Don’t fret if you’re stuck battling blemishes: You might end up with the excellent consolation prize of younger-looking skin.
That’s according to a new study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, which suggests that the cells of people who’ve had acne might age more slowly than the cells of people who haven’t.
Researchers at King’s College London studied 1,205 female twins, about a quarter of whom reported having acne during their lives. Then, they took blood samples and analysed the white blood cells of every participant.
The study authors found that the acne sufferers had longer telomeres — the protective caps on our DNA that naturally shorten as we age — than the women who never had acne. They also discovered that a gene that regulates the death of cells was
less expressed in the skin of acne sufferers, compared to their clear-skinned counterparts.
(Side note: Don’t believe the headlines saying that people with acne are going to live longer: The UK’s National Health Service explains that this is a major misreading of the study. We’re talking about cells living longer — not actual people.)
“For many years dermatologists have identified that the skin of acne sufferers appears to age more slowly than in those who have not experienced any acne in their lifetime,” lead author Dr. Simone Ribero said in a King’s College press release. “The cause of this was previously unclear.”
Now, this study doesn’t definitively prove anything — it was done in a small, female-only population, so the results can’t be applied to everyone. But it does provide some fascinating, previously undiscovered clues as to why people with acne end up with more youthful skin.
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