I’m not on social media, but I still managed to hear about micro-needling with PRP, or “vampire facials,” a few years back. The procedure is touted for stimulating collagen production, which diminishes the appearance of uneven skin tone, scars, enlarged pores, fine lines and wrinkles.
Full disclosure, I am the kind of person that will likely invest in my appearance as I mature. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, just as I don’t think it is wrong to forego such procedures. It is a deeply personal decision. As a vegan, micro-needling with PRP seems like a much more “natural” procedure compared to Botox and other injections. Especially considering my current skin concerns aren’t severe.
So, what is micro-needling with PRP, exactly?
Micro-needling is a procedure that can stand alone. It involves rolling fine needles over the skin’s surface, creating tiny incisions. The idea is that the healing process will increase collagen production and cell turnover. The addition of plasma-rich platelets (PRP), which are present in blood, is believed to make the procedure even more effective. This is because plasma contains proteins and cytokines, both powerful forces for healing damage to skin.
Micro-needling with PRP first involves drawing blood, which is “spun” in a device called a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates blood from the plasma-rich platelets. While your blood is spinning, the nurse/esthetician will apply a hefty layer of numbing cream to the area you’re treating. In my case, my entire face.
Once the centrifuge was finished, she started the procedure. First, she worked on my forehead, and it was the most painful. She alternated between rolling the micro-needling device over my forehead and rubbing the PRP into the wounds. She described the PRP as “liquid gold” and advised that we wouldn’t be wasting a drop of it. After my forehead, she made her way down to my nose and upper lip. These were the second most painful areas for me. She could tell I was in pain and showed me compassion, explaining that it was because I did not have a lot of fat so my face is bony. So, bear that in mind folks.
But moving on to my cheeks, I tolerated much better. Same for my chin. The entire procedure lasted about 2 hours, and I left with the PRP/blood on my face. She advised I could leave it on until it was completely dried.
Yes, I drove home looking like that. And I left it on about an hour.
The rest of the day, my face felt tight. Similar to a bad sunburn. Over the next several days, my face was very dry. I cleansed gently with Ceramedx foaming wash, used Ceramedx moisturizer liberally and avoided sunlight.
By about day 5, I woke up and saw results. My skin was softer than it had been in years. My fine lines were gone; the tone and texture of my skin greatly improved. I felt like I had bought back years with just one session! But it is worth noting, no one noticed. None of my friends said, “You skin looks different!” To be fair, I was in the midst of moving and wasn’t really spending time with friends anyway. But I feel it is worth acknowledging that perhaps my biggest gain was my own perception of myself. I mean, it made me feel good about myself, so that means it is worth it, right?
Further, it is worth considering that if you have major skin concerns, you will likely require 4–6 sessions of micro-needling with PRP to see the results you want. Sessions shouldn’t be more frequent than every 4 weeks. The woman I worked with recommended a session every 4–6 weeks for general anti-aging maintenance. When considering the cost, well, that is quite the commitment. One that I cannot currently make. But would I do it again? Absolutely. And do I feel like it was worth it? Yes.
What do you think, dumplings? Will you give micro-needling with PRP a try?
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Photo: Unsplash Adrian Motroc, R. Coker