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Extreme facials: revolutionary or rip-off?

Extreme facials: revolutionary or rip-off?

2013, Marie ClaireView PDF

FraxelVampire facelift

They promise to tighten, brighten and banish wrinkles. But are high-tech treatments really worth the cash? Team MC puts peels, lasers and even "Dracula" facials to the test.

Skin dilemma

Recently, I’ve started to look tired and a little on the old side. No matter what lotions and potions I invest in, nothing seems to give me the bright complexion I’m after. But, although I’ve considered it, a facelift just seems too radical. And as a career woman with a family at home, I’m far too busy for the down time. I do try to keep in shape, and I love clothes and fashion, but my skin needs a boost, too.

The treatment

Concentrated, protein-rich plasma cells are taken from your blood (you give a sample at the beginning of the treatment) and spun in a centrifuge machine to separate the platelets from other blood components. The platelets are then blended with a mixture of healing proteins and stem cells, and injected into your cheeks, forehead and around the mouth for a plumping, lifting and rejuvenating effect. This followed by the microscopic Fraxel-laser treatment, which penetrates deep into the skin, and targets areas of sun damage and wrinkles by delivering heat in tiny segments.

The process

I’m a tough cookie, but no one enjoys having their blood taken. It was fascinating watching my sample develop into an anti-ageing concoction. The injections around my eyes, cheeks and mouth were uncomfortable, but the anaesthetic cream helped. However, the Fraxel laser was more painfull, and one session left my skin red and angry; I was glad of my oversize sunglasses to hide behind on the taxi ride home. Afterwards, my skin took two full days to calm down, but the effects were in no way hideous, and didn't stop me from getting out and about.

Purse damage

From £950 per session. Rather eye-wateringly, you’ll need one to three sessions within a six week period.

Available at Cosmetic Solutions, 129 Harley Street, London, with Angelica Kavouni. Visit cosmetic-solutions.co.uk


Brilliant. I loved the immediate, and perhaps a little envious, responses from friends, who couldn’t get over how well I looked. And the best bit? Not one of them suspected I’d had something done. My skin looks firmer, plumper and I’ve got my glow back. When I look in the mirror I see someone brighter, younger and far less tired. It’ll be a good six months before the effects start to wane, but I’d definitely have the treatment again. It may be known as the ‘Dracula' facial, but it's given me such a boost. However, it must be said that it’s all about the doctor; I had full confidence in Angelica and would never have gone to a beauty therapist for such an involved procedure. So do your research. I wish I'd...had it done years ago.