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Acne could be the key to looking younger

New research has found that women who suffer with acne are not only likely to live longer – they’re also better buffered against the signs of ageing.

Woman with acne
Woman with acne

While more adults than ever are struggling with persistent acne and oily skin, research suggests that their skin will look better as they age than their flawless skinned friends.

In a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, scientists found that protection against ageing is built into the cells of women with acne.

Looking at the white blood cells of 1,205 female twins, 25% of whom suffered with acne, they found that spottier women had longer ‘protective caps’ on the ends of their chromosomes.

Telomeres are caps that are often compared to the plastic tips on shoelaces to stop them becoming frayed, and are closely linked to the ageing process.

The telomeres help prevent chromosomes from deteriorating, but they do shrink as time goes on, meaning those with long telomeres age more slowly than those with shorter ones.

And it turns out those who suffer with acne have longer telomeres than those with clear skin, meaning they may be better buffered against ageing.

“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,” says Dr Simone Ribero of King’s College London, who lead the research.

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