Monthly Archives: September 2016

Bloody Brilliant or Bloody Awful: The Vampire Facial

blooddrip

I blame Kim Kardashian. For a lot of things, but today we’re talking about a sort of ridiculous facial trend; and I blame her for the hype, because she popularized it by getting it done on camera. I’m talking about the Vampire Facial, which is different from the Vampire Facelift. Both utilize PRP (platelet rich plasma). Although it’s been a few years since the episode aired and the craze started, it’s still highly searched and asked about. (No, I’ve never seen the episode in question.)

PRP is the process of drawing blood, then spinning it through a centrifugal processing system (thank you RealSelf for that string of words) to separate the platelets from the red blood cells. The plasma creates a growth-factor rich serum that is healing and boosts the immune system. This glorious goo is then injected back into the skin.

Being of the gothy/vampy variety, I’m immediately on board with anything that uses blood. Being an educated esthetician, however, I’m skeptical of any fad procedure. So, I took to le internet and did some research to see if it’s really worth the pain and money.

First, let’s talk about the differences between the Vampire Facial and the Vampire Facelift. The Vampire Facial incorporates micro-needling, a wonderful facial procedure in which a multi-needled device is rolled over your face. This causes tiny pinpricks in your skin. The purpose of the pinpricks is to increase the delivery of serums and products used after the needling; also, the process triggers your body’s wound-healing mechanism, which promotes the formation of new collagen and elastin. Micro-needling is a wonderful anti-aging procedure when performed by a licensed professional; I cannot attest to home micro-needling, so I will keep my opinions on that to myself. ANYWAY. Micro-needling, in itself, could be considered a sort of vampire facial, because the pinpricks obviously produce some amount of bleeding. But, the Vampire Facial (capitalized for differentiation) takes it a step further by then injecting the PRP into your face. The Vampire Facelift varies from the Facial in that it eliminates the micro-needling, and also utilizes hyaluronic acid fillers, Restalyne, or Juvederm in addition to the PRP.

As of 2013, Popular Science claimed there was no scientific proof that the procedure is effective. Several other sources around the same year agree. So, that aspect is for you to research and decide for yourself. From an esthetics standpoint, micro-needling to then inject beneficial serums, treatments, etc. makes sense.

Why would you get a Vampire procedure? For the epic selfie, duh. For anti-aging, mostly. To try a trend and see if you get anything out of it. If you do decide to try it, PLEASE ensure that you are getting it done a medical spa or a plastic surgeon’s office.  For micro-needling and other similar services, you can try somewhere like TLATA (Texas Laser and Aesthetics Training Academy), which supervises their students as they perform the services. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT PURCHASE AN AT-HOME MICRO-NEEDLING DEVICE! I’m sure there are great ones out there, but there is always a risk of contamination and infection when you’re BRINGING BLOOD TO THE SURFACE OF YOUR FACE THROUGH MICRO ABRASIONS. So, from a hygiene standpoint alone, you should see a licensed professional for anything utilizing a needle.

Why WOULDN’T you get a Vampire procedure? If you’re a masochist, because apparently, the procedure is no more painful than Botox. If you’re afraid of needles or blood. If you’re skeptical about the results-these procedures can get up into the thousands. That’s a lot of money to shell out for something you’re not 100% sold on. I’m sure there are other factors that would eliminate you as a candidate, but that’s why you consult with someone licensed to perform the procedures beforehand.

Until there’s concrete, in-your-face, easy-to-Google scientific evidence that the procedures are worth the price tag, I personally would stick to just micro-needling. It’s vampire-adjacent enough for me. What are your thoughts? Would you ever try something like this? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO,

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Additional sources:

FutureDerm

RealSelf

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Quit Putting Glue on Your F***ing Face

The biggest Pinterest skincare trend right now is a DIY activated charcoal mask. I can’t open the app without seeing it in my suggestions; I can’t go into a makeup and beauty group on Facebook without being bombarded by pictures of women masking it up with this concoction. We all know that I am pro DIY skincare, when it’s safe and makes sense. So this is not me bashing the DIY aspect of this particular trend. I actually love activated charcoal masks for their cleansing and exfoliating abilities. What I take issue with is the other ingredient used: glue. Yes, glue. Good ol Elmer’s school glue.

Yall, this trend gets me HEATED. Like, heated to the point that I yell angrily at my screen, “ARE YOU F***IN STUPID?!” So heated, in fact, that I am writing this post now, and even Googled “why is glue bad for your skin,” because it seems like no one else is capable of doing so.

The theory behind this fuckery is that since Elmer’s glue is the same texture as pore strips and pulls out blackheads, and is nontoxic, you can use it in place of “pricey” pore strips and masks. Because why pay for something that’s been formulated for your skin when you can use something that’s been formulated for paper at a literal fraction of the cost? (Is my sarcasm just spewing out of your screen? Good.)

Here’s why this is a bad idea: glue contains ingredients that are skin irritants and cause allergic reactions (although the glue is nontoxic). Elmer’s doesn’t even list all of the ingredients used, as it is a proprietary blend, so who knows what else is in there that is not skin friendly. You may be pulling out the blackheads in your skin, but you’re irritating the rest of your skin in the process. Glue is also comedogenic; if the purpose of the mask is to clear your pores, why the HELL would you use something that is going to clog your pores? Not only that, glue was not formulated to be used on the skin; the list of things that are not formulated for the skin, but are safe for the skin, is short. Glue is not pH balanced for your skin, which leads to a whole other set of skin problems. You need to be very careful when using things that you have to rip off of your face. The act of ripping causes the borders of your pores to expand. Obviously, this leads to more noticeable pores, something literally everyone is trying to avoid. Not only that, you’re damaging your collagen and elastin. You are literally causing sagging, wrinkles, and early aging. All for the low, low price of school glue.

So please: avoid this trend at all costs. Pore strips and DIY peel-off masks may seem like inexpensive treatment options but the damage done to your skin is irreversible and will cost you a ton of money to temporarily repair. Here are my Target suggestions for charcoal based masks that will do what you’re wanting without damaging your skin:

You can find better options in several other places, but since this trend is so popular because it’s dirt cheap, I stuck with Target. One of my favorite blogs, FutureDerm, provides further but simplified information here. Even Refinery 29 advises against the trend here.

Thank you for reading through my rant! Seeing a professional for your skin concerns is always advised, but I get it, it’s not always doable. But please, for the love of your skin, DON’T PUT GLUE ON YOUR F***ING FACE!

XOXO,

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