No matter how many fancy skin-care products you religiously slather onto your face, you’ll never get the same results as you do with a few injections of your own blood—wait, what? Yep, it’s the infamous Vampire Facelift, in which a medical professional uses your own blood to bring life back to your face.
I’ve never even had Botox, but I wanted to see what this purportedly lifting, line-erasing and glow-inducing treatment was all about. So I tracked down registered nurse Sylvia Silvestri, aka the Beverly Hills RN, at the office of Dr. Gerald Minniti, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. A week later, here’s everything you’re probably wondering about the procedure:
Why did you want a “face-lift” in the first place?
I was looking tired and my cheeks were sort of droopy, no matter how much water I drank, hours of sleep I got or expensive lotion I applied. Then, when a bestie confided over some wine that she’d gotten something called a PRP face-lift in a nurse’s office—and that it took just an hour—I was intrigued. She looked so fresh and amazing.
OK, so what is a Vampire Facelift?
Also known as a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) face-lift, it’s actually not a surgical face-lift at all. Instead, it’s filler, such as Restylane (different from Botox in that it allows facial movement), that plumps up laugh lines, a sunken chin and less-than-firm areas with the use of additional platelets from your own blood.
Tell us about the whole blood thing…
Right. So this is where beauty is not for the faint of heart. Nurse Sylvia drew about a tablespoon of blood and then ran it through a centrifuge to isolate the platelets that have the magical power of healing—i.e., creating new collagen and more blood flow to make skin look fuller and more youthful.
OK, that sounds incredibly scary. Did it hurt?
If you’re really bad with blood and can’t even handle your annual blood test, then no, a Vampire Facelift is not for you. But honestly, it wasn’t scary or painful. The injections feel like little pinches. Once Nurse Sylvia took my blood, she slathered my face with numbing lidocaine, which made me feel super-relaxed even as I watched her approach my face with a small syringe full of Restylane. She proceeded to inject tiny amounts into the tear troughs under my eyes, around my cheekbones to puff out my hollowed cheeks and into my laugh lines and chin to define my jawline. She kept stopping to check that she was injecting evenly into both sides of my face, like when your hairstylist asks you to look at him head-on to make sure your bangs are straight.
Wait, so where does the blood come in?
After the filler, she basically went over everywhere she’d already been and injected those spots with my platelets.
What did you look like immediately after?
While a little more red-faced, I pretty much walked out looking like a fresher, happier version of myself. (What Kim Kardashian televised wasn’t exactly the same. Hers was a so-called Vampire Facial, not “Facelift,” which left her way bloodier.)
So, were you happy with the results?
I went in hoping to appear less frowny-faced, since years of yo-yo dieting, sun damage and, heck, just being alive had taken away my skin’s perky look. Although I immediately needed a Tylenol when my face started throbbing an hour later, it was super worth it for my laugh lines to look filled out and for my skin to get steadily glowier (thank you, platelets).
OK, brass tacks. What does it cost and how long does it last?
It’s $1,500 and lasts for a year. Which is not so much money to enjoy looking in the mirror again.