A PRP facial, also known as a vampire facial, is an aesthetic procedure that uses a person’s blood to rejuvenate facial skin. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma containing concentrated growth factors and proteins that promote healing and tissue regeneration. This guide will provide a complete overview of PRP facials, including how they work, benefits, risks, cost, preparation, procedure, and results.
How Does a PRP Facial Work?
A PRP facial utilizes the healing and regenerative properties of plasma from the patient’s blood. Here are the steps involved:
Blood Draw: First, a small amount of blood, usually around 10-20mL, is drawn from the patient’s arm. This blood then gets spun in a centrifuge to separate the plasma and platelets from the red and white blood cells.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Extraction: The plasma contains a high concentration of platelets and growth factors. This platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains over 300 proteins and growth factors that stimulate tissue regeneration and new cell growth.
Microneedling: The PRP is then applied topically on the face and worked into the skin using a micro-needling device. Microneedling creates tiny channels in the skin for the PRP to penetrate deeper into the dermis and epidermis.
Facial Mask: Finally, the PRP is left on the face like a mask for up to an hour so the growth factors and proteins can provide their rejuvenating effects. The platelets initiate wound healing and tissue remodeling which resurfaces, smoothes, and plumps the skin.
Some clinics offering PRP facials may combine the treatment with other rejuvenating techniques like laser skin resurfacing for enhanced effects. The entire treatment typically takes less than 90 minutes from blood draw to completion.
Benefits of PRP Facials
There are many potential benefits of PRP for facial rejuvenation, including:
- Skin Resurfacing – PRP smooths fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and sun damage by stimulating new collagen production. Skin will appear smoother and firmer.
- Reduction of Dark Spots & Discoloration – The growth factors promote cellular turnover to diminish hyperpigmentation and reveal brighter, even-toned skin.
- Improved Skin Texture – PRP thickens the epidermis and replenishes volume for softer, supple skin with minimized pores.
- Increased Facial Volume – PRP injections into the dermis stimulate fibroblasts to produce more collagen and elastin for natural-looking volume and contours.
- Decreased Eye Bags & Dark Circles – Growth factors tighten and thicken the delicate under-eye skin, diminishing puffiness and discoloration.
- Improved Skin Tone & Radiance – Overall skin tone and radiance are enhanced through increased blood flow, oxygenation, and cell metabolism. Skin looks refreshed and glowing.
- Boosted Collagen Production – Collagen is built long after the PRP treatment as platelets initiate natural collagen synthesis in fibroblasts that continue for months.
- Minimal Downtime – Unlike lasers, chemical peels, or dermabrasion, PRP facial is non-invasive with very little social downtime. Redness and swelling subside within 1-3 days.
Potential Risks & Side Effects
PRP facial is considered very safe with minimal risks when performed properly by a licensed provider. Possible side effects include:
- Mild Pain or Discomfort During Treatment – Topical numbing cream can minimize any pain during micro-needling and PRP application.
- Redness & Swelling After Treatment – Normal side effects from microneedling can last 1-3 days before subsiding. No scarring occurs.
- Minor Itching or Dryness as Skin Heals – Easily managed with moisturizer and sun protection.
- Minimal Bruising from Blood Draw – Bruising from the venipuncture needle is uncommon. Any bruises fade within 7-10 days.
- Infection Risk – Extremely low when following proper sanitation protocols. Far less risk than with surgical facials.
- Allergic Reaction – Very rare. PRP is autologous from the patient’s blood. Discuss known medication or platelet allergies with the provider
- Unsatisfactory Results – PRP response varies by individual. Multiple sessions may be needed for best results on some skin types and conditions.
How Much Does a PRP Facial Cost?
