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What is a Vampire Facial<sup>®</sup>

What is a Vampire Facial?

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“Are vampire facials a real thing?”

Yes, and not just around Halloween time. You’ve probably seen depictions of vampire facials (Kim K launched them into popularity in 2013). It’s a polarizing procedure purely because the experience itself sounds a little…yucky, but if you can get past the idea of recycling your own blood for topical use, then you’ll be enjoying some amazing benefits.

What exactly is a vampire facial?

Vampire facials use a couple of recent advances in regenerative technology:

1. Platelet-rich plasma, aka PRP: Platelets, a special type of blood cell involved in the skin healing process, promote the development of new skin cells and collagen fibers. When a small amount of your blood is drawn, these platelets are separated out to make an enriched solution designed to stimulate skin cell and collagen growth.

2. Microneedling or microdermabrasion: For the PRP to be effective, your skin needs to be induced into a regenerative state. This can be accomplished by microneedling or microdermabrasion. On the whole, microneedling is less irritating and involves less downtime than a dermabrasion treatment. 

How does it work?

During the process of microneedling, thousands of tiny needles create micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating its natural regeneration response (think about getting a papercut, your skin says, “Oh, I need to make new skin to heal the wound.”) In this regenerative state, skin is more active and primed to receive oils, serums, moisturizers, and yes, PRP. The platelets and growth factors from your blood penetrate deep into the layers of your skin, where they can boost the natural regenerative processes.

Who’s a good vampire facial candidate?

Literally anyone, but you’ll see a greater difference if you have visible signs of wrinkles, fine lines, photo-aging, enlarged pores and uneven texture.

Following vampire facials, people have reported:

  • Decreased visibility of scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, and other blemishes
  • A refreshed under-eye area
  • Tighter pores
  • Plumper, more supple cheeks

Do not try this at home

Vampire facials should only be performed by trained professionals at medical spas or dermatology clinics. Though you may see results after just one session, it’s safe to bet on multiple visits to get the desired results. They typically run $1,000 a pop and recommended treatment frequency is once a month. They’re relatively safe procedures with some to-be-expected side effects such as bruising at the site of the blood draw and mild skin irritation where the dermabrasion or microneedling was performed depending on skin sensitivities.


1. Alves R, Grimalt R. A Review of Platelet-Rich Plasma: History, Biology, Mechanism of Action, and Classification. Skin appendage disorders. 2018;4(1):18-24.

2. Celletti EN. What Is a Vampire Facial® ? Everything to Know About the Skin Treatment. In. Allure2017.

3. Aust MC, Fernandes D, Kolokythas P, Kaplan HM, Vogt PM. Percutaneous collagen induction therapy: an alternative treatment for scars, wrinkles, and skin laxity. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. 2008;121(4):1421-1429.