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Tried and tested: the Vampire Facial

The PRP Treatment, otherwise known as the Vampire Facial. (Yes, I know, what kind of an idiot would try a facial called that?)

WHAT I TRIED The PRP Treatment, otherwise known as the Vampire Facial. (Yes, I know, what kind of an idiot would try a facial called that?)

WHAT I EXPECTED Miracles, of course. What does any woman expect when she walks into a beauty salon? I had been told this treatment would reverse the signs of ageing on my face, neck and décolleté. The downside was that they would need to draw blood.

WHAT HAPPENED The Vampire Facial gets its name from the process. The doctor draws three phials of your blood. This is then spun in a centrifuge for 20 minutes, separating it into different components, as well as concentrating the platelets. Your face is then anaesthetised with an anaesthetic cream. "Results can be noticeable immediately," the doctor told me. "But as treatment encourages new collagen growth, results are more apparent over the forthcoming two months. The skin will look refreshed, rejuvenated and younger overall." Bring it on, I thought. Then the injections started. As I lay down having my blood re-injected (painfully) into my face and neck, I wondered if I was about to become one of those stupid women who ruin their faces in the name of vanity. The injections lasted half an hour and I felt sore afterwards. I was also alarmed as the doctor told me I would have bruising. But the receptionist said the results were incredible and would last for 18 months.

THE VERDICT I would not recommend this to anyone who has to be seen in public during the ensuing days. I had some very noticeable bruises that lasted for a fortnight. Friends kept asking me: "What happened to your face?" My husband would have asked the same thing, but he wasn't speaking to me. Partly, because people kept asking him if he'd been beating me. But the other most frequent comment was: "your skin looks amazing", and it does. Even after the second day it was looking fresher. Now three weeks later the bruises have gone and my skin is still glowing. I am definitely a convert, needles or no needles. Maybe after 18 months I will have forgotten the pain and the bruises, much as one does with childbirth.

PRP Treatment Dh3,500, Eternel Medspa, Villa, 397, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah Beach Park Dubai 04 344 0008, www.eternelmedspa.com

A new year, a new you: Give your body a boost with these handy nutrition tips for a happier, fitter, healthier lifestyle in 2011

Lots of people work on self-improvement. They read books, attend workshops, and work hard on their mental attitude to boost their careers, self-esteem or relationships.

But many don't stop to think about putting the same effort into helping their body perform better. Carole Holditch from Good Habits explains that it's difficult to be all fired up and enthusiastic about new projects if you don't eat or exercise properly. Why not take some time to consider giving your body a bit of a boost with these healthy eating tips?

Drink lots of water - for healthy skin, body and mind: Water is essential for your body to function properly. People who drink more water report glowing skin and improved health overall. Just a small degree of dehydration can lead to a lack of energy, so keep a large bottle of water on your desk.

Cut down on convenience foods: I know we all lead busy lives, but convenience foods can't feature heavily on the menu of anyone seriously wanting to move to healthier eating habits. "Low fat" doesn't always mean a product is healthy, as some are packed full of additives and contain excessive levels of salt and sugar. Instead, try cooking more meals from scratch.

Know that your taste buds will change: Remember this: when you start eating healthily you initially miss fatty foods or the sweet taste of sugar. Keep at it, and eventually you will find sweet and fatty foods don't taste very nice. We all know of people who have given up sugar in drinks and then found that tea or coffee tastes vile to them with added sugar. It will happen to you too, especially as you realise that with eating healthily you sleep better and have more energy and clearer skin. The benefits are enormous.

A healthy mental attitude is important as well: Don't punish your body (and ruin your social life) by opting for faddish "one-food-group only" diets, such as grapefruit or protein, as your body needs variety and enough energy-giving foods to function well.

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