients proven effective, such as tretinoin, azelaic acid, and niacinamide

Curology’s Future-Proof Rx treatment is an all-in-one preventative prescription treatment that can help keep skin clear while helping to treat signs of aging like dark spots and fine lines. Curology also offers dermatologist-designed over-the-counter products, like the Curology rich moisturizer and the sunscreen by Curology. Our full line of skincare products is non-comedogenic, dye-free, and paraben-free, and designed to keep your skin healthy.

Ready to get started? Sign up for a consultation today. Curology patients are paired with an in-house licensed dermatology provider. After you answer a few questions and snap some selfies, they’ll prescribe you a personalized prescription formula with a mix of ingredients to help achieve your specific skin goals if Curology is right for you. Our professionals can prescribe tretinoin, the gold standard topical anti-aging ingredient (subject to consultation), and provide general skincare advice tailored to your goals.

FAQs

What is a vampire facial?

Vampire facials, also known as PRP or plasma facials, have been making waves in the skincare world for their potential to promote a more youthful, radiant complexion. These in-office treatments use micro needling in combination with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) with the goal of stimulating collagen production and rejuvenating the skin.

What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP)?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is autologous blood with a high concentration of platelets. The PRP used in facials is derived from the patient’s own blood, which is drawn and then placed in a centrifuge to separate it into different layers.

• • •

P.S. We did the homework so you don’t have to:

  1. Is platelet-rich plasma the secret to younger-looking skin? American Academy of Dermatology Association.

  2. Mathew J, et al. Physiology, Blood Plasma. StatPearls. (2022).

  3. Is platelet-rich plasma the secret to younger-looking skin? American Academy of Dermatology Association. Ibid.

  4. Lin, M.Y., et al. Progress in the Use of Platelet-rich Plasma in Aesthetic and Medical Dermatology. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. (2020).

  5. The Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) in Dermatology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Ibid.

  6. Pathania, V., et al. Single-handed vampire facial: Combining microneedling with platelet-rich plasma for single-hand use. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (2021).

  7. The Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) in Dermatology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Ibid.

  8. Is platelet-rich plasma the secret to younger-looking skin? American Academy of Dermatology Association. Ibid.

  9. s platelet-rich plasma the secret to younger-looking skin? American Academy of Dermatology Association. Ibid.

  10. Is platelet-rich plasma the secret to younger-looking skin? American Academy of Dermatology Association. Ibid.

  11. Hesseler, M., Shyam, N. Platelet-rich plasma and its utility in the treatment of acne scars: A systematic review. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (2019).

  12. The Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) in Dermatology. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Ibid.

  13. Cameli, N., et al. Autologous Pure Platelet-Rich Plasma Dermal Injections for Facial Skin Rejuvenation: Clinical, Instrumental, and Flow Cytometry Assessment. Dermatologic Surgery. (June 2017).

  14. Is platelet-rich plasma the secret to younger-looking skin? American Academy of Dermatology Association. Ibid.

  15. Is platelet-rich plasma the secret to younger-looking skin? American Academy of Dermatology Association. Ibid.

Donna McIntyre is a board-certified nurse practitioner at Curology. She obtained her Master of Science in Nursing at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA.

* Subject to consultation. Subscription is required. Results may vary. 

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Donna McIntyre, NP-BC

Donna McIntyre, NP-BC

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