When it comes to “laser” skin rejuvenation, you might be surprised to learn that not all of these choices utilize lasers. VIDA Aesthetic Medicine in Salem is home to the best laser and energy-based light rejuvenation technologies available, and that includes intense pulsed light (IPL) and broadband light (BBL) therapies. These two technologies can treat all kinds of skin concerns like sun spots, lines and wrinkles, acne, rosacea, and uneven texture. They can even be used to zap spider veins and broken blood vessels or capillaries. If you’re looking to improve your skin tone, erase hyperpigmentation, and reduce redness, BBL or IPL might be for you.

BBL is the second generation of IPL, so both are based off of the same technology—at VIDA we carry both because even though we typically recommend the advanced BBL therapy, some clients are highly loyal to their beloved IPL treatments. No matter what skin condition you want to treat, 3 – 4 sessions spaced at least two weeks apart is the norm despite some clients reporting some results after just one treatment. Both IPL and BBL are quick and relatively comfortable treatments, and even large areas of the body can be treated in just a few minutes thanks to the latest cooling technology aimed at bringing you maximum comfort.

The Benefits of BBL

Unlike some lasers, downtime is minimal with BBL. Redness may occur for a few days after the treatment, but it mimics the look of a sunburn. You can use BBL anywhere on the face or body, and it’s been shown to actually make skin look and act younger at a cellular level. BBL literally turns back the clock while encouraging the body to make more collagen exactly where you want it.

BBL works by providing broad-spectrum photothermal energy that is absorbed by hyperpigmented skin (age spots, sun spots, etc.), as well as hemoglobin in blood vessels. The top layer of the skin absorbs the heat energy as the pigmented cells and/or blood vessels are destroyed. However, keep in mind that the remaining particles from the pigment will remain in the body for 7 – 14 days (so you won’t see results immediately). After about two weeks, the hyperpigmented cells will slough away (or blood vessels get absorbed by the body), which is a very pleasing moment for every client.

Prepping for BBL

You’ll learn everything you need to do during your complimentary consultation for BBL. This is also where it will be determined if you’re a good candidate for the treatment. You will likely need to stop waxing and using topical treatments made with glycolic acid or retinol. Chemical peels should be stopped a few weeks prior to BBL. Any sun exposure should also be avoided at least one month before and after your treatment. In fact, BBL is a great reminder of how damaging the sun can be and can be a fantastic reason to upgrade your sun protection regimen.

During a BBL session, a topical numbing cream is applied. The latest BBL technology has a built-in cooling system, but if you opt for IPL a topical cooling gel might also be applied. Clients wear eye protection, but you will still be able to see the bright flashes of light. Your technician will use a handheld device that delivers fast blasts of light, which is often described as a warm sensation. Some areas, like the upper lip, can be more sensitive and might feel like a rubber band snapping. It can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to 30 minutes for a complete BBL treatment, and this largely depends on how many treatment areas you request. After BBL, sunscreen and a moisturizer are applied.

BBL Recovery

Although you’ll probably look a little pink, most clients immediately get back to their day after BBL. You can apply your regular non-retinol moisturizer and makeup right away. Swelling may occur in very sensitive areas, like around the eyes, for 3 – 5 days—but this does not always happen. For those concerned about recovery, the biggest factor to keep in mind is that hyperpigmentation will look even darker during the first week after your treatment. It’s often compared to coffee grounds. This is a sign that BBL is working and it’s critical to avoid picking or scrubbing the area, as that may cause scarring. The cells will slough away on their own in 1 – 2 weeks.

Ready to learn more about BBL, IPL, and other laser and light energies? Contact VIDA today at (503) 399-0021 to schedule your complimentary consultation or simply complete the online form.