Microneedling with PRP vs PRF
I’ve been eyeing this procedure for a while now, and I recently bit the bullet and decided to go for it. 2020 has been a rough time on so many levels, and I felt like this *might* be just what I needed to smooth out the end of the year. (See what I did there?)
So, while microneedling has been on my radar for quite some time, what really piqued my interest was microneedling with the addition of PRF, or platelet rich fibrin. PRF is derived directly from your very own blood, so there are virtually no negative side effects.
The addition of this 100% safe ingredient boosts the effectiveness of microneedling from a 2 to a 10+. PRF has been proven to improve skin quality, diminish pores, tighten skin, eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, plump skin, remove pigmentation, soften acne scars, build collagen, and improve the overall thickness of the skin.
So, I was more than ready to try this magical elixir.
An important note to add, I had this procedure done with Neekan Rivera-PA in Los Angeles and I could not recommend her more. Her skill, knowledge, and bedside manner are truly unmatched, and you immediately get a sense of calm and comfort while in her care. I highly recommend doing this treatment with a provider you know and trust! If you live in Los Angeles or Denver, you can visit Neekan at Motykie Med Spa, in West Hollywood, The Things We Do in downtown LA, or at her own practice in Denver, CO. Which are options for those who are either local to those areas or have the ability to travel in North America.
So, back to the PRF. To start with, the provider will slather your entire face with a numbing cream. While your face is getting nice and numb, she will draw a vial of blood from your arm, and spin it in a centrifuge (Note: Centrifuges, which are considered crucial tools for a lab, are often used to separate blood cells from serum/plasma.)This process separates the red part of the blood from the platelet rich plasma, or PRP.
Microneedling: Should you use PRP or PRF?
In the past, PRP has also been used alongside micro-needling, however, with the discovery of medical devices like Fraxis CO2 laser with micro-needle or even PRF, for that matter, PRP has become somewhat obsolete because it doesn’t produce as effective of a result. In fact, Neekan will not perform micro-needling with PRP any longer because of the lack of results.
We love ourselves as a provider who is so results-driven!
So, to formulate the PRF, your platelet rich plasma is mixed with a substance (usually Selphyl) to thicken the mixture and make it more apt for absorption into the skin.
Some providers go straight to the microneedling, but Neekan goes a step further and actually injects the PRF into areas she feels would benefit most from it (cue my tired undereyes!) This is also why you should choose an experienced medical professional, and not simply an esthetician, who are oftentimes not permitted to inject.
This is actually an amazing treatment for the crepey, thin skin of the undereyes. This is an area that sometimes cannot be treated with a traditional filler due to the thinness of the tissue and its location above the orbital bone. (I’m definitely not a medical professional, but Neekan explains all of these things in great detail, which I appreciate, so I can relay them onto you!)
She injected my own PRF into my undereye area using a cannula (a long, super thin needle that only needs one poke point). She then touched up any additional fine lines with another tiny needle. I really didn’t feel a thing during this part!
After the injections were complete, she moved onto using the microneedling pen. The pen has tiny needles at the end of it, which are used to create micro injuries in the skin. The theory is that these micro injuries create tiny ports for the PRF to absorb into. As the injuries heal, the PRF is absorbed into the skin and creates cell turnover to produce more collagen.
To be honest, this part was not the most comfortable. It was fine on the cheeks and more fatty areas of the face, but the under eyes and the forehead did cause slight discomfort. I’m not going to sugarcoat this – it was tolerable, but certainly not pleasant. Neekan also is quite aggressive, yet extremely skilled with the pen, as she wants to procure the most effective results for her clients.
But, beauty is pain, so we endure.
As she is swiping the microneedling pen across your face, an assistant is dripping your PRF onto the area so it can penetrate the tiny injuries. This will later get rubbed into the skin to further absorb.
After the process is complete, your face feels a bit swollen and warm, but not painful at all. It feels like a slight sunburn, accompanied by that tight/dry skin feeling.
I was instructed to let the PRF sit on my face untouched for 8 hours. Literally, you cannot touch your face for 8 hours, for risk of spreading bacteria and infection into the newly created injuries.
If one good thing has come out of 2020, it’s fully preparing us for this moment of not touching our faces.
(Also side note – if you’re having this procedure done during COVID, please request a CLEAN medical mask after the procedure to wear through the building/to your car. You don’t want to place a used mask on this area, for risk of spreading bacteria.
When the 8 hours is up, I was instructed to rinse off the PRF and apply this serum, made from snail secretion. The snail secretion is another beauty topic in itself, so I’ll save that for another day. But basically, its been discovered snail secretions have proven growth factors that, when paired with microneedling, boost collagen by 140%.
So yeah, you better believe I rubbed that snail serum right onto my face.
Honestly, that night my face did not hurt at all. I expected to be in a lot more pain, but the swollen undereyes were the worst of the side effects. It was not painful at all.
I am writing this on day 3, so the redness has calmed down almost completely, and now my face just feels a little dry and rough. Some peeling and flaking is to be expected. And sun exposure should be kept very limited, even with a zinc oxide sunscreen applied every couple of hours.
Here are a couple more updates:
Days 4-5: Skin feels dry, scaly, and starting to flake/peel a bit. This is normal. Just keep applying gentle moisturizer and lots of sunscreen.
I also started using my Vitamin C serum and retinoids on the night of day 4. Since the new skin emerging is baby skin, it will absorb more of the nutrients these serums provide, making them extremely effective. Do not skip them!
Days 6-7: Skin is starting to feel back to “normal”, but is extremely smooth and pores are minimized.
Keep in mind, we won’t see full results of this procedure for another 5-7 weeks, since the skin needs to fully rejuvenate and create that cell turnover from the PRF. I will keep this post updated with my full results at that time.
If you have any other questions regarding microneedling or PRP/PRF, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m no expert, but I’m extremely fascinated by the subject, and will do my best to answer any questions you have. Send me a DM on Instagram!
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