The first time I ever saw or heard about the ‘vampire facial’ was after seeing this image of Kim Kardashian on the internet. A blood-spattered face fit for any Halloween makeup look or horror show. The procedure was then aired on Kim & Kourtney Take Miami and if you watched it, it looks more than just a little painful. Never in a million years would I have thought of undergoing such a treatment but when the opportunity presented itself, I was more than game for it. It’s been exactly 10 weeks post-treatment. The best time to notice any results is between 6-8 weeks so I’ll take you through my experience and let you know whether I thought it was worth it or not.
The Wellness Centre
I was honoured to have been one of six VIP guests selected by Hello Joburg to experience one of the finest aesthetic clinics in the country. The Anti-Aging Art Medical Aesthetic and Holistic Wellness Centre is not a name that might ring many bells, but I can almost guarantee you’ve heard about the dream duo in charge of it all. Dr Reza Mia and Dr Elfrieda Fourie are well sought after by many celebrities. They’ve worked on the likes of Miss SA Liesl Laurie, Shashi Naidoo, Zuraida Jardine and YouTuber Maya Mia to name a few. The wellness centre, with it’s welcoming entranceway, is centrally located in the heart of Houghton in Johannesburg.
Intravenous (IV) Infusion Therapy
We arrived to be ushered into a large room that had couches for all and a treatment chair in the middle of the room. The team at Anti Aging Art were introduced to us and their specialities were relayed. We then all got to experience an energy IV infusion, a cocktail of vitamin B, Magnesium, Calcium and Vitamin C. With it being administered directly into the bloodstream, the body is able to use it efficiently without any of the nutrients being lost along the way. It gives the body a boost of energy to help with fatigue and keep the body functioning at optimal levels.
Each one of us guests than had the opportunity to present what our skin/body concerns were and since none of them were invasive, we chose to be present to witness each other’s treatments. There was microblading done to fix eyebrows, botox to control underarm sweating and redermalization injections to clear sun damage. Another lady had fillers done to plump up her undereyes to minimise the dark circles and an acne sufferer had her first ever chemical peel. I loved how each person was attended to individually instead of just performing generic treatments like other spas do. It was truly amazing to experience it together because every woman was beautiful yet they each had their own insecurities they wanted to tackle.
Mine was acne scars. Whilst suffering from acne is by far the most traumatic and depressing issue I’ve ever dealt with as an adult, trying to get rid of acne scars comes in at a super close second. Over the last year, I’ve been for countless chemical peels, tried various creams and serums and made a mess many a time making a DIY mask. They all did help but getting rid of acne scars is an excruciatingly slow process, well that’s what I thought.
The Vampire Facial (warning – needles ahead!)
I was recommended the PRP treatment which was administered by Dr Elfrieda Fourie. PRP, which stands for platelet-rich plasma, is extracted from the blood and then injected back into the face. Before drawing blood, an anaesthetic cream was applied to my entire face to numb it. Blood was drawn from my right arm (since I received the IV infusion in my left hand) like any nurse or Lancet lab tech would do. Two vials were filled and they both had to be the exact same amount before being placed in the centrifuge. The centrifuge, a device that spins the tubes so that the particles separate according to their density, runs for around 20 minutes. A second layer of numbing cream was applied to my face during this time as the effect was starting to wear off. Once the device turns off, the plasma to be used on the face is extracted using a needle syringe and placed in a container ready for use.
Then the actual vampire facial begins. Once the skin is cleaned and sterilised to remove the numbing cream, a Dermapen with 9 needles is run across the surface of the skin in sections. It’s not really painful but it is uncomfortable and once the area is done, some of the plasma is rubbed over it to penetrate the skin through the holes made by the Dermapen. It was more sensitive over two spots where I could feel a pimple brewing beneath the surface. You know those ones that hide behind the scenes taunting you for days before they make their actual appearance. The entire face takes just a few minutes to complete even though the entire treatment time varies between 60-90 minutes. Once that was done, Dr Fourie injected some of the plasma directly into some of my larger acne scars in my cheeks. There were 3 injections done on each side and that was extremely painful. I was on the verge of tears but since everyone was watching I had to stay brave.
After the treatment, my skin was slightly red but there was no pain. I was given latex gloves and the remainder of the plasma to keep applying while we went back into the large room for lunch. It did feel like there were hundreds of tiny bumps on my skin where the Dermapen penetrated but it was not easily visible. I applied the plasma every 10 or so minutes and it tingled as soon as it touched my skin. I did this about 3 times and we discarded the rest of the plasma. As my skin dried it felt tight and left a whitish crackle, exactly the same as if you applied egg whites to your face. My post-treatment info was not to touch my skin or cleanse for the day, not to wear makeup for at least 24 hours and not use any form of retinol for 7 days.
About an hour after my treatment, the redness was completely gone and my skin looked amazing. I think the treatment made me swell a bit but it just added to the plumpness and radiance that I noticed. As the weeks progressed, I noticed the scars on the left cheek lightening quite a bit, with a large scar disappearing completely. On the right cheek, I’ve been getting multiple breakouts in the same small area so there is no way to tell what’s happening over there. Overall I’ve noticed that my skin looks younger and the texture on my forehead that I always had is almost diminished.
The cost of the vampire facial ranges from R4500 upwards. This is just for the PRP treatment and can go up between R1 000 – R2 000 with the use of a Dermapen.
Would I go for another vampire facial? Hell yes! I’ve always been a team Jacob fan but in this case, it’s team Edward for the win.
I know that the price is quite steep, but after noticing the results after just one session, I’m hooked. My monthly Dermafix facials and chemical peels at Eagle Canyon Spa have been costing me around R850 per month including products and I’ve barely noticed the results after 6 months of treatments. Right now my game plan is to get my acne completely under control because I’m still getting cheek and jawline breakouts trying to find the right birth control for me and getting my hormones back in check. Once that clears, I’m hoping to go quarterly for the vampire facial to treat my scarring. I would 100% recommend this to anyone that can afford it but if you can’t, don’t stress, I’ll have another post soon of the products that have helped my scarring.
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