Acne can be downright debilitating. The spots, the redness, the piles of makeup that are almost a prerequisite for walking out the door in the morning—there’s nothing good about it. Or is there?
A new study from London’s King’s College says there might be something super positive about having the skin condition. “For many years, dermatologists have identified that the skin of acne sufferers appears to age more slowly than those who have not experienced any acne in their lifetime. Whilst this has been observed in clinical settings, the cause of this was previously unclear,” said Dr. Simone Ribero of the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King’s, in a statement.
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The study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology reports that those typical signs of aging—think wrinkles and thinning skin—actually appear much later in anyone who suffered from acne. The reason? Acne-prone skin seems to have longer protective caps on the ends of its telomeres (the chromosomes in white blood cells), which prevent the chromosomes from weakening.
As an added bonus, this extra layer of protection also encompasses other typical age-related things, like dark spots and gray hair.