Acne Sufferers Actually Live Longer, Says Best Study Ever

Acne sufferers actually live longer and are less likely to show signs of aging, says a new study out of the UK. Here's why.

acne study live longer
We can't all be blessed with skin like Bella. Image via Instagram user @bellahadid

Any good dermatologist will assure you that there’s an upside to oily skin – it won’t show signs of aging until later in life, compared with those boasting a flawless complexion (ahem, Bella Hadid.) It’s what keeps me going whenever I experience a hormonal breakout of acne, even though I’m well clear of my teen years. And now, there’s more good news for acne sufferers: Your blemish-prone skin could be a sign that you’re destined to live a longer life.

A new study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that the cells of people with acne are better equipped to curb aging, which not only means these lucky folks look better later in life, but that they are also more likely to reach old age. How’s that for a silver lining?

Researchers looked at over 1,000 female twins, a quarter of whom suffered from acne. They investigated the participants’ skin biopsies and white blood cells, and discovered that those affected by breakouts had longer “telomeres,” which are essentially protective caps in our DNA that holds together the ends of chromosomes. These telomeres prevent your chromosomes from breaking down and fusing with neighboring chromosomes during cell division. As we get older, these “caps” shrink, and people with acne, who the study found usually have longer telomeres, therefore tend to stay youthful for longer. We assume Heidi Klum and Demi Moore have enormous telomeres.

Researchers also noted a gene pathway called p53 that controls “programmed cell death,” which is essentially self-destruction for your cells that can happen when telomeres get too short as we age. It turns out that the p53 pathway is less active in the skin of people with acne, although this is still being looked into more rigorously.

Dr. Simone Ribero from King’s College London was the lead researcher on the study, and said this news explains what experts have believed for a long time: “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. Whilst this has been observed in clinical settings, the cause of this was previously unclear.”

If you want to learn more about the science behind this epic silver lining, read all about it here. Personally, I’m just happy knowing that over a decade of battling with over-zealous oil glands might actually pay off.

For some natural ways to deal with your acne-prone skin right now, step this way.