Broadband Light Therapy (BBL)

Maybe you’ve heard of intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments, also known as FotoFacials, but Broadband Light (BBL) technology is more advanced, more effective, and gives clients the results they really want. That’s why it’s the only system offered at RefinedMD. As the clinic’s signature treatment, BBL is the one and only laser procedure that gives clients that wow factor—especially for those new to laser and light therapy. 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 RefinedMD today to get started – (408) 688-2082.

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How Broadband Light (BBL) Works

Two types of skin pigments respond to BBL light: reds and browns. Everyone gets more red and brown spots and patches as they age, especially when there’s excessive sun exposure (or not enough of the right kind of sunscreen). Brown spots can make skin look “smudged,” as well as older and duller than it is. And skin that’s red from either broken blood vessels or flushes is nobody’s idea of beauty. This is where BBL steps in. With just a few treatments, BBL can clear, correct, and rescue skin from various signs of aging while actually slowing down the entire aging process.

Removing Reds and Browns From Skin

The initial corrective BBL treatments are simple. First, makeup and skin products are removed and the eyes are protected with special shields. A cool gel is applied to the treatment area, then customized filters are selected for each client’s amounts of reds and browns on the skin. A minimum of four passes are taken over the entire face during the first treatment.

Broadband Light Therapy Treatment and Recovery

The light used in BBL is completely safe when you’re protected in a clinic setting, but the light is intense and takes a little getting used to. Every pulse of light creates a heat sensation, and that’s what tells you the brown and red areas are being cleared. When the treatment is finished, the skin may feel a little warm. At first, you might notice the dark spots get darker immediately after the treatment (and before leaving the office). Don’t worry! That’s actually a sign that they’ll soon fade away. Dr. Swengel often refers to this darkening as looking like “lightly burned French toast”—which can help get you in the mood for next weekend’s brunch. Within 7 – 10 days, the spots rise to the surface and disappear, allowing you to get back into your groove in no time.

Feel free to use makeup and please use sunscreen immediately after your BBL treatment. This procedure causes no surface damage at all, which is why there’s no downtime. After a couple of treatments, you’ll really start to see the final results and what BBL can do. Skin is brighter, evenly toned, and looks years younger.

The real beauty of BBL is reserved for those who commit to initial corrective treatments and stick to 2 – 3 maintenance treatments throughout each year. Forever Young BBL, or FYBBL, provides the maintenance treatment you need to sustain and improve BBL results. Skin continues to improve in texture, pore size keeps shrinking, and the glow just keeps getting better. A Stanford study found that regular BBL treatments literally stops the skin’s aging process in its tracks, so the sooner you get started the better. With BBL, younger, more helpful genes can stay active longer.

Below: Broadband Light (BBL) Before/After Photos*

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

IPL and BBL Compared

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.

Photofacials and IPL

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 RefinedMD 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, the RefinedMD 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.

Broadband Light FAQs

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.

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 RefinedMD, and so is working our payment plans personalized for every client.

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, The RefinedMD 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.

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Contact RefinedMD About BroadBand Light Therapy

For all-natural results in a fun and compassionate environment throughout the Los Gatos area, call RefinedMD today at (408) 688-2082. 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.