If you’ve had a facial before, you know how soothing they feel. The problem is their results don’t last long, and they do little to combat the signs of aging. But the PRP facial is different, made with platelet-rich plasma to promote tissue regeneration. What does this mean for you? A more youthful appearance, provided by the professional staff of Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA.
What Is PRP Facial Treatment?
Simply put, this facial incorporates platelets from your own blood. We know it sounds a little macabre, but that’s only because you haven’t yet heard the details. First, we want to highlight the many wonderful properties of blood so you understand the science behind this treatment. Let’s start with a simple cut you might get on your hand, finger, or leg.
Platelets always arrive first at an injury site, including cuts. They form clots that stop the bleeding and eventually turn into scabs. Fibrin, also found in blood, is a protein that helps hold the clot in place. After the wound is clotted, blood vessels open slightly so oxygen and fresh nutrients can assist with healing. White blood cells help clean and protect the wound from infection, while red blood cells help build new tissues.
The Body’s Healing Process
Chemicals that communicate with these many different cells instruct them to create collagen. Another protein found abundantly throughout the body, collagen serves as the skin’s scaffolding. Thanks to the harmonious way in which these components work together, new tissues grow to replace those that were injured. You might experience localized itching and wound puckering throughout this process, but the point is the body can heal itself.
A PRP facial – also known as a vampire facial in mainstream media – harnesses this ability in a slightly different way, but the concept of healing and regenerating new, healthy tissues remains the same. We combine microneedling with PRP that is applied both topically and injected into deeper tissues for a fully rejuvenating treatment. The benefits of this multi-faceted approach include:
- Stronger and tighter skin
- Eradication of wrinkles and fine lines
- Smaller pores
- Brighter complexion
How It Works
A PRP facial can be broken into steps that are essentially the same for each patient. To illustrate, we begin by drawing a sample of blood from your arm, just as a clinic or physician’s office would do. The sample is then placed into a centrifuge to isolate platelets from red and white blood cells. Although highly beneficial, these cells are not necessary for your facial. Your platelets are what we need, and we’ll explain why in a little bit.
We also apply a topical numbing agent to your skin so you stay comfortable throughout treatment. Once prepared, the PRP is infused with our proprietary blend of vitamins and amino acids. We then place it into specific parts of your face using both microneedling and injections, as discussed earlier. The combination of these techniques allows the PRP to sink deep into tissue layers, where real healing takes place.
This cosmetic therapy has been used for decades to boost collagen growth. Tiny needles that puncture the skin’s first layer trick the body into thinking the skin has sustained injuries. Don’t worry – these micro-injuries are delivered in a very controlled and precise manner. We can adjust penetration levels and only target specific spots on your face to deliver a truly customized treatment.
The greatest benefit of microneedling is its ability to change and enhance your skin’s texture, but it also:
- Helps reduce scars and hyperpigmentation
- Eliminates the appearance of wrinkles
- Reduces pores
- Improves the appearance of rosacea
- Fights stretch marks
- Tightens sagging skin
- Restores softness and smoothness
Microneedling and Collagen
Each of these results comes as a result of increased collagen production, which is to say that microneedling in and of itself is highly effective at combatting the signs of aging. When paired with PRP, collagen synthesis doubles to heal tissues more effectively and efficiently.
Why We Want Platelets
To speak bluntly, platelets are good for the skin. They trigger a series of events, including stronger blood flow to feed the skin with nutrient-rich blood. One of the hallmarks of strong blood flow is a rosy, glowing complexion that instantly helps you look younger and healthier. A more radiant appearance, then, is one of the benefits afforded by PRP.
You might be wondering at this point why we don’t simply apply blood to your face during treatment. The reason is this: platelets are the cells that promote tissue healing and regeneration. PRP contains around five times more of these cells than just blood alone, and this great concentration is needed to heal the skin. More specifically, this concentration is rich in growth factors key to maintaining healthy skin.
What, exactly, do growth factors do? They support the repair of damaged skin, whether caused by intrinsic or extrinsic aging. The first occurs inevitably as a result of the genetic timeclock. Free radicals are the driving forces behind intrinsic aging, causing degenerative effects on the body and its ability to promote cellular turnover. Over time, as cells lose their capacity to renew, they also their functions.
Intrinsic aging happens in a continuum that starts in the mid-20s. It often, however, does not become visible for a decade or two. The results are dead skin cells that don’t shed as efficiently – visible in clogged pores and a dull complexion – skin that loses its spring, and hollows that develop in cheeks and under eyes.
