Surprisingly, while light (sunlight specifically) is the cause of many forms of skin damage and disease, light (broadband light (bbl) or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)) can also be the cure for that damage. Light-based technologies such as those known as “bbl laser” and “IPL laser” are designed to address skin color anomalies that are caused by sun exposure, environmental issues, and even genetically caused pigment challenges. Confusions in the industry have led to the development of the “ppl laser vs. IPL laser” question, and this post is designed to explain why those lights are actually one and the same, and how they can help skin return to its beautiful, unblemished condition.
Why ask the question: “bbl laser vs. IPL laser”?
In reality, both names refer to the same process of using light to brighten the skin. “IPL laser” refers specifically to the process, while “bbl laser” refers to the name of an IPL device made by a specific manufacturer. Additionally, both names are somewhat misleading: IPL devices and the process involve more than one wavelength of light to target skin pigmentation issues, whereas a true “laser” uses only a single light wavelength to accomplish its objectives.
However, like a laser, the IPL devices do accomplish their goals through the use of distinct lightwaves and if that process defines the terms “laser,” then they can be called “laser” devices, too.
How IPL works
Splotches and dark spots on the skin are actually little bundles of pigment or blood cells that are trapped underneath the skin’s surface. Excessive sun exposure, skin disease, and injuries can all cause injuries that trigger the release of excess pigments or blood to heal those wounds. After healing is complete, sometimes those extra molecules don’t clear away, but instead, are trapped in little collagen pockets. And, because the skin is translucent, they can be seen under its surface.
The IPL process attacks the cells within those bundles, causing them to constrict and break up. The now released cells are then swept away in the healing process, leaving the skin unmarred and even-toned.
So, to answer the question: neither ppl nor IPL is better than the other. The bbl laser and an IPL laser both restore skin to its beautiful, unblemished state.