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The Tweakment Tart: Is PRP (AKA The Vampire Facial) As Creepy/Painful As It Sounds?

In this week's column, Polly Vernon learns exactly how much pain she's willing to go through in the name of vanity...

One day, I’d never even heard of PRP therapy – a treatment which involves the injecting of patients’ platelet-rich plasma protein back into whatever part of their body requires it most – the next, it’s all anyone’s telling me about.

“You should consider it for your lower cheeks,” one dermatologist tells me. “It can actually be used to restore slumpy upper eye areas!” a PR gushes. “It’s good on pulled hamstrings, depleted hair follicles, anything you like!” says someone else. “It’s a healer! It’s magnificent!”

Is it the vampire facial Kim Kardashian had that time, I ask.

Everyone looks at me like I’m a bit silly, and claimes they don’t know. (They do. It is.)

I get mine from Dr Maryam Zamani, hottest thing on the aesthetician’s block, the spectacularly qualified cosmetic surgeon who concocted this amazing gold-tinted serum I keep for the most special occasions. Her offices are in a posh part of Chelsea, which makes her waiting room a significant opportunity for surreptitious people watching (It girls! Beauty Vloggrs! Beautiful second wives of Russian oligarchs!), and this takes my mind off the fact that no one’s told me if PRP hurts or not, even though I asked: which means it definitely does.

“Ooh, I love this treatment!” says Dr Maryam, which perks me up. Then: “I’ll just get a nurse in to take your blood!” Cool, cool, I say; fronting like I totally knew that was going to happen and definitely don’t mind, (only I didn’t, and I definitely do). The blood is taken (it’s fine, I’m just a baby) then taken away and spun in a centrifuge device to separate out the red blood cells, which are removed. Whatever’s left – platelet-rich plasma, one presumes – is returned to Dr Maryam, who starts injecting it into the bits of my face that require it, the places where I’m losing volume, or gaining pores: cheeks, nose, chin.

I’ve been copiously slathered in numbing cream, but heavens! It’s really, really sore. Breath deep, exhale loudly, close your eyes and count, sore. Dr Maryam finishes with a little microneedling session (a different kind of sore), then whacks me under a collagen-promoting infra red light for a while, then sends me packing.

The sore lasts for a couple of days, after which time, the PRP goodness has begun to make itself present. Oh, it’s good! A gentle, general upward plumping effect, subtler than filler, more enduring than a facial - and the glow! The glow is other level! I stop wearing foundation, and using Instagram filters on my Selfies; and wait in joyous, faintly smug expectation, because apparently, it takes six weeks after treatment for PRP’s full effects to show. Yippee

PRP with Dr Maryam Zamani starts at £700

Would I pay for it myself? No. It is a brilliant, brilliant treatment, but it’s out of my price range. You generally need a few goes on it over the course of six months, which is going to add up to around £2k by my calculations, and that’s more than I spend on holidays every year. Would I sacrifice holidays for vanity? No, because I’d go mad, and that, apparently, is the limit on my shallowness. Nice to know. If I did have that sort of money, I would pay for it, however. It’s worth the price tag.