There have been some pretty exciting and even incredible advancements in skin care over the years. While chemical peels and other topical agents have been used for some time (with improvements to the chemicals used), technology has made it possible to target problem areas of our skin relatively easily. Thanks to continued research in the industry, it’s now possible to harness the power of light to improve our skin’s natural radiance.
While some types of solar-based light (UVA, UVB, IRA) penetrate the skin directly, damaging the skin and increasing the signs of aging. Broadband light therapy, also known as BBL, Intense Pulsed Light, known as IPL or Photofacial, do the exact opposite. They are effective treatments that repair damaged skin. If you’re new to the world of light therapy, here is everything you need to know about what is broadband light therapy and what skin issues it improves upon.
What is Broadband Light Therapy
All light is a form of energy. When properly harnessed, it is possible to take advantage of this energy by targeting it. A laser, for example, is an extreme form of light energy. Broadband light therapy produces short bursts of intense but gentle light energy and applies it to a specific area of the body.
The light energy will heat the top layers of the skin. It doesn’t burn, but it will begin to feel warm during a BBL session (it’s not uncomfortable in any way). The skin will absorb this light energy, which in turn helps stimulate collagen production and skin cell growth. By altering the skin at the cellular level, generating new collagen and skin cells, it reverses the signs of aging, typically evening out skin blemishes, skin tone, acne, even some types of vascular lesions, BBL can also be effective at treating fine lines and wrinkles.
What Does Broadband Light Therapy Target
While BBL can help reduce some fine lines and wrinkles, it’s most effective when used to improve and even out pigment. BBL targets and erases reds and browns in your skin such as vascular lesions,(small blood vessels) and pigmented lesions,(freckles, sun spots, and age spots) leaving a more luminous, even complexion. BBL is also a popular treatment for other signs of aging such as loose skin and uneven texture. You will find the most significant and overall improvements to be; a more youthful complexion, even skin tone, and smoother texture. In addition, BBL has been beneficial in reducing dark circles under your eyes. (some dark circles may be hereditary, due to lack of sleep, or dietary issues, all of which BBL does not address, as these are more an internal issue than an external one).
Can Anyone Have A Broadband Light Therapy Session?
While there is no age limit for BBL we do recommend you be at least 18 years or older. It is best to begin receiving photo facials, aka BBL therapy once you start seeing signs of aging, whether it be sunspots, redness, discoloration, and other cosmetic issues like uneven or rough skin texture, wrinkles, or small blood vessels. Remember the more advanced the issue the more treatment is required to correct it. Certain skin issues will require multiple sessions to provide improvement.
In general, lighter complexions respond better to this type of therapy. In lighter skin tones, the proper wavelength (color) is absorbed by the brown pigment in sunspots, age spots, freckles, pigmented birthmarks, and other conditions. Absorption causes heat damage (selective photothermolysis) only to the brown spots and lesions but doesn’t damage surrounding tissue, in turn promoting collagen production. The same is not the case with darker skin tones. This is because dark skin tones will absorb more light than desired, which may lead to further issues. It is not recommended for people who have recently been out in the sun or have a suntan. This is why more laser treatments are scheduled during the fall and winter months, although summer sessions can be scheduled as long as you have been staying out of the sun.
The best way to determine if you are a suitable candidate for a photo facial or light therapy is to schedule a consultation with a skincare professional. They will review your skin type and help you determine not only if your skin will properly benefit from BBL but if you need to wait for any tans to fade.
Are There Any Negative Side Effects?
Following broadband light therapy, there are no real side effects. Usually, within a day or so you can be right back to your daily routine and even apply makeup. You might feel a little warm in certain areas as if you were either out in the sun, or some patients say they feel like the treated area of skin was just exfoliated.
In some cases, you might notice some brown spots on your skin becoming darker initially. Don’t worry, this is supposed to happen. The spots will become darker as the deeply pigmented skin rises to the top, eventually fading as it sheds away. This may take a week or more to occur. Never pick at the dark spots; otherwise, the spots will turn into scabs and potentially scars, leaving permanent marks which you want to avoid.
Is This The Same As Home Light Products?
You may have found at-home “broadband light therapy” products available through Amazon and other beauty websites. Some of these products can work on a marginal level, while others are just scams and wastes of money. However, for safety measures, even for the products that do work, the intensity level is not the same as what an in-office treatment can deliver.
Typically, with a clinically administered BBL therapy session, to maintain results you will want to schedule a few times a year. With the at-home products, the directions likely tell you to use the equipment anywhere from once a week to every day. This is because the light energy is not as powerful and because using high-energy laser light at home can end up causing more harm than good. If you have further questions about any of the at-home items, we would be happy to address them during your next visit.
Schedule Your Own Broadband Light Therapy Session Today
One of the main benefits of broadband light therapy is that it doesn’t require invasive surgery. No chemicals are used to remove layers of skin, nor does it require much downtime. After a session, you can go about your day, all while reaping the benefits.
If you’re curious about how broadband light therapy can improve your complexion and overall appearance, there’s never been a better time to experience light therapy than right now. Because of what all BBL is capable of treating, it may easily become your skincare treatment of choice. So give our team here at The Skin Center by CPS a call and schedule your own broadband light therapy session. We can’t wait to introduce you to this exciting form of skincare.