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Can BBL Reverse DNA Aging?6 min read

Picture of Dr. Phillip Chang

Dr. Phillip Chang

Board Certified By The American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
Voted Top Plastic Surgeon in Loudoun, Virginia
Offices in Leesburg, Virginia.

Realself Verified Doctor

Can Laser treatments reverse aging?  Is it possible to rejuvenate the integrity of your DNA?  Research has shown that one specific treatment device, called BBL (BroadBand Light), can cause both short-term and long-term improvement in the appearance of your skin as well as in the behavior and appearance of DNA in your skin.  

Laser treatment providers make many claims about the effectiveness of their procedures for restoring skin’s youthfulness. You’d almost think they discovered the fountain of youth! Both doctors and patients must navigate through these various claims to determine which treatments actually create long-lasting results.

Thankfully, a recent study conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that Broadband Light treatment (BBL) can essentially turn back time in the genetic make-up of skin cells. Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center offers Forever Young BBL as one of its many treatment options. 

But how can BBL give you long-lasting youthful skin?

Laser Treatments: Camouflage Or The Real Deal?

The trouble is that most of these claims are hard to substantiate with real science. And while some technologies can cause an improvement in the appearance of skin, it’s unclear whether anything deeper than just the simulation of younger skin is taking place. 

It’s like when a person puts on makeup to cover up skin imperfection–the skin isn’t necessarily being rejuvenated: it just looks rejuvenated. All the makeup does is camouflage irregularities, while the underlying skin imperfections remain unchanged.

The same question can be asked of the many laser, light and energy treatments in the marketplace today: Are they actually improving the skin, or just creating the appearance of improved skin?

Some treatments give minimal to subtle results, while others can cause quite noticeable changes in a person’s skin. Are the changes superficial, without any long-term results? Or is there something deeper going on which can give both short-term improvement and long-term results at the same time?

Recent research performed at the Stanford University School of Medicine sheds some light on this subject. This research has shown that one specific treatment device, called BBL (BroadBand Light), can cause both short-term and long-term improvement. In addition, the research shows that the device causes changes in the actual DNA of the skin cells that makes them behave like younger cells.

Before BBL procedure
After BBL procedure

"Breakthroughs like this BBL study are always exciting for me as a doctor, because I am always striving for new ways to help my patients achieve a long-lasting improvement to their appearance—not just the appearance of an improvement, but an actual, deep-seated change that literally reverses years of damage." ~Dr.Chang

How BBL Works

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is a molecule in our cells which lies in the center of the cell in a structure called the nucleus:
DNA description

Our DNA is a record of instructions telling each cell what kind of cell it is going to be and how it should function. With age, our DNA becomes damaged by the environment and the general aging process. This aged DNA makes the cell perform less effectively and act as an “older” cell.

When it comes to skin cells, the top layer of our skin (known as the epidermis) is generated by its deepest cell layer (known as the basal cell). If this basal cell is healthy, all of the cells above it are healthy. If the basal cell is unhealthy, all of the cells above it are unhealthy. Interestingly, sun exposure will affect the DNA of this basal cell and make it unhealthy, which often happens with age.

Skin Layers
The Stanford study is truly groundbreaking because it showed BBL treatments have little to no down time and are able to stimulate skin cells back to a younger state by rejuvenating the actual genes and genetic code in the cells themselves.

The Study Compared the Skin Of:

1. Young people who never had BBL treatment

2. Older people with sun-damaged and aged skin, and 

3. Older people with sun-damaged skin who had undergone three BBL treatments over the course of three months. 

Small skin biopsies were obtained from all three groups and were then analyzed for their genetic components. Researchers looked at youthful skin at the genetic level for the markers which indicate younger skin cells. They then examined the aged skin treated with BBL and noticed that these cells, as compared to those not treated with BBL, had half of their markers (1,000 genetic expressions) reverted back to the state of the younger skin cells.

Broad Band BBL energy improves and rejuvenates the DNA in your skin. That is why patients see a long-lasting improvement in the radiance of their skin that goes beyond simply getting rid of their sun-spots.


Cosmetic surgeons knew that BBL treatments caused improvement to the appearance of fine wrinkles, brown spots in the skin and red spots and vessels in the skin. But what they didn’t know was that beyond the surface improvement, a deeper healing at the genetic level was occurring—and this means the tissue was truly being “rejuvenated.”


So this treatment gives patients quick results and they get the extra benefit of long-term rejuvenation. BBL treatments have:

– Zero Downtime: Patients can resume normal activities immediately. 

– Long-lasting results: Studies include patients treated 10+ years ago. 

– Fast Treatment: Average treatment time of 12-15 minutes for a full face. 

– Effective on all body areas: Face, neck, chest, arms, and hands. 

The Benefit To You (And Me!)

Breakthroughs like this BBL study are always exciting for me as a doctor, because I am always striving for new ways to help my patients achieve a long-lasting improvement to their appearance—not just the appearance of an improvement, but an actual, deep-seated change that literally reverses years of damage. (To know that BBL involves little to no downtime is just icing on the cake.)

It’s wonderful to be able to help people look and feel better about themselves through a range of services, including this new technology. Now we can tell our patients that the treatments they’re having to improve their immediate appearance will also have a beneficial effect on their skin aging for years to come. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Some have described BBL to feel like a “warm popping sensation”, so there may be some discomfort. Adding a topical anesthetic will make this sensation go away.

BBL’s heat therapy helps stimulate the growth and production of collagen, which means fewer wrinkles and smoother skin.

While the amount of treatment depends on person to person, usually 3-4 treatments is recommended for the best results. Your beautician will help you determine how many treatments will be right for you.


Curious to hear more about BBL and DNA Aging? We invite you to come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the cosmetic laser and injection nurses to explore whether you would make a good candidate! To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.

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Our office can provide you will helpful information, schedule a free consultation, and walk you through the many other services our office offers.

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“Rejuvenation of Gene Expression Pattern of Aged Human Skin by Broadband Light Treatment: A Pilot Study.” Anne Lynn S. Chang , Patrick H. Bitter Jr, et al. Investigative Dermatology (2013) 133, 394–402; doi:10.1038/jid.2012.287; published online 30 August 2012.

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