Okay, so we all saw that photo of Kim Kardashian's face covered in blood from her Vampire Facial (see below) I decided to get my own PRP facial and see what all the hype was about. I'm here to tell you that it was not at all what that photo portrays, it was honestly painless and I would highly recommend it to any of you considering it. The main reason I wanted to try this facial is partly due to wanting to look my best for my wedding this year, but mostly due to my hatred of my acne scarring. This procedure is the best thing you can do to minimize acne scars, (it takes 4-6 weeks to see full results on this) but I'm happy to report that I'm only 4 days post facial and already see a dramatic improvement. They are less red, and appear to be less deep. Keep reading to learn all about this process and my personal experience with the experts at Spark Health.
Let's start with what PRP stands for: Platelet Rich Plasma. Basically the fountain of youth.
As described by Spark Health, "PRP involves the application of concentrated platelets, which release a maximum quantity of growth factors to stimulate recovery in non-healing injuries. PRP causes a mass influx of growth factors, and these powerful growth factors naturally accelerate the regeneration of injured tissues. PRP enhances tissue healing and supports the remodeling of tissues, creating a stronger, healthier area. The preparation for a PRP treatment involves collecting your own blood through a simple blood draw done during your visit. Next, we use a centrifuge to spin down your blood to separate out the platelet rich plasma (PRP). Then, we harvest the PRP and deliver precise injections of it into the injured areas. In other words, a PRP treatment is done just like any other prolotherapy treatment, except the solution used for injection is plasma enriched with growth factors from your own blood. PRP is typically used when the injury is more severe, or there is osteoarthritis present inside the joint."
This facial helps with fine lines, hyper pigmentation (it's one of the best things you can do for acne scarring) and collagen production.
MICRONEEDLING FACIAL WITH PRP 101:
- Step 1: Blood will be drawn and then spun in a centrifuge.
- Step 2: Your face will be cleansed and numbed with a topical anesthetic for 30-40 minutes
- Step 3: The doctor then provides a thorough skincare consultation. She also reviews the aftercare for the procedure, as well as what to expect afterward.
- Step 4: The facial: your plasma is applied to your face, and is pushed in with the micro needling pen.
Cost - starts at $500
Downtime - 24-72hrs
My hair dresser and longtime gal pal Lauren has the most gorgeous skin, and highly recommended I try out Spark Health. I headed down to Solana Beach to pay them a visit, and finally pulled the trigger and tried the PRP Facial. The Spark Health clinic is adorable, and everyone was so welcoming. After I checked in, I was taken over to the cozy IV room full of recliners, blankets, and pillows. They drew my blood to be used for the PRP facial, and then we headed in to the procedure room. First, the doctor applied topical anesthetic and let it absorb for about 30-40 minutes while chatting with me about what to expect during + after the procedure. She also asked me about my at home skincare routine, and helped me create the perfect AM & PM routine based off of the products I already had in my bathroom. Facials are amazing, but you will see the best results from a consistent at home beauty regimen. Once my face was completely numb, we started the PRP facial. This process took around 40 minutes, and was genuinely painless. Pretty cool, right? I chose to just do my face, but the microneedling procedure can be done on face, neck, chest, hands, forearms or anywhere there is discoloration, scarring, fine lines/wrinkles, or texture issues.
I really liked the PRP facial because there were no side effects. This procedure is perfectly safe using your own blood with no additives which means it's completely natural.
The day before your facial, I recommend staying away from alcohol and NSAIDs because they thin your blood, you don't want extra bleeding during the facial.
The morning of your appointment, make sure you eat a solid breakfast + drink plenty of water. I always forget to eat a proper breakfast, and really regretted my poor eating habits on facial day since they drew 4 vials of blood and I felt faint. I recommend bringing a water bottle + granola bar with you to snack on after they finish taking your blood, to replenish your body and feel your best while you are having the microneedling done. Be aware that this facial takes about 1.5hrs from start to finish, and don't have any plans other than binge watching Netflix after because you're not going to want to go out in public afterwards. Here are some shots of my naked face before my facial appointment.
Immediately following the PRP treatment, my face felt like it had a sunburn. They explained to me that my skin would be quite sensitive for 48hrs. The windows in my car are tinted pretty dark, and the minimal sun peeking in really irritated my skin. It burned a little bit, and was uncomfortable. If you can, book your appointment for the evening so that it's dark when you drive home, I would highly recommend doing so.
