BB Glow: Your Questions Answered

BB Glow is a trending treatment and after years of success in eastern Europe and Asia, it is starting to become more popular across western countries like Australia, UK and the USA. I recieve emails and private messages every single week asking for information on BB Glow and how to learn it, as well as questions from new BB Glow professionals who, after completing their course (sometimes costing them thousands of $$), they still have questions and cannot get answers from their trainer. As a beauty trainer for over 15 years, this really frustrates me! It is absolutely natural and normal for newly trained professionals to have questions and feel nervous, but those questions should not be things like ‘what needle to use’ and ‘how much should I charge’ – this is basic knowledge that should be included in your training.

Below are some answers to some of the most common questions I have come across. If you have a question that isn’t covered here, by all means – send me an email or even better, leave a comment and I can answer publicly for everyone’s benefit.

Lastly, I hope you find this helpful. If you do, please share it around! And leave me a comment – I love hearing from you!

How do I choose a BB Glow course?

Do your research, reach out to the academy and initiate conversation with the trainer. If possible, ask to speak to them over the phone. Ask questions about what is covered in the course. Do you get lifetime access to training material? Do they assess your skills and knowledge before granting you a certificate? Is a kit included? Do they teach you how to price the treatment? How to take good photos? Do they offer support for marketing yourself afterwards?

Is it like cosmetic tattooing?

The short answer to this is No – absolutely not. Cosmetic tattooing/permanent makeup like microblading, eyeliner tattooing and lip blush are all referred to as semi-permanent makeup, as unlike proper tattoos, they have a shorter life and fade out of the skin. To put BB Glow in this same category gives the impression that it can last 12+months, which is not the case. Anyone that markets BB Glow as lasting in the skin long enough to be considered “semi-permanent makeup” is either doing the treatment very wrong (and dangerously!) or outright lying to their clients.

BB Glow should be purely cosmetic and epidermal. As our epidermis is completely renewed every 40-56 days, the product should be gone well before this, as it sits in the upper epidermal layers and will shed out naturally as our skin cells are naturally shed. So, it is therefore unrealistic to advertise anything longer than a 4-week result, especially as it sets our clients up with the wrong expectation, leaving them more likely to be disappointed with the results, and less likely to return for future treatments.

BB Glow – how to explain & market to clients

BB Glow should be marketed and promoted first as a skin treatment  – not a makeup treatment. The foundation component should be promoted as an additional benefit of a treatment that is going to deliver high outcomes for anti-ageing, hydration and pigmentation reduction. This treatment uses cosmetic and nano-needling technology to infuse powerful cosmeceutical serums into the skin, rich with peptides and antioxidants, stimulating collagen production without the trauma and scar tissue caused by medical microneedling. The foundation effect should be promoted as a ‘tinted moisturiser’ look with benefits such as evening the skin tone, brightening the complexion, minimizing the appearance of pores as well as scarring. This is why it is SO important to choose a BB Glow brand that will support your results with high-quality meso serums without the harmful additives like silicones, talc, aluminium and mineral oil.

Can I do the treatment without the meso ampoule and just the foundation?

Yes, you can. However, you will not get a good result, and you are doing nothing healthy for the skin. The skin will not have that radiant, healthy glow that is associated with BB Glow – it’s even in the name! As beauty therapists and aestheticians, we entered this industry to work with the skin. Without the meso serum ampoule, we are not doing anything that provides the skin with nutrients, vitamins, peptides or any of the good stuff, so really what is the point of doing a treatment if we’re not nurturing the skin? And if you’re not in this industry to work with skin and deliver powerful outcomes for your clients then I hate to tell you this, but… you’re in the wrong industry!

What needles should I use?

This should be covered in your training, however there are many poor-quality training courses out there, as BB Glow is a very on-trend service and lots of ‘dodgy’ courses exist as an easy cash-grab that only teach the basics, without any care for the student and their future clients.

If you want to be completely safe, use Nano cartridges only. If you are training in microneedling, you can use 36 or 42 pin microneedles for the meso serum ONLY. For the foundation, use Nano ONLY. You do not want to over-needle the skin and Nano will not push the tint too deep into the skin.

12 or 16pin microneedles are not ideal, even if you are trained in microneedling. The pins on these cartridges are a thicker gauge, so they create deeper and wider channels in the skin than the finer gauge pins. They’re more likely to be painful for your client, as well as cause bleeding. Bleeding means you’ve reached the dermis, so that means that your BB Glow foundation will likely land there, which we know is not ideal, as you can create micro-tattoos if the channel heals while the pigment is still within the dermis. The colours used to create BB Glow foundations are not the same as cosmetic tattoo pigments. They will heal in the skin with a grey, yellow or even green undertone, causing your client to look disfigured. This can last over 12 months and is very unsightly for the client, especially if you have done multiple treatments like this.

These images have been taken from Social Media, showing negative client outcomes after multiple BB Glow sessions with improper protocol and potential fake or poor quality products.

How deep can we needle?

