Those who know me well will not be surprised by this statement: I am adventurous. Honestly, I would probably try just about anything. Jumping out of a plane, eating horse…you know, those sorts of things. But when it comes to beauty treatments, I’m even MORE gung ho.
Which is why when I was asked if I wanted to try microneedling, I could not say “yes” fast enough. Known as the Vampire Facial, I knew of it from photos of celebs (ok, Kardashians) getting facials that somehow involved being covered in their own blood. It always fascinated/terrified me, which I find is the best way to start any new adventure!
But what I learned is that there’s nothing horrifying about this treatment at all. And, it works. It really, really works.
I got my treatment at The Hall Center in Santa Monica, CA (the peaceful looking place in the above photograph). Calling the facility “new age” would be easy. More to the point, Dr Prudence Hall and her team conduct “mindful medical practices” looking at underlining roots to conditions rather than just medicating the problem, and respecting the connection between body, mind and overall health. They call it Regenerative Medicine, and it totally made sense to me that this branched into microneedling with PRP.
So, what is microneedling with PRP, you ask? The short answer…
it’s the treatment that has made the most significant improvement to my skin, ever.
The long answer is that a device (the MicroPen Elite, in the case of The Hall Center) composed of tiny needles creates controlled micro-injuries to your skin. The process, also known as collagen induction therapy, stimulates your body’s own natural healing mechanisms. You’re essentially tricking your body into thinking it has a wound and it sends in the calvary to fix it: increasing collagen and elastin production, and cell turnover.
The “PRP” portion of the therapy is where it gets REAL interesting (and real powerful).
For Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP, blood is drawn then processed in a centrifuge to separate your platelets from the red blood cells. What is left is a honey-colored product, unique to you, which is applied to these micro injuries to speed healing and growth of new cells.
It’s a good alternative to lasers (which also injures the skin for renewal) with less downtime. And it’s beneficial for fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, pore size, scars, skin laxity and much more. It’s even helpful for hair restoration.
My procedure was performed by Stephanie Snowden, N.P., who honestly was just delightful to be around; easy-going, knowledgable and really talented at what she does. She made me feel relaxed every step of the way.
After numbing cream was applied, blood was drawn and the platelets were extracted, we were ready to go. PRP was applied both before and after the treatment.
Surprisingly, I felt next to nothing as Stephanie expertly welded the Micropen. She varied the needle length as needed for more in depth treatment (literally!) “going to town” on my chin where a few acne scars bum me out on the regular and a sleep wrinkle cause by my side sleeping has become quite noticeable in the past few years. The only place where there was any discomfort was on my nose; a tingly feeling that made my eyes water. Other than that, it was pretty much a piece of cake.
Afterwards, my skin was tender, a bit tight and red; both from some actual bleeding and just general irritation. But really, I didn’t look bloody at all (those Kardashian photos were exaggerated, imagine!) and didn’t feel all that strange walking from The Hall Center to my car, this is LA, we’ve seen way worse.
My plans later that evening were canceled, and I was very happy to stay home since you can’t apply make up for the rest of the day. But other than some areas that looked like I went through some aggressive pimple popping (we all know what that looks like!) and some mild dryness that popped up within a couple of days, I was relatively unscathed.
And over the next couple of weeks, something magical happened. That sleep wrinkle? It totally disappeared. And the acne scars? Way less noticeable. Lines around my eyes? Softened, without a doubt. This wasn’t magic though, patients typically see a dramatic improvement in skin firmness and reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, scars and pore size.
So here’s the proof (with zero retouching)…
Me about a year ago.
Close up of my sleep wrinkle. I know, it’s little, hence blowing it up. But I hate it!
Me about one month after microneedling. Sleep wrinkle literally gone, lines under eyes significantly softened.
So, would I do this again? I can’t WAIT to do this again!
If you’re in the LA area, I highly recommend The Hall Center. Right now, you can purchase three sessions of microneedling with PRP for $900. I know, it’s a lot. But it’s actually more affordable than the LA average price. And personally, I’d pay way more for these kinds of results.
How about it we heartsters, would you get a Vampire Facial?
Stef is many things. Amongst them: editor-in-chief of we heart this, photographer, condiment connoisseur, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie. She’s also got a touch of wanderlust…
skin tone: NC 25/30
skin type: oily with a fear of rosacea
favorite beauty product: high end skincare and lip products