We’ve all seen the photos. Kim Kardashian on a dermatologist’s chair, covered with blood splatter all over her face after the infamous vampire facial, which she also documented during Kim & Kourtney Take Miami. It was a moment solidified in beauty history that’s since inspired cosmetic dermatologists and plastic surgeons all over the world to dream up the next big beauty procedure.

The gold, microinfusion, microneedling treatment (AKA Aqua Gold) might just dethrone the vampire facial as the buzzy cosmetic procedure everyone wants to try. “It’s an amped-up, medical-grade version of traditional microneedling with added special ingredients like Botox, hyaluronic acid fillers, and platelet rich plasma (PRP) to give the skin an extra glow,” says Lara Devgan, an NYC-based board-certified plastic surgeon and chief medical officer of RealSelf. (Photo via robertprzybysz/ Getty)

It goes something like this: A dermatologist uses single-use, hollow bore needles filled with Botox, hyaluronic acid, and PRP to make thousands of controlled-depth punctures (AKA microneedling) into the surface of the skin. “The microneedling itself generates collagen; the Botox shrinks the dermal elements, creating poreless-looking skin; the hyaluronic acid plumps the skin; and the PRP is rich in regenerative growth factors that ramp up stem cell activity, which boosts collagen and makes the skin look beautiful,” Devgan explains.

Of course, like most microneedling procedures, you begin with topical anesthesia. “Numbing is typically applied 30 minutes prior to the treatments, cleaned off once that time is up, and then the procedure is performed,” explains San Francisco-based dermatologist Caren Campbell. “The procedure [which takes about an hour] is very well tolerated with numbing. Most patients feel that it tickles particularly on the nose, but do not find it painful.” As for the after effects, Campbell says you may feel a mild burning or stinging sensation, but that it subsides in the minutes that follow the treatment.

All skin types and tones can expect shrunken pores, minimized fine lines, smoother texture, and faded scarring. “It’s great for quick and easy global improvements to the [complexion],” says Paul Jarrod Frank, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist and founder of PFRANKMD. “We love this treatment for younger patients not ready for deeper injections or lasers, and we use it on our older patients as the ‘icing on the cake’ of those deeper treatments.”

Still not sure if you trust the process? Dermatologist Theresa Pacheco from UCHealth in Aurora, Colorado, tells us, “The micro-dosing of neurotoxins delivered by the microneedling device allows delivery into areas that are difficult to treat otherwise with standard Botox or filler injections. These areas include around the eyes and around the mouth.” There’s even emerging evidence that indicates this kind of micro-dosing can help with rosacea, she adds.

The lengthy list of benefits come at a price, though. Each treatment costs around $1,000 to $2,500.

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