Can Human blood infused moisturizers and “vampire facials” improve skin?
New York,August10:If you thought a donation at your local blood drive was the only way to harness your blood’s powers for good, think again. Human blood has become an increasingly popular beauty ingredient, and more and more celebrities are crediting blood-infused moisturizers and “vampire facials” for their their flawless complexions. But do these treatments actually work?
Dr. Barbara Sturm, a German physician who launched an eponymous skincare line, has become well-known for her MC1 cream (or blood cream, as it’s often called). The customized moisturizer is made after drawing a few vials of a customer’s blood, and is said to harness blood’s skin-soothing properties to boost collagen and reduce signs of aging.
Prices for the cream aren’t listed on Dr. Sturm’s website (it’s only available at her clinics in Munich and Düsseldorf), but one jar reportedly costs more than $1,000.
The pricey treatment has gained popularity among beauty insiders and A-listers, including model Hailey Baldwinand fitness influencer Hannah Bronfman (below), who recently gave social media followers a glimpse into Dr. Sturm’s process on Instagram.
New York City-based dermatologist Bruce E. Katz, MD, tells Health that while blood may have skin-improving powers, it wouldn’t be effective as a topical treatment. “The plasma in the cream dies right away, and it’s no longer active,” he says. “The MC1 doesn’t get past the skin barrier.”
That’s not to say that Dr. Strum’s MC1 cream doesn’t benefit skin; the formula reportedly contains complexion-helpers like antioxidants and purslane in addition to blood. But Dr. Katz says that blood alone wouldn’t contribute to any transformative effects.