You guys, I just had a Vampire Facial. Have you heard of it? Well I’m about to tell you all about my experience, but first I’m very excited to announce a new partnership that I have for this year with Sanaz Harirchian, MD, a Houston based board certified and Ivy-League educated facial plastic surgeon. I am going to be featuring tips, products and procedures recommended by Dr. Harirchian through “Ask the Doctor” style guest posts by her and by documting the procedures that I try. I love to take good care of my skin and try different products and facials that add the most benefit for my age and skin type. My goal is for my reflection in the mirror to match what I feel like on my inside and to inspire confidence and acceptance.
I think I’ve let you all in on the big news of this year – I’m turning 40 in May and I’m equally stunned and grateful about this milestone in my life. Stunned because it’s true – I don’t feel nearly 40, yet grateful because I think I’ve used the last 39 years wisely. I look around at my life and feel overwhelmed by the love I’m surrounded with by my family and friends. We have our health, a beautiful community and as I type this I’m looking out on a big blue Texas sky. Life is SO good! I’m looking forward to this next chapter of my life!
So a little more about Dr. Harirchian. Her practice is dedicated to aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, everything from rhinoplasty, eyelid, and facelift surgery, to non-surgical procedures like skin resurfacing and injectables. In addition to her skills in plastic surgery, Dr. Harirchian is an avid author, educator and researcher. Her work and can follow her work via her website and consistently updated social platforms. She is stunning, smart, and so thorough in her exam and explanations. I feel like I’m in the best hands with Dr. Harirchian.
The first procedure that she recommended for me is microneedling, also called skin needling or collagen induction therapy (CIT). It’s a minimally invasive skin-rejuvenation procedure. Using a device with fine needles, it creates tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin, creating “controlled injury” to the skin which triggers the body to create new collagen and elastin, a key part of our skin that begins to reduce as we age. Though this microneedling I’m boosting my own skin’s healing power and getting stronger from the inside out. Below I’m detailing my experience with microneedling and including photographs during and after the procedure, I was never in any pain, but the images do show signs of redness and mild bruising – I don’t want to shock anyone. And spoiler alert: it’s worth it!
You may have heard of this procedure by it’s nickname, the Vampire Facial, because in some cases the microneedling is immediately followed with PRP, platelet rich plasma from the patient’s own blood (in this case MINE). I had two small vials taken and the plasma (not-red) part of the blood was used as a serum immediately following the device. PRP contains a high concentration of the body’s own growth factors to stimulate a healing response. The PRP is a yellowish color, and there is no “blood” per se, but the nickname certainly sounds a bit sexier.
The results of microneedling can include improvement to the overall complexion, texture and firmness of the skin, and a reduction in scars, pore size, and stretch marks.
The entire microneedling procedure was done within an hour. The longest part is getting numbed up – it takes about 30 minutes, and because my face was sufficiently numbed, the 20 minute microneedling felt like minor pressure. I had a zing here or there when the device got close to my jawline or an area that wasn’t as numb, but there was truly zero pain during or after the procedure.
It’s important to plan ahead if you are having this procedure done, even though it’s minimally invasive. My skin did feel a little hot and tight immediately afterwards, and you can’t wear any makeup or even sunscreen for 24 hours. My face was very red, like a sunburn, and had darker red bruise-like marks under my eyes where the skin is the most sensitive. The device doesn’t go on the eyes of course, but on the top of cheekbone.
This redness lasted about two days and slowly gave way to dry and lightly peeling skin. I applied the serum Dr. Harirchian gave me frequently. Once I was able to use makeup, I kept it very basic and minimal to let my skin heal. I first applied SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, because #1 it’s the best and #2 the Vitamin C helps with redness. I followed this with my favorite new facial moisturizer by StriVectin and It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye on the red bruising under my eyes. I even had this photoshoot three days after the procedure and you can see that I was able to cover all of the redness and dryness!
And now, one week later, I have the slight remains of from the bruising under my eyes, but the redness and dryness is completely gone, so I’d recommend scheduling this procedure with at least one week of healing time before you have an important event. Not that I was hiding in my house – I was out and about all week and my face became the topic of many conversations! The idea of microneedling is very popular right now and I think I inspired several friends to give it a try. Currently my skin feels incredibly smooth and soft, and I know that it’s only going to get better!
So what questions do you have for me? What would you like to learn about from Dr. Harirchian? I want to open this up to all of you and we can all learn from her expertise. This procedure is currently on special for the month of February at her practice, so book now and let her know I sent you.
Are you following me on Snapchat (user name Candace LWK)? I recorded play-by-play during and after the procedure. Here are some clips!
Author: Candace Thomas