Do you dream of a more youthful, radiant complexion? Age, sun damage, and stubborn pigmentation can leave skin looking uneven and dull. If you’re considering laser treatments to achieve that healthy glow, you might be wondering about two popular options: BBL and HALO laser treatments.

Both BBL and HALO laser treatments offer impressive skin rejuvenation benefits, but they target different concerns and have varying recovery times. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of these lasers, exploring:

  • What BBL and HALO laser treatments are and how they work
  • The specific skin concerns each treatment addresses.
  • Recovery expectations for BBL vs. HALO
  • Unveiling the potential benefits of combining these treatments.

By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to decide which laser treatment, or if a combination approach, might be the perfect fit for your goals. So, get ready to discover the path to smoother, brighter, and more confident skin!

What is BBL?

BBL stands for BroadBand Light, and though it’s often referred to as a laser treatment, it technically uses a different technology. The BBL uses multiple wavelengths of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to target broken capillaries, redness, rosacea, and brown spots that have developed within the layers of the skin. Unlike a laser which targets one specific wavelength, BBL offers a broader spectrum allowing it to address a variety of skin issues. During the treatment, these pigments are heated, absorbed, and broken down, which triggers your body’s natural healing response to improve the appearance of those irregularities. Compared to traditional lasers, BBL is considered a gentler treatment with minimal downtime.

What is HALO?

HALO stands for Hybrid Fractional Laser. Unlike BBL, it is a true laser treatment and utilizes a unique approach to target skin concerns. HALO combines two types of laser wavelengths in one treatment:

  • Ablative Laser: This laser removes the topmost layer of skin, effectively targeting sun damage and wrinkles.
  • Non-Ablative Laser: This laser penetrates deeper into the skin’s dermis, stimulating collagen production and improving overall texture.

HALO is considered a fractional treatment, as it doesn’t treat the entire skin surface at once. Instead, it creates microscopic columns of treated areas surrounded by healthy tissue. This allows for faster healing and minimizes downtime.

Skin Concerns Addressed with HALO vs. BBL Laser Treatments

While similar, there are some big differences in the types of skin concerns that can be addressed by the HALO and BBL treatments. Here is a breakdown of the two:

BBL (BroadBand Light or IPL)

  • Targets: Superficial skin concerns
  • Best for:
    • Sun damage: Age spots, sunspots, and uneven skin tone.
    • Redness: Rosacea, spider veins, and overall facial redness.
    • Acne: Reduces inflammation and improves the appearance of acne-prone skin.
    • Fine Lines and Wrinkles (mild): Stimulates collagen production for a subtle plumping effect.

HALO (Hybrid Fractional Laser)

  • Targets: Deeper skin concerns and texture issues
  • Best for:
    • Sun Damage: More effective for stubborn sunspots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone.
    • Fine Lines and Wrinkles (moderate to severe): Stimulates significant collagen production for noticeable improvement.
    • Large Pores: Reduces their appearance.
    • Scars: Improves the look of acne scars and other blemishes.


Depending on your concerns, you could choose BBL for mild issues such as sun damage or redness and choose HALO for deeper sun damage as well as textural issues. The key differences between the two treatments are going to be:

  • Depth: BBL works on the surface, while HALO penetrates deeper into the skin.
  • Results: BBL offers more subtle improvements while HALO delivers more dramatic results.

Recovery of BBL vs. HALO Laser Treatments

The recovery experience for BBL and HALO Lasers is similar, but you will find the HALO Laser recovery lasts a bit longer than BBL. Here’s a breakdown:

BBL (BroadBand Light)

  • Minimal downtime: You will have some mild redness to the treatment area for a day or two and notice that your pigmentation gets a bit darker during this time.
  • Flaking: During days 2-3 you will see your pigmentation and skin flake off, this is usually minimal and disappears within a few days.

HALO (Hybrid Fractional Laser)

  • Minimal downtime: There is usually a sunburn-esque sensation for about 4 hours following the treatment, followed by some mild-moderate redness for about 24 hours.
  • Flaking and MENDS: MENDS or microscopic epidermal necrotic debris, are small brown spots that appear after the HALO. They are very normal and part of the healing process. These flake off within a few days.

With some slight differences, the HALO Laser does not cause your skin to peel and flake for a long duration of time, making it an easy treatment to receive without needing to hide from the public. Regardless of which treatment you receive, you will need to keep your skin well-hydrated and protected from the sun for a minimum of 2 weeks following your appointment. You are able to apply makeup after 48 hours in either case.

By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery experience after your laser treatment. Remember, it’s always best to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to discuss the specific recovery process for your individual treatment plan.

Benefits of Combined BBL & HALO Laser Treatments

Combining BBL and HALO laser treatments can offer a powerful one-two punch for achieving comprehensive skin rejuvenation. Here are some key benefits:

  • Synergistic Approach: BBL tackles superficial concerns like pigmentation and redness, while HALO works its magic deeper down, stimulating collagen and improving texture. This combined approach addresses a wider range of skin issues, leading to more dramatic and well-rounded results.
  • Faster Pigmentation Removal: BBL can break up pigment clusters, and HALO helps eliminate them more efficiently. This can be particularly beneficial for stubborn sun damage and hyperpigmentation.
  • Reduced Downtime: While HALO alone has a longer recovery, combining it with BBL can potentially shorten downtime slightly. BBL’s gentle nature can help soothe the skin and promote faster healing after the deeper HALO treatment.
  • Customized Treatment: These lasers can be customized to target your specific needs. A qualified professional can adjust settings to create a treatment plan that addresses your unique combination of concerns.
  • Enhanced Results: By combining these treatments, you can potentially achieve more dramatic improvements in skin tone, texture, and overall radiance compared to using either treatment alone.

If you’re interested in exploring the potential of combining BBL and HALO, consult a qualified Charlotte dermatologist or aesthetician. They can discuss your goals, evaluate your skin, and determine if this approach is the best fit for achieving your desired results. If you’re curious about which treatment is the best option for you, then requesting a consultation with one of our knowledgeable healthcare providers can be a great place to start to get a full Skin Analysis and customized treatment plan for your needs and lifestyle.