Vampire Facelift (PRP Facelift)

A vampire facelift (PRP facelift) revitalizes your face without surgery. Providers inject platelet-rich plasma (PRP) with hyaluronic acid filler to contour your face, reduce wrinkles and plump skin. There are minimal side effects like bruising, swelling and tenderness. This procedure is an alternative to a surgical facelift.


The steps of a non-surgical vampire facelift (PRP facelift) procedure.
A vampire facelift, or PRP facelift, is an alternative to a surgical facelift. The procedure takes 1 to 2 hours.

What is a vampire facelift?

A vampire facelift, or PRP facelift, is a procedure to rejuvenate your facial skin without surgery. This procedure uses injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and a temporary dermal filler (hyaluronic acid filler). It’s known as a vampire facelift because the main ingredient in the filler is your blood. You’ll notice immediate results comparing your skin before and after a PRP facelift. 

What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP)?

Platelet-rich plasma is part of your blood. Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood. Platelets are cells within your blood that contain growth factors and help your blood clot to prevent bleeding. PRP is blood that contains only growth factors, platelets and plasma. 

A healthcare provider will collect PRP by drawing your blood and putting it through a centrifuge. This is a machine that spins your blood at high speeds. The centrifuge separates your blood into different components:

  • Platelets and plasma.
  • White blood cells.
  • Red blood cells.

Once your blood finishes spinning in the centrifuge, your provider will remove the platelet-rich plasma component to be injected into your face.

Why is a vampire facelift done?

A vampire facelift is an alternative treatment to a surgical facelift. Platelet-rich plasma claims to:

  • Drive production of new skin cells.
  • Encourage the growth of collagen (a protein that provides structure to your skin).
  • Increase elastin (a protein that allows tissue to stretch).

A PRP facelift may help:

  • Brighten your skin.
  • Contour your face.
  • Improve the texture of your skin.
  • Reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Make your skin look plumper.
  • Reduce acne scars.


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What is the difference between a vampire facelift and a vampire facial?

A vampire facelift (PRP facelift) combines injections of platelet-rich plasma with hyaluronic acid filler. During a vampire facial, your provider spreads PRP over your face. Then, they use microneedling or tiny pricks that help your face absorb the plasma. Vampire facials target issues on the surface of your skin, including:

  • Acne scars.
  • Fine lines.
  • Large pores.
  • Pigmentation.
  • Rough texture.

Procedure Details

How should I prepare for a vampire facelift?

Before a vampire facelift (PRP facelift), you’ll have a consultation with a healthcare provider. They’ll ask about your health history to see if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. A PRP facelift isn’t recommended if you:

If you’re a good candidate for a PRP facelift, your provider will examine your skin and talk about what you want to achieve from the procedure. If you decide to go ahead with a PRP facelift, your provider may ask you to:

  • Minimize your sun exposure and avoid tanning for several weeks before the procedure.
  • Avoid blood thinners, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin and herbal supplements, for a week before the procedure.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated in the week before the procedure.
  • Arrive at your appointment with clean skin and no makeup.


What happens during a vampire facelift?

During a vampire facelift procedure, your healthcare provider will:

  • Apply numbing cream to your face.
  • Withdraw some blood, usually from your arm.
  • Spin the blood in a centrifuge machine to separate the PRP.
  • Inject specific areas of your face with filler.
  • Inject PRP into your face using a small needle.

How long does a vampire facelift take?

A PRP facelift usually takes one to two hours.

Is a vampire facelift painful?

You won’t feel pain during a vampire facelift because your healthcare provider will numb your skin. You may feel light to mild pain once the numbing cream wears off.

What happens after a vampire facelift?

After a PRP facelift, you may experience mild discomfort and bruising for a couple of days, up to a week. You should be able to go about your day with caution after the procedure.

You can apply ice packs wrapped in a towel to your face as needed to reduce swelling. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed. When you go to bed, elevate your head and try to sleep on your back. Your provider will give you specific instructions to care for your skin after the procedure. 


Risks / Benefits

What are the benefits of a vampire facelift?

Benefits of a vampire facelift (PRP facelift) include:

  • Less pain and a shorter recovery time than a traditional surgical facelift.
  • Fewer possible risks than surgery.
  • Quicker results than with a traditional facelift.
  • Feeling more confident about your appearance.

How successful is a vampire facelift?

Studies are limited when it comes to calculating the success of vampire facelifts. The benefits of PRP may promote improvement in your skin texture and it works as a treatment to reduce wrinkles.

If you choose to try a PRP facelift, be sure to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist about the benefits and risks.

What are the side effects of a vampire facelift?

Side effects of a PRP facelift could include:

  • Swelling.
  • Mild pain and tenderness.
  • Tingling.
  • Changes to your natural skin tone (red or dark brown).
  • Bruising.
  • Itching.

Rarely, you may experience a reaction to the hyaluronic acid filler, which could include:

  • Bumps (nodules) form at the injection sites.
  • Pain.
  • Persistent swelling.

A more serious risk is that a provider could inject filler into a blood vessel. This can cause tissue in the area to die.

Look for an experienced provider, like a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, to minimize complications from the procedure.

Recovery and Outlook

What is the recovery time for a vampire facelift?

Recovery time after a vampire facelift (PRP facelift) tends to be short. Your surgeon will give you instructions to take care of your skin and decrease your recovery time. Some aftercare instructions may include avoiding:

  • Sun exposure.
  • Heavy lifting.
  • Strenuous exercise.
  • Using heavy creams or moisturizers on your skin.
  • Washing your face or wearing makeup for a day after the procedure.

If you experience swelling, you can try using an ice pack. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) can also help reduce any pain.

When can I go back to my normal activities after a vampire facelift?

You can usually return to your regular activities immediately. Your healthcare provider will offer guidance suitable for your recovery.

When will I see results after a vampire facelift?

After a PRP facelift, you’ll notice plumping from the filler right away. You’ll begin to see smoothing from the PRP after about two weeks.

How long does a vampire facelift last?

The final results from a vampire facelift can last from about 12 to 18 months. Some providers recommend three sets of injections, one per month for three months, to prolong the effects.

When To Call the Doctor

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms after a vampire facelift (PRP facelift):

  • Bleeding.
  • Excessive bruising.
  • Pain.
  • Swelling that doesn’t go away.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

A vampire facelift (PRP facelift) may sound like a scary movie. But it’s really a nonsurgical way to rejuvenate your face. PRP facelifts use injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) along with a dermal filler rather than a traditional facelift surgery. There are usually minimal side effects and a short recovery time. Researchers have not yet done extensive studies on PRP treatments for facial rejuvenation. Talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist if you decide to try a PRP facelift.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed on 03/13/2024.

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