I Got A Vampire Facial
Yep, just like Kim Kardashian.
But first let's backtrack. A few weeks ago, I received an email inquiring if I was interested in getting my own blood injected into my face courtesy of Fountain MedSpa. With curiosity coursing through my soon-to-be-tampered-with veins, I said yes and found myself in a cozy waiting room that smelled exactly like doughnuts. How ironic, I thought, as I sipped an instant coffee with vanilla creamer—I'm sitting in a giant metaphor.
Here's a brief overview of what a Vampire Facial (without mentioning Mrs. Kardashian at length) is, exactly. It's a non-surgical cosmetic procedure in which blood is taken from your body, spun in a centrifuge, and injected back into your the face. There are lasers, too. A centrifuge separates your blood and produces highly-concentrated platelet-rich plasma that essentially acts as a filler for wrinkles and rejuvenates the skin on your face.
Think of platelet-rich plasma along the same lines as stem cells or SoulCycle; they contain growth factors that stimulate the healing of bone and soft tissue. Some people even inject the stuff in stuff into their penises to treat erectile dysfunction—at least, that's what a friend told me once. With my penis securely tucked away, I respectfully declined the Valium they offered, took a deep breath, and let the doctors get at me.
This is what happened.
It all started with a cleansing facial to make sure my face was clean and prepared for the treatment. The nurse told me I have excellent skin. I couldn't tell if I was blushing or swelling.
It reminded me of the dentist, how he applies that high-speed buffer to your teeth, minus the blood-loss or annoying questions of how I spent my summer.
A numbing cream was applied to the forehead and generously spread over my face. The cream contains lidocaine, which worked well in the sense that I couldn't feel my lips for six hours.
I asked the nurse how my face would feel if I wasn't numb for the procedure and she just laughed. Because, you know, lasers burning directly on my skin.
Here's a really cute candid shot of me explaining how it feels like I just had a stroke and now have facial paralysis.
50 CCs of blood was then drawn from my arm, spun, and filtered. Despite my pleas, they wouldn't stick the needle through the "X" tattooed on my arm.
"But X marks the spot!" I said. "Haven't you ever seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?!" They all had, but didn't really care.
Pro-tip: Don't ever look at a large quantity of your own blood, because it's nauseating. The doctor assured me that it was only "half a soda can's worth," which I thought was an incredible way to measure liquid.
The blood is spun and filtered for 18 minutes. The result? Ridiculously platelet-rich plasma. The serum is essentially your own customized anti-aging serum and you don't even have to order it from an oppressive late-night infomercial.
Here's where the fun kicks in: a ProFractional laser treatment to the face. With the numbing cream fully kicked in, the laser literally felt like a kitten's warm tongue—except it causes detrimental trauma to the first few layers of skin.
The laser treatment covered my entire face and a vacuum was kept near my nose to curb the inhalation of my own burning flesh. On the bright side, I found out how my skin smells when burnt with lasers: kinda like baking bread.
After the lasers, the doctor leaned over me and gently said I was going to feel a series of pinches from the PRP solution being injected into my face. I assumed his kind words meant I was about to enter a world of pain. And, boy, I sure hate being right.
Up until this point, the procedure was painless, but this hurt like a motherf*cker. I was literally being stabbed in the face with a needle. Here's another cute candid shot of me squirming like a baby while the nurse kept my head steady.
I can't exactly remember what I screamed out, but I'm fairly certain that numerous expletives and racial slurs were shouted at full volume.
Because of the trauma caused by the lasers, my skin readily absorbed the PRP solution. Getting my own plasma rubbed on my face was heaven versus the injections. Also, I was just kidding about the racial slurs.
Finally, the leftover blood from the centrifuge (which removed the plasm or, "trash blood," as I called it) was wiped on my face to rejuvenate the epidermis. I inquired about the state of my epididymis and was met with sighs and guttural moans.
As I write this, 48 hours later, my skin is still vaguely red. It will take a week until the effects fully can be noticed and I anticipate that my skin will be as smooth and healthy as Kim Kardashian's huge, shiny, Kanye West™-certified posterior.
It felt incredible to be subjected to such an intrusive procedure, regardless of my stance on lasers, but I can understand why people would pay upwards of $2,400 to have this done. It's non-surgical, quick, painless (except for the really painful needles) and lasts a full year. I spent the following days receiving wayward stares from wandering eyes, but half the fun of being eye-f*cked is making up funny excuses as to why I looked like I was dragged under a truck.
"You should see the other guy!"
But then I'd trail off...
"He literally makes millions of dollars a year."