Just because Kim “We Get Angry Letters When We Mention Her Name” Kardashian is running off to get blood facials, otherwise known as vampire facials, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should, too. However, just because it won’t keep you looking fresh out of the coffin forever and ever doesn’t mean it’s bad for you, say super smart scientists.
PopSci explains how the whole creepy-sounding thing works, making the astute observation that it sounds like the equivalent of making your face a Jell-O poke cake:
A “blood facial” or “vampire facial” is a cosmetic procedure during which a doctor draws a couple vials of blood from your arm, centrifuges the blood to separate out the plasma and platelets from the red blood cells, and then adds the platelet-rich plasma back into your face. For extra absorption, the doctor pokes your face all over with a bunch of micro-needles before applying the plasma.
The thing is, there’s no actual evidence that the procedure works to make you look younger, and only scant evidence that injecting platelets into the skin conspires against time’s cruel march across your face.
That being said, it’s probably safe, however, since you’re using stuff from your own body — platelet-rich plasma is touted by some docs instead of other injections as plasma is “natural.” There’s likely no risk of allergy or rejection because it’s your own blood.
Dermatologists are using technologies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for adding plasma to bone before orthopedic surgery. Which, yes, is way different than smoothing time’s ravages but is totally legal for doctors to do.
Platelets contain growth factors, explains PopSci, which can be beneficial in healing wounds. So perhaps the injections will inspire new collagen growth, and collagen keeps cheeks smooth and tight, so… voila, vampire skin. Not really but sigh:
PopSci checked in with some dermatologists who offer plasma injections but not in the way of the vampires. One facial plastic surgeon uses single-needle injections to help with wrinkles and acne scars, and published a study on the use of platelet-rich plasma for wrinkles. He’s totally a fan.
“It’s been terrific,” he says. “It’s not for everybody,” he continues, saying that some patients don’t see any difference from the treatment.
Speaking of words with “terrif” in them, if you want to be terrified by what an actual blood facial looks like, click here. BUT DON’T SAY WE DIDN’T WARN YOU.