A former owner of a salon in New Mexico has been indicted on 24 felonies after at least two clients contracted HIV from a “vampire facial.”
Maria de Lourdes Ramos de Ruiz, a former owner of VIP Beauty Salon and Spa in Albuquerque, has been formally charged with racketeering, money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, and practicing without a medical license on Monday. The New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas made the official announcement on Wednesday, per People, saying:
“Individuals who jeopardize the health and safety of New Mexican families must be held accountable. We look forward to presenting this case at trial.”
So you’ve probably seen the jarring photos on Instagram. You know, the ones in which a celebrity or influencer’s face is covered in blood splatter. Well, the treatment rose in popularity after Kim Kardashian shared a creepy selfie of her “vampire facial” on the ‘gram back in 2013. Since then, it’s pretty much remained a staple in the skincare bible.
A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian)
And in case you have no clue what we are talking about, here’s a quick rundown. The facial is essentially a cosmetic procedure that uses your blood, specifically PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma, to help the skin function at its best. Aestheticians will withdraw a patient’s blood, run it through a centrifuge, and re-inject only the plasma back into the patient. The vampire facial supposedly diminishes the signs of aging by increasing the collagen and elastin, while also bringing in some much-need antioxidants and hydration to the face. Think along the lines of trying to obtain the skin of Edward Cullen, Damon Salvatore, and any mainstream vamp! Anywho…
In 2019, a criminal investigation had been launched into the spa after two people tested positive for the virus. The Department of Health closed down the place when they discovered several unsafe practices, such as having unwrapped needles, unlabeled blood tubes, and fake Botox and “vampire facial” licenses, the New York Post reported. Investigators did learn that the 59-year-old woman had a cosmetologist license, but it expired in 2013. According to People, The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office said in a statement:
“Ramos de Ruiz told them she does breast and buttocks sculpting, cellulite treatments, and ‘vampire facials.’ Inspectors found ‘numerous health code violations and unsafe infection control practices,’ including unwrapped needles, blood being dumped into the kitchen sink and unlabeled syringes beside food in the refrigerator.”
Authorities believe the tools used to take patients’ blood and return it to their skin were not properly cleaned or disinfected between each use. The two people who contracted HIV reportedly had the same strain of the virus. And to make matters worse, a total of 137 customers received “unlicensed and fraudulent services” from the salon.
As of right now, Balderas asks for anyone considering getting a vampire facial to question an establishments practices and precautions in advance. Make note!
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