Picture this: a day with completely flawless skin—sans makeup. No red spots, unevenness or hyperpigmentation visible, and instead you’ve simply woken up with clear, even-toned skin. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, a new microneedling procedure that inserts colored pigments into the skin promises this exact result.
As reported on by Allure, the BB Glo is a treatment available at Glo Skin & Laser in New York City to create seemingly flawless skin. As written by the company, this procedure is when semipermanent BB cream “is implanted into your skin to give you a natural looking base that will last six months to one year” and it’s used “to soften the appearance of blemishes, hyper or hypopigmentation, freckles, rosacea, redness and lighten up those pesky dark under-eye circles.”
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At first glance, this sounds pretty brilliant—after all, microblading uses pigments to create thicker-looking eyebrows, so why can’t similar pigments be used in conjunction with microneedling to create a flawless complexion? Well, the experimental treatment, which is essentially a semipermanent tattoo for your whole face, isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In fact, it’s so new that Aishe Balic, c-founder of Glo Skin & Laser, uses a formula called BB Ideal Skin from Moscow on her patients.
Understandably, doctors have quite a few concerns about this treatment—the first being the possibility of scar tissue, granuloma formation or infection. “This is not safe because like regular tattoos, it can cause foreign body granulomas,” says Washington, D.C. dermatologist Sarika Snell, MD. “Your body notices the pigment as foreign and starts a cascade of inflammation. This then results into large nodules within the skin.”
Additionally, the lack of federal regulation increases the chances that this treatment could result in a botched outcome. “Not only is this a medical safety concern because it hasn’t been tested, the industry of tattoo pigment is not a federally regulated entity, and therefore, the purity and sterility of tattoo pigments cannot be discerned or guaranteed,” explains Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda Chung Honet, MD, adding that this procedure also isn’t advisable from an aesthetic standpoint. “From a cosmetic point of view, tattoos naturally fade over time, and when it does, it does so quite unevenly,” says Dr. Honet. So, you ultimately might end up needing more makeup to cover the uneven fade of pigmentation than you would’ve before getting the treatment.
Ultimately, there’s no telling if this treatment will eventually get FDA-approval and end up being safe enough for everyone (after all, the idea does sound pretty genius!). However, until more research is done, it’s best to stick to the more classic microneedling options.