If you’ve got any interest in the beauty industry, or in celebrities, then you’ve probably heard of the Vampire Facial.
And if you haven’t heard of it, you might still be familiar with this picture:
Now, I’m not much of a thrill seeker in other areas, but when it comes to weird beauty treatments, I’m pretty much up for anything. So when I was offered the chance to try a Factor4 treatment, AKA a Vampire Facial, I couldn’t not. As it turns out, what I had done looked a little different from Kim Kardashian’s pictures — but the ‘after’ shot is just as gory.
Vampire Facials earn their name. The active ingredient is human blood - your own. Before your first treatment, your blood is harvested, then it’s processed, and injected back into your face. Yes. You read that right.
The technical name for the process is an autologous plasma injection. The Vampire Facial doesn’t just take blood out of your arm and shoot it into your face, first they agitate the blood with sterile beads, then they use a centrifuge to separate the blood, then they extract the blood serum (the bits of your blood that aren’t red or white cells, or clotting factors), filter it and freeze it. (Post continues after gallery)
I lack the advanced degree (or, to be honest, post-Year 10 biology education) it takes to understand the causal mechanism by which vampire facials are supposed to work. A cursory search through medical journals suggests the jury is still out on whether or not it does work, although when combined with seriously hectic laser treatments, treatments of this nature do seem to promote faster healing.
Vampire Facials are meant to be one of the only cosmetic therapy treatments that can improve crepey skin. At 26, crepey-ness isn’t an issue for me yet, so I was trialling one of its other benefits: reduced under-eye darkness. I’m pale as a ghost and have had deep purple circles under my eyes ever since I was a little girl, so for me, they’re not exactly an ‘aging’ issue. But still, I figured lightening my Touche Eclat bill couldn’t be a bad thing. And besides, I really, really wanted to take a Kim K-esque selfie.
So, I fetched up to the Cosmedical clinic and had enough blood harvested for three treatments - the number recommended for optimum results. Nine hours later, when my blood was finished cooking, I came back for the first treatment cycle.