I Tried Kim Kardashian's Vampire Facial That Injects Blood Into Your Face

vampire facial
Self

What did it feel like? Kind of like getting multiple tattoos. At the same time.

A few years ago, Kim Kardashian shared a selfie with what appeared to be blood smeared all over her face to promote an episode of Kourtney and Kim Take Miami.

 

Tonight on Kourtney & Kim Take Miami!!! #VampireFacial #kktm

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Mar 10, 2013 at 6:14pm PDT

“WTF?” said everyone in the entire world (probably).

During the episode, we learned that the blood was in fact not the result of some strange massacre but rather the aftermath of a vampire facial (which I eventually learned are dangerously close to the same thing).

Whether you hate her or love her, there’s no denying that Kim K. is absolutely stunning, and her skin is basically flawless (then again, whose wouldn’t be with a $1,395 skincare routine?).

So if the vampire facial is good enough for her, it’s gotta be good enough for me, right? I decided to find out.

To start, I did a little research into what a vampire facial actually is. To be honest, I imagined someone literally taking my blood and smearing it on my face in some sort of strange pore-sacrificing ritual. I was very wrong.

Turns out, the vampire facial is a type of platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. In English, that means a doctor takes your own body’s plasma and injects it back into your skin with microneedles. It’s supposed to help do things like even your skin’s texture, relieve acne scarring, decrease pore size, and improve your overall complexion.

In all honesty, my skin really isn’t all that bad. Though it’s fairly oily, I normally don’t have more than one or two major pimples at once. However, I was blessed with what I self-diagnosed as cystic acne — huge, painful, unpoppable zits that sit deep in my skin. They usually pop up on my chin during my period (thanks, hormones), last forever, and leave scars as miserable reminders that acne doesn’t end after puberty.

So the promise of a clear, youthful complexion was enough for me to take Kim K.’s lead and get my vampire on.

I started looking for places near me that offered the treatment. I honestly had no idea whether it would be a dermatologist or spa, so I simply googled "vampire facial Philadelphia" and to my surprise, a ton of places popped up.

I spent some time calling and leaving messages for a few and ultimately decided on Dr. Daniel Lebowitz at World Wellness Health Institute in Bala Cynwyd. The receptionist was very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about the procedure. I figured if I was going to have blood and needles shoved into my face I’d like it to be somewhere I feel comfortable (as comfortable as getting blood and needles shoved into your face can be).

When I arrived at World Wellness Health Institute, my appointment began with a skin consultation. I knew I was in the right place because one of the first things Dr. Lebowitz’s assistant told me after looking at my skin was that I was going to age nicely.

She asked me about my current skin regimen which, between you and me, hasn’t changed since I was about 12 years old.

“I wash and moisturize my face once a day,” I told her.

“What do you use?” she asked.

“Neutrogena acne wash and Clean & Clear acne moisturizer,” I replied. This didn’t please her.

Apparently, the reason my skin was so oily and breakout-prone was because of these products, not in spite of them. She explained that your skin changes as you age, and the products that work for hormone-charged teens aren’t meant for twenty-something skin. Essentially, the products were drying out my skin causing it to overcompensate with oil production — the perfect storm for breakouts.

Next, I met with Dr. Lebowitz, who went into further detail about the procedure. First, they’d draw my blood, which they then put into a centrifuge that spins the blood so that the plasma separates from the red stuff.

“It’s activated platelets which release nine different growth factors,” he explained. “Stimulates formation of new blood vessels, new collagen, healthier, younger looking skin.” Basically, my skin was about to look fly AF.

It took about 10 minutes to prepare the PRP. In the meantime, they applied a numbing cream to my face. Why would I need a numbing cream for a facial, you ask? Well, because I was about to have nine small needles continuously shoved into the skin on my face.

Let me tell you, this numbing cream was no joke. I literally could not feel my face, and you know what? I did love it. I get it, The Weeknd. I get it.

Then it was time to begin. Little by little, Dr. Lebowitz dripped my own plasma onto my face and massaged it in (I use the term 'massage' very, very lightly because massages are supposed to feel good) with the microneedles.

What did it feel like? Kind of like getting multiple tattoos. At the same time. Directly into my bone.

My eyes started watering and as hard as I tried not to, I cringed. And this was with the very effective numbing cream and on the lowest (AKA least painful) needle setting.

As I assume anyone taking nine needles to the face would, I started bleeding immediately. Apparently, anywhere that bleeds is the place the needs the most help — so basically, my whole entire face.

Where it got REALLY bad was no surprise: my chin, right around the pimples and scarring. The blood was actually dripping down my neck, into my hair, and onto the chair.

The whole thing only took maybe fifteen minutes or so — it’s hard to count when you’re trying not to cry — and left me looking just like Kim Kardashian (minus the incredible bone structure and perfectly-shaped eyebrows).

Pretty, right?

They wiped the blood from my face and iced it with this thing that was kind of like a really cold lint roller. Then, I got to look at my new face in the mirror. I asked them how long I could expect to look like I just stuck my face on an electric stove.

“The downtime is minimal,” the doctor informed me. “In a few days, it’ll be gone, at the most. Maybe less.”

I was instructed to stay out of the sun and apply an assortment of creams they gave me and should expect to see the best results after 3-4 weeks.

The numbing cream finally started wearing off a couple hours later. My face was still extremely red and a little scabbed. It wasn’t totally painful but felt tingly and hot, almost like a mild sunburn. I went to bed praying the redness would be gone by morning.

My prayers were not answered.

The following day, my face was still red and a little scabby. Luckily, my foundation hid any evidence of the facial (thanks, Maybelline) and I could go about my day.

The redness started to wear off after about three days, and after a full week in I started seeing a difference. Though the scarring and discoloration were still there, my skin wasn’t as oily as usual. Plus, it was super-soft.

The week after THAT (two weeks post-facial), my skin was by far the smoothest and clearest I’ve ever seen it.

The real test came around the one-month mark when I was due to get those wicked period-induced zits. Instead, my skin stayed clear enough that I didn’t need to hide behind any foundation. I did have one blemish, but nothing near the usual pimple minefield.

So THAT is what all the fuss is about.

Though the needles definitely were NOT a fun time, I have to say skin like this just might be worth it — and this is only after one treatment. According to Dr. Lebowitz, it would take a few sessions for me to achieve the best results. However, the vampire facial is NOT cheap (we're talking $700+ PER VISIT) so the odds of me going back multiple times are slim.

What can I say? If you want to look like a Kardashian, you have to be prepared to spend like a Kardashian.

To learn more about vampire facials and the procedure, check out the video below:

 

 

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