HALO vs. BBL | RefinedMD, Los Gatos + San Jose


There are so many options for laser skin rejuvenation available that you can easily become overwhelmed. Don’t worry, because at RefinedMD we narrow down the choices for you by only offering the best, safest, and most effective laser skin treatments. However, there are even options amongst the cream of the crop, and it often comes down to choosing between HALO laser therapy and broadband light (BBL) laser treatments. Which is best for you?

Every person is different, which means one person might be a better match for HALO while someone else gets the best results with BBL. It largely depends on what skin condition you’re trying to treat, and for a lot of clients they’re struggling with acne and acne scarring. Since acne affects around 87 percent of the population, this is no surprise. Even though acne can especially affect teenagers and young adults thanks to serious hormone fluctuation, it’s a medical condition that can affect anyone of any age.

Getting Acne Under Control with HALO and BBL

There are various types of acne, and they can present in different ways. Acne presentation can range from micro-comedones (typical acne) to inflamed papules, pustules, and even nodules. Nodular acne is the kind of acne that can cause permanent scarring. The good news is that laser treatments can treat even severe acne so you no longer have to live with this chronic condition.

Typical acne treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs, hormone treatments, and retinoids can be helpful in treating milder forms of acne. However, the relatively new laser treatments can be highly effective in treating both active acne and mild to severe effects of acne. Both laser and light-based therapies have been shown to be successful at treating acne. Intense-pulsed light (IPL) therapy is extremely popular, and broadband light (BBL) treatment is the latest generation of IPL technology.

The Numbers Game: Laser Treatment Results

BBL uses 400 – 1,200nm wavelengths, which can safely target certain skin structures (like acne scarring) in certain types of skin. BBL takes advantage of the photosensitivity of acne, and the targeted skin absorbs the light wavelengths. Next, singlet oxygen is created, which immediately oxidizes the bacterial cell walls, lipids, and proteins, destroying the bacteria that’s causing acne in the first place.

BBL is a proven acne treatment, with one recent study looking at results of whole-face IPL treatments at one- or two-week intervals. Of the 13 participants in the study, mostly females in their 20s of all skin types, 10 completed the study. Researchers found “significant and gradual improvement” of the lesion counts. Specifically, the most obvious results were recorded at one week and four weeks post-treatment. In total, 62.5 percent showed a 50 percent improvement one week after the treatment and 80 percent of participants showed a 50 percent improvement four weeks after the treatment.

Your Best Acne Treatment

As you can see, BBL is a proven way to stop acne in its tracks. More and more dermatologists are considering the latest technological advances to treat chronic acne because of drug resistance as well as just how effective cutting-edge tech has become. Research is supporting the idea that phototherapy (BBL) minimizes acne with minimal downtime. Both bacterial counts and inflammation can be reduced with BBL, and the study showed no signs of pain, crusting, exfoliation, edema, or folliculitis.

However, keep in mind that BBL is predominantly used to treat active acne since it targets bacteria and inflammation. What about previous acne that has left lingering marks and scars? That’s where HALO steps in. HALO is the world’s first hybrid fractional laser. It’s not light therapy, but instead uses both ablative and non-ablative approaches for a double whammy of healing.

Ablative lasers remove the top layer of skin, ridding your complexion of surface-level imperfections (including acne scarring). Non-ablative lasers heat up the tissue below the surface, encouraging collagen production. This double-pronged approached means you benefit from both instant removal of damaged top-layer tissue while also kickstarting collagen production (your body’s natural healing tool) below the surface.

Some clients combine BBL and HALO depending on their goals and skin condition. Find out more about the laser and light therapies at RefinedMD by calling (408) 688-2082 to schedule your complimentary consultation.