Have you heard? People have been microneedling makeup into their faces! This is something called the BB Glow treatment, and it's been around for about 5 years. But, it's just made a recent resurgence on social media. Everyone seems to be jumping on this trend, but no one is telling people the financial cost of this treatment nor are they telling you all of the mistakes that could happen.
What is the BB Glow Treatment?
First, foundation, blush, and contour are applied the face, and then, microneedling is used to tattoo it into the skin. This treatment is supposed to be an alternative to every day makeup application or semi-permanent makeup.
How does the BB Glow Treatment work?
Well, to begin with, tattooing is a largely unregulated industry. Of course, you can find some very talented and hygienic tattoo artists, but you don’t need a license to tattoo. And depending on the depth of the needle, you don’t need a license to microneedle either. So, when you think of professional microneedling, it's more than paying someone to do it. Professional microneedling means paying someone who has training and knowledge on how to avoid damaging the skin.
What are the risks of the BB Glow treatment?
One of the main risks of The BB Glow Treatment is that you're putting ingredients into the skin that aren't supposed to be there.
The BB Glow is not the same process as something like an eyebrow tattoo. The "treatment" literally takes pigment, and microneedles it into the skin. Many people think all BB Glow Treatments are done in professional settings because that’s how social media makes it seem. But in reality, it’s easy for anyone to buy these kits on Amazon, and what’s even more alarming is that these kits do not disclose all of the ingredients. Even the ones listed are very questionable.
And speaking of questionable, even if you pay someone to do the treatment for you, they might not use the pigments meant BB Glow Treatments. They might just be using heavily pigmented makeup and microneedling it into the skin. This is not safe because anytime the skin is punctured, it needs to heal properly. That is why microneedling has to be done medically and in a way that allows the skin to heal itself correctly. A proper healing process helps the skin increase collagen and elastin. But, when this process is combined with makeup, that's a different story with different risks.
Granulomas can happen.
Your skin is meant to keep bad stuff out, and when your skin absorbs and identifies something that shouldn't be there such as a random piece of pigment or fragrance, an adverse reaction can happen. One of the worst-case scenarios is an inflammatory response called a granuloma, and when people think of granulomas, they think of rocks or particles getting stuck under the skin even though that’s not actually what happens. A granuloma is basically a cluster of your skin’s natural immune cells. When your skin detects an invader, it sends out a bunch of immune cells to that one spot.
It feels like a rock or a lump because your body is trying to encapsulate what it deems bad or damaging. Granulomas can even happen with regular microneedling. Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides can be used during microneedling, and they can be beneficial for wound healing. But, there have even been instances of these granulomas forming then. So, it’s important that microneedling is done correctly.
Infection can happen.
Another thing that can happen is infection. When we introduce things into the skin that aren’t supposed to be there, this can impede, stop, or slow down the skin’s natural healing process. So, any benefit of microneedling is erased by putting makeup in places it’s not supposed to be.
Moreover, one has to make sure the needle is sterile. If you have a dirty needle, there is going to be so much damage. You could even get an infection of the blood or sepsis.
Keloids can happen.
Then, there’s keloid scarring. When the skin rejects foreign invaders, a large, knotted, and hypertrophic scar that protrudes can form. The BB Glow treatment can cause these, especially in people who are prone to them.
How expensive is the BB Glow Treatment?
Basically, you have to get the BB Glow Treatment re-done every 2 weeks. This is like $400 every two weeks. This is such an expensive treatment, and the results don’t always look good or evenly done. The skin is not going to hold onto that pigment evenly. Putting makeup into the skin with microneedles can make the skin patchy and give it a splotchy appearance.
This splotchy appearance happens simply because the skin has a greater amount of oil glands in the nose and forehead area. Because of this, the results are often unsatisfying.
Nevertheless, due to Tik Tok, people still want to try it. Some people have okay results for two weeks. But, some people do not take the time to understand the real dangers, and they end up destroying their dermis.
It’s much safer to use alternatives like self-tanner. Why is the BB Glow Treatment required, when you can simply use a self-tanning liquid on a makeup brush? With this, you can contour the skin over 3 days. This self-tanner will darken the skin, and it gives you a natural contour that you don’t have to touch up. It’s less expensive, and you can control where it goes on the skin. Some of these self-tanners last longer than two weeks.
Here are a couple of effective, cruelty-free brands that Cassandra recommends.
To do self-tanner, Cassandra would recommend getting two brushes. One of them should be an angle brush for the face and cheeks, and then one of them should be a precision brush for areas like the nose. Make sure you practice with a regular cream contour so you know where you want it. Then, use the self-tanner. This is less expensive, it lasts longer, and there’s no major risk of an infection.
You can also use a cheek stain. Some blushes come off with water. But, some products stain your skin. If you’ve ever used a lip stain, this works for your cheeks as well. You have to reapply these every few days, and it’s a great option.
You can put some on your fingertips or on a sponge, and you can apply it to your cheek area or on the nose. Whenever you want a pink flush, you can get the look of a red, rosy blush on your cheeks without microneedling.
Tinted sunscreens are also a safer alternative to BB Glow Treatments. They also provide a smoother aesthetic and more coverage. Tinted sunscreens are like BB creams. They give a glow, smooth scars, cover redness, cover blemishes, uneven skin tone, and more. It’s much more helpful in blocking out pores, texture, and discoloration areas than the BB Glow Treatment. BB Glow treatments claim to cover imperfections and give glow, but they don’t. They don’t cover texture or redness like tinted sunscreens.
So remember, just because something goes viral doesn’t mean it’s effective or even okay for the skin. Before you choose a cosmetic treatment, make sure you know skin anatomy, the ingredients of the products involved, and make sure the treatment is healthy and based on science.