What is the 'Vampire Facelift' in Oscar goody bag?

Carissa Ray / vampirefacelift.com

Call it a "Twilight"-meets-blood-transfusion style procedure that’s all being done in the name of beauty.

The Vampire Facelift, a non-surgical procedure that celebrities have apparently sought out in order to keep their skin plump, youthful and glowing, is being touted as a natural alternative to Botox, but some medical professionals are calling it just another gimmick.

Hollywood’s biggest stars will have a chance to decide for themselves whether the blood-based beauty procedure is effective, as the Transylvania-inspired treatment is included in this year’s Oscar goody bag in the form of a $5,000 gift certificate to cover the cost of the procedure.

The Vampire Facelift (which is not technically a facelift since there is no surgery involved) mixes hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers with platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which are drawn from the patient’s own blood and then injected back into smile lines, the cheek area and lip border in order to soften wrinkles and bring tone and color to the skin.

The Vampire Facelift website states that over time the cocktail of hyaluronic acid and PRP stimulates collagen production in the skin. The method is also known simply as PRP Rejuvenate, which is essentially the same thing, but without the vampire marketing.

Though some in the medical community say that regardless of the blood sucking references, the procedure is all a bunch of hype.

“The VF is getting a lot of media attention because of its name, not because of spectacular results,” writes cosmetic surgeon Dr. Robert Kotler on the Web MD blog. “It did not originate in Transylvania; maybe not even Pennsylvania."

He adds that he has not found any evidence that the Vampire Facelift method has an advantage over existing fillers such as Juvaderm, Restylane or Radiesse.

Another cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Herbert Hooi, commented in response to Dr. Kotler’s post, saying the Vampire Facelift "is a term coined by some non-medical marketing person or journalist. I can't imagine why a medical professional would use the term to promote PRP.” Marketing aside, he does claim that he finds PRP improves the texture or the condition of the skin and is a useful adjunct for laser skin resurfacing.

The vampire aspect might appeal to True Blood fans, or possibly some of the celebs rifling through their Oscar goody bags this weekend. It's something to add to what is the skimpiest Oscar goody bag yet, and includes other odd items, like a cleaning product from Windex and condoms.

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