IPL vs BBL: What’s the Difference, Really?

Side-by-side comparison before, and after one treatment.

You may have heard the abbreviation BBL making the rounds lately—the buzz is that it’s an exciting new light treatment for improving skin texture and tone. But, you might also be thinking, isn’t there already a great light treatment for skin texture called IPL?

The answer is: yes, these are both amazing treatments for restoring clearer, tighter, and more even skin! So why would you choose one over the other? Well, our aim is to answer just that for you today:

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

IPL uses Intense Pulsed Light to make blood vessels contract. Because blood vessels cause pigmentation, this decreases the amount of red and brown spots on the skin. Constricting these vessels and the collagen around them also causes the skin to be a bit more taut, which means fewer wrinkles (yay!). But the main effect is that it gets rid of darker areas on the skin, decreases redness, and reduces uneven patches on the skin.

IPL has been around for a long time, so its results are tried-and-true. But getting that amazing IPL complexion does require a little patience: it typically takes a few weeks for results to really show up. Most people will do 3-7 sessions, and it’s best to leave 2-4 weeks between treatments. Since it’s important to stay out of the sun after treatments, IPL users typically embark on their treatment over the course of the winter months, entering spring with clear, tight, smooth skin.

BroadBand Light (BBL)

BBL stands for BroadBand Light, which is the type of wavelength used. It is a regenerative aesthetic medicine tool that actually causes the skin to repair itself. The high intensity of the light rays stimulates collagen deep under the skin’s surface, repairing damaged cells and generating new ones. For a few hours or days after treatment, spots on the skin may get darker while they are repairing, but then they will fall away and reveal clear, youthful skin underneath.

IPL or BBL: Which is best for me?

BBL is a newer treatment that patients are very enthusiastic about. The main difference between it and IPL is that BBL’s results are faster: you should see that newer, regenerated skin showing up within 3-5 days after treatment. You also may only need to do 1 to 3 sessions depending on your skin’s response and aesthetic goals.

There are a few other differences that can help you decide: Though BBL works faster, it is more expensive than IPL, and the results last for the same amount of time (6-12 months). It is recommended you use BBL on skin types 1-4, as using it on higher skin types is unsafe.

For both of these treatments, though, some important things are the same: they are AMAZING for getting rid of sunspots and age spots! That’s why they’re so popular in the fall and winter—to clear up those unwanted pigmentations we picked up over the summer.

That also means our spots for these services full up fast—so make your appointment at our Middletown, DE office today for the IPL or BBL service that’s right for you!