Broadband Light Therapy (BBL)

Refined Dermatology | Los Gatos + Greater San Jose

Who’s down with Broadband Light (BBL)? It’s the latest light technology that instantly reduces the signs of aging and sun damage. That’s right—light can both damage and repair your skin depending on the type of light and the application. It joins Dr. Swengel’s personally tested and recommended light therapy treatments IPL (intense pulse light therapy) and photo facials to give clients the ultimate in light therapy treatments. If you want to get rid of acne scars, sun damage, unwanted hair, varicose veins, and a host of additional complaints, it’s time to heat things up. Heat energy has incredible power to let you customize your look. Whether you have fair or dark skin, coarse or thin hair, and no matter what type of skin ailments are plaguing you, the right treatment is now available in San Jose. Like Dr. Swengel says, “Call it what you like—BBL is the gold standard for all IPL therapies.”

BBL is a preferred tool of Dr. Steven Swengel because it can be personalized specifically for your skin and areas of concern. Whether you’ve been eyeing those small facial veins, sun spots, or fine lines and wrinkles, BBL is your ticket to younger-looking skin with no down time. Call Refined Dermatology today to get started – 408-384-3845.

How Broadband Light Therapy Works

BBL works by pulsing light directly into the desired area. Also called photorejuvenation therapy, it’s what a number of celebrities depend on to get that youthful glow. The results? Smoother skin that’s more vibrant and younger looking. It also helps skin become a better foundation for makeup, allowing you to ditch those expensive primers you got suckered into at Sephora. BBL removes brown spots, pigmentation, and sun damaged skin. BBL is one of those wow procedures. Much like Botox or lip injections, BBL is one of those procedures that clients can’t fathom the power of until they see the results for themselves.

BBL isn’t just for your face. Any part of the body can be treated. Often, the neck, décolletage, and hands are the first places to show signs of aging along with the face. The skin in these areas is thin and often exposed to the elements. Solely treating the face for signs of aging is a rookie mistake. All areas of the body can show signs of aging, and might even give away otherwise fantastic procedures on the face. If you want a full-body treatment and to look and feel younger all over, it’s time to “come to the light.”

Ideal Candidates For Broadband Light Therapy

This procedure is a great match for a number of at-home care procedures offered at Refined Dermatology. It can be part of your personalized beauty plan and a way to extend care beyond the face. Working with this kind of state of the art technology allows Dr. Swengel to treat all types of skin.

At Refined Dermatology, the latest tools and procedures are akin to a paintbrush. A master painter doesn’t just use one brush to create a masterpiece. In your journey to becoming your best work of art, BBL can help take your results to the next level.

Video: BroadBand Light Treatment Demonstration

IPL vs Photofacial vs. BBL – What’s The Dealio?

Refined Dermatology, Los Gatos + San Jose

All About IPL

Intense pulsed light therapy, or IPL, is in the same family as BBL—consider it a kissing cousin. Like BBL, it can be used to treat a variety of complaints from wrinkles to brown spots and unwanted hair. Banish age spots, freckles, birth marks, sun damage, rosacea, burst blood vessels, and varicose veins with this powerful tool. IPL is really similar to other types of laser treatments, but utilizes light at a variety of wavelengths. It’s kind of like a photo flash.

Some describe IPL as being “more scattered” than a laser, and while that might sound like a down side, it’s actually a good thing! IPL’s scattering means it can penetrate deeper into the skin without causing excess damage to the top layer. Less damage means less downtime. Who knew being “less focused” could work in your favor?

Your skin’s pigment cells soak up light energy, which is then turned into heat. Heat is what gets rid of sun damage, genetic issues you don’t like, or it can destroy hair follicles. You can use IPL anywhere on the body, but isn’t the greatest solution if you tend to keloid or have more melanin.

Both IPL and BBL work by sending light energy into the skin to turn it into heat. One of the biggest differences is that BBL is great for acne and it can be effective on darker skin tones. Melanin queens and kings rejoice! BBL also has a dual lamp system and offers better temperature control and transfer of light vs IPL. BBL is very powerful, safe, and for some patients gets far better results than IPL and other photo facials.

Refined Dermatology, Los Gatos + San Jose


Photofacial—sometimes spelled photo facial or fotofacial—is the nickname of IPL therapy. It takes just 30 minutes to kick-start collagen and give you a younger, healthier look. Instantly reduce redness, minimize age lines, and get deep into the dermis for some lasting results. It’s a fast, comfortable, and effective treatment. Although you’ll see some results right away, it can take a few weeks for the full results to show. If you have discolored skin, blotchy skin, aged skin, or sun-damaged skin, this is a “facial” like you’ve never experienced before.

Many clients who fall in love with photofacials have a history of tanning. At Refined Dermatology we won’t lecture you too much about staying out of the sun. Once a photofacial has piqued your interest, you’re probably pretty well versed in the errors of your past ways. Instead, Dr. Swengel’s San Jose team will work with you to customize a photofacial or other treatments to undo that damage. You can also get started on a sun damage regimen now to prevent future damage.

So, should I get IPL or BBL

Dr. Swengel almost always recommends BBL over any other light-based procedure. It just works better in the majority of cases! However, there are some considerations. You might be a better candidate for IPL based on your melanin levels and hair. The only way to know is to schedule a consultation.

Does it hurt?

BBL and IPL will have various “comfort levels” depending on each client. However, it’s generally a comfortable procedure. If you have worries over pain or other anxieties, Dr. Swengel’s team has a number of strategies and tools available to put you at ease. This quick procedure is more exciting than anything else, and most clients can’t wait to get started.

How quickly will I see results?

It depends on you, how quickly your body responds, and your goals. Some minor improvements may be seen right away, but it can take up to six months for the full results to show.

How much does it cost, and what about payment options?

Cost will vary based on the procedure and number of recommended treatments. Both BBL and IPL are almost always considered cosmetic. However, payment plans are available and you may be able to charge your HSA account. Full costs will be discussed in your no-pressure consultation. Transparency is a priority at Refined Dermatology, and so is working our payment plans personalized for every client.

How should I prepare?

Again, this will vary a bit based on you and the treatment. However, a top priority will be avoiding the sun as much as possible post-procedure. This should be done by utilizing sunscreen and wearing loose, long sleeves and pants. These are two strategies that you should be employing anyway to reduce sun damage, so getting BBP and IPL are great “trainers” for former sun worshippers. You will receive complete pre- and post-care instructions before your appointment. Remember that sun damage can sometimes be reversed, but it’s always best to avoid the damage in the first place. Consider a BBP or IPL treatment a reminder to care for your skin in the present and future.

Contact Refined Dermatology About BroadBand Light Therapy

For all-natural results in a fun and compassionate environment throughout the Los Gatos area, call Refined Dermatology today at 408-384-3845. Beauty is more than skin deep, and you deserve a glow from the inside out. From Campbell to Saratoga and everywhere in between, the results you want are within reach. Dr. Steven Swengel tests and approves every single procedure personally, so you know you’re in good hands.

The neck, décolletage, and hands are the first places to show signs of aging along with the face. Broadband Light (BBL) is ideal to create smooth, vibrant, and younger looking skin.
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