Vampire Facelifts And Young Blood Transfusions Are A Thing Now
By Kristian Bland
This is probably all Buffy’s fault, but “young blood transfusions” are a thing now. If you’ve never heard of the term, it’s exactly what it sounds like: old people are using the blood of young people to halt or reverse the effects of aging. You know, like with vampires.
Of course, it’s all super-scientific and medical now, so everything’s fine. No one is biting anyone else’s neck or anything, or even bathing in the blood of their victims like Countess Elizabeth Báthory was fond of doing a few hundred years ago. Nope, today it’s all proper and above board and nobody’s torturing anybody.
Instead, as with vampire facelifts, plasma is separated from the rest of the blood, then injected into the patient. However, unlike vampire facelifts, this blood comes from young donors rather than the patient’s own body. Naturally, this poses a few more health risks than vampire facelifts, but nobody ever said beauty is for the timid.
Blood plasma is all the rage these days, and can allegedly do everything from treating Alzheimer’s to getting you as close to immortality as possible without growing fangs and developing a curious aversion to natural lighting conditions.
The science is still out on whether this wonder fluid actually does any of the amazing stuff people say it does. But whether or not it’s effective is kind of beside the point. Bottom line: it’s just plain creepy.
Blood transfusions are, of course, a normal and necessary part of modern medicine. But the keyword there is medicine. Old people trying to recapture their youthful vigor by injecting the blood of young people into their tired bodies is another thing entirely.
Look, I get it. Getting old isn’t for the weak. Things that used to work start having problems; your joints begin making way too much noise; and the rest of your body eventually joins in on whatever coup is being staged inside you until one day you throw your back out just trying to tie your shoes. (That actually happened to me while I was taking a frozen pizza out of the oven. But that story’s a little embarrassing, so let’s pretend it never happened.)
It’s tempting to try to find easy cure-all solutions to fight against the various treacheries going on inside our aging carcasses. But there ain’t no such animal, folks. The only way you’ll ever look or feel like you’re in your 20s again is to actually be in your 20s again.
Unfortunately, nobody’s figured out how to do that just yet. And no amount of juice cleanses or infomercial products or creepy blood magic pseudoscience is going to roll the clock back. All we can really do is try to eat right, exercise and get off the couch once in a while. Sorry.
In case you haven’t heard of it, a vampire facelift is a cosmetic procedure in which a dermatological masochist draws some blood from your arm and spins it around in a tiny version of one of those gravity rides at the county fair — the one that pins you to the wall while you quietly pray the guy next to you keeps his funnel cake down.
The technical term is a centrifuge, but whatever, man. I’m not a scientist.
The spinning bit separates the platelet-rich plasma from your regular old boring blood, and this magical substance called plasma is injected back into your face. The plasma’s supposed to get rid of all the lines and wrinkles life has etched into your money maker over the years.
Does it work? I honestly have no idea. Some people swear by it and there are a lot of beauty salons and day spas offering the procedure, so a lot of people must think it works. The people of Instagram are certainly believers, especially ones who have Kardashian in their names.
The whole thing can be done in a single visit for anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500 per treatment. Of course, it’s recommended that you have at least two procedures a year for maximum effect, while some people get it done every three months. Beauty ain’t cheap, y’all.
The theory behind turning your face into a blood-soaked nightmare is that it tricks your body into thinking you’ve injured yourself (probably by paying someone two grand to stab you in the worry lines). The platelet-rich plasma goes to work by stimulating healing and producing more collagen for that healthy, just got back from the serial killer look.
Looking at before-and-after photos, it does seem to do … something. The immediate effect is to make it look like you just walked off the set of a horror movie where you got to know the business end of some madman’s chainsaw and barely escaped with your life. But once the blood is washed off and you’ve had some time to heal, your face does look different.
To my eyes, it just makes everything seem puffier. It’s kind of like the whole idea is to smooth out wrinkles by over-inflating your cheeks like meat balloons.
But hey, who am I to judge? The last time I got any sort of cosmetic procedure done, I was getting a crown on the front tooth my sister broke during a particularly brutal game of dodgeball back when Ronald Reagan was president. I’m not exactly hip and down with the kids when it comes to fashion trends. Or anything, really.
Here’s the thing, though. I’m a proud believer in aging. It’s true that, as a man, I don’t face nearly the same pressure or scrutiny that women do when it comes to getting older, and I don’t have to worry about it as much. I wish that wasn’t the case. I wish everyone could get by in life without chasing after the fountain of youth like an army of modern-day Ponce de Leóns. But the world doesn’t work that way. At least, that’s what they keep telling us.
Personally, I think all the laugh lines, worry wrinkles and crow’s feet are battle scars from a life hard-fought. Each one shows we’ve made it this far in life through terrible situations and absurd scenarios, all of our experiences leaving their marks on our skin like little badges of honor.
Your face might look old to younger people, but to the rest of us who’ve been through life’s wringer, it shows that you’re a survivor. And that makes you beautiful.