$1,500 Buys a Kim Kardashian Vampire Facial

SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- Kim Kardashian has had it done, and so has supermodel Bar Refaeli.

In fact, by many accounts, it's become Hollywood's hottest beauty trend -- even if the name of this oh-so-glamorous and pricey treatment is, well ... not exactly enticing.

Known as the Vampire Facial (or Vampire Facelift, depending on which treatment you choose), this approach to endless youth involves harvesting a patient's own blood and using it to rejuvenate the skin.

Feeling a little queasy? No need. The name and the description are more off-putting then the actual procedures.

"People who have fine lines, I see an improvement in those lines. People with brown and red spots get a peaches and creme complexion," says Dr. Mark Berkowitz, owner of Accents Cosmetic Surgery in Detroit. "Women tell me that their boyfriends or spouses run their fingers over their skin and tell them their skin is so much smoother."

Berkowitz is among a growing number of plastic surgeons in the United States certified to offer the Vampire procedures, which were trademarked by Alabama doctor Charles Runels.

An official Vampire Facelift website listing surgeons trained to perform the procedures went live within the past week, Berkowitz says.

To amp up the Vampire buzz, gift certificates for the Vampire facial and facelift were included in this year's Academy Awards swag bag for celebs.

For the rest of us, the procedures start at around $1,500, Berkowitz says.

A Vampire Facial typically involves drawing blood from a patient's arm with a needle and separating the blood platelets into a platelet-rich plasma using a centrifuge. That plasma is combined with filler such as Restylane or Juvederm and injected into the face to stimulate collagen production, remove fine lines and acne scars.

The Vampire Facial involves micro needling and the serum being placed onto the surface of the skin.

Neither of these procedures should be confused with a blood facial, which Berkowitz explains does not include using a centrifuge to spin out a patient's blood, extracting the platelets and growth factors. Because a blood facial does not involve that step, he says, it does not have the same benefits.

Since Kardashian underwent a Vampire procedure on her reality show, women around the world have been flocking to have it done.

"The Vampire Facial got a lot of notoriety when Kim Kardashian had it done," Berkowitz says. "We have people coming in who are 22 or 23 years old because they see it as preventative."

Linda Hoffman is among those who were inspired by the reality star.

The 47-year-old Hoffman, who says she's always keeping tabs on the latest procedures to maintain her youthful appearance, was in awe of the improvements she saw in Kardashian's skin.

"I saw the texture of her skin and how smooth it was," says Hoffman, a Michigan resident. "And I saw other stars too. I'd see their before and after pictures and it was amazing."

Since having a Vampire Facial a little more than three weeks ago, Hoffman says she has received numerous compliments about her improved complexion.

But the most satisfying moment to date, she says -- listen up, single ladies -- came when a 30-year-old man at her gym asked Hoffman on a date.

"He thought I was 30," Hoffman says. "I think my skin looks better then Kim Kardashian's now. I hardly wear any foundation at all. Hardly any. It's only been three weeks since I had the procedure done. And my skin keeps getting better and better."

Mary Erickson, a 57-year-old nurse from Minnesota, also offers up raves for the facial. As a nurse who works the night shift five to six days a week, Erickson felt like she was aging prematurely because of her work schedule.

"I work a ton. And it's been proven that people who work night shifts age more readily. Before I had anything done, I looked horrific," she says. "I had wrinkles so bad, I could not cover them up with makeup. Now I can literally go out of the house without makeup."

"I've had a lot of people tell me I don't look 56," she says.

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