My Before and After: BBL for Sun Spots

Everything you might possibly want to know about my Broadband Laser (BBL) Treatment. {NOTE: This is NOT about a Brazilian Butt Lift. Both are called BBL… but the one I’m talking about resurfaces your face and doesn’t make your booty pop} Before I did my treatment, I looked EVERYWHERE to try to determine what the different phases would look like and found very little information. So, I made sure to take a ton of photos so that I could show you EXACTLY what my face looked like directly after BBL, 1 day later, 1 week later, and 3 weeks later.

I also saved a highlight on my PocketfulofJoules Instagram account, where I saved a bunch of videos:

Let’s start at the beginning… or at least the mid-80’s. Back in the old days when I was a kid, we were not very good about using sunscreen. In fact, many people were doing the baby-oil-and-fry method to try and get a deep, dark tan. I was on swim team during the summer, so every day I’d get to the pool in the morning for team practice and then just kind of hang out the rest of the day.

All. Summer. Long. So, my hair was super bleached and my skin was super tan.

Is this an excuse to post this ridiculous photo of me wearing a shirt with a photo of me on it again? Perhaps.

Which, I understand can be hard to believe considering I’m so pale nowadays that that I buy face powder in the pretty much the lightest shade out there.

Anyways, throughout the years I noticed myself getting more and more freckly. At least, I thought they were freckles until a *nice* blog reader pointed out my sun spots and offered to send me a multi-step treatment from their MLM for me to review back in 2016.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. So now I knew I had sun spots AND that they weren’t going anywhere. Cool. I wasn’t super fixated on the sun spots, but I didn’t love them. I just kind of figured I was stuck with them, so I tried to ignore them.

Fast forward to 2022. I signed up for a 6-month membership at a nearby medi-spa because I wanted to add monthly facials to my self-care routine. While attending the spa, I learned about their BBL (Broadband Laser) treatment because members received 10% off. The nurse who did the treatments and I spoke a couple times and she felt very sure that one session would be all I would need, since my spots were relatively mild. So, when they had a ‘open house’ special in the fall I pre-paid for one session of BBL for around $300.

I waited until the middle of winter to make sure that I was at my most pale version of myself, to make it easier for the laser to focus on those dark spots.

Here is my “before” from February 14, 2023:

{PS to see any photo from one of these photo collages as a larger image, just click on it}

The ones I was most concerned about were these:

Yes, that looks like a paw print. Right?! Anyways, it’s typical for your left side to have more sun spots due to driving around with the sun hitting your window.

Based on the nurse’s feedback, I was hoping for a total obliteration of the sun spots. But, being a realist, I was really hoping for general improvement.

A note about the bazillion photos I’m about to include. I’m not wearing any makeup on my face (other than occasionally on my eyelids). I did not edit anything in photoshop, other than to include collages and text. I used natural light from my bathroom window for each photo, so if there are inconsistencies it is due to that day’s weather.

Also, I wanted to include more of my videos but they were too large to send/upload. So if you’d like to see all my video check-in’s, go to my Instagram page where I linked them all under the BBL bubble.

Let’s get into it!

BBL 30 Minutes After – February 15, 2023:

Questions I’ve gotten:

What did it feel like/did it hurt?

I would describe it as uncomfortable, but not painful. They put a goopy jelly on your face and little goggles over your eyes. Then, they rub the machine over different areas of your face and there is a quick ZAP and bright light. I found the sounds/light/feeling more of a startling sensation than painful. The nurse said it was similar to a tattoo, but I absolutely do not agree. My whole session probably lasted around 20-30 minutes from start to finish. She went over my face with different strengths of the laser and hit all the different areas multiple times.

How much did it cost?

The medi-spa I went to typically charges $395 for a session, or a bit less for a three-pack. However, I waited until they had their fall open house and pre-paid for my one session. I’m pretty sure it was right around $300. I am not sharing the name of the medi-spa online. If you are local to Maryland, feel free to email or DM me and I’ll pass through that information.

BBL 1 Day After – February 16, 2023:

The next day, my face was red, blotchy and swollen. The sun spots were starting to get much more brown. I totally had some chipmunk cheeks, but I wasn’t in pain at all.

BBL 2 Days After – February 17, 2023:

On day 2, my face was no longer red, blotchy or swollen. No chipmunk cheeks, yay! However, the sun spots were getting even more brown.

BBL 3 Days After – February 18, 2023:

BBL 4 Days After – February 19, 2023:

BBL 5 Days After – February 20, 2023:

BBL 6 Days After – February 21, 2023:

BBL 1 Week After – February 22, 2023:

For my one-week check-in, I also gave an update on the video about what I had been doing to my skin for the past week. Basically, I was just moisturizing, moisturizing, moisturizing!

Starting on the evening of day 6, I also started using my night-time exfoliant to help with the skin turnover process. My esthetician started me on this in August and I LOVE IT:  Bioelement Skin Editor. It is a leave-on AHA peel cream exfoliator that has 3% glycolic and 7% lactic acid. I usually use it every other night and it makes my skin absolutely glow. (First face wash, then Vitamin C serum, then Skin Editor, then night cream).

BBL 2 Weeks After – March 1, 2023:

BBL 3 Weeks After – March 10, 2023

I was actually really surprised to see continued improvement between week 2 and week 3. I had figured that after the brown spots fell off, that would be as good as it would get… but I’m seeing continued improvement.

In fact, when I went to my esthetician for a facial the following week she said I’ll see even more improvement over the next couple months as my skin cells turn over. I’m actually very happy with the improvement in my skin, so to know that it will continue to improve has me really excited!

Here is my before photo again, compared with my “after” at the 3 week mark.

Right side:

I’m super happy with the improvement to the right side of my face. Most of the sun spots are very much reduced and the skin on my cheek is overall much more even with a smoother color.

Left side:

I’m happy with the improvement on the top of my left cheek, but those three stubborn spots towards the bottom are still there. I’m crossing my fingers for a little more improvement over the next month or so. With that being said, I’m not unhappy enough to want to do (or pay for) a second BBL session.

As for now, I’m just continuing to take care of my skin. I listed my products above, and I use them regularly. I also use sunscreen on days that I leave the house and have purchased a hat for extra sun protection.

Perhaps I should do another update in May to see if there has been more improvement?

All in all, I’m very happy with my BBL experience for sun spots. The one session gave me a noticeable improvement within the first month, the pain was very slight, and the down-time was minimal.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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2 thoughts on “My Before and After: BBL for Sun Spots”

  1. It could be the products that are really doing the job. There really is a difference, especially on the one side.

    1. Thanks Nancy. The BBL laser certainly made a big difference. However, from here I’m hoping that utilizing my exfoliate and adding a retinal I can get it where I want it to be! I’ll make sure to post an update if I see further improvement. =)

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