This week the New Mexico Department of Health announced that a client at VIP Spa in Albuquerque had developed an infection that may have resulted from a spa procedure. Because the client reported her illness, unsafe practices were identified at the facility and now health officials are recommending that clients who have received a “vampire facial” or any other type of injection-related service at an Albuquerque spa get tested for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
Lynn Gallagher, Cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health, said in the announcement, “It is very important that anyone who received a vampire facial or other injection-related service at the VIP Spa in May or June of 2018 come to the Midtown Public Health Office for free and confidential lab testing and counseling.”1
The spa was issued a cease and desist letter and closed immediately.
So what exactly is a vampire facial?
Well, first, the patient’s blood is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge to be processed. The plasma is next extracted because it contains the nutrients, growth factors, and protein that helps stimulate new skin and new collagen. Then the plasma is “layered on top of the face and reinjected into the skin using a tool called a micro-needling pen, which creates tiny punctures in the skin with miniature fine needles.”2
Obviously, since blood is involved, if the micro-needling pen or any other equipment is not properly disposed of or sterilized between facials, it could expose patients to potential blood-borne infections. It could also occur if micro-needling tips or syringes were reused, or if another patient’s blood was used to perform the facial. (No thank you.)
When properly done, vampire facials — also known as a plasma-rich protein facial — will never expose you to blood-borne infections. And specific training is needed to become licensed to correctly and safely perform the procedure. So, if you decide to go ahead with a vampire facial, make sure the facility follows universal safety precautions like handwashing, wearing gloves, wearing masks, and when appropriate, disposing of waste appropriately including blood-related wastes. (And certainly, make sure they are licensed to do the procedure!)
However, if the entire thing sounds like too much trouble, consider what you put into your body and on your skin. The health of our skin starts on the inside, so any time you can drink more water and make healthier food choices your skin will appreciate it. And, what you put on your skin matters. If you’ve been looking for a new skincare product, click here. I’ve created an organic, CBD oil line that I love and that my skin loves (my editor loves it too), and it’s made in my hometown of Chicago!