Any sort of breeze also irritated my skin. I habitually roll my windows down, and the wind was so uncomfortable on my face. Instead, I turned on my AC, and that blowing on my face was worse! haha I kept it on low and it was totally fine, but be aware of these little things on your drive home. ;)
hours 1-4 after facial, my face was still completely numb. It felt so weird to talk, and I actually spilled broccoli cheese soup all over the side of my face and didn't even realize it because I couldn't feel it! ha! Overall, I would describe the feeling as tightness. No pain, it just feels like I have a dried clay face mask on.
hours 5+ after facial, the numbness totally wore off and my face felt extremely dry. Spark Health sent me home with Skinfuse + SkinAuthority Moisturizing Lift Cream which I layered, and OMG my face has NEVER felt this smooth and soft. I'm going to apply these every 2hrs to keep my face moisturized.
Sleeping on my face was actually a non-issue. I totally assumed that laying down would be uncomfortable, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. I woke up with somewhat red skin, but guys, it's PORELESS. My texture has improved dramatically. As far as my routine goes, I drank my collagen water on an empty stomach, then washed my face with my Dermalogica cleanser, followed by hyaluronic acid serum, moisturizer, and then SPF. SPF is ALWAYS important, but make it your BFF the week after your PRP facial. At night, I cleansed + applied hyaluronic acid serum + moisturizing lift serum. I am not doing my full nightly skincare routine (I usually exfoliate with Honeymoon Glow) because my skin needs to recover. By the evening, the redness had subsided even more than the photos below taken in the early afternoon around 1pm.
I woke up day 3 with reduced redness, and noticed that my dark spots had lightened up. If you look at my before photo, you'll notice the red acne scar on the left profile shot is much darker than in the image below. I did the same AM skincare routine as day 2, and then applied light makeup for an event. I noticed a bit of minor peeling, and my face felt pretty dry so I put on more Skin Authority Moisturizing Lift Cream which helped. A few hours later, I put on a chilled hyaluronic acid mask for 20 minutes which hydrated my face and made it glow, and I've been applying Skin Authority every 2hrs to be comfortable. I also noticed my face is quite itchy due to the dryness, especially on my forehead.
I started to experience noticeable peeling + dryness days 4 & 5. I included both days in one section because my skin stayed consistent through this 2 day period. I used the Skin Authority Moisturizing Lift Cream 2-3 times each day which helped with the healing process. I am so happy to report that my acne scars have appeared less and less red each day. I tried to get a detailed photo of the flaking, but for some reason the camera was not picking it up very well. I only seem to have flaking on the left side of my face, and included a photo below.
Flaking has stopped and my skin is much less dry! I noticed quite a bit of redness on my nose, but other than that, all facial redness has subsided. My acne scars appear dramatically less red + irritated which I am so happy about!! I was able to wear a full face of makeup for a photoshoot with no issues whatsoever! The makeup applied so smoothly, and my skin looked flawless! Prior to the PRP facial, I could still see my red acne scarring through my makeup. Now, my skin looks even and flawless with foundation. This was my reasoning for getting this facial, so I am thrilled with the results and look forward to seeing the full results in the next 4 weeks!
As I was promised, amazing results were visible by day 30. The below images were taken exactly 4 weeks post PRP facial, and there has been a significant improvement in the appearance of my acne scarring. It is recommended to do a series of 2-4 facials spaced 4-6 weeks apart in order to achieve results. Acne scarring results typically need at least 3 treatments. Overall, I see a 50% improvement in both the redness and depth of the acne scars. I plan to get PRP facials at least 1x per year for the rest of my life and believe that I will see 100% improvement if I stick to a religious skincare routine. If you want to book your PRP facial, or any other service (they offer so much!) click here to visit the Spark Health website.
Current skincare routine as recommended by Spark Health professionals:
Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser
SUNDAY RILEYC.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Glow & Hydrate Niacinamide & Hyaluronic Acid Serum by Bliss
Kat Burki Complete B Bio Correcting Face Creme, 1.7 oz
ALGENIST SUBLIME DEFENSE Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid SPF 50
Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser
Glow & Hydrate Niacinamide & Hyaluronic Acid Serum by Bliss
Skin Authority Moisturizing Lift Cream