BB Glow Treatment Gone Wrong - Bad Side Effects

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on November 1, 2022

The BB glow is a controversial treatment for a reason. Here are the scenarios of BB glow treatment gone wrong.

BB Glow Treatment Gone Wrong - Bad Side Effects and Complications

Image source: Freepik

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The BB glow treatment is a fusion between microneedling and pigmentation. It’s done by injecting tinted serums into the facial skin with a nanoneedling device (it’s also possible to do it with a microneedling device, but hardly anyone uses that anymore, since nanoneedling ones are more advanced). The point is to give the skin a brightening effect and the look of wearing a lightweight foundation.

So, the treatment sounds great in theory, but in practice, it can be very problematic. Many estheticians speak out against it, listing the BB glow treatment bad side effects.

Let’s explore the possible scenarios of a BB glow treatment gone wrong.

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What Are the BB Glow Treatment Side Effects?

For starters, let’s distinguish between immediate BB glow treatment side effects which are a normal response from the skin to the treatment, the possible complications of the treatment, and long-term bb glow treatment bad side effects which can be considered a BB glow treatment gone wrong.

Let’s take a look at each category.

Want to find out more about the BB glow treatment? Follow the links:

BB Glow – The Ultimate Guide
BB Glow Before and After Gallery

Immediate BB Glow Treatment Side Effects

The BB glow treatment is done by covering the face with a tinted serum, and dragging a nanoneedling pen over the entire surface of the face. The nanoneedles pierce the skin in tiny dots, and the serums get under its surface.

The needles are only supposed to go very shallow into the skin, penetrating only into the epidermis (the first layer of the skin), not the dermis (the second). The diameter of the needle is very small, hence the name nano. So the cuts made are a) very shallow and b) very tiny.

So, the skin shouldn’t give a severe reaction, but you may experience the following BB glow treatment side effects:

  • Redness
  • Tightness
  • Irritation
  • Minor swelling
  • Minor peeling a few days later

All these are normal and are no cause for concern if they subside within 24-48 hours.

But if they last longer, they may be signs of complications.

For a more detailed description of the BB glow process, read this article.

What Are the BB Glow Treatment Side Effects?

Long-Term BB Glow Treatment Side Effects

Now we get to the problematic part. If it’s not done 100% the way it’s supposed to, meaning if the tinted serum is applied even a little deeper into the skin, the BB glow can cause a range of issues – it will not age well.

Let’s go through each BB glow gone wrong scenario:

The Color Can Turn White, Yellow, or Greenish

To understand how BB glow gone wrong after a while happens, we need to look into the composition of the tinted serums used.

The component which gives the serum its light, creamy skin tone is titanium dioxide, a type of pigment used in light pigmentation formulas. If the molecules of titanium dioxide they get into the dermis layer, under the basal membrane which separates the first 2 layers of skin, they get trapped, since this layer isn’t shed with the skin’s natural turnover.

When they are exposed to UV rays, so, sunlight, a chemical reaction happens and they turn yellowish or greenish. The skin’s natural processes can also cause a color change. The layer of skin over them acts as a filter and further enhances the discoloration.

Other common ingredients found in the serums which can also turn and make the situation worse are:

  • Yellow iron oxides
  • Red iron oxides

Some formulas have as many as 40 ingredients, many of which are non-degradable, meaning they stay in the skin potentially infinitely.

When you take into consideration that BB glow treats the face, the possible discoloration is very problematic.

Long-Term BB Glow Treatment Side Effects

The Pigments Rise and Change the Texture of the Skin

The molecules of titanium dioxide are large, and if they stay in the skin for too long, they are pushed upwards, towards the surface. If they rise, they can start showing and give the skin a lumpy, cottage-cheese-like texture.

This can happen as late as 5-10 years after the treatment. So the BB glow treatment gone wrong can happen many years down the line, and since the treatment gained popularity only, say, 5 years ago, we’re yet to see the long-term consequences.

If You Get Tanned, You’ll Have Light Patches

The serums are trapped in the skin. If the skin around them tans and gets darker, the pigments emerge as lighter patches. So if you get BB glow, tanning is not an option, and you have to wear SPF whenever you’re outside.


We have to note that, if the BB glow treatment is done without breaking the membrane between the epidermis and the dermis, it won’t age badly. It won’t age at all! Anything injected exclusively into the epidermis disappears within 1 skin cell turnover cycle. The entire epidermis layer is renewed roughly every 30 days, and it takes the tint with it. So the pigments don’t have time to turn color, they’re shed before that.

But, not breaking into the dermis is extremely difficult during the BB glow treatment. The skin of the face varies in terms of thickness in different areas of the face, and it can be as thin as a sheet of paper in some spots. Staying in the epidermis is therefore extremely tricky. It takes exactly the right needle length, and since most techs don’t readjust the settings of the device during a treatment, they go too deep more often than not.

There’s also the issue of some techs intentionally going deeper than the epidermis in order to ensure the results last longer, likely due to being oblivious of the long-term BB glow side effects.

Skin Structure - the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous layer

What Can I Do with a BB Glow Treatment Gone Wrong?

Unfortunately, if you are dealing with a BB glow gone wrong and discoloration that hasn’t faded after several months or years, there’s not much you can do.

The go-to option for removing unwanted tattoos or permanent makeup – laser – cannot be used to remove the results of a BB glow treatment gone wrong.

The reason is, once again, titanium dioxide. If touched with a laser beam, titanium oxide “burns” and turns gray or black.

Wait, Does that Mean I Can’t Get Any Facial Laser Treatments?

Basically, yes.

If you have titanium dioxide stuck in the skin, you can’t get any laser treatments on that area of the skin. Not even for hair removal or anti-aging.


We know you’re used to PMUHub’s content being well-illustrated with real-life before and after examples of the treatments we’re covering, even if we’re looking into the unattractive side-effects. But this time, we couldn’t find any examples of a BB glow treatment gone wrong, since those scenarios don’t get posted. If you have any examples, feel free to contact us and send them in, we’d love to see them!

BB Glow Treatment Gone Wrong – Main Takeaways

So, there you have it, all that’s problematic about the BB glow treatment and all the reasons why it’s so controversial. In case of improper technique, which is most cases, as it’s almost impossible to get 100% right, the long-term BB glow treatment side effects can be unattractive discoloration that can’t be removed, and changes in skin texture. So we advise you to think the decision to get BB glow through very carefully and decide if it’s worth the risk.


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