Zits aren’t exactly cause to celebrate — the puss-filled mountains are an eyesore, hard to get rid of and can leave permanent craters if you’re not careful. But new research points to one potential upside: Scientists at King’s College London found that those with acne-prone skin may be better protected against aging.
The authors of the study, published Wednesday in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, examined the white blood cells of over 1,205 British female twins, a quarter of whom had previously experienced acne. They found that those who had suffered from acne had white blood cell telomeres — which protect cells from breaking down as they replicate — that were “significantly” longer than the white blood cell telomeres of the zit-free cohort, meaning that the white blood cells of acne sufferers are better protected against deterioration.
The results back up what’s often trotted out as acne’s silver lining: Zit-prone skin appears to age more slowly than clear skin. Some dermatologists chalk it up to increased oil production — which keeps skin moisturized and wrinkle-free — but this research is the first to provide a scientific explanation.