Deciding Between IPL and BBL

Deciding Between IPL and BBL | RefinedMD, Los Gatos + San Jose

Deciding Between IPL and BBL

Intense pulsed light (IPL) and broadband light (BBL) treatments both use light-based energy to address a number of skin conditions. BBL is the latest iteration of IPL, but at RefinedMD we continue to offer both because some clients are simply better suited to one or the other—or, in many cases, using a combination of IPL and BBL may be the best approach for you. It all depends on your skin, skin issues, and your goals. Much of the time, BBL unsurprisingly performs better than IPL—after all, it’s the gold standard and is built off of IPL. However, it is important to understand how both of these treatments work. This knowledge can be a great springboard for your consultation with an RefinedMD skin care expert.

Both IPL and BBL direct light energy into the skin, and that energy is then turned into heat when it reaches the target site (such as the area causing hyperpigmentation). The target, also known as a chromophore, might also be the pigment in hair, red blood vessels, and sometimes even the bacteria that is causing acne. When the heat meets its target, the target absorbs it and gets damaged in the process. This will lead to the elimination of the chromophore in the days and weeks following the treatment. In other words, neither IPL or BBL will offer immediate results, but you won’t have to wait long.

At the same time, this trauma caused by the light energy in the body kick-starts collagen and elastin production. This is a fantastic bonus, because collagen and elastin are the natural fountain of youth. We create less of these products as we get older, but treatments like IPL and BBL can tell the body to rev up production at just the right spot.

Light-based treatments: Which is Best for You?

Light-based treatments have become common in the past ten years and are a great tool for treating pigmentation, photo-damaged skin, lines and wrinkles, as well as vascularity. It can even remove freckles, and clients using it for the latter have experienced great results. BBL is built off of the framework of IPL and provides very accurate parameters so that your treatment provider can better personalize the process. Plus, acne can be treated with BBL, which isn’t typically an option with the IPL technology. This is due to the combination of photothermal and photochemical settings.

Additionally, a number of studies have found that routine BBL treatments genuinely turn back the clock on aging at the cellular level. This means that the DNA’s expression in cells are being changed with BBL. This phenomenal occurrence is best sustained with Forever Young BBL, which is the maintenance treatment sessions for those who opt for an initial series of BBL treatment.

Is IPL Dead?

Not necessarily. Unfortunately, however, many “medspas” and salons are now touting so-called IPL treatments. If you see these being offered in non-clinical settings, be wary. IPL is sometimes used as a catch-all term for virtually any intense, pulsed light treatment. There are many different machines and technologies, including a number of low-quality and even potentially damaging options. If you’re interested in IPL, you deserve to only undergo treatment in an established and clinical setting.

Some clients have tried IPL before and love the results—that’s great news! Just always be certain that you’re getting what you want and avoid those low-grade knock offs. Using them can lead to permanent scarring and an increase in hyperpigmentation. Even if you’re fully committed to your beloved IPL, though, it’s worthwhile to check out BBL. You might not feel like you could fall even more in love with your go-to treatment, but you’ll be surprised!

The Nuts and Bolts of BBL

Most clients need between 1 – 3 initial BBL treatments for optimal results. These are spaced about one month apart, and it is suggested to receive maintenance sessions 2 – 4 times per year to keep that BBL glow. The treatment itself is often considered fairly comfortable, but with BBL you can also enjoy an anesthetic topical beforehand. This isn’t the case with most other light therapies, but is unique to BBL due to its parameters.

Prior to a BBL treatment, it’s best to avoid the sun for one month as well as fake tanning cream. Use sunscreen daily, of course, and a pigment inhibitor might be recommended—you will find out more during your consultation. After the treatment, continue to minimize sun exposure and protect the skin with sunscreen. Book your consultation today with RefinedMD by using the online contact form and get ready to face 2021 looking and feeling your best.