Extrinsic aging, on the other hand, causes skin laxity, thinning, and wrinkles. It is the result of environmental factors like gravity, smoking, and sun exposure. Even sleeping positions can contribute to extrinsic aging, a process that often makes a person look years older than they really are.
Growth factors, large proteins that float between and communicate with cells, deliver messages concerning healing, growth, and survival. They can also signal to cells when they need to repair and rejuvenate. Delivering them directly to the skin stimulates more collagen and elastin production, as well as increased blood flow.
Studies confirm that platelets contain factors that can stimulate the growth of fibroblasts. These cells specifically release precursors to collagen; in other words, they are the worker bees that boost collagen and give skin a firm, smooth appearance.
Elastin naturally accompanies collagen, and these two proteins interweave together to form a supportive network that is both flexible and strong. In other words, collagen and elastin give your skin its lifted and contoured shape. Elastin also lends skin its elastic quality – the bounce that helps your face look both plump and firm at the same time.
Benefits of a Vampire Facial
When people think of cosmetic therapies, they tend to envision lengthy and painful treatments that are almost too uncomfortable to bear. We can assure you this is not the case. A PRP facial, in fact, is pain-free. Your skin will be thoroughly cleansed to remove makeup, dust, pollen, dirt, and other toxins that could negatively react with treatment.
As stated earlier, we also apply a topical numbing agent, paying particular attention to those areas around the mouth and eyes, as well as along the hairline. We understand these are delicate parts and want to ensure you feel no pain. If you have additional concerns, you can take aspirin before or after treatment and can also ice treatment sites to increase the cellular rejuvenation process.
Little to No Preparation Required
Unlike some treatments that require days and even weeks of preparation, the vampire facial demands just three simple steps (unless otherwise directed by our office). We first recommend you wear sunscreen before and after treatment to protect against UV rays. You should also drink at least eight full glasses of water on each of the three days before treatment.
Last, you should come to treatment with a bare face. Your skin will need to be clean anyway, and arriving bare-faced will only help in this manner. That means no:
- Other topical products
It probably seems the PRP facial would take considerable time, but it doesn’t. Depending on the size of your treatment site, you can expect to be in our office for around an hour. And you don’t need to worry about downtime once treatment is complete. Although traditional microneedling can require five to seven days for your skin to heal, PRP significantly reduces this window because it heals the micro-injuries almost immediately after they are inflicted.
Many anti-aging treatments need to be repeated at regular intervals, such as once every month, every three months, or every six months. But a vampire facial delivers long-lasting results that can improve your appearance for a year or two.
While you may achieve your desired aesthetic after just one treatment, acne scars or similar concerns may require more sessions. We’ll develop your treatment plan during your consultation visit and let you know how many treatments we recommend.
Is Treatment Right for You?
The answer to this might very well be yes. Let’s look at the individual ways in which a vampire facial improves skin health. Collagen production, which we’ve discussed at length, is just one of the effects. In circling back to this topic, we should mention it can take a couple of weeks for this protein to ramp up. Your results, therefore, will develop in time. Tighter skin will be immediately visible, but concerns like wrinkles and fine lines might take a little longer to address.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Speaking of these pesky aging cues, it’s worth noting lines and wrinkles are the most common reasons people want PRP facials. Treatment whisks them away by promoting cellular turnover, which is a term for the way in which old skin cells get pushed out to make way for new. Lines and wrinkles are also smoothed as the skin tightens, and deeper folds diminish as hollowed areas get plumped.
Improved Hydration Levels
Skin needs hydration to function optimally. This includes maintaining a strong barrier that locks moisture in and keeps out unwanted intruders like bacteria, toxins, and irritants. Hydration also helps keep your pores clean.
A vampire facial assists with all of these factors. Collagen, for instance, helps strengthen and thicken skin, thus making the natural barrier stronger in the process. Treatment also removes dead cells and grime to pave the way for skincare products. Meaning, your skin is free to drink in the moisturizers and serums you use on a daily basis. All in all, hydrated skin is healthy skin, and we can help you achieve both.
Beautiful and Glowing Skin
The skin you want is right around the corner, using your body’s own healing processes to ensure safe and efficient treatment. A vampire facial works at the skin’s deepest levels to refresh and rejuvenate your complexion. It is ideal as an anti-aging therapy and requires little maintenance. To schedule your consultation today, call Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA.