Scary Skincare: The Vampire Facial, Muscle Banding And CACI

scary skincare

When many think of skincare treatments, they imagine the soothing scent of aromatherapy oils, calming botanicals and not a whole lot being prodded into them. However, within the last decade, the skindustry has moved towards bigger, more technological and far spoooookier things, such as the “vampire facial”, Friday-the-13th-style LED masks and needles, needles galore!

In the spirit of this season of horror, blood and gore, this article is about the most terrifying treatments out there!

PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy)

The “vampire facial” AKA PRP AKA Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy became a household name when fellow household name Kim Kardashian posted pictures of herself COVERED in her own blood on social media.

Naturally, those of us in the industry already knew about PRP, as it is one of the most effective, all-natural anti-ageing solution out there… If there is a way to look younger, us skin sorcerers and sorceresses ALWAYS know before the general public.

Interestingly, PRP was originally used on athletes to speed up the healing process so that they could get back on the pitch, court or course as soon as possible.

What is the vampire facial?

The phrase “vampire facial” is quite misleading… It has few similarities shared with the creatures from Twilight, bar the glowing, ever-youthful complexion that it bestows on its users.

It is not a stranger’s blood used at all! Understandably, this misconception puts some people off the treatment. It is your own blood used…. Don’t worry, you will not run out, as it is put back in and it is only taken in minuscule amounts.

PRP can only be carried out by medical professionals, ie. doctors and nurses. They will take your blood, use a machine to separate the plasma from the rest of the blood and inject it back into the skin, focusing on specific areas.

The procedure MAY cause some mild discomfort, but only the same discomfort that one would have from any needle. However, if you are a bit of a needle-o-phobe (disclaimer: this is not official terminology), you can request to be numbed with a topical anaesthetic prior to the needle part.

How does PRP work?

Platelet-rich plasma is blood plasma that contains more than the base level of platelets (AKA the tiny cells that help with blood clotting).

This platelet-rich plasma provides the skin with growth factors, the things that trigger growth in living cells. The process of needling the skin also stimulates collagen production, and puts the skin in “healing mode” so that fresh skin cells are created.

As your skin has more collagen and brand new cells, it will firm it up and plumpen it out. This is the reason why it is a popular botox alternative, as it is not known to damage any of the muscles and provides a very similar appearance.

The nerdie opinion

I have never performed PRP because I am not a medical professional. However, I have the treatment done on myself and was very impressed. I personally rate it as it recycles my plasma and doesn’t introduce a foreign substance into the face – because of this, you are vvveeeeerry unlikely to react to it.

I found It good for around my eyes area, personal go to for dark circles.

Is it worth all the blood? Absoluuutely. Eat your heart out, Dracula!


DMK (Danne Montague-King) Muscle Banding Enzyme Therapy Facial  

The DMK Muscle Banding Enzyme Therapy facial may not be as well-known as the vampire facial but it is certainly as gruesome. The therapy itself is not particularly gory – it is how it makes you look both during and post-treatment that is.

What is muscle banding?

DMK is the only company in the world that uses transfer messenger enzymes to its advantage – enzymes work as little pac mans that gobble up dead skin cells from the skin, revealing the fresh layer of skin beneath.

The DMK Muscle Banding Facial uses an enzymatic mask (AKA a mask packed full of enzyme power) that has the ability to make the muscles of your face contract – without you doing anything. OooOoooOooh. The mask is applied to specific areas of your face to tone key facial muscles, ie. around the forehead area, on the cheeks, below the jaw and the décolletage.

It begins to harden like a layer of candle wax on the face and you will feel and SEE pulsing in the skin below the mask as the muscles contract. All of this under the skin movement heightens blood flow as oxygenisation is increased. To paint you a picture, you will be like a red version of Lumière from Beauty and the Beast.

scary skincare

How does muscle banding work?

The enzymes stimulate and dilate the capillaries closest to the surface of the skin so that the skin is oxygenised properly… your skin doesn’t breathe but it indeed needs oxygen to thrive just like the rest of you!

The effects are visible post treatment, as you can see the “plasmatic effect”, where your capillaries and blood vessels are pronounced and red against the skin, as if your skin is bloodshot. As your muscles have been worked, your face will be firm and fresh.

The nerdie opinion

I love that it works on the muscle and is not about peeling. It is such a tight, unusual sensation and you can’t move properly. I adore the vasodilation aspect of it AKA seeing the blood vessels on the skin but that may be my inner vampire. Regardless, vasodilation is the ideal end game of a skin treatment.


What is it about non-surgical face lifts that they have to be so dramatic?! CACI is another non-filler, non-botox, non-surgical solution to give your skin its youth back.

What is CACI?

CACI stands for Computer Aided Cosmetology Instrument – it’s already beginning to sound Frankensteinesque, isn’t it? The machine pulses your face electrically to stimulate each and every muscle in your face… it is quite literally yogalates for your skin, except if when you went to yogalates, the instructor gently electrocuted you.

CACI is gentle enough not to make you twitch uncontrollably whilst still getting the job done. The microcurrents are funnelled into the skin using a wand by the therapist.

J-Lo uses CACI… she’s a good advert for it, to be fair.

How does CACI work?

The microcurrents increase the skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin and get the blood flowing, making the skin glowy, super plump and firm. People fall on the fence as to whether CACI does anything for muscle sagging. Technically, the microcurrents are not strong enough to actually reverse the effects of muscle sagging but some people notice a visible change soooo the jury is out on that one.

The nerdie opinion

It is one of the most unusual sensations you’ll ever feel. I used to hate it as it made my stomach feels funny, because you’d feel your eyes winking without doing anything and your eyebrows going up and down. It was psychological nausea, clearly. It gives phenomenal results – a lot of skincare is superficial (on the surface of the skin, not silly, obviously) but sometimes you need to work the muscle and then apply treatments on top. CACI is a great botox alternative and lengthens the effects of botox.

All in all, these treatments may seem less than appealing in nature and of course, you should dodge them if you have an aversion to blood… or having your skin tickled by electrical currents. However, in all their blood, gore and muscle-moving machinery, they are highly effective and well worth it if you’re looking to try something out of the ordinary!