I have certainly made no secret that I will try anything to rid my skin of wrinkles and brown spots. So when my dear friend Heidi Stern told me she had a facial she wanted me to meet, I was all in.
Heidi introduced me to Joani, from BodyWorks Fitness Spa in Libertyville, who has a made a name for herself with the incredible results she’s achieving with her BBL treatments. BBL stands for Broadband Light Treatment, also known as a photofacial, that uses pulsed light treatment to remove sun damage and produce skin that is more even in tone and texture. I have had terrible sunspots that have framed my face for years that I was terribly self-conscious about. After one treatment, they were all but gone! Joani recommends having four treatments within a nine-week period to completely wipe out sun damage. She suggests these cold winter months are the best time to do it because sun exposure is limited (one plus to these gray Chicago winters). I don’t think the four-treatment plan is at all excessive, as some discoloration does seem to rise to the surface between appointments. But after the four photofacials, Joani only needs to see her clients twice a year for “maintenance.” This is all it takes if you’re good about wearing your sunscreen and limiting your time in the sun.
At your first meeting with Joani, she asks you to fill out a pretty comprehensive questionnaire so that she can size up your skin as well as your lifestyle. She then customizes the power level of the light lasers she uses to what will have the best impact. In addition to faces, she often applies BBL to the neck, chest, and hands.
While the appointment itself doesn’t take more than an hour, most arrive at least 15 minutes early to apply a numbing cream to wherever you are having treatment. Once this has soaked in, Joani goes to work. While the treatment isn’t very painful (it feels like tiny rubberbands snapping against your face), I feel like the numbing cream is insurance against it ranking too high on the ouch-scale.
I also have to highlight how in-tune Joani is with her patients. She constantly checks in to see how you’re doing, making sure her clients are comfortable and the pulsing light isn’t too much.
When your treatment is over, Joani applies a compress and some soothing oils (the Skinceutical line is one of her favorites) to any area that was treated. While this procedure is more “clinical” and less spa-like,” I promise the warm and inviting atmosphere in which it takes place leaves you feeling refreshed.
I’m two treatments into my four-treatment plan. Both times, I went after I dropped off my children at school and was then able to go right to a work meeting without feeling like I looked as if I’d arrived from a battlezone! (And for any little trouble spots, there’s no restriction on covering it up with makeup!) Over the course of the week following the appointment, the treatment tends to draw any discoloration up to the surface, looking a little like you’ve smeared coffee grounds on your face. But, these have tended to just slough off whenever I wash my face. At the end of 5-7 days, my skin looks so much better!
Bodyworks is actually running a special this month offering 10% off their BBL package. If you’re thinking about trying this, it’s a great time to do it!
If you have questions, feel free to ask them here. I’m happy to help!
To make an appointment with Joani, call Bodyworks at 847.680.3982. Bodyworks Fitness & Spa is located at 510 N. First Street in Libertyville, bodyworksfitnessspa.com.