Written By: Kelsie Matthews, L.E.
What are they?
BBL and IPL are forms of photofacial treatments. They both use light-based energy to correct dyschromias and discoloration in the skin, as well as provide anti-aging benefits like collagen production. BBL is the photofacial technology from Sciton Inc. Whereas IPL is used with many other companies like Inmode Lumecca which is what we use for IPL.
How does it work?
BBL and IPL essentially are like really bright flashes of light that penetrate the skin and break up pigmentation, cause vessels to constrict, and activate the cells to start producing more collagen and elastin, resulting in younger and more even toned skin.
Before the treatment begins, clear gel is applied to clean skin so the light can penetrate the skin, and protective shields or glasses are used over the eyes. Once these steps are completed, the treatment begins. Individual pulses of light are sent from the machine to the skin of the area treated. This treatment can be used over almost any area of the body. The treatment typically takes 20-30 minutes per area treated, and is most commonly done on the face.
Once the treatment is completed, the gel is removed, cooling gel is applied, and a generous layer of SPF goes on last. For 5-7 days after the treatment, pigmented lesions will darken and slough off, leaving a much more even and brighter complexion.
Is it painful?
The most common way the photofacial is described to feel, is like a hot rubber band snap. It’s not necessarily “painful”, more of an annoyance if anything. Numbing cream is not typically used, because it causes vasodilation and increased redness in the skin, which is the opposite of what we’re wanting to happen before/during the treatment. The discomfort should only occur during the actual treatment, and feel similar to a sunburn for the first few hours after it is completed.
What is the difference between IPL and BBL?
Essentially, BBL and IPL are nearly the same treatment. BBL stands for “Broad-band Light” and IPL stands for “Intense Pulsed Light”. They use very similar technology, the BBL is just a newer form of the IPL treatment. IPL mainly targets pigmented lesions, collagen production, and general redness in the skin. Whereas with the BBLs different filters, we can target pigmentation, acne, individual facial vessels, rosacea, hair reduction, bruises, cherry angiomas, and even more. This is not to say that IPL is not effective and you won’t get great results, the BBL is just a little more customizable to patients with multiple skin conditions.
(Before and After 1 BBL Treatment at L Aesthetics)
Overall, whether you choose BBL or IPL, your skin is going to look phenomenal. A series of these treatments can take years off your face. They are one of the best non-invasive, no down-time treatments in the aesthetics industry today. With BBL and IPL there is no reason to wait for younger looking skin!