Put Your Best Face Forward with Regenerative Aesthetics: PRP Facial, Kybella & More
“I don’t intent to grow old gracefully; I intend to fight it every step of the way.” This catchphrase from skincare giant Oil of Olay in the late 1980s heralded the age of then-cutting-edge potions including ground-breaking ingredients like retinol. And in the 21st century? We’ve broken new ground in restoring youth and vitality to skin at every age through the power of PRP facial technology and so much more. Fighting aging has never been easier or more effective.
The world of regenerative medicine now offers people amazing options to restore skin to youthful vitality and firmness or to slow its aging. In the past, to restore skin, many people would turn to chemical or mechanical exfoliation to reveal fresh layers of skin underneath the top layer.
- Chemical peels work by applying glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or carbolic acid (phenol) to your face, neck, decolletage or hands. The acids would peel away the top layers of skin, revealing the fresh layer underneath. Although they were effective on fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage and acne scars, they also came with significant down time. Depending on the level of peel, your skin would look sunburned for a few days and was fragile as the skin healed from the chemicals. People with sensitive skin could react badly to some of the chemicals used.
- Mechanical exfoliation, or dermabrasion, involves literally scraping the skin to reveal the smooth under layers. It is especially effective on age spots, scars, sun damage, stretch marks and fine lines. It requires anesthesia and is not recommended for Black, Asian or darker skin tones because of the risk of permanent discoloration. Its less intense sibling, microdermabrasion, uses crystals, doesn’t require anesthesia and is much easier for most people to tolerate. For significant improvement, microdermabrasion requires multiple treatments; it’s the professional version of the exfoliation many people do at home regularly.
How does regenerative aesthetics differ from these two older approaches? PRP facials and other regenerative aesthetics treatments use the power of your own body to rejuvenate and refresh your skin without damaging it first. There’s no painful scraping or peeling, no anesthetic required and almost no downtime! The future of facials is here.
What is a PRP facial?
First, what is PRP? Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is made by drawing your blood and spinning it in a centrifuge. That separates your blood into three layers, one of which is the plasma. That layer contains a lot of growth factors, which is why it helps your skin regenerate.
In a PRP facial, we carefully inject that PRP into your subdermal layer using micro needling. Once the PRP is in that lower layer of your skin, it creates more collagen (which is naturally lost over time) and new skin cells. Younger, shinier, firmer skin is the result, without the downtime or pain of traditional methods. The skin regenerates on its own, like it did when you were younger.
If you’ve seen photos or read about the famous “vampire facial,” a PRP facial is the same process. Dr. Charles Runels, who coined the term “vampire facial,” adds some of the red blood cells back into your plasma for a more dramatic look during the procedure.
PRP facial’s more intense cousin, the exosome facial, may be preferable for some clients. Instead of your own PRP, this procedure uses concentrated stem cells sourced from ethically donated sources. It’s a more robust process which yields better results after just one treatment. The overall effects, preparation and recovery are the same.
Either PRP or exosomes can be used to treat the face, back of the hands and forearms, decolletage area, stretch marks and even the back of your knees to restore a more youthful, blemish-free appearance.
What can you expect from a PRP facial?
A PRP facial will improve fine lines, improve firmness and texture of your skin and improve your overall youthful, vital look. It removes sun damage and age spots. Acne scarring can be reduced or eliminated; difficult acne scars or age spots can be individually boosted with an extra touch of PRP of needed. You’ll look fresher! It will not help deep forehead wrinkles, smokers lip lines or deep naso-labial wrinkles (the parentheses that frame your mouth). We have other treatments, discussed below, we can combine with the PRP facial to combat those issues when desired.
What happens during the PRP facial?
As we noted above, it starts with a blood draw. Arrive for your procedure without makeup. We want your face as clean as possible and will disinfect it with non-drying witch hazel before the facial begins. Because we are using the witch hazel, you can wear sunscreen to your appointment, but no other makeup.
Before the actual procedure, your face will be numbed topically with a cream to minimize any sensations. Micro needling might SOUND scary, but it doesn’t hurt. The sensation of getting a PRP facial is much more tingling than being stuck with a needle. It takes from 20 to 45 minutes, start to finish.
How should you prepare for your PRP facial?
As we noted above, it’s okay to wear sunscreen to your appointment for protection, but don’t wear any other makeup. Being well-hydrated makes the plasma more bountiful in your blood, so drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol the day before. Your body works better with any treatment if you are well-hydrated beforehand.
What are the aftereffects of the PRP facial?
