Every now and then the beauty industry throws us a wild card - a new strange way to turn back time or to momentarily stop the clock.
One such treatment that's growing in popularity is PRP injections and in case you've had your head in the sand Kim Kardashian has just tried it out.
She posted this gruesome looking picture post treatment to show the specks of blood on her skin - and while it does look a bit sore PRP is fast becoming a celebrity must-try treatment.
PRP refers to platelet rich plasma - which is effectively a composition of blood - your own - that is injected into the areas you wish to plump up.
At first it can sound pretty sinister - which has given rise to nicknames such as the Vampire Facial and Dracula Therapy - but having spoken to one of the leading PRP experts, Mr Golchin, an esteemed ENT & Facial Plastic Surgeon, it's clear that the spookiest thing about PRP injections is the results as you mysteriously start to look fresher faced in the months following your treatment.
What is PRP?
PRP is not all that new - platelet rich plasma injections have been around for decades, helping athletes to heal sports related injuries (they're particularly helpful at healing tendon damage) but increasingly the benefits of PRP are being used in beauty.
The platelet rich plasma that is injected is a concentrated formula of your own platelets which makes it rich in growth factors. Such growth factors are needed to repair the body, and come in handy too when trying to fight the signs of ageing.
When going for a PRP treatment the practitioner will take some blood from you - imagine going for a beauty blood test - then that blood is processed using a mechanical device to seperate the platelets from the rest of the blood making the concentration of platelets three to four times the normal level.
The processing part of the treatment doesn't take long - on average 20 minutes, as the different elements are divided - red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets etc, then the clear platelet rich plasma is ready to inject back in the places that need the most attention.
How does it work?
If we already have blood in our bodies, you might ask what is the benefit of reinjecting it? It could all be seen as rather pointless - if it wasn't for the fact that processing the blood increases the levels of platelets far beyond their normal concentration to boost the skin's ability to rejuvenate.
Mr Golchin says: "When platelets are activated in the body, they release healing proteins called growth factors. These growth factors have a range of responsibilities, a predominant feature of which is their ability to accelerate tissue repair and improve wound healing."
When PRP is injected into the skin, the injection entry point causes a small wound which activates the platelets and lets them get to work repairing the tissue in that area. (Hence Kim Kardashian's bloody looking face).
Effectively PRP is encouraging your body to use it's own processes but more effectively in the places that are starting to need a bit of extra help.
What about the results?
While Mr Golchin agrees that PRP won't give you a post Botox result it will give your skin more natural radiance and a glow that will get people telling you how well you look.
It's a much more natural approach to anti-ageing - both for the fact you're using your body's own material and for the fact the results develop over time.
Immediately post treatment you may have some redness and spotting but in terms of looking more youthful you'll have to be patient. It also makes sense that the younger you are the better the result as your body's natural healing processes are quicker.
Gradually your skin will have a subtle improvement that will give you a fresher look than before - without putting anything foreign into the skin.
To increase the impact of the results Mr Golchin suggests having one treatment every month for three months then you should be able to enjoy the benefits of PRP for up to 18 months after that.
Who is it best for?
Cosmetic consultant Wendy Lewis says PRP will offer the best results to those with bad acne scarring as it helps the skin's healing processes, but PRP is also a good option for those not keen to use synethic products like fillers or Botox but are still interested in improving their skin's condition and appearance.
Mr Golchin says it's also an effective method to treat fine lines and to improve the overall texture of the skin, but for more noticeable results a combination treatment may be more satisfactory. You can see before and after results of PRP therapy here.
A two pronged approach?
If you're serious about turning back time without introducing a chemical substance into the skin then a two pronged approach using PRP and laser treatment could be an option to consider.
Mr Golchin has devised a new combination treatment to get the most out of PRP - the so called The Angel Lift - which sounds much nicer than a Vampire Facial or Dracula Therapy don't you think?
The Angel Lift
The Angel Lift is a PRP treatment (using 'The Angel' machine to seperate the platelets in the most effective way possible) followed by a fractional laser treatment.
The laser treatment uses a narrow laser microbeam to remove columns of tissue in the deeper layers of skin. This micro injury encourages the body to heal the channel and to produce new collagen to improve the appearance of wrinkles, pesky fine lines and even scars.
A larger beam laser like ActiveFX can be used to treat the top layer of skin to remove pigmentation and improve texture - the results of which are much more dramatic.
PRP and laser treatment make a good couple; while the PRP injections increase your body's ability to heal and rejuvenate, the laser treatment stimulates collagen production. They work together to get the best out of your body's own potential.
Of course whenever it comes to turning back the clock, a fair amount of cash is involved.
If you want Botox and filler like results then this might not be for you - but for natural looking anti-ageing and improved radiance a blood facial (aka) The Angel Lift is very interesting.
The Angel Lift is available from £3,750 by Mr Golchin at Dr Rita Rakus Clinic, 34 Hans Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW3 IRW.
Tel: 020 7460 7324