Beauty Blog

What is the difference between IPL, BBL, photofacial and laser treatment? I’m so confused!

Okay, let’s start by going way, way back in our brains. You can do it: dig deep. Remember that introductory physics class? Do you remember learning that LASER actually stands for something? Something like Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation? Is it starting to come back? Do you remember how each laser is one, amplified wavelength of light that is extremely strong and will continue on forever if you let it? (Wait a minute: I thought I was supposed to be learning about beauty here...) When we have one wavelength of light, it is very good at penetrating deeply and targeting one thing or one color (think hair, fungus or vascular lesion removal). White light, on the other hand, is all wavelengths together. IPL is Intense Pulsed (white) Light. BBL is BroadBand Light, and is also white light, like the IPL, but it is broad and not as targeted or intensely focused as the IPL. Both are considered photofacials. IPL uses high energy of all wavelengths to target reds and browns in the skin (think: broken capillaries, rosacea and sun spots). The heat energy that is created also stimulates collagen growth thereby improving texture and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and large pores. During these treatments, the skin heats up and then the body gets rid of the unwanted cells. As with any treatment that creates heat, all of these procedures must be performed with caution in darker skin types and conditions worsened with heat (like melasma). Schedule your appointment to see if a photofacial is right for you!

Harvard Medical School
Phone: 830.488.7389

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