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Benefits of Period Blood Facial: Is There Any Truth Behind It?

Benefits of Period Blood Facial: Is There Any Truth Behind It?

Among Filipinos, you’ve probably heard the old wive’s tale that you should use your first menses as a facial to prevent future acne. Where did this originate, what’s the truth, and is it effective? Learn more from our Hello Doctor expert, Dr. Rani Cadiz, as she lays down the facts and the benefits of period blood facial.

Is it true that if you use blood from your first menses, this will prevent you from developing acne?

There is no basis for the old myth of using menstrual blood as a face mask or washing one’s face with it.

Acne, a common skin condition in teenagers, arises from the clogging of hair follicles. The combination of trapped oil, dead skin cells, and cutibacterium acnes results in unsightly bumps and inflammation.

Applying menstrual blood on the face does not address any of the above causes of acne. In fact, it may even add to infection. Just imagine how menstrual blood can be contaminated by other fluids from the genital tract.

Where did this idea originate from?

It is hard to trace where this myth came from as many cultures deem menstrual blood as “dirty” or “unclean.” In other practices, the woman is even advised not to use a public bath during menstruation. Probably this became more popular recently—smearing menstrual blood on o the face—after some influencers promoted it to give a youthful glow similar to “non-aging vampires.”

What’s the connection between menses and acne?

Many women attest to the relationship of their acne as their menstruation is about to commence. The exact mechanism and causal association are not yet fully elucidated, but it is said to be associated with elevated androgen levels.

Women suffering from hyperandrogenia (increased androgen hormones) usually present with premenstrual acne flare. High androgen levels result in increased oil production in the skin which could clog the pores.

Benefits of period blood facial, are there any?

According to a study (Yang et. al.), menstrual blood is composed of three distinct body fluids: blood, vaginal fluid, and the cells and fluid of the late secretory phase of the uterine endometrial lining. Other components are proteolytic enzymes, cytokines, and proteins from the diverse types of immune cells.

In theory, there may be potential benefits of period blood facial, BUT there is no current scientific evidence to support the application of menstrual blood for acne. It would not even be substantially absorbed by the skin to “achieve” the desired “anti-acne” effect.

Is it effective?

No, it is not effective. There are currently no validated studies to support its use.

Is it safe?

It may cause potential harm as virus and bacteria contaminating the menstrual blood can cause possible inflammation or aggravation of acne. It may even be more troublesome if it gets into your eyes.

Is it worth trying?

No, it is better to avoid this practice.

How about “vampire facials”? Some derma clinics offer this service wherein they draw blood from the patient, separate the plasma, and then reintroduce the blood/ plasma into the skin? Is there any risk? Is there any benefit?

“Vampire facials,” also known as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, are hyped to stimulate the growth of new collagen to give skin a more youthful appearance. The use of PRP has been documented in other medical cases i.e. for wound healing, joint injuries, and arthritis-related pain.

Studies on its use on the face showed that autologous PRP treatment improved skin conditions, including increased skin thickness, enhanced collagen content, and reduced pigmentation.

Note that one of the potential risks is contracting blood-borne diseases such as HIV. This may be due to unsafe and unsanitary storage and handling of needles. Other injection site risks are irritation, swelling, and bruising.

In conclusion, are there any benefits of period blood facial? Potentially, but not medically supported.

Ovulation Calculator

Ovulation Calculator

Tracking your period cycle, determines your most fertile days and increases your chance of conceiving or applying for birth control.

Ovulation Calculator

Tracking your period cycle, determines your most fertile days and increases your chance of conceiving or applying for birth control.

Ovulation Calculator

Cycle Length

(days)

28

Period Duration

(days)

7

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

 

 

References:

Yang, H., Zhou, B., Prinz, M., & Siegel, D. (2012). Proteomic analysis of menstrual blood. Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP11(10), 1024–1035. https://doi.org/10.1074/mcp.M112.018390

 

Thapa, S., Bhattarai, S., & Aro, A. R. (2019). ‘Menstrual blood is bad and should be cleaned’: A qualitative case study on traditional menstrual practices and contextual factors in the rural communities of far-western Nepal. SAGE Open Medicinehttps://doi.org/10.1177/2050312119850400

 

Dréno, B. (2017), What is new in the pathophysiology of acne, an overview. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 31: 8-12. https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.14374

 

Tan, A. U., Schlosser, B. J., & Paller, A. S. (2017). A review of diagnosis and treatment of acne in adult female patients. International journal of women’s dermatology4(2), 56–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijwd.2017.10.006

 

Du, R., & Lei, T. (2020). Effects of autologous platelet-rich plasma injections on facial skin rejuvenation. Experimental and therapeutic medicine19(4), 3024–3030. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8531

 

Alam M, Hughart R, Champlain A, Geisler A, Paghdal K, Whiting D, Hammel JA, Maisel A, Rapcan MJ, West DP, Poon E. Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection for Rejuvenation of Photoaged Facial Skin: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Dermatol. 2018 Dec 1;154(12):1447-1452. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.3977. PMID: 30419125; PMCID: PMC6583756.

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Written by Mary Rani Cadiz, M.D. Updated 4 weeks ago
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