The one facial treatment that should never have gone viral.

Ooft! Are you curious? A wee bit nervous? Accidentally clicked on this article? Welcome.

Because here at Mamamia, there's nothing we love more than asking cosmetic experts all the pervy details when it comes to which treatments they actually rate — and which ones they don't.

And apparently, there's one specific celebrity-approved treatment (it's also all over TikTok) that most cosmetic doctors say isn't worth your money.


Watch: I asked "The Doll Maker" what she'd do to my face. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

In a recent episode of You Beauty, co-host Shazzy Hunt interviewed Dr Amy Chahal, founder of The Centre For Medical Aesthetics to find out what an expert really thinks of the viral 'vampire facial' treatment.

And she had some serious thoughts.

What is a vampire facial?

Before we get into it, it's probably worth giving you a little refresher on what a 'vampire facial' actually... is.

Also known as Platelet Rich Plasma (or PRP), the vampire facial is a skin treatment that involves a cosmetic professional extracting a small amount of your blood (just like a regular blood test) and putting it through a centrifuge (a machine that separates the red blood cells from the plasma).


This solution is then injected back into the treatment area, where the growth factors from the platelets help to regenerate cells and stimulate collagen production.

"The theory there is that these growth factors will stimulate your fibroblasts which could produce collagen, resulting in beautiful skin," said Dr Chaha.

"It seems to be a popular treatment for people concerned with acne scarring, fine lines and under-eye circles — those seem to be the main indications as to why people seek this procedure out."

Do vampire facials actually work?

Now, there's been a lot of buzz around 'vampire facials' and PRP over the years (thanks, Kim Kardashian), and the treatment has been marketed as a 'new-generation procedure', with many celebrities touting the benefits and their results on social media.

So, is this a treatment skincare experts actually recommend? Do PRP facials actually work? 

According to Dr Chahal, there just isn't enough evidence to support it. In fact, with so many evidence-backed treatments on the aesthetic market, she really doesn't think it's worth your money.

"One of my main problems with this treatment is there are no strong, random controlled trials showing us that this works and that it produces collagen. From a science and medical standpoint, it just isn't there for me to say you should be spending your money on this. The strong evidence isn't there."



Dr Chahal goes on to explain that the quality of the plasma also changes —  meaning it's not a one-size-fits-all kind of treatment that will benefit everyone.

"If you're somebody who's on medication, we can actually potentially disrupt that inflammation cascade that is causing the growth factors to stimulate collagen."

"For example, if you're somebody who is on an anti-inflammatory medication, that can also affect your results. There are a lot of factors at play. There are also different devices that are extracting the blood and different qualities of blood we're going to get from that. So all in all, I just think that money can be better spent elsewhere." 

So, what should you get instead?

With this in mind, you might be wondering what alternative treatments can achieve the goals that people think PRP facials are going to achieve. 

According to Dr Chahal, there are many different options on the market that do a similar (but way better) job at stimulating collagen and bringing about noticeable results when it comes to the appearance of the skin.

"There are many options. My expertise lies in minimally invasive procedures, and one of my favourites for stimulating collagen, especially for people in their late 20s to 50s, is radiofrequency microneedling."


Heard of it before?

"Several studies show us that it works. And that's a good sign — evidence is my favourite thing!"

And honestly, same. Because approximately no one wants to spend their hard-earned cash on a spendy treatment that does... nothing.

In case you're not across radiofrequency microneedling, it involves a cosmetic expert using a device with gold-plated needles across your face, which causes micro-injury to your tissues. The treatment also uses radiofrequency technology, which heats and tightens the skin. 

"We know that radiofrequency micro-needling stimulates collagen," said Dr Chahal, who said the treatment can also be used to target different signs of ageing, such as early jowling. It's a fantastic treatment." 

What does radiofrequency microneedling involve?

The procedure usually takes an hour, with twenty to 30 minutes of that involving a numbing cream.

"I usually tell my patients, it's something that you're not going to sleep through, but we can make it as comfortable as possible."

In terms of downtime, it's generally quite minimal. "You walk out quite red, and that redness subsides throughout the day," said Dr Chahal.

"Sometimes it really depends on what [skin concerns] we're targeting. For example, you may have little 'goosebumps' from the needles for a few days. Wearing makeup the next day is completely fine, and most people wouldn't notice it."


In terms of how many treatments you'll need for best results, Dr Chahal recommends having three sessions a month apart, and then undergoing maintenance treatments once a year. 

After your second treatment, she said you'll usually begin to see results in the the overall appearance of your skin.

"You'll see improvement in skin texture, pigmentation and fine lines. For people who are looking for tightening, we're able to achieve that as well. It's a really beautiful procedure for women and men in their 40s and 50s."

When it comes to the all-important cost of the treatment, Dr Chahal said the price-point for radiofrequency microneedling is probably a little bit higher, but it really depends on who's doing the treatment for you. "But the evidence is there, and I see amazing results all the time."

"If you do your research and find the right person, I would definitely put my money there."

Consider us convinced!

Have you tried a PRP facial or radiofrequency microneddling before? What are your thoughts? Share them with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Twitter;@kimkardashian/Canva.

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