Beauty trend alert: People are injecting themselves with teenagers' blood
You may think the concept of the vampire facial, as made famous by Kim Kardashian, is a little weird.
According to laser treatment clinics, using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has become a common treatment to improve skin tone and texture, reduce wrinkles, and even encourage hair growth. Basically a vampire facial means that a patient's blood is taken and then spun in a centrifuge to extract the platelets, which are then re-injected or used in topical treatment creams.
The theory is that the blood plasma is rich in proteins that can help boost the skin's cell function. The treatment has been used for about 20 years in the treatment of wounds and burns, and to help athletes recover.
But the next iteration of this is even weirder. In the US a biotech start-up, Ambrosia, is testing the idea of using transfusions of teenager's blood (so Buffy!) to fight wrinkles.
According to CNBC, the company has roughly 100 customers, who are 35 and over, shelling out $US8000 to receive young blood plasma transfusions sourced from a blood bank that sells donated blood to heathcare companies.
Ambrosia founder Jesse Karmazin told a tech conference this month that the company is hoping to recruit more people in its research into whether the transfusions can fight particular signs of ageing.
While Karmazin said results so far had been positive, blood transfusions came with risks (including allergic reactions) and the study had been criticised for a lack of evidence.
If this seems a bit outlandish, you are probably right.
But in terms of weird things people will do to drink from the fountain of youth, this is definitely up there with the diet plan that advocates daily injections of urine from pregnant women (the hormone in the urine, human chorionic gonadotropin – hCG – is said to promote weight loss).
Watch this (vampirific) space.