BBL: Not Your Average Facial

If you’re looking for a facial to fight sun damage, this is the one! BroadBand Light (BBL) photofacials are the secret to bright, even-toned skin.

Skin Pharm Nurse Practitioner using BBL laser device

What is BBL?

For our photofacials, we use BBL therapy, a non-invasive treatment that uses high-intensity pulses of visible light to improve the appearance of red and brown pigment. The BroadBand Light gently heats the top layers of the skin and targets areas of extra red and brown pigmentation, stimulating skin cell regeneration and collagen production. Excess pigment rises to the surface and subsequently sloughs off (about 1-2 weeks after the treatment).

Unlike a traditional laser, the BBL operates on a large range of wavelengths, allowing your Skin Pharm provider to give you a precise, customizable treatment that addresses your unique skin concerns. Due to its customizable properties, BLL is one of the best ways to improve hyperpigmentation because it specifically targets skin cells that contain excess pigment, which will rise to the surface and slough off in one to two weeks.

In addition to hyperpigmentation, BBL treats vascular lesions such as broken facial veins, rosy cheeks, rosacea, poikiloderma, freckles and age spots. BBL photofacials can also improve overall skin tone, smoothness, elasticity and firmness. Any area of the body can be treated with BBL, and common areas of treatment include the face, neck, backs of hands, chest and shoulders/upper arms, or areas that typically experience the most sun damage.

Best results often require a series of BBL treatments. This treatment is trending for red carpet prep because the results are fabulous and the downtime is nearly nonexistent.

Blue Light Acne Therapy

What’s blue light all about? By using the same BBL device we use for photofacials to fight pigment, we can use a different filter to target acne-causing bacteria. Pretty neat, right?

We specifically calibrate the device to emit a blue light wavelength, a research-backed treatment that has antibacterial effects on the specific microbe called “P acnes,” which collects in your pores and causes breakouts. In addition to fighting acne where it starts, Blue light acne therapy has anti-inflammatory benefits, reducing redness and evening out your skin tone.

Typical BBL Treatment

To prep for your BBL photofacial or blue light acne therapy, you’ll need to avoid sun exposure for three weeks. At your appointment, we’ll prep your skin by applying a cold gel to minimize discomfort, and we’ll give you protective eyewear to wear for the duration of the treatment session. The smooth, glass surface of the BBL device is then applied to the skin, delivering precise pulses of light to the area being treated. 

BBL treatments are relatively painless compared to other facial rejuvenation techniques. You’ll likely feel a slight warming sensation when the BBL device is applied to the skin. The sensation has been compared to a light pinch or the snap of a rubber band. 

Treatment sessions usually last about 20 minutes. A course of 1-3 sessions every 2-3 weeks may be needed to achieve desired results.

Recovery and Results

Most patients can return to work immediately after treatment. Your Skin Pharm provider will apply moisturizer and SPF after your session, and most patients can apply makeup and resume normal activities. Your skin may be a little sensitive and pink post-treatment, but this shouldn’t last more than 24-48 hours. You may experience darkening of the targeted areas, but these spots will fade or slough off in the next 1-2 weeks.

Avoid sun exposure 3 weeks before and after treatment.


Blue Light Acne Therapy $200
Photofacial $425

5 Conditions We Treat with BBL Photofacials

  • Freckles

  • Acne Spots

  • Vascular Lesions

  • Loose Skin

  • Uneven Skin Texture

Common BBL Questions

Does BBL hurt?

Most patients tell us that at the very least, they feel the slight warming sensation of the BBL device when it is applied to the skin. Others report that the treatment feels like a rubber band snap or pinch, which some people find distressing. As always, we’ll do our best to make you feel as comfortable as possible!

Why do I have to wear protective eyewear? Is BBL safe?

BBL is a safe, research-backed treatment that has been tested in clinical studies. We’re using powerful rays of light, so not only do you need to wear protective eyewear throughout the treatment, but we do, too.

Do I really have to avoid sun exposure 3 weeks before my appointment?

At Skin Pharm, we will NOT perform a BBL treatment on tanned skin, so if you show up to your appointment with recent unprotected sun exposure, we’ll unfortunately have to turn you away. Also, you may get a friendly lecture about why SPF is so important.

Are there any side effects to BBL treatment?

Side effects are minor, including skin that turns pink and feels slightly sensitive after the procedure, similar to a mild sunburn. Some patients experience redness, peeling and swelling that may last a few days after the treatment. Rarely, skin pigment may absorb too much light energy, causing blistering to occur. Sometimes the pigment cells (melanocytes) can be damaged leaving darker or paler patches of skin. White patches or scars are rarely permanent. While uncommon, hair loss may occur, and bruising affects up to 10% of patients.

Skin Pharm Clarifying Pads

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