People Are Getting BB Cream Tattooed Onto Their Faces
For anyone that's tired of restocking their Beautyblender or cleaning their makeup brushes, BB Glo, a treatment that microneedles semi-permanent BB cream into your skin, might just be your solution.
The coverage of the BB cream gives skin a perfect, even complexion with zero redness or dark spots that lasts up to four months. "With BB Glo, your skin looks like your skin, only better," says Aishe Balic, co-founder of Glo Skin & Laser, a salon in New York City that offers the treatment. "The tone is even and looks more healthy."
Like microblading your eyebrows, BB Glo is a way to get your skin to look the way you want it to look without going through the daily motions of applying foundation, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer. To get all the facts about the treatment, we turned to Balic to find out what exactly happens during the procedure, side effects, how long it lasts, and more.
What Is the BB Glo Treatment?
BB Glo is a microneedling procedure that inserts semi-permanent BB cream into the skin to smooth out imperfections including uneven skin tone, fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, age spots, post-acne pigmentation, and large pores. The coverage is the equivalent of a full, lightweight face of makeup that looks like your skin, just better.
Balic says the results look so natural because the makeup is undetectable since it's a part of your skin and not sitting on top of it like traditional BB cream.
What Happens During the Treatment?
The actual treatment is pretty similar to traditional microneedling, where tiny needles are rolled over your face. In the case of BB Glo, the tiny pricks enable the pigment to penetrate the skin. "For the most part, the treatment is pretty superficial," says Balic. "We don't go as deep into the skin as traditional microneedling because we don't use a machine that's as intense as those in dermatologists' offices."
The whole process takes up to two hours. First, the skin is cleansed and exfoliated to remove any dead skin cells from the surface. Next, the skin is numbed for 20 minutes. Then, the BB cream shade is chosen and microneedled into the skin. Finally, a hyaluronic mask is applied to hydrate skin and seal the BB cream in.
Balic says that BB Glo can last up to four months and recommends getting two treatments to see optimal results. At Glo Spa, each treatment costs $300.
What BB Cream Is Used?
At Glo Skin & Laser, Balic uses a BB cream from Moscow that's specifically made to go into skin. "We use this one because it doesn't contain titanium dioxide," says Balc. "The whole treatment is done pretty superficially, but if titanium dioxide does come into contact with blood it can alter the color of the BB cream. So, we use this formula as an extra precaution."
While the cream is formulated with lightening and anti-aging agents, the shade range is limited. It only comes in light, medium, and dark tints so Balic mixes the tints together to make a custom shade for clients.
What Are the Side Effects?
There's little to no downtime following the treatment. Balic says clients typically experience some redness, but it usually subsides in a few hours because the BB Glo doesn't go as deep as traditional microneedling.
After getting BB Glow, she says clients should avoid washing their face for 24 hours, using retinol or retin-A products for a week, and wait four weeks to get laser treatments.
Who Can Get the BB Glow Treatment?
The same rules that apply to traditional microneedling apply to BB Glo. The ideal candidate is someone who has healthy skin without any open wounds, active acne, or inflammatory conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea. However, hyperpigmentation and melasma are fine. Pregnant and lactating women should also avoid the treatment.
If someone has sensitive skin or allergies, Balic says she will do a spot test on the back of the client's neck or wrist and wait 24 hours before doing the treatment to ensure they won't have a reaction to the BB cream.
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What Are the Risks?
While BB Glo can make your skin look like it's under an Instagram filter without having to apply foundation everyday, the treatment is new and not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Without seeing the ingredients of the BB cream, New York-based plastic surgeon Dr. Messlia Doft suggests proceeding with caution because of the possible side effects. "BB creams are only tested to be used topically not injected into the skin," she says. "Injecting these pigmented particles into the skin may lead to skin irritation, pain, infection, allergies, inflammation, and even permanent tattooing if the particles are long lasting. Chronic inflammation can lead to permanent scarring."
She says getting lumps and bumps due to granuloma formation (a skin reaction to foreign material) are also possible.
That being said, when any new treatment hits the market, there's usually a period of skepticism before it becomes mainstream. (Microblading, anyone?) If you have an uneven skin tone and the BB Glo treatment sounds like a solution you're interested in exploring, do research to see which spas offer it in your area, schedule a consultation to ask questions about the procedure, and as always, consult your dermatologist for extra ease of mind.