Could a vitamin IV drip really make me look more beautiful? That was the question on my mind before I tried one a week ago. Intravenous vitamin therapy is the latest celebrity health fad, and proponents say it can do everything from boost your glow to increase your energy levels. Sounds pretty cool, right?

I visited an IV Therapy bar in New York City that offers several $200 IV drips; there’s one to detox your body, one to cure your hangover, and one to boost your immunity. There’s even a libido-increasing drip if you’re looking to have an extra fun weekend. They gave me an opportunity to undergo one of their treatments, and I decided on the Regenerate, which claims to give skin a healthy, youthful-looking glow, thanks to its mix of essential amino acids, EDTA (a molecule with detoxification properties), and B vitamins.According to the company, the effects of one drip session last for about a week, and scheduling regular sessions can further optimize results. The company notes, however, that there are small risks involved, such as bruising at the injection site (ouch!) and possible rupture of the vein wall that can result in a burning sensation that should subside after the IV is moved to a different vein.

I’m a freelance beauty writer, and I already take daily vitamins, drink a Vega One green protein shake for breakfast every morning, ingest eight glasses of water a day, and wear sunscreen—so my complexion is in pretty good shape. My biggest concern is my under-eye area, which has dark circles and fine lines that become more pronounced when I’m tired or stressed. I still had to know: Could this drip do an even better job at keeping my skin youthful than all the stuff I already do?

Here I am before the treatment:

 

What It’s Like to Get a Vitamin IV Drip

After swiping and signing all liability away on an iPad, the smiling nurse first checked my blood pressure to make sure everything was normal. Then she inserted the IV drip, which felt like a bee sting-like pinch. IV therapy delivers nutrients to the body directly, bypassing the digestive process, which is why it’s supposed to have instant results. “You only absorb about 50 percent of the nutrients you ingest, but with an IV, that’s increased to about 90 percent,” Marissa Fisher, R.N., the registered nurse who administered my IV, explained while we chatted during the treatment.

I sat for about 45 minutes as the drip slowly worked its way into my veins. My arm definitely felt a bit funny—like the sensation you get after giving blood. While I waited for the IV to work its magic, Fisher told me she’d just given the same treatment to a model who was about to fly to Miami for a swimsuit shoot on the beach. “She wanted her skin to have that extra glow,” said Fisher.

After the infusion was over and the needle was removed, Fisher once again took my blood pressure before releasing me. I looked in the mirror and didn’t detect a change, but Fisher explained that it would take a bit of time for all of the vitamins and minerals to circulate through my system. I headed out for a brisk 15-minute walk and ended up feeling slightly light-headed halfway through. (Crap.) I stopped to take a few sips from the water bottle in my handbag, and luckily the sensation passed in a couple of minutes.

Here I am immediately following the treatment (does my complexion look any different to you?):

 

How I Looked—and Felt—After the Treatment

Honestly, I totally forgot about the treatment until a few hours later, when I realized that my energy hadn’t dipped in the late afternoon. Usually, I need a pick-me-up like a cup of tea or a sweet snack. At this point I still wasn’t sure the concoction was doing anything for my skin, but I definitely felt more energetic and alert than I normally would have at that time of day.

The next morning, I met a publicist for breakfast. “Your skin is glowing!” she said as I gave her a hug. Interesting…given that I had only gotten about four hours of sleep the night before. “I think it’s this beauty IV thing I just tried,” I said. She raised an eyebrow. “How much is it?” she asked, intrigued.

The bottom line: 24 hours after I tried the vitamin infusion, I noticed that the fine lines under my eyes seemed smoother, and my cheeks looked rosier and plumper—like I had slept in on a Saturday and had been drinking cucumber water all day. I was even able to use less concealer under my eyes. Score.

Here I am 24 hours post-drip:

 
What’s more, my skin did seem to retain its healthy, rested glow for a solid several days after the treatment—and definitely for longer than the fleeting results I see from a typical spa facial (which can run upward of $100). Although the treatment was pricey, I’d consider getting an IV drip again if I needed an extra boost for a special event—but it definitely won’t replace my regular skin-care routine.