Valentine’s is an important time for self-love if you’re single, in my opinion. Dateless in New York, I decided to treat myself to a gift that would keep on giving, and began my scroll through Groupon. Eureka! I found it! A PRP Facial! A friend had only been telling me about it for a years, why not give it a shot.
I have to say, I went into it blind. Setting aside my usual character, I did very little research on the process and the science behind PRP’s. I knew someone would poke tiny little holes into my skin, draw some blood and spread gook all over my face, and figured what I didn’t know, I would soon find out. My biggest concern was making sure I was in a sanitary environment. Is my aesthetician licensed, certified, trained and ethical?
From the little I read, the procedure would take a couple of hours, and there would be no downtime. Yes! I can take the train downtown, and an Uber back up if I look really crazy, but I shouldn’t expect to. Right? Riiiiiight….
Late, I meet Olga – the aesthetician – at the front desk of the chic midtown spa where she was waiting for me. “You’re late,” she reminded me without hesitation. I apologized of course, and thought about the 3 blocks I walked in the wrong direction attributing to my lateness. I was flustered to say the least, but excited to meet my new face! Olga walked me to a private room, made me comfortable and explained the entire procedure to me. She was kind, thorough, and patient, which says a lot considering I come with a lot of questions, like:
• I have hyperpigmentation. Will it help or cause further discoloration?
• What is the downtime?
• How long until I see results?
• How long will the results last?
• How many treatments will I need to see the best results?
• Is it safe?
Trust me, there were more. But in the interest of time, the responses:
• It shouldn’t cause further discoloration of hyperpigmented skin. May or may not help with discoloration. (A chemical peel was recommended for that.)
• “No downtime”
• Results in roughly 6 weeks
• Results could last well over a year
• Number of treatments necessary depends on the client, but somewhere between 2-4, with 1-2 maintenance treatments about a year out.
• And yes, it’s safe. In a clean environment and with a licensed professional.
My safety being a priority, I watched Olga, and how she handled medical equipment to ensure that everything used was opened in my presence. It might sound paranoid, but I ain’t tryna die over a cosmetic procedure.
Olga begins the procedure by drawing two small tubes of blood and rubbing numbing cream all over my face. For some reason, this was the time I decided to ask if the procedure would hurt, when she bluntly responded, “Yes,” to my surprise. WTF did I get myself into?
Olga places the vials with my blood in a machine contraption that separates blood from the plasma rich platelets that contain growth factor – the catalyst to collagen production – and then we begin! She pulls out the micro-needling tool and starts getting busy on my skin without any remorse, but with love and anticipation of the expected results. With beauty, comes pain. I GOT this!
The needling – puncturing of the skin with tiny needles to injure the dermis layer of the skin causing the skin to stimulate repair – lasted maybe 10-15 minutes (if that), and was likened to getting a tattoo but without all the intensity. Perhaps that was the numbing cream?
Either way, “we” got through it – me and my future self – with style and grace. I could tell my face looked like chopped meat, because it felt like chopped meat – maybe not literally, but there was definitely a slight burning sensation. All bearable.
Olga takes the PRP and smears it all over my face and lets me sit there for about 40 minutes to let it all soak in with the lengths I would go through to maintain my youth. Young Forever, Yes!
After some time, Olga returns and lightly wipes down some of the blood and PRP on my face but encourages me to leave my face unwashed for a few hours. I looked in the mirror for the first time to find exactly what I expected – chopped meat! I patiently waited for Olga to do something else to my face to make me look somewhat normal enough to leave the building, but she did nothing. Nothing, but bid me farewell. Feeling defeated I wondered, what happened to no downtime? Perhaps it just means, “you’re gonna be fully functional, but you’re gonna look FUCKED up”?
I walked to the front desk – somewhat shocked not knowing if Olga did a good job or if she just fucked me up, but paid the bill and sat in the waiting room plotting my escape. I’m definitely taking an Uber now. I’ll have to bring a Unabomber kit next time. #hoodie #shades Always be ready Maria. Always be ready!!!
Foolish, I thought I’d be able to keep plans that evening, but was forced to cancel. In reality, the downtime is about 4-6 hours. Ideally, you should keep the PRP on your face for as long as possible without washing it for best results. Could you technically go back to work after a PRP treatment or attend an event that evening? Yes. Would you want to? NOOOOO! Your face will get scabby and appear rough for a few days as the top layer of your skin sheds and peels off naturally. That could literally take 3-5 days. You can cake makeup over this if you’d like, but when you’re in the thick of it, it won’t seem worth it. If you have a typical 9-5, it’s recommended you do the treatment on a Wednesday, so that you’ll experience the shedding Friday and over the weekend.
My Results You Ask?
I LOVE IT! I love it because within just a few days you’ll notice results. Because Olga needled the area underneath the eyes, I looked like I had a fight with a feather weight boxer for a few days, but that resolved quickly. Within 2 weeks I noticed my skin was plumper, smoother, clearer and fuller by my cheek bones. Six weeks in and I was even more in awe of its texture, smoothness and clarity. I intended to do one more treatment after 6 weeks, but Corona happened. What is beauty to a pandemic?
Although I have yet to follow it up, I continue to see the results of my initial treatment and am happy to add PRP’s to my beauty regime!