IPL Vs. BBL: Which Is Right for You?

IPL Vs. BBL: Which Is Right for You?

April 24, 2023

12 min read

When considering the difference between IPL and BBL, know that IPL uses light waves that target the skin’s melanin and hemoglobin levels. In contrast, BBL uses high-intensity light to stimulate collagen production in your skin cells.

But how do you know which option will address your skin concerns? Laser treatments are known to help with skin rejuvenation, but determining which option is best for you can be difficult. Let’s look at how these light treatments can target your concerns so you know which one is best for you.

What Is Photorejuvenation?

ipl vs bbl

One light treatment to consider is photorejuvenation. This is designed to help combat damage that can result from photoaging or an environmentally induced condition that results from sun exposure. UVA and UVB rays can cause skin imperfections as they reduce collagen production and elastin stores. This results in sun spots and wrinkles but can also lead to more serious sun damage such as skin cancer.

Intense pulsed light therapy can help combat aging skin caused by sun exposure. These non-invasive light waves can help the skin cells naturally heal themselves, helping to reduce age spots, dark skin patches, and wrinkles.

BBL Versus IPL: An Overview

Is BBL the same as IPL? Although these are similar light treatments, they use light energy in different ways. Intense pulsed light or IPL treatments target the melanin and hemoglobin skin levels which helps to reduce redness, enlarged pores, and uneven skin texture.

Broadband light therapy, or BBL treatments, are light therapy treatments that help to stimulate collagen growth and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and discoloration.

Both can be used to combat skin damage and these light therapies produce long-lasting results with only minimal pain or slight discomfort.

Description of treatment Improves collagen production
Revitalizes skin cells
Targets melanin and hemoglobin levels to improve issues
Doesn’t revitalize skin cells
Treated skin concerns Acne and acne scarring
Unwanted freckles
Sagging skin
Fine lines
Sun damage
Uneven skin tone
Broken capillaries
Aging skin
Large pores
Age spots
Dilated blood vessels
Treatment method Light waves Light waves
Procedure category Non-invasive Non-invasive
Treatment areas Face, hands, neck, shoulders, chest Face, hands, neck, shoulders, chest
Length of results 6-12 months 6-12 months

BBL Laser Vs. IPL: How Does Each Work?

Even though they are both aesthetic treatments, another difference between BBL and IPL is how they work. Broadband light therapy works by using light devices to deliver powerful and solid pulses of light to the skin’s surface and use more cut-off filters. This means that BBL is capable of addressing multiple skin concerns and skin conditions at once. It also utilizes flashlamps of higher intensity and advanced cooling features, making this procedure safe and comfortable for the patient. Most patients typically need 3-6 treatments to achieve the best results, but we can help develop a treatment plan that works for you.

On the other hand, IPL devices utilize short pulses of light waves that penetrate the skin and help target problem areas including hyperpigmentation, vascular lesions such as spider veins and dilated blood vessels, and sagging skin. The body’s natural healing mechanism helps to form younger-looking skin cells and a youthful glow. Many patients can address their skin issues with 3-5 IPL treatments that are spaced out to achieve optimal results.

IPL Vs. BBL Laser: What Conditions Do They Treat?


Is BBL or IPL better? Depending on your skin concerns and what you’re hoping to improve, you should choose one treatment over the other. Of course, we are happy to provide you with a complimentary consultation to answer your questions, but we’ve outlined some of the main conditions that each treatment addresses.

IPL, or intense pulsed light therapy, is considered to be one of the original photorejuvenation technologies and it is ideal for treating the following conditions:

  • Redness
  • Scarring
  • Large pores
  • Rosacea
  • Sunspots or age spots
  • Dilated blood vessels
  • Brown spots
  • Acne
  • Unwanted hair
  • Wrinkles
  • Melasma
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Dilated or broken blood vessels

Broadband light therapy is often seen as a more advanced version of IPL as it utilizes multiple high-powered energy light filters and can achieve a more youthful appearance. Here are some conditions that BBL can correct:

  • Bruising
  • Aging
  • Acne scarring age spots
  • Birthmarks
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Sun spots and brown spots
  • Rosacea
  • Broken blood vessels beneath the skin cells
  • Freckles
  • Birthmarks

It can be difficult to determine whether IPL or BBL treatment is the best for you, but our team is happy to help you decide based on your genetic code and cosmetic concerns.

IPL Vs. BBL Cost

The cost of each treatment is generally similar. A series of three half-face BBL treatments cost $870 while a series of three full-face BBL treatments is $1,490. Each IPL treatment is around $350, which comes out at a similar price.

IPL Versus BBL: The Ideal Candidates

The candidates for IPL and BBL are similar. Most patients have a range of skin conditions that they want to improve such as skin pigmentation, acne, rosacea, and more. Because the healing process is similar and there is minimal post-treatment downtime, both of these are popular options to reduce visible signs of aging and achieve younger-looking skin. They are also both suitable for darker skin types. Our team will help you determine which option is better for you.

BBL vs IPL for Brown Spots

bbl versus ipl

Both IPL and BBL treatments are ideal for reducing the appearance of age spots, however, BBL can do so in fewer treatments. We typically recommend that patients who have severe cases of rosacea opt for this treatment instead. If you have a milder case of rosacea, you can opt for standard IPL treatments.

BBL vs IPL Laser for Rosacea

As we mentioned, both BBL and IPL are ideal for treating hyperpigmented skin such as rosacea. However, IPL was one of the first treatments on the market to achieve a decreased appearance of this condition, so in many cases, this is the preferred choice.

IPL Laser vs BBL for Acne

bbl laser vs ipl

Irregular skin texture acne and acne scarring age spots can be frustrating, but thankfully, both IPL and BBL can help. Generally speaking, BBL treatments are preferred for acne treatments because it uses advanced photochemical and photothermal settings. This helps to regenerate healthy cell production and removes skin debris from the pores.

BBL vs IPL Treatment for Anti-ageing

Studies show that BBL is preferred for its anti-aging effects. In fact, it can alter the genes on a molecular level to help achieve a more youthful appearance when compared with IPL treatments.

IPL or BBL: The Results

It’s clear that skin rejuvenation is possible through both types of light treatment, and each only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. Most patients only need a few treatment sessions to begin to see the results that they need. Imperfections and elastin production are typically achieved within 3-4 treatments while other problems such as sun spots or shallow pigmentation might only need 1-2 sessions of high-intensity light. Some patients find that BBL results appear sooner, however, it depends on your skin type and goals.

IPL vs. BBL: Which One Is Better?

ipl vs bbl laser

Now that we know what is the difference between IPL and BBL, you’re likely wondering which option is better. The answer is highly dependent on the conditions that you’re facing. However, BBL is seen as a more advanced treatment and we often recommend it to those who are suffering from a more severe case of a particular issue. In addition, BBL is known for its anti-aging benefits and long-lasting effects.

Schedule Your BBL Treatment Today

Both IPL and BBL treatments are safe and effective and can provide impressive long-lasting results to boost your confidence. They’re capable of providing a range of skin issues ranging from wrinkles to scars.

If you live in St. Paul and Minneapolis area, we encourage you to visit us at Metropolitan Skin Clinic to see how you can benefit from these procedures. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary BBL consultation!

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