If you feel faint at the thought of a facelift, and baulk at the idea of Botox, the next innovation in cosmetic treatments could be just a step too far for you.
A salon in Edinburgh is to offer the city’s first so-called “vampire facelifts”, where blood is drawn from someone’s arm, treated and reinjected into their face.
The procedure, which costs around £400, is said to restore youthful looks by flooding skin with growth factor and platelets to encourage the creation of new tissue.
It will be carried out at the new Harlow Rhodes salon in Waterloo Place by Dr Jonathan Rhodes, who works as an NHS consultant in intensive care and anaesthesia, but has for three years carried out cosmetic procedures as a private sideline.
He said: “We take 10ml of their own blood, put it in a centrifuge, get rid of all the red cells and you’re left with a growth factor-rich and platelet-rich serum.
“This technique has been used in various surgical specialities – plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery – to improve wound healing and get better results and it’s now being used in the aesthetic industry.”
The treatment, officially known as MyCells, might sound like an extreme way to iron out wrinkles, but Dr Rhodes said he thought it would be attractive to people who didn’t like the idea of Botox injections.
“You just take blood, like giving a blood sample at a GP. What we tend to do is apply a local anaesthetic for treatment to the face, and then you get a series of very fine injections into the area, very similar to muscle relaxant treatments such as Botox.
“But for some people who might think ‘I don’t like the idea of Botox or a synthetic filler’, they might prefer it because they’re using something that’s derived from the patient.”
The treatment takes about an hour to complete, but is no quick fix. While most people have no side effects, others might see some bruising or swelling from the injections, and the full effects take two to three months to be seen, lasting for about a year.
Dr Rhodes said: “I’ve had it myself to see what it feels like. It’s remarkably discomfort free, there’s no more than a bit of mild sensation afterwards. Most people could probably go back to work afterwards.”
His wife, Deborah Rhodes, who will offer regular hair and beauty treatments at the salon when it opens on Monday, said: “I think if you speak to anyone that’s hit the 30-plus range where the wrinkles are setting in, you know creams can only do so much.
“I think it’s going to fill a niche for people that don’t like the idea of getting Botox injected. I’ve had it done and it’s completely fine, the pain level is no different from getting your legs waxed.”