If you’ve been looking into laser skin rejuvenation, you’ve probably seen intense pulsed light (IPL) and broadband light (BBL) options, but what exactly are they? VIDA offers both, and the first thing you might notice about the names is that these are light therapies, not lasers. A more proper term for “laser skin rejuvenation” might be energy-based therapy since lasers, light, and even radiofrequency waves are used to achieve healthier skin. However, the term “laser rejuvenation” has simply been around for so long that it grew to encompass any and all energy-based devices.

Some people also think IPL and BBL are basically the same thing. They are not, but that’s an easy mistake to make since BBL is the latest iteration of IPL. Both treatments use non-invasive waves of light to rejuvenate the skin. They can also both be used on just about any part of the body. However, most people opt for IPL or BBL on areas that have been exposed to UV damage including the face, neck, chest, and limbs. Both treatments will require multiple appointments in order to achieve the best benefits, and every plan is customized just for you.

All About IPL and BBL

IPL utilizes light waves to target unwanted melanin (like freckles) or hemoglobin (blood cells) in the skin. At the same time, IPL encourages the body to synthesize collagen at the treatment site, the body’s natural way of keeping skin supple and youthful. IPL can be used for sun spots, enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation, and general signs of aging. It can also be helpful for treating acne scars.

BBL uses a high-intensity light to heat up the skin and then stimulates collagen production. It’s a photo thermal energy that can help reduce unwanted redness and firm the skin’s texture. BBL is also well known for reducing age spots and freckles. So, what are the big differences between the two, and which is for you?

IPL: The Original

IPL was one of the first photo-rejuvenation technologies. It can treat rosacea, dilated blood vessels, sun damage, scarring, and enlarged pores. IPL can even help with melasma, a disease that causes a particularly stubborn and large patch of hyperpigmentation. Some clients even use IPL as a preventative measure, helping speed up the healing process after surgical incisions are made. On average, a person needs 3 – 5 treatments spaced four weeks apart for maximum results.

However, there are a lot of so-called “IPL machines” being used to treat people, and not all machines are created equally. You should only trust an IPL treatment from a trusted medical day spa or dermatologist, and you also deserve to have a highly-trained professional administering treatment. VIDA is much more than a MedSpa, and Medical Director Dr. Kim Thompson personally trains her staff.

Broadband: The Next Level

Sometimes described as IPL on steroids, BBL uses cooling technology and high-powered energy that promises minimal discomfort and virtually no downtime. Numerous settings allows the practitioner to fully customize the treatment, which isn’t an option with IPL. BBL was created to address issues where they start, well below the surface. BBL can correct more skin concerns than IPL, including sun damage, age spots, birthmarks, acne and scarring, irregular skin texture, fine lines, sagging skin, broken vessels, freckles, and rosacea.

BBL can also target even darker pigment in the skin that is located deep below the surface. It also kick-starts collagen production, so you can look forward to skin that continues to improve after each treatment. However, what really makes BBL unique is that it literally turns back the clock on our DNA. A study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that BBL rejuvenates at the molecular level, reversing the aging process in gene expression.

As you can imagine, most people opt for BBL over IPL when they understand the differences—especially when it comes to truly reversing the aging process. However, we offer both because sometimes IPL is better for very specific concerns and because IPL has a strong and loyal fanbase. Schedule your complimentary consultation for IPL or BBL at VIDA today by booking online or calling (503) 399-0021.