This is basic information that also should be covered in your training. If you have completed your training and you DON’T KNOW THIS, unfortunately you did a bad course and I recommend investing in another course with a good reputation.

If using a microneedling cartridge, do not exceed 0.5mm.

Nano cartridges do not penetrate deep, so you can set your device at 1.0mm and this is safe.

Titanium Dioxide: What’s the deal?

Firstly, let’s look at the concerns and risks associated with Titanium Dioxide. Depending on the particle size, studies have shown that nano particles can cause toxic effects in the brain and cause nerve damage as well as being a carcinogenic. The particle sizes used in BB Glow product are NOT nano sized and using a nano-needle does not make them nano-sized. The concern some have over this ingredient though is that it is being built up in the skin through repeated treatments.

Titanium Dioxide does present risks when used in BB Glow for clients that want to undergo Laser or IPL hair removal on the face. If TD (or other iron oxides) are present in the skin during a laser treatment, or an MRI this can cause a burn on the skin. Additionally, TD can turn black if a Q-Switch laser is used while TD is still present in the skin. To be completely safe, any client that has undergone BB Glow where greater than 0.3mm was used with microneedling cartridges should wait 6-12 months before undergoing any MRI, Q-Switch, Laser or IPL treatments on the face. A mild-medium strength peel could be used to speed this process up and encourage cell renewal and turnover.

It is up to you, the professional, to ensure you are aware of your clients history and ensure that they are not currently undergoing any treatments, cosmetic or medical, that present a contraindication to any treatment that you perform, and BB Glow is no different. These risks do not make BB Glow any more dangerous than cosmetic tattooing, chemical peels, Botox or fillers. In the hands of a trained professional using high quality products, the risks are very low. Unfortunately, there are many schools training incorrectly and this is where practitioners and clients run into problems.

BB Glow & Tanning

If your client is a regular sunbed user, they should not be having BB Glow or ANY cosmetic treatment like peels, microneedling, RF etc.

UV exposure is so damaging to the skin, and deliberate UV exposure should be avoided for 7 days after the treatment. However, anyone who is genuine about wanting to look after their skin should not be deliberately tanning their skin. I have refused clients on this basis and I encourage my students to have the same principles.

Self-tanning products that use DHA are an excellent alternative to UV tanning, and there are some excellent products available that build up a natural, sun-kissed glow. If having BB Glow treatments I would recommend avoiding the face for 48hours pre & post treatment as a minimum. This is one instance where using a deeper shade all over the face can help to make a clients skin look more like their fake tan.

Before & After pictures

Many new BB Glow professionals struggle with taking great before & after photos of their clients. The key to having a great before & after is consistency.

  • Make sure your angles are the same. Take pictures from each side and full frontal, try to ensure you are directly facing the client, not angled up or down. Weird angles can accentuate jawlines, noses and other facial features that might make your photos look unprofessional and embarrass your client, spend a few minutes trying different angles to ensure you get the most flattering images, even in the before pic. The more identical the before & after images are, the better your results will look because that will be the only thing that appears different, so you can’t help but notice it!
  • Ensure you have a great lighting set up so you can maintain consistent lighting conditions.
  • Minimise background distractions – avoid products, tools etc.
  • Have a plain white border around your images – too much colour in your photos can look cheap, tacky and distracting.

How do I know which Meso Serum ampoule is right for my client?

This is a tough one. This is not generally taught in any BB Glow courses, because there are so many brands, all with different ingredients and different points of difference. Often the BB Glow brands themselves don’t offer any product-centric training. They give you a brochure with a brief description of what each product does and that’s the extent of their training. When I first delved into BB Glow, I was overwhelmed with the different product ranges on the market and couldn’t easily identify a point of difference. The brand I ended up choosing had a very badly translated product brochure, and no other support. So I was finding very inconsistent results, which was incredibly frustrating. In the end I had to work it out myself. With my background in training cosmetic chemistry from a skincare & makeup education perspective, I was in a good position to navigate through the long ingredient listing for each product, identify the active ingredients, understand how they work independently and synergistically with each other and the outcomes this would have for the skin. If you have the time and understanding of cosmetic ingredients to do this for yourself, I highly recommend it.

If you don’t, here at Blush Academy I have created 2 courses on the brands that I have worked with and researched, so you don’t have to. These are the Stayve & Physiolab Product Expert courses. They offer you in-depth knowledge of the key ingredients in each ampoule, what effect this will have on the skin and the skin concerns it can target. You will learn how to effectively communicate to your clients how the serum will work for them and therefore answer any questions they have about how BB Glow can benefit them. The ingredient knowledge will enhance your confidence not just with BB Glow, but across all treatments and products you offer for your clients, as many of these ingredients can be found in regular skincare. You will gain expert understanding that will boost not only your confidence, but also your client’s confidence in trusting you with their skin.

Blush Academy is the training academy for The Blush Lab, a salon based in Adelaide, South Australia. We specialise in BB Glow facials, Cosmetic Tattooing, Plasma Skin Tightening, Skin treatments as well as Lash & Brow services.

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