I’ve worked in the beauty industry for over a decade, and while you want to try everything firsthand, sometimes you don’t have the time or the concern needed to try certain treatments. That’s why I sent Hannah McGhee, our senior business director, to try PRP—otherwise known as the “vampire facial.”
McGhee told me that she had fine lines under her eyes that she was becoming more and more of aware of. She said, “I looked at more radical treatments like Botox and filler, but a family friend told me about PRP. I’d mentioned how she looked really healthy and glowy and she attributed it to the treatment. Of course, I jumped online and did my research, and, once I knew more, I liked the idea because you’re injecting your own natural product rather than a filler or toxin.”
How It Works
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, and it’s found in our blood. According to a study conducted by PainScience.com, it plays “a critical role in tissue repair and regeneration.”
First, blood is drawn from the arm. Roughly two vials are needed to gather enough PRP to cover the whole face, so if you hate having your blood taken (like I do), then this probably isn’t the treatment for you.
The vials of blood are then placed in a centrifuge which spins it 3050 times per minute, separating the PRP from the rest of the blood. The PRP is then injected all over the face to help rejuvenate the complexion—tackling everything from fine lines to sagging to acne scarring to skin texture. It’s often used in conjunction with Botox or fillers to improve the appearance of the complexion.
What Happens in the Treatment Room
McGhee went to Dr David Jack on Harley Street in London for PRP. Below is her account of the treatment.
“I had the consultation and treatment on same day. I liked Dr Jack because he gave me a really good idea of what the outcome could be: a natural result. You don’t do PRP and walk out looking like you’ve had fillers. I opted for a course of three treatments (most people have two or three spaced roughly two to four weeks apart). Then you would just go for a top-up every six months after that.
“He applied anaesthetic cream to my face, and while that got to work, he drew blood. It went into the centrifuge for 10 minutes. He then injected the PRP all over my place. I could feel that the pricks were happening, but I didn’t feel any pain; it was just a little sensitive in more delicate areas like around the eyes. I would definitely advise against having the treatment if you’re hungover or on your period and feel a bit more sensitive. The injecting took about five minutes—super quick. I left the treatment room and did look quite red, but I was able to apply makeup after a couple of hours and I could get on with my day as usual.
Exercising after was also fine.
“After the first treatment, I did get a little bruising around one eye, but I was warned this could happen. It was nothing that a little concealer couldn’t cover! Within a couple of days, I felt like my skin was really glowy and I got compliments from colleagues saying just that. When I went back for the second treatment, it dawned on me that not only had the lines softened around my eyes slightly, but more noticeable was the improvement in my acne scarring, which was far less visible.
“I had two more treatments but definitely noticed the biggest improvement after the first treatment, so I would say book one and see how you get on. I would definitely book in for this in the winter months when my complexion needs a pick-me-up.
“The PRP addressed the really fine lines around my eyes. I’m okay with having some lines but wasn’t keen on the crepey texture, which didn’t feel age-appropriate. This sorted that out, which was great. The biggest surprise was definitely the reduction in acne scarring, which I feel has made my whole complexion look brighter and more youthful.”
The Finer Details
PRP is definitely not cheap. It’s priced at £450 per treatment with Dr David Jack, but it definitely works.
Looking to treat acne scarring and fine lines for less? Shop our favourite at-home products below.
To Tackle Fine Lines Around the Eyes
Use this and know that you’ll wake up with brighter eyes by morning. A potent blend of puff-fighting and skin-smoothing ingredients power down into the skin to work while you sleep. The most notable ingredient is squalane, which tackles UV damage, prevents age spots and supports skin-cell renewal.
With over 600 reviews on the brand’s website and a rating of 4.7 out 5 stars, this is a favourite with customers. It’s part of the cult Advanced Night Repair family and comes with a massage applicator that promises to bring a bright “wide-open” look whilst tackling all the signs of ageing—including fine lines. One reviewer wrote, “I love this product and wouldn’t want to be without it now. It has reduced the dark circles under my eyes, and I no longer have puffy bags.”
If you’re a fan of Elemis’s cult Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, then this will be a no-brainer. For everyone else, this eye cream is focused on smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. It’s packed with amino acids that support the skin in renewing itself; antioxidants to protect the delicate eye area; and a cocktail of vitamins (think chlorella and blue-green algae) that firm and smooth.
To Tackle Pigmentation and Acne Scarring
This naturally acidic exfoliator aims to dislodge pigmented cells while you snooze, evening out skin tone and prompting your skin to start rejuvenating itself. It’s designed to be mixed with your regular serum and should be applied every night. If you use it for two weeks and then give your skin a break for a few days, it will work more effectively. You can also use it as a mask on dry skin for 10 minutes if you aren’t into commitment.
A concentration of vitamin C between 3% and 10% will be most effective, and this product contains the latter. This serum repairs sun-damaged skin and delivers a cocktail of antioxidants to protect it from free radicals. Its ingredients also encourage cell turnover so that brighter, healthier skin that lies beneath can be revealed.
Brightening peptides, white shiitake ferment, Evodia fruit and a plethora of skin-safe anti-redness acids are delivered in this product. This basically means that the active ingredients can funnel down and tackle pigmentation at the root cause. Apply as you would a serum, and after just a month of use, you’ll notice an evener skin tone.
Want more tried-and-tested reviews? We’ve got plenty more where that came from.