Updated: May 7, 2020
If you are an internet user, working in the aesthetic industry or just always on the look-out for the next new beauty treatment, then you are bound to have heard about the BB Glow Facial by now. BB what? This Korean treatment is also referred to as ‘BB Glow Mesotherapy’ and ‘semi-permanent BB cream,’ and made headlines in November last year, when several US clinics started to offer a beauty service that promises to erase pigmentation and uneven skin tone by microneedling semi-permanent pigments into the skin. Five thousand Instagram hashtags later, the controversial treatment is now being offered in a number of UK clinics, but at what cost? Scroll down to discover everything there is to know about this luxury treatment and the risks you need to be aware of before deciding to go under the BB glow needle.
What does the BB Glow treatment involve?
An aesthetician will cleanse the skin first, and then perform an exfoliation treatment such as a skin peel, dermaplaning or microdermabrasion to remove a build-up of dead skin cells and enhance the final result. Once the skin is numbed using a topical anaesthetic cream, a microneedling tool is then used to deliver a BB cream formulation into the skin.
The tool’s needle is designed to hold onto pigment which is pushed into the deeper layers, creating a semi-permanent foundation effect on the surface. Think microblading, but for the skin. A mask is usually applied afterwards to reduce inflammation and replenish hydration.
A course of 3-4 treatments is advised, every 4 weeks for optimum results, and can last for up to 12 months afterwards, depending on the brand of pigment used and your skin type. A patch test is also encouraged prior to the appointment, to colour match you and ensure your skin doesn’t react to the product being used.
What should you expect after a BB Glow treatment?
The skin will feel the same as it would following any microneedling treatment – warm to touch, sensitised and tender for up to 48 hours post treatment. Some bloggers report that they looked as though they were ‘caked in foundation’, whilst others say that there is ‘little redness after’.
It is advised to not wash your skin for 24 hours after the procedure and no make-up is advised for at least 3 days – retinol and vitamin C products should be left out of your routine for the same amount of time.
What are the benefits to a BB Glow facial?
The ability to go make-up free is clearly the major advantage following this treatment transaction. By not having to wear (or as much) make-up every day, your skin’s health and certain conditions such as acne, will most likely improve.
The ‘natural’ pigments in the Glow facial unifies skin tone, temporarily reducing the appearance of blemishes, sun damage, melasma and redness whilst the microneedling aspect stimulates collagen and elastin production within the skin, improving the appearance of fine lines and pores.
Is there any risk?
The first thing to know about the BB Glow facial is that it not FDA regulated. Until this moment arrives, the potential risk of microneedling unknown pigments into the skin will constantly be up for debate.
Despite the idea of semi-permanent make-up being around for a long time, this technique has been criticised. BB creams are designed to sit on the surface of our skin and so far, we don’t know what will happen long-term if we are penetrating a product like that into our skin.
The possibility of short-term skin reactions could entail infection, post-inflammatory pigmentation and allergic reactions. The application may also worsen inflamed skin conditions like acne and dermatitis.
Not only that, but the purity and sterility of tattoo pigments is difficult, and hardly regulated. Tattoos fade in patchy way, so what does this mean for the vanishing BB glow, six months post treatment?
The importance of choosing the right shade to match your natural skin colour is a crucial matter during any semi-permanent make-up treatment. What if your skin were to tan – would deep regret of BB glow shortly follow? Because this is such a newly developed treatment, most up-coming, pigment brands like Stayve and BBidealskin have a limited choice of shades to choose from.
So within 4 treatments you can get a semi-permanent BB glow at £200 a treatment. The microneedling part of the treatment will tighten those pores and firm the skin’s surface, the mask will hydrate. The pigments, whatever they are made up of, will conceal your acne, blemishes and hyperpigmentation for the fair part of a year, but you will open yourself up to the risk of infection, inflammation and unknown long-term damage.
Decide whether it’s worth the risk. Choose to either cover your skin, or improve it.