All right, yes, we’ve all seen the pictures of Kim Kardashian after getting a certain procedure done.  Her bloody, swollen face made most of us cringe and say “who would do THAT?!”  You know the pictures I’m talking about, right?  If not, google “Kim Kardashian vampire facial”.  Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about it.  About the so-called “vampire facial”.  First things first, it’s called Micro Needling with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma).  And it’s awesome.  This is one those treatments that I was a little nervous to try.  After all, I don’t like needles.  I’m not crazy about blood draws.  And Kim Kardashian made it look so painful!  Luckily, Mrs. Kanye West apparently is a bit of a drama queen.  Who knew?  I was asked by our aestheticians Amy, Beth, and Mandy to be their model for a training session, and after figuring out my plans for the weekend (there is a bit of downtime that may affect any plans where you want to look your best), I agreed.

Before I describe my own procedure, let me give some information on Micro Needling.  When we’re born, our epidermis (the surface layer of skin) is about 70% collagen.  Sadly, by age 35, that number has decreased by almost half.  Happily, there’s still hope, no matter what your skin type is!  Micro Needling uses Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) to create small micro-channels in the skin to stimulate and manipulate the body’s natural healing process.  This shifts the skin into “regeneration mode”, which cycle intensifies the release of growth factors in the deeper skin layer, and results in accelerated collagen and elastin production.  This is working to heal the tiny wounds, building new layers of healthy skin, improving fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, stretch marks, skin tightening, and more.  The micro-channels also offer optimal absorption of therapeutic serums, made from your own plasma, and super high in hyalauronic acid.  Oh!  And even cooler?  At Innovative Aesthetics, for an extra charge, we can inject your PRP into your forehead for the wrinkles which with you might normally use Botox!

I have said it before (and I will more than likely say it many times more), but we really have the best staff of professionals here at Innovative.  I was taken through each step of the treatment, and reassured with any questions I had.  I started out with a current VISIA picture to assess my skin.  We saw the usual – fine lines, sun damage, a few scars, and uneven skin tone (VISIA pictures make the scariest, but most fascinating things to look at).  After that, we applied a numbing cream, and let that sit for 10 minutes.  During that time, my blood was drawn, and the plasma spun out to make the serum.  Once I was sufficiently numbed, they injected the serum around my forehead, eyes, and cheekbones.  I barely felt anything except a little pressure, and a tiny bit of burning as the PRP started working.  Next they began the Micro Needling process.  This tool looks like a pen with a circle of tiny needles on the tip.  Due to the vertical needle insertion, fast perforation, and the aforementioned numbing cream, I felt very little except for a small amount of pain around my nose and eyes.  Very manageable!  Afterward, I looked in the mirror, and quite honestly, was impressed.  Remember, I had seen the Kim K pictures.  My face was red, yes, but not overly so.  There were traces of the direction that the pen had taken, but nothing that looked too ghastly.  Once the numbing cream wore off, I did feel some tightness and heat (similar to a sunburn), but as long as I kept applying the serum they gave me to take home, the discomfort was easily kept at bay.  Now, I’ll admit, I did have a couple of commitments the following two evenings at which I did not love showing my make-up less face (no make up for at least 24 hours, although we recommend 48), but it wasn’t as bad as I had expected (plus most people know where I work, so….).  By the time the weekend rolled, I still had a very small amount of redness left, but I could slather on sunscreen, apply make up, and go about my activities without feeling self conscious (my friends who knew what I had done were shocked at how normal I looked just 3 days later).

And…then it was time to wait.  You don’t get your full results right away-it can take about 4 weeks to completely heal, and it will continue to keep working for 10 to 12 weeks.  But you know what?  It was totally worth it.  My skin glowed, my fine lines were lessened, and my skin tone was so much more even!  Even the dark circles under my eyes (one of the banes of my face’s existence) were lighter.  I just looked…well, younger and refreshed.  Definitely not the usual look of a tired mom with two teens,  one tween, one dog, two ferrets, one lizard, one turtle, and, oh yes, a husband.  I am now the newest convert to the benefits of Micro Needling. And side note; is there anything PRP CAN’T do??