The cost of PRP facials can range from $600-$1500 per session depending on your provider and geographic location. On average most patients can expect to pay around $1000 for their first PRP facial treatment. At least 2-3 sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart are recommended for optimal results. Maintenance sessions every 6-12 months help sustain the rejuvenating effects. Since PRP comes from your own body, it is considered a bioidentical substance and not subject to FDA regulations. Therefore, the costs are not inflated like many laser or injectable treatments. Check with your provider to learn about their specific PRP facial pricing packages.
Preparing for a PRP Facial – Tips for Best Results
To get the most out of your PRP facial treatment, here are some tips to follow in the weeks before your appointment:
- Avoid blood thinners like aspirin, NSAIDs, alcohol, and certain supplements that may interfere with platelet function. Check with your doctor.
- Stop any retinoids, acids, or exfoliating treatments 2 weeks before allowing skin to stabilize.
- Hydrate and moisturize the skin daily in preparation for micro-needling.
- Protect skin from sun exposure which can inhibit healing. Wear SPF 30+.
- Do not have botox injections 2 weeks before maximizing PRP diffusion.
- Shave the face closely to prepare for micro-needling and allow PRP to penetrate.
- Arrive with a clean face without makeup, creams, or oils which could block absorption.
Following proper pre-treatment guidelines enhances the effectiveness of PRP therapy for more pronounced rejuvenation.
What to Expect During the PRP Facial Procedure
Here is a step-by-step explanation of what you can expect when getting a PRP facial:
- Blood Draw – A small amount of blood 10-20mL will be drawn from your arm using a butterfly needle. The blood draw generally takes less than 5 minutes.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma Preparation – Your blood sample is placed in a centrifuge to separate and concentrate the platelets which takes around 15 minutes. Calcium chloride may be added as an anticoagulant.
- Face Cleansing – Your face will be thoroughly cleansed to remove any makeup, oils, or creams from the skin.
- Topical Numbing – A topical numbing cream will be applied to the face for up to 30 minutes before microneedling for comfort.
- Microneedling Device Application – Your provider will move a pen-like microneedling device over your face in sections. You may feel some mild pinching during this step which takes around 15-20 minutes.
- PRP Application – After micro-needling, the PRP will be evenly applied and gently massaged into your skin using a cotton-tipped applicator or gloved hands.
- Incubation – You’ll relax with the PRP treatment on your face for up to an hour allowing it to fully penetrate and work. No downtime is required.
- Moisturizing & SPF – Your face will be moisturized and you’ll be instructed to wear sunscreen daily during healing. Some redness may be noticeable for 48 hours.
You’ll be in and out of your aesthetic provider’s office in around 90 minutes with a renewed, youthful glow!
How Long Do Results Last? Balance of Fading Effects
Clients can enjoy visible results from their PRP facial for about 12-18 months. However, results vary by individual with gradual fading of effects over time. Most patients report noticing:
- Immediate glow effect with tightened, smooth skin for 1-2 weeks
- Continued improvement of texture, tone, and firmness from 1-3 months as collagen regenerates
- Long-term enhancement of facial contours, fine lines, and skin radiance for up to 12-18 months
- Fading effects with slightly less facial volume, elasticity and glow at around 18 months
Maintenance PRP facials every 12-18 months can help sustain your results. Your provider may also suggest combining your PRP with other treatments like laser skin resurfacing, dermal fillers, or micro Botox for a synergistic effect. Be sure to properly cleanse, hydrate and protect your skin daily to make results last longer. Avoid environmental factors like sun exposure, smoking, and pollution that degrade collagen.
PRP Facial: An Effective Option for Natural Facial Rejuvenation
PRP facial treatment offers a cutting-edge way to renew and rejuvenate your face without surgery or downtime. The concentrated growth factors in PRP stimulate your own body’s regenerative capacity for smoother, firmer, and more youthful skin tone and texture. Results continue to improve gradually over months as new collagen develops. With proper preparation, minimal risks, and maintenance, PRP facial can create a natural-looking enhancement for the face that lasts over a year. Talk to a reputable anti-aging aesthetic provider to see if a PRP facial is right for your individual skin goals.