DID YOU GUYS SEE MY INSTAGRAM STORIES AFTER I GOT THE “VAMPIRE FACIAL”?!?!?! (I have put them in my “beauty highlights”, so if you want to see….go check them out! The videos are a must!) ANYWAY, I got PRP Microneedling done a week and a half ago…made famous as the “vampire facial” by Kim Kardashian herself.
I got a lot of questions about it. A LOT. Some where terrified, some were baffled….but all of you wanted to know all the details about what it does, why to do it, WHERE to go etc. So, I thought I would dedicate a whole beauty blog post to the topic and give you all the insights into this amazing facial treatment.
But before I start with the benefits and all of that, let me start by saying this: I take very good care of my skin. I am 29 years old and decided a few years ago that I was going to get serious about my maintenance- I mean my face is my money maker after all! SO, at 29 do I “need” this done? I guess not, but to me it’s a way to nip the aging process in the bud as it starts to rear it’s head and keep my skin looking it’s best. Everyone says to start early! Plus, I really like trying out new treatments and sharing them with my friends and readers here.
Doing standard facials alone is very good for deep cleaning your skin…but PRP micorneedling is a proactive way to combat aging and keep your skin dewy and youthful. I got a few “why are you doing this, you don’t need it” responses…including one from my husband when I came home and he saw me looking crazy (crazy photos down below for reference!!) My response was a shoulder shrug and “because I want to try it…and I want to see if it improves my skin”. End of story! There is no harm in trying something new and wanting to look your best- never let anyone make you feel differently.
OK, so lets get into the nitty gritty and all the bloody details…
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a facial treatment that involves a needling “pen” that is applied to your face and moved around, creating small needle pokes to the skin. The pen can be adjusted to go deeper if you can handle it (your face is numbed with numbing cream beforehand). The point of it is that your skin produces extra collagen and rushes it to the area of distress to rebuild and repair- so creating the trauma to the face results in a boost of collagen production, specifically in the face or wherever the needling is done. As we age, our collagen production starts to drop, which is what leads to saggy skin, fine lines and wrinkles…so causing a rush of collagen to your face is a great way to combat that dip that is going to happen to all of us. Regular microneedling (few times a year) is said to reduce fine lines and keep your skin looking very youthful, clear, fresh and glowing.
It is also very good for reducing the appearance of scars (or even reducing them completely). People with acne scarring benefit from microneedling because the puncture wounds break up the scar tissue that is pulling down the skin and creating a pock mark….and the collagen production will help to push the scarred skin out, creating a smoother skin surface. To achieve these types of results, you need to do multiple sessions back to back (4-6 weeks in between) and may need to get touchups annually depending on how deep the scarring is.
I have 3 pesky chicken pox scars on my face that I have never liked. I have had them since I was like 4 years old…so they don’t bother me too much in daily life because I am so used to them- BUT the one place they really bother me is on set. For some reason, when I am working on a tv show or movie, the set lighting amplifies the scars and they look like little shadowy craters on my face. Small craters, but they are there and you can’t fix skin texture with makeup, especially with HD cameras being used. So I really hope that microneedling can help diminish the appearance of these scars.
What’s the difference between microneedling and PRP microneedling?
There is a big difference. I did regular microneedling at a med spa at the beginning of the year and it was pain free, I was only a little bit red after and my skin looked nice, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. This time, I did PRP microneedling at a board certified plastic surgeons office- someone I really trust, Dr. Gabriel Chiu of Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Inc. They have a whole “med spa” division at the office, all performed by the board certified doctor which makes me feel a lot more comfortable than at a regular old medspa you can find in a strip mall. It just feels safer somehow, you know? Medspas are fine and the RN’s can be really good…but personally, I like to trust my face with a licensed doctor!
SO, PRP microneedling uses your own blood in the process of the microneedling- hence the nickname “vampire facial”. You get some blood taken from your arm, it goes into this fancy little machine that spins and separates the platelet rich plasma (PRP) from the red blood cells in your blood. The platelet rich plasma (PRP) is what gets used on your face for the microneedling process. AND, to my surprise, it is yellow, not red! It was really cool to see!
When it was time to get started, Dr. Chiu put all of my PRP into a syringe and squirted it on my face as he moved the needle pen over my skin. This ensures the PRP will get absorbed into your skin immediately and gets to work in the deep layers of skin- helping it to repair and regenerate faster. The reason it looks like you have blood all over your face when getting this treatment is because the microneedling process itself causes your skin to bleed a little….and as the pen gets moved around, it kinda just spreads. The dried blood/PRP mixture isn’t to be washed off for at least 4 hours after the treatment to ensure you get the most out of the treatment. That means you will leave with dried blood on your face and you will look like you walked out of a horror film- see my photo below!
If you do normal microneedling, the blood can be wiped away if there is any (there wasn’t any when I did it)…but you also don’t get the amazing benefits of PRP…so its a trade off. Look crazy when you get into your car, or get a less effective treatment. Personally, I’m willing to look a little scary for a day to get better results!
What to expect during and after the procedure?
So first, they draw the blood, then numb your face. By the time the PRP is separated from the red blood cells, your face will be nice and numb. You will still feel the needling…the numbing cream just takes the edge off a little. And I will say…PRP microneedling does hurt. It was not a comfortable situation by any means. It kind of feels like a sandpaper burning feeling, but right when you feel like you can’t take it anymore, the pen moves to a different location and you get relief. It’s the type of thing you just have to grit your teeth and get through…know what I mean?
PRP needling hurt a lot more than the regular microneedling did. I think this is because Dr. Chiu’s office uses a different type of needling pen that goes a little deeper and is a little more legit than an everyday med spa would be. But, that being said, he took breaks, talked me through the whole process and made it very bearable. He spent some extra time going over my scars- he went a little deeper and really targeted them like I wanted him to! A doctor who really takes time be thorough and answer all of your questions is key here! I ask him like 56 questions every time I see him about different things and he is always eager to answer and gives me his honest opinions on everything, which I really appreciate. Open lines of communication is a must between you and your doctor.
The treatment took about 30-40 mins once we got started. The areas that hurt the most for me were my forehead and near my eyes, but he went lighter there and made sure to move on when I told him I had enough haha!
OK, so after the treatment my skin felt pretty fine- a little hot and tingly like I had a sunburn. Dr. Chiu gave me a hydrating lotion to put on immediately and told me that my skin would be very dry for the next week and to hydrate as much as possible with a gentle moisturizer that has NO active ingredients or acids (no hyaluronic acid or vitamin C for about a week). He also told me I couldn’t wash my face for 4-6 hours, which meant I had to leave the office looking like this:
AHHH HAHAHA! It was a weird drive home you guys! And when I came home, Ben was like OMG (even though I told him what to expect). When I did wash my face, I used my favorite Dermalogica cleanser and a gentle, natural lotion with no active ingredients. The next day I was still pretty red and hydrated like 6 different times. Day 2 is when the flaking began and that was not a cute look. I was peeling/flaking and my skin soaked up any moisture I put on it immediately. My scar areas also remained very red for about 4 days since the trauma to those areas were more extreme. But by day 4 everything started to look normal again- I was a little pink and the scar areas were still heeling but it was nothing that makeup wouldn’t cover. Oh! And you can use makeup the next day- just make sure your hands/application tools are very clean before putting them on your face.
So how does my skin look now?
My skin now is GLOWING! And as I am told, at the 2-3 week mark it becomes even more glowing and beautiful. My skin tone is even, my skin feels tighter, smoother and dewy AF. I want to do multiple treatments back to back to work on the scars, so I will be going for another round soon. Dr. Chiu said that I probably won’t see many noticeable results with the scars until treatment number since they have been there for SO long. Like I already said above, my real goal with PRP microneedling is to minimize the appearance of my scars- Dr. Chiu took before photos for us to compare as I continue on this journey and you know I will be posting the progress photos too along the way!
If you are considering doing PRP Microneedling I highly recommend it! Just make sure you chose the right person/office to do it- it is not cheap, but it is an investment into YOU….you don’t want to waste your money and not get the best results.
Of course, I highly recommend Dr. Chiu if you live in the LA area or visit! He is so skilled and really makes every experience a comfortable one! He also does my jaw botox for TMJ- those stories are in the beauty highlights as well. His practice is called Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Inc and here is a link to the MediSpa division of his practice!
*Treatment was given complimentary.