Broadband light (BBL) and intense pulsed light (IPL) skin treatments can address a variety of common skin concerns associated with hyperpigmentation or discoloration and aging, including active acne, acne scars, sun damage, redness, rosacea, vascular lesions, wrinkles and more.
These treatments are gentle on the skin, require little to no downtime and typically work best as a series of multiple treatments spaced several weeks apart.
What Are BBL and IPL?
BBL and IPL treatments are types of light therapies aimed at resolving a wide range of pigmentation concerns, revealing a brighter and more even skin tone.
BBL, or broadband light therapy, is an advanced type of IPL, or intense pulsed light. There are many advantages to cutting-edge BBL treatments, including the ability to treat active acne, the relatively long-term results and being safer for darker skin tones than other types of IPL treatments.
Areas of Treatment
BBL and IPL treatments are most common on the face and hands, although they can treat many other areas of the body as well as your neck, chest and arms.
Am I a Candidate?
Most men and women who are bothered by the appearance of acne, scars, redness, sun damage, uneven skin tone, wrinkles and other similar skin concerns could be good candidates for BBL/IPL therapy.
However, there are a few instances where BBL and IPL are not the best option:
- Laser and light treatments are not appropriate for melasma, as the light energy can worsen symptoms.
- While BBL treatments are generally safe for most skin types and tones, those with very dark complexions may not be ideal candidates for this treatment, as hyperpigmentation may occur.
- Those with permanent makeup tattoos should not get BBL or IPL treatments in those areas, as the light energy can remove the tattoos.
How BBL/IPL Therapy Works
BBL/IPL treatments work by directing light into the skin. There, the light energy is converted to heat, which is absorbed by the targeted skin tissue. This breaks up existing unwanted pigment, which is gradually removed from your body through its natural processes, as well as triggers your skin’s natural healing and rejuvenation process to reveal a smoother, brighter and more refreshed-looking complexion.
Types of BBL
There are several types of BBL treatments, with Forever Young BBL™ and Forever Clear BBL™ by Sciton among the most popular.
- Forever Young BBL uses an advanced three- to four-step system to treat a wide range of skin aging concerns such as lines, wrinkles and dark spots. The treatment starts with a base pass over the skin, followed by a vascular pass to treat redness and a pigment pass to treat dark spots and uneven skin tone. The fourth optional step uses SkinTyte™ to gently heat the underlying tissue to treat lines, wrinkles and skin laxity. Most people see the best results after a series of 2 to 4 treatments.
- Forever Clear BBL uses a three-step process to safely and gently treat active acne lesions and minimize the risk of developing acne scars. The first step uses blue light to kill acne-causing bacteria, the second step uses yellow wavelengths of light to reduce inflammation and redness, and the third step uses infrared light to stimulate the skin’s natural healing process. Most people see the best results after a series of 6 to 8 bi-weekly treatments.
At Sarasota Facial Aesthetics, we use BBL HERO®, Sciton’s latest best of class BBL technology that offers 4x the speed, 3x the peak power and 2x the cooling effect of traditional IPL/BBL technology. Treatments with BBL HERO can take just 5 to 10 minutes.
When Can I See the Results?
While many people notice immediate results after their first BBL/IPL treatment, you will see the best results after a series of treatment sessions. The exact amount of sessions you will need will depend on a number of factors, including the specific skin concern(s) you’re treating, the area in which they are located and how well your skin responds to each treatment.
One of the many benefits of BBL/IPL treatments is that there is little to no downtime afterward, so you can get right back to your normal routine directly following your appointment. Expect to see results gradually develop over the coming weeks and months.
BBL Therapy FAQ
How much does BBL therapy cost?
The average cost of a BBL treatment is around $400 to $600, though it varies based on the size and number of treatment areas, your location, the experience level of your provider and other factors.
How long do BBL therapy results last?
BBL therapy results can be long-lasting, although you may require a touch-up session here and there to maintain the same level of results long-term. Additionally, taking great care of your skin and staying out of the sun will help to prolong your BBL results.
Do BBL/IPL treatments hurt?
Most people report feeling little to no pain or discomfort during their BBL/IPL treatment. However, topical numbing cream can be applied prior to your treatment session to make you more comfortable.
What’s the difference between BBL and IPL treatments?
BBL, or broadband light, therapy is an advanced type of IPL, or intense pulsed light therapy. Both BBL and IPL work by directing light energy into the skin, where it is converted to heat. This heat can target and resolve a number of common skin concerns, especially those related to dyspigmentation such as redness, dark spots and scarring.
While both BBL and IPL can yield very effective results, BBL therapy uses advanced technology that allows it to treat an even wider range of skin problems, including fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone and texture, acne, dark spots and more.
How do I choose a qualified BBL/IPL therapy provider near me?
Find a qualified BBL/IPL treatment provider near you by first verifying the medical credentials of each candidate on your list. Although a nonsurgical procedure, BBL laser treatment needs to be performed by a properly trained and certified professional.
Read online reviews, view before and after BBL photos and ask friends and family members in your area for recommendations to help narrow your search. Finally, schedule a consultation with your top one or two laser treatment providers near you to find the best fit.
How many BBL/IPL treatments will I need?
The number of BBL/IPL treatments you may need will depend on a number of factors, including the type and severity of the skin condition(s) you would like to treat. Generally speaking, most people see the best results after a series of 3 to 6 BBL laser treatments, each spaced a few weeks apart.
During your consultation, your laser specialist will discuss your specific skincare needs and goals and provide an estimate of how many BBL sessions you may need to achieve those goals.
Are BBL treatments the best anti-aging treatment for me?
BBL skin treatments can be a very effective anti-aging treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and other aging-related concerns. BBL and IPL therapies can also be paired with a number of other nonsurgical anti-aging treatments, such as dermal fillers, BOTOX®/Dysport®, thread lifts and medical-grade skincare products, for enhanced results.
Will my skin peel after BBL laser treatments?
Temporary side effects such as peeling, redness and swelling are common after laser skin treatments. However, BBL therapy is gentler on the skin than ablative laser treatments, reducing the severity and duration of these side effects. You can minimize dryness and peeling by closely following your provider’s aftercare instructions after your BBL treatment.
How long does it take to recover from BBL laser treatments?
BBL treatments require little to no downtime afterwards, so you should be able to resume most daily activities directly after your appointment. You will need to carefully avoid sun exposure as your skin heals, and it is generally recommended to avoid wearing makeup or using other topical cosmetic products for at least 24 hours after treatment. Check with your provider before applying anything to your skin directly following your BBL appointment.