Remember that famous selfie Kim Kardashian West took with blood all over her face? Well, you’ll most likely never see her in a similar situation again, because according to the 37-year-old star, it’s the most painful beauty treatment she’s ever tried—and she’s tried a lot.
In a recent blog post, Kardashian West shared the story behind that time she got a vampire facial—and sparked an Internet craze for the skincare trend. During a 2013 trip to Miami with her BFF Jonathan Cheban, Kardashian West tried the treatment, which uses your own blood and a micro-needling technique to revitalize the skin. The most exciting part? The vampire-like selfie you take during the process.
But due to the fact that she was pregnant with North, she found herself in a much more painful situation than she expected.
“Before I got the procedure, I just found out that I was pregnant, so I couldn’t use numbing cream or a pain killer and both are suggested,” she shares. “It was really rough and painful for me. I couldn’t tell anyone about the pregnancy either, but I pulled Jonathan aside and told him.”
According to New Jersey medical aesthetic expert Dr. William Song, who specializes in the treatment, a numbing cream is indeed recommended, but not entirely necessary.
“A topical numbing cream prior to the treatment makes it much more comfortable for the patient, but the use of numbing cream is not recommended for pregnant women,” he tells PeopleStyle.
But if Kim were to try the treatment again, he says, she wouldn’t have to worry about such severe pain. “We now have more sophisticated needling devices with thinner needles that do not hurt as much as the ones that were most likely used when Kardashian had her first Vampire Facial in 2013.”
Either way, most people would probably back out in such a circumstance. But proving her devotion to Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim toughened up and stuck out the treatment. “My show was also filming the treatment, so I felt I couldn’t chicken out. It was honestly the most painful thing ever!”
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That’s not to say the treatment doesn’t have the glamorous family’s stamp of approval. In fact, she says that her sister, Kourtney, is an enthusiast.
“Even though it wasn’t for me, I know it has so many benefits for your skin. Kourtney is a huge fan and I know a lot of other people that love it, too.”
Song adds that the treatment is great for wrinkle reduction, along with smoothing the complexion and more.
“Microneedling creates a very controlled trauma to the skin surface which tricks the body to initiate the healing cascade,” he explains of the process. “When we apply concentrated platelets [often mixed with blood] to the surface after the microneedling, the platelets penetrate the skin through the tiny channels created by the needles, amplifying the signal that tells the skin to heal. This is a great treatment to help reduce fine lines, large pores, uneven pigment and general health of the skin.”
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