Vampire Facials first hit the headlines when Kim Kardashian took 'that' infamous selfie. The picture had us all recoiling in horror, but it turns out its not as ghastly as you may have thought. Vampire facials make use of the patients own blood to collate plasma which is then spread over the face and in most cases pushed deeper into the skin using our favourite beauty friend, micro-needling.
Dracula Facials have been credited with smoothing fine lines, improving skin quality and evening skin tone. And lord knows i need help with all of the above. At Regents Park Aesthetics clinic this treatment is called the 'Dracula Facial' rather than stir up ideas of vampires, but its the exact same as Kim K's procedure. The combination of using your own blood for the procedure and the process of microdermabrasion via micro-needling, make it a very natural beauty process and not the invasive cosmetic procedure you may have expected.
When i arrived at the clinic, Kay Grevenson (an Aesthetic Nurse specialist) was quick to put me at ease and talk me through exactly what would be happening during the process. Kay has years of experience and has won several awards for her work including a Nursing Times Award in 2015, so she really knows what she's talking about.
Ok, now for the procedure - this will be a step by step guide so that you know what's involved ahead of booking an appointment. Anyone a little squirmy at the sight of blood, please scroll to the bottom to skip the 'vampire' look pictures - though i secretly love them!
1. Blood Taken
Kay starts by taking blood, so of course this involves a needle, and your arm! The blood is then popped into a 'Blood Spinner' (a centrifuge) allowing the platelets and blood plasma to isolate. The substance they take the form of is called Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP, so thats why sometimes you'll see a Vampire Facial or Dracula Facial called a PRP Facial - again its the exact same thing. PRP has high concentration levels of natural growth factors giving the treatment its regenerative quality.
2. Numbing Cream
Next up Kay applied a numbing cream to my face, to ensure i don't feel any pain during the treatment. The cream takes about 20 minutes to fully numb the face, so i took a seat in reception and poured over the latest issue of Elle magazine whilst i waited.
3. Plasma (PRP)
The PRP is then spread across the face gently like a serum. Your own plasma is so densely enriched with nutrients and stem cells, you have everything you need for brighter, younger skin living right within your own blood. That's what sold it for me!
Next up is the microdermabrasion process using micro-needling. The micro-needling process pushes the PRP deep into the deepest dermal layers, so that lovely rich plasma packed full of stem cells can start their work in plumping and rejuvenating the skin underneath. The process takes less than 30 minutes.
Because of the numbing cream applied earlier you won't feel any pain at all during this process, it's actually almost a slight tickling sensation. The nurse will wipe away the blood at intervals during this process, but of course being a nerd for the gore i wanted the bloody Vampire Facial photo like Kim K - prepare yourself, here it comes ..... look away if you're queasy at the sight of blood.
5. After Care
A balm is applied to the face directly after micro-needling treatment and you're given some after care products to help minimise the drying out of your skin post-procedure. You have to expect some flaking and dry skin for about 5 days after the treatment.
Personally i had dry skin for about 10 days after the treatment, but with repeated application of the Sheald Recovery Balm i had been given BY kay the discomfort was minimal.
How long before i can go about my normal life?
I was out in Dishoom for dinner that evening, less than 3 hours after the procedure - thats how quickly you'll recover. I kept my skin moisturised with the recovery balm and applied some mineral makeup to take down the redness, but otherwise i was functioning as normal. We ate spicy food, we drank cocktails and i was fine throughout! Pretty amazing when you think about the above photo being taken just a few hours earlier.
By Day 3 the above photo was taken i natural daylight and with no makeup on - you can see i'm still red but there's already a natural glow to my skin.
And just 30 days later i was at a Yoga Retreat in Ireland wearing no makeup and with my skin looking 20 times better than it has in years! See below photo as shared over the retreat weekend on @wellclik Instagram
I can't recommend this treatment enough - it gets a very high 10/10 for results!
I have struggled with my skin for years, having had acne since my teens and acne scarring therefore all throughout my later years. I also have enlarged pores, and god knows i have tried everything ( EVERYTHING! ) to shrink them and this is the only treatment that has worked. My pores are a fraction of the size they were, and my skins texture is hugely improved. I've been telling everyone and their dog to go out and book an appointment with Kay who'll listen.
The results are said to last for over a year and you won't necessarily ever have to get another treatment. That being said, i enjoyed to whole process so much and the results so much i'm looking forward to my next go!