What’s the deal with all these photos of people’s faces covered in blood spatter? You’ve probably seen it on social media, through influencers and celebs alike; Vampire facials also known as PRP microneedling facials have quickly become one of the latest trends in skincare. Even Kim Kardashian, the queen socialite of all things trendy, has become a huge fan of this microneedling facial, plastering pics of her Halloween inspired bloody face all over Instagram. But, to be honest, using my own blood seems a wee bit intense for me (and probably isn’t recommended for those squeamish to blood and needles.
The facial may look scary while in progress, but it’s supposed to boast some big-time skin benefits; ranging from helping wrinkles, sun damage, acne scars, and uneven skin tone and texture. But why are people going so gaga over it? Well, the treatment is a combination of microneedling and PRP (platelet-rich plasma). PRP is the serum portion of blood that contains super powerful platelets. The theory is that the platelets contain growth factors, which when applied to the skin, will stimulate cell production revealing a new, even, fresh skin tone. Pretty cool right?
Basically, the facial uses your own blood to give you a fresh face by promoting collagen production and skin cell activity. Our skin is already made up of these red blood cells and serum, so the facial basically just gives your skin an extra boost so it can function and regenerate cells at a quicker pace. It optimizes function for collagen, elastin, and supposedly gives extra antioxidant properties. PRP is becoming increasingly common in facials, microneedling treatments, and fillers.
THE PROCESS OF PRP MICRONEEDLING
This microneedling procedure should only be done in-office by certified professionals. The treatment begins with an initial blood draw, from your own arm. Luckily, that first needle poke is about the only thing that hurts during the whole process in most cases. After the blood is drawn, it’s run through a centrifuge. This is a machine that spins the vile of blood super fast so it can separate the blood from the platelets, with the PRP being a yellow-tinged liquid & the blood remaining red.
They will likely apply numbing cream before doing the microneedling procedure to inject in the PRP, which will create tiny micro-tears into the skin, allowing for better absorption of the PRP. Next, PRPs are spread across your face either with or without radiofrequency. It sounds pretty high-tech because it is, but it’s also increasing our understanding of how the skin works and helping to create better technology to suit our needs.
Recovery time is usually about a day or two. Depending on how aggressive and deep the microneedling procedure is and how sensitive your skin is. It could be a few days more or less. Vampire facials are relatively safe, the only risk you run is bruising at the time your blood is drawn. After the treatment, it’ll look and feel a little bit like a sunburn. You can expect some minor skin shedding 3-4 days after the procedure. Aftercare includes minimal skincare, no makeup, and adequate amounts of sunscreen as well as avoiding the sun as much as possible.
DO I QUALIFY AND HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Luckily, most people are a candidate for PRP microneedling facials. Unless you have a history of blood disease or are prone to blood clotting, then you should not seek out this type of acne scar treatment. So if you’re looking to rejuvenate your skin, decrease hyperpigmentation or acne scars, a PRP microneedling facial might be the way to go.
Microneedling facials with PRP can run a little on the pricey side, averaging about $1,000 a treatment. Though I’ve seen some as cheap as $600, it was recommended to have at least three treatments, totaling $1,800. The price depends on the doctor and the number of treatments needed to achieve the desired results.
MICRONEEDLING AT HOME
Stamping needles on the skin seems to like it's something only professionals should do, especially for the powered devices and devices with needles that are long enough to draw blood.
But, there are home microneedling tools available too! Home treatments will often not penetrate as deeply and can enhance exfoliation and product absorption. The results may not be as fast as with in-office microneedling. But Microneedling at home can definitely give improvements to acne scars and hyperpigmentation through consistent use for a couple of months.
Choosing a microneedling tool that's safe is the main concern of an at-home acne scar treatment. Patience is a virtue when it comes to microneedling. The one that Banish provides is patented and inspected before each shipment, has 24k gold plated titanium bristles to ensure quality and bacteria resistance. They also provide a 30-day guarantee if you aren't satisfied.
Everyone's skin is different, but with consistent and long term use, you should see results within two to three months. Depending on how fresh your acne marks are and how fast your skin naturally heals, you may even see results sooner.
Microneedling can work for depressed acne scars. This has to do with the collagen-inducing effects that maximize the potential for skin regeneration.
If you're going to do microneedling to treat acne scars, it's important to follow all instructions on the package and to thoroughly sanitize your hands, skin, and tool before each use. It is important to be mindful also not to push too hard on the needling device or drag it across the skin, and of course, do not share your tool with anyone.
How to do Microneedling at home with the Banisher:
1. Sanitize the microneedling tool
Always start by sanitizing your tool, letting it soak in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol for 5 minutes.
2. Cleanse your face
Wash your face with a mild cleanser. There are pH-balanced face cleansers available in the market. Those sensitive to pain may consider a numbing cream after washing the face. You can also use witch hazel, or rubbing alcohol to wipe the area you are going to microneedling for extra precautions.
3. Start with microneedling session
Press the microneedling tool 4 to 5 times in each area. Lift up, and Rotate it to about 90 degrees before you press down again for even coverage. This takes about 2 minutes depending on how large the area you want to treat is.
4. Apply Vitamin C Serum
You can pour a vitamin C serum on a clean cotton pad then dab it on your face. Alternatively, you can use clean hands to apply several drops of serum and leave it on. We recommend the Banish Oil serum due to it being natural and not having any fragrance, dyes, or unnecessary preservatives in it as any product you apply after microneedling ( the good or bad ) will be more highly absorbed into the skin.
5. Sanitize the microneedling tool again
Soak in alcohol for 5 minutes then discard the alcohol. Let it air dry before storing it back.
Pros and Cons of Home Microneedling Compared to In-Office Microneedling Sessions.
Microneedling tools for home use
- More affordable
- Little to no downtime
- Visible and lasting results after 3 treatments
- User has control when stamping the microneedling tool on the face on where to pinpoint treatment
- Might take longer to see results compared to vampire facial
- May notice results faster due to longer needles (1.5 mm to 2mm)
- You will be able to have PRP injection performed
- May have better results from severe skin damage, deep wrinkles or deep scarring.
Cons of PRP Microneedling:
- Expensive ($700-$1000 per month)
- Did not see a lasting result after the first treatment
- Might be a bit terrifying treatment for some due to blood