The platelet rich plasma facial – alarmingly nicknamed the vampire facelift – is all the rage right now. The Resident gives it a go to discover why beauty is better when you’re utilising your body’s own anti-ageing material
Contrary to popular belief, the platelet rich plasma (PRP) facial, better known as the vampire facelift, is not so much about smearing blood all over your face, like famous selfies by the likes of Kim Kardashian would suggest. It’s more to do with the platelets present inside your blood, which are extracted using a special solution before the injection process starts, leaving your crimson red blood behind as a waste product.
The liquid that actually makes it into the syringe is more of a watered down Lucozade colour, which is teaming with powerful platelets that speed up your skin’s own repair and renew process, putting your collagen production and other natural anti-ageing systems into overdrive. This results in a more plumped up, radiant appearance and younger looking skin in those delicate areas that age the quickest, like around the eyes and mouth.
The aesthetics industry moves at an astounding pace, but while technology advances, beauty trends have currently shifted towards the faux natural look, whereby the results, while effective, are subtle, so that only professionals can tell that you’ve had work done. Part of this shift towards the au naturelle includes procedures that utilise and unlock your body’s own anti-ageing material, rather than using synthetic fillers.
That’s where platelet rich plasma comes in – it’s your body’s own natural source of Hollywood filler. As it’s made up of your own DNA, the risk of allergic reactions is greatly reduced and any anxiety over having man-made materials injected into your skin is alleviated.
Platelet rich plasma was first used in burns departments in hospitals, as it significantly helped the healing process when it came to skin grafts. It wasn’t until later that the industry put two and two together and realised it could be greatly beneficial for facial aesthetics, achieving soft facelift effects with virtually no downtime and minimal invasiveness.
The younger you are, the more rejuvenating your blood’s platelets are. We’d recommend starting PRP treatments in your late 20s or early 30s as prevention is always better than cure
I tried the treatment at Richmond’s Bodyvie Clinic, which always offers the latest technically advanced treatments. Bodyie’s Medical Director and Lead Physician, Dr Andrew Weber, describes the platelet rich plasma treatment as groundbreaking, something that produces significant results after only a few treatments.
‘The younger you are, the more rejuvenating your blood’s platelets are,’ he explains. ‘So, ironically, these treatments work better on younger people, but they are the ones that need it least. Although they still work wonderfully on older people, more treatments are needed. We’d recommend starting PRP treatments in your late 20s or early 30s, as prevention is always better than cure.’
Bodyvie also put me under the coveted Opera face mask, a robotic looking white mask that emits infrared light to reduce inflammation and revive the skin, sometimes with a collagen paper mask underneath. It’s done the rounds on Instagram, with the likes of Justin Bieber posting Transformer snaps from inside the treatment room.
Combining the Vampire and Opera mask facial (named for the resemblance to the mask in Phantom of the Opera), might evoke memories of horror movie classics, but you’ll be looking Hollywood high-def in the weeks ahead.
133-135 Kew Road TW9 2PN; 020 7100 0744; bodyvie.com