I bet you never thought you’d ask the Internet the question of what is a vampire facial? But after Kim Kardashian and her sister Kourtney put vampire facials on the map, they’ve been hot topics in the world of beauty. You can google the pictures that Kim K posted of her very own vampire facial experience, but they show Kim’s face covered in a layer of splotchy blood. If you’re a hemophobiac (someone with a phobia to blood) like me, these images are disturbing, to say the least. And seeing Kim’s face covered in blood makes you beg the question,… why? What is a vampire facial? What does a vampire facial do? And… is it worth it?
We’ll go into why exactly people are opting for this dangerous method of skincare, what you can expect from a vampire facial, and safe alternatives to achieving healthy, beautiful skin.
What Is A Vampire Facial?
A vampire facial is a colloquial term used to refer to PRP, or platelet-rich plasma treatment is the process of extracting plasma from the blood and re-injecting it into the face. Long before Kim and her sister were posting selfies of their PRP procedures, people were using the science involved to help treat conditions like sprained knees and tendon injuries. Even athletes like Tiger Woods have been treated with PRP to help reduce inflammation, pain, and speed up the healing process. 
What is the difference between micro-needling and the vampire facial?
Vampire facial: Blood is drawn from the superficial veins anterior to the elbow and run through a centrifuge to separate red blood cells from plasma. The platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is used as a facial serum prior to micro-needling and then injected into the dermis (the outermost layer of the skin).
Micro-needling: Begins with fine needles going into the skin at different depths, causing controlled damage to the skin, according to Heidi Felix, R.N.
So, is micro-needling the same as a vampire facial? From a basic standpoint, the difference between micro-needling and the vampire facial comes down to one thing:
Both can get bloody, but vampire facials require a LOT of blood Micro-needling involves less blood, but ya know… you’re making tiny cuts all over your skin so there’s gonna be some red stuff involved. These two procedures use different processes to stimulate collagen production and trigger the body to create and heal tissue.
As women, we’re no strangers to blood. From menstrual cycles to childbirth, we’ve seen it all. But, the question remains: Do you need to get your face bloody to look beautiful? Beauty is pain, but should beauty cause that much pain?
Another difference between micro-needling and vampire facials is the price point. According to Felix, vampire facials can cost upwards of $700, while micro-needling can run anywhere from $300-$350.
What Does A Vampire Facial Do?
Did you know that as you age, your cells don’t regenerate as quickly? By your late 20s, the production of collagen slows. The process of extracting blood and injecting plasma back into the skin encourages new cell growth and collagen production. When the skin is damaged, it works overtime to repair itself. A vampire facial reminds the body to heal itself and create new collagen. In addition, PRP is known to cause stem cell growth.
Vampire Facial Pros & Cons
Here’s a quick breakdown of benefits vs. side effects if you’re thinking about whether or not this bloody beauty trend is for you.
Vampire Facial Benefits
Vampire facials leave you with more than just an outrageous Freddy Kruger-esque picture that you can scare your friends and family with.
The benefits of injecting protein-rich plasma into your skin include:
- Stimulate the production of collagen
- Tighten facial skin
- Improve scarring
- Improve pigmentation
- Rejuvenate skin
Although vampire facial benefits are great, there are safer ways to firm up skin. Skin is the largest organ in the body, and it comprises almost 10-15% of your body weight.  Making sure that your skin is nourished, healthy, firm, and strong is important in protecting you from the sun and pollution. Plus, as your skin regenerates new cells, it gets stronger. Taking a daily collagen supplement like Super Youth is a safe way to help provide your skin with the nutrients, peptides, and proteins it needs to maintain its plump and youthful appearance.
Vampire Facial Side Effects
Vampire facial side effects are serious and you should be aware of them before making a bloody appointment. First and foremost, any type of needle injection exposes you to bloodborne illnesses like HIV and hepatitis. In fact, two patients tested positive for HIV after receiving vampire facials at a clinic in New Mexico. 
Other downsides include a long recovery time while your skin recovers. The timeframe required for recovery varies depending on the person, but your skin needs time to heal. Vampire facials and micro-needling can cause redness and swelling and your skin may start peeling 2 to5 days after the procedure, depending on how deep you go. If you have a lot of sun damage, you may shed more skin. Be sure to use sensitive face wash, avoid wearing makeup, and stay out of direct sun exposure after a vampire facial.
The Verdict: Is The Vampire Facial Worth It?
At the end of the day, these facials are risky business. Vampire facial side effects can be painful and potentially expose you to bloodborne illnesses. There are much safer and highly effective alternatives to tightening sagging skin, erasing fine lines and crow’s feet, and achieving a youthful glow, like using a daily collagen peptide supplement. SkinnyFit Super Youth can boost your collagen production naturally by drinking Super Youth 2 to 3x daily and experience youthful-looking skin, stronger hair and nails, improved bone and joint health, and revived gut health… without undergoing the pain from needles or paying hundreds of dollars for a facial. Looking and feeling like your most amazing, youthful self can be easy and achievable from your kitchen counter! Now, that sounds more like something I’d be interested in!
READ NEXT: 5 Evidence-Based Reasons To Try Collagen For Skin (+Benefits)
- The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. (2011). Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP).
- Live Science. (2019). ‘Vampire Facial’ at New Mexico Spa Likely Exposed 2 People to HIV.
- New York Times. Do Collagen Supplements Help Hair, Skin, Nails and Joints?
- LiveScience. (2011). How Much Does Your Skin Weigh?