PHOTO: Just starting my Vampire Facial Procedure at Sanctuary Cosmetic Center (c) Sery Kim
Yesterday I underwent the Vampire Facial procedure at Tyson Corner's Sanctuary Cosmetic Center. I personally I had never heard of this procedure until after the fact when, as I texted friends photos of my face, they exclaimed with alarm "Are you okay????" or "Why would you do the Kim Kardashian Facial!?!!!" Apparently the famous Kardashian oldest sister underwent this exact same procedure and I was under-a-rock.
What does it entail? The Vampire Facial uses a combination of micro-needling as well as your own plasma and blood to clean out impurities in your skin such as scarring, sun spots and uneven skin tone in general.
How does it work? The amazing team at Sanctuary Cosmetic Center took me to meet with the Doctor Maryam Nazaemzadeh. Stunningly beautiful, kind and easy to talk to, Dr. Nazaemzadeh explained the entire process while drawing the blood from my arm -- which will later be used for the Platelet-rich Plasma ("PRP") spread across the face after the micro-needling. Once the blood is drawn, the face is numbed with numbing cream for 45 minutes. Then you are brought into a room where the certified laser aesthetician micro-needles your face. This takes approximately 20 minutes and I didn't think it hurt very much except right at the hair-line (little fat and lots of bone) as well as the nose (so random). Maybe it didn't hurt that much because I have a high-threshold for pain ... I don't know. Personally, I think the numbing was awesome!
The micro-needling is done in parts. They started with the center of the forehead and then move clockwise throughout my face. Once each section of the micro-needling is done the PRP is spread over your face before they move on to the next section of the face.
PHOTO: Me immediately after the procedure (c) Sery Kim
What happens after? Afterwards, you should 100% go straight home. DO NOT GO OUT AT ALL IN PUBLIC! Your face looks like it has a super bad sunburn. Super casual me, I was just going to take the DC metro home but the alarmed team at Sanctuary Cosmetic Center suggested I take a Lyft or Uber home. I thought it was because I looked so awful, but in actuality its all the germs around in public transportation. Your pores have been widely opened and anything could get in there. If you have to take public transportation, you should ask them what you should do to really protect your face.
When home what do you do? Once I got home, I didn't do anything except drink a glass of wine and eat dinner. My face didn't hurt at all. It just felt really tight, kinda like when you go to sleep with a mask on and wake up to find it really crusty. As for overnight, sleeping itself was not comfortable at all because I slathered a bunch of Aquafor all over my face and any time my face touched my pillow or comforter it woke me up due to the stickiness.
Apparently there is some debate about whether you wash your face before you go to bed or not. I did not wash my face because Dr. Nazemzadeh said not to. The aesthetician said I could wash my face in the morning so that is what I did -- Dr. Nazemzadeh said not to wash my face for 24 hours but I had to take a shower in the morning to wash off all the Aquafor. I did *not* use anything other than water to wash my face.
PHOTO: The next morning (c) Sery Kim
Recovery? The next morning my face looked super duper pink and red. I actually think my face looks worse in the morning than right after the procedure. Maybe its the PCP working and drying out, but the overall look is like I am doing a strawberry mask. Apparently it takes about 3 days for the pink/redness to fade and about 5-7 days for my skin to get back to normal so plan your social life accordingly.
Make-up? Dr. Nazemzadeh says to use BB cream instead of foundation for 3-5 days. Ironically I got a sample of Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Beauty Balm with SPF 45 from Sephora over the weekend and I liked it so I will definitely be buying some more of that product. Then, after 3-5 days, you can go back to using foundation (if you use it). DO NOT USE ANY PRODUCTS WITH ANY ACTIVE INGREDIENTS. No retinol. No astringent cleaners. Just use Aquafor, sunscreen and maybe Cetaphil or baby wipes to remove make-up for 5-7 days. Yes. Use baby products to work on your skin.
Cost? $1,000 - $2,500.
Quantity for real results? 3 treatments for real visible results