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How the Other Half Live: Vampire facials

March 14th 2013 / Christa D'Souza

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Christa D'Souza finds out why the vampire face lift could be the secret to a flawless complexion

Do you know what I want to know? I want to know who is responsible for the complexions of Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett. Honestly. These non-civilians who’ve so Got The Gloss without looking in any way ‘done’. What on earth is their secret?

Perhaps what they’ve all been covertly undergoing is the ‘Vampire Face Lift’. Or the PRP (platelet-rich plasma) rejuvenation treatment as it is more prosaically known. I know. As Dorothy Parker might have put it: What fresh hell is this? But apparently it was the most popular item in this year’s Academy Award swag bag. And if the idea of knives or anything foreign being injected into your face repulses you, as it does me, it may be just the thing.

The go-to person in London? Diana Piana-Mariton (020 7637 0548, www.drsebagh.com), a daunting American lady with raven hair and thick black rimmed spectacles, who practises out of both London and Paris. My first question, obviously: does it involve the taking of blood? It does. Two vials of it, actually, but as Dr Diana booms nicely, “Very small vials”. And for the benefit it reaps? The way it really CAN make you look 10 years younger? Well, pull yourself together, girl.

This is how it works. When the two vials have been drawn from - gulp - a vein, the blood is then whirled around in a great big centrifuge to separate out the precious platelets. Those platelets, which contain growth hormones, are then injected back into the anaesthetised face with a medical grade airgun to produce new, fresh, healthy cells, boost collagen production and as such give you younger, plumper, better skin.

Age spots, rosacea, fine lines, that wan, pinched look we all get when we get to a certain age; this, says Dr Diana, is what it is absolutely perfect for. It’s subtle she says, too. If her before and after pictures are anything to go by, she is not lying, that’s for sure. No down-time either - you can even, she says, go out the same evening, if you ice it well enough straight afterwards. Use it in connection with a little bit of Fraxel, she adds, and you can pretty much obviate the fillers route, one which she reassuringly admits she’s never been that keen on anyway.

A no-brainer? In a way. If you are a scaredy-cat about the idea of having blood taken and will do almost anything to avoid it, it’s worth weighing up. It can take six weeks to show the effects, and Dr Basim Matti, who also offers the treatment, has gone on record to say it has a “75%” success rate. Only 75%? What about the other 25%? And did anyone see Kim Kardashian's face on the internet the other day, having just had it done? Hammer Horror, or what?

Obviously it is safe, just like drinking your own wee is safe, but if you are as much of a wimp as I am when it comes to the taking of blood… you might want to stick to your regular facial.

Let me just say to those who have had it done, Chapeaux. I may need to steel myself for this one.

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