There’s a new craze among celebrities, and it’s as gross as it sounds: Vampire facials have taken off in a big way, with Bar Rafaeli, Rupert Everett and Kim Kardashian singing their praises. But just what are these yucky sounding treatments, and do they really have any proven cosmetic benefits?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) – or a vampire facial to you and me – involves taking a small amount of a patient’s blood from their arm and then putting it through an incubator and centrifuge to separate the plasma, which is the fluid part, from the white and red blood cells. That plasma, which is rich in growth factors that supposedly activate and rejuvenate cells, is then injected into the face. In some instances, practitioners will combine it with other youth-promoting treatments like dermal fillers to further enhance results.
This treatment is supposedly brilliant for your complexion, promotes increased blood flow and turns back the hands of time. While fans of the procedure claim it removes dull skin, wrinkles and acne scarring, critics insist it has no proven value.
“The procedure has a temporary effect through swelling, but there is as yet no scientific evidence of any long-term improvements to the skin,” said Miles Berry, a consultant plastic surgeon at Cosmetic Surgery Partners in London.
His sentiments were echoed by Dr. Jennifer Walden, an aesthetic plastic surgeon from Texas, who said, “The efficacy and safety of (platelet-rich plasma) for cosmetic treatment have not been extensively studied in controlled clinical trials.” On the bright side, she added, “The good news is there is very little risk for rejection, infection or an allergic reaction using one’s own cells as a skin treatment.” Well, at least there’s that.
Interestingly, although PRP treatments have actually been around for the last two decades, particularly to accelerate wound healing and to help athletes recover from injury, it only became popular after a doctor from Alabama trademarked the term “vampire facial” during the Vampire Diaries and Twilight series crazes.
Kim Kardashian made the treatment really famous when she tried it back in 2013, and it’s been gaining momentum ever since.
It’s understandable that the treatment has mainly been adopted by the rich and famous, however; sources indicate that a single treatment will set you back anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000. Treatments have to be repeated once a month for three months, and then once a year for maintenance. In other words, a full course of treatments will cost you between $4,000 and $8,000.
So, for those of you who can’t afford the costly procedure, or who like me, are just plain grossed out by it, here are some suggestions to help you reverse the signs of aging in a gentler and more natural way:
- Eat a balanced diet that consists of natural, raw, organic foods. Focus particularly on anti-aging foods like apricots, goji berries, tomatoes and other yellow/red/orange fruits, carrots, kale, collard greens, squash, spinach, turnips and sweet potatoes. [RELATED: Do you know which are the top 10 anti-aging foods?]
- Drink plenty of pure, filtered water, and freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices.
- Make exercise part of your daily routine.
- Ensure you get enough quality sleep.
- Practice mindfulness or find another way to relax every day.
- Avoid processed, sugary food and drinks at all costs.
- Wear a hat when you go out in the sunshine to protect the delicate skin of your face – but don’t use toxic chemical sunscreens.
Above all else, accept what you cannot change. There is nothing more beautiful than someone healthy who is aging gracefully. [RELATED: Discover all the latest natural news for women at WomensHealth.news]