Prior to that, who can forget the Vampire Facial made famous by Kim Kardashian in 2013 when she posted a pic of her blood-soaked skin to Instagram. Sure it looked grim, not to mention painful, but scientifically speaking, it has some kudos to it.
There seems to be no end to the weird and wacky treatments celebs will try in the name of beauty. Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett both caused a stir back in 2018 when they admitted to enjoying a penis facial (um, get your minds out the gutter). Although, the treatment in question is made from lab-grown foreskin and smells, according to Blanchett, “a bit like sperm.” Ew.
The jist is, blood is taken from the patient’s arm, then spun in a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells from the platelets and plasma. The platelets and plasma are jam-packed with growth factors that boost collagen and rejuvenate skin. It creates Platelet-Rich Plasma (or PRP) which is the gory juice that’s spread back onto your face (and often microneedled deeper into skin) to give complexions a red-carpet worthy youthful glow. No big deal.
Now, though, experts say they’ve come up with a better way to boost skin – but it still involves tapping up your own blood supply.
“PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) has recently been superseded by PRF (Platelet-Rich Fibrin),” explains Dr Beena Harkison from The Courtyard Clinic. It’s a tiny tweak that, apparently, makes a big difference.
Dr Beena gave us the low-down on what sets PRF apart…
PRF uses less blood
“When carrying out both PRP and PRF treatments, a blood sample is taken from the patient’s arm. The blood is then run through a centrifuge, which effectively separates the blood – this process creates the important serum needed for the treatment. However, less blood is required for PRF treatment,” says Dr Beena. “For a PRP treatment, you take much higher quantities of blood to achieve the serum required. This makes PRF a much more comfortable treatment for the patient.”
PRF doesn’t include artificial ingredients
“PRP has anti-coagulants and other artificial biochemical modifiers, whereas PRF has no added anti-coagulants or modifiers,” explains Dr Beena. It’s 100% natural (albeit made from your own blood).
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PRF contains a more potent blend of cells
“When using the centrifuge for a PRP treatment, the centrifuge rotates at a high speed to separate the heavier white blood cells and stem cells from the lighter platelets and plasma. When using the centrifuge for a PRF treatment, the serum required is different. The centrifuge runs at a slower speed and does not fully separate the heavy blood cells from the platelets. You obtain a blended formula containing both white blood cells and stem cells,” explains Dr Beena.