Unlike after a chemical peel, your skin isn’t raw. But it does have lots of open channels from the micro needling. For a day, your skin will look more pink than normal, a bit flushed, but not raw looking as with peels.
In this early phase, your skin is more sensitive to UV light. So we recommend makeup that allows oxygen in to help protect against that. Wear a hat if you’re going to be outdoors. Be extra careful with your sunscreen, but don’t worry about a hat or other shade beyond the first day. (You should wear at least SPF 30 every day anyway – and no, what’s in your makeup is NOT enough, especially if you live in Florida or Texas!)
To get the maximum benefits of a PRP facial, you should schedule 3 sessions, 4 to 5 weeks apart. The cumulative effects will last from 8 to 12 months. Many patients choose to do a single treatment every 6 to 8 months after the initial round of 3 to maintain their beautiful results. Of course, good skin care, hydration and nutrition are a must for healthy, glowing skin. Cleanse and moisturize for your skin type.
When you get your PRP facial, consider adding an IV nutrition therapy treatment. The instant boost of vitamins, hydration and minerals will help your PRP facial be even more effective.
What other treatments work with a PRP facial?
While the PRP facial will you give you beautifully glowing skin and treat fine lines and wrinkles, it cannot treat deep wrinkles on its own. For clients who want to treat smokers’ lines, deep forehead lines or deep naso-labial lines, we can work in other treatments. It’s recommended to do them in separate sessions but in the same timeline as a PRP facial treatment plan.
For deep wrinkles, botulinum toxin, best known as Botox, will help if your skin is still firm. The mild toxin paralyzes facial muscles for a time. If the skin is still firm, that immobility allows the skin to relax into its original shape and patterns, minimizing the wrinkles.
Botox treatments are done every few months and the among needed differs based on the area and the degree of wrinkling to be treated. The forehead alone may require 20 units. The “11 line” between the eyebrows may need 5 to 10. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to inject Botox properly.
For the parenthesis around the mouth, we don’t recommend any Botox-type product because it makes your mouth move unnaturally. But we can use hyaluronic acid filler or another kind of filler to plump out those wrinkles.
You’ve probably seen hyaluronic acid on store shelves. It’s a popular ingredient in night creams, serums and other beauty products as well as joint supplements. Why? It’s naturally produced in our bodies and retains water, keeping skin and tissues well lubricated and flexible. It can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water! It naturally promotes regeneration but at a much lower level than PRP, exosomes or stem cells can. Fillers can be placed in less than 30 minutes.
What is a PDO thread face lift?
If your skin is sagging and you want to eliminate deeper wrinkles than can be improved with a PRP facial alone, a PDO thread face lift may be the answer. Instead of a traditional facelift, with pain and cutting and scarring, we can feed a tiny thread under the skin, much like a suture thread but with microscopic finger-like projections that pull the skin up. That extra skin gets tightened and pulled up without surgery. The threads also help your skin produce more collagen, further helping with firmness and regeneration.
The threads leave no scarring in the majority of cases and dissolve over time, just like many sutures today do. That means the treatment has to be redone every 6 to 12 months.
Like all regenerative procedures, PDO thread face lifts have far fewer risks and complications than their traditional surgical alternatives. There’s no risk of anesthesia reactions or reactions to drugs other than a local anesthetic. You’ll be swollen and puffy for a day or two. That’s it! We also recommend not biting into hard or crunchy foods for a few days while the threads take hold.
We can use a combination of PRP or exosome facials, Botox, fillers, and PDO thread techniques to achieve your optimal fresh, healthy looking skin without surgery – or hiding from your friends for a week!
What about face sculpting?
While a PRP facial cannot change a double chin or rounded cheeks, we can combine a PRP plan with Kybella®, which will.
What is Kybella?
Kybella is made from deoxycolic acid, which is found naturally in the bile produced by our gall bladders. Some of that bile is secreted to help break down the fat we eat, and it works under the skin too.
We microinject this acid to break down the fat under the chin. It gradually breaks down and is reabsorbed into the body and eliminated. Over several weeks, it can eliminate a double chin. Unlike with liposuction, your skin has time to reshape and adjust so there’s no sagging or excess skin because there’s no shock. The process takes 4 to 7 weeks, and that allows skin to slowly rebound and tighten.
Kybella can also be used for facial sculpting. Strategically placed injections along the cheeks and cheekbones can eliminate rounded fleshy cheeks gradually, revealing sharper cheekbones or a sleeker jawline.
Our Miami Stem Cell Clinic
Our Houston Stem Cell Clinic