Acne: A Secret Anti-Aging Weapon?

Acne has never been the silver lining in anyone’s cloud. Whether it’s the long, slow burn that turns adolescence into an exercise in avoiding mirrors, or the adult flare that strikes on the day of the big presentation, none of us has ever been heard to gush, “Thank you, acne!” Until now, that is.

A new study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology may indicate the reason that typical signs of aging, such as thinning skin and the emergence of wrinkles, appear later in life for those who have acne-prone skin than for those who never suffered outbreaks of blemishes.

The connection between acne and delayed aging is not a new finding. “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,” said Dr. Simone Ribero, a dermatologist from the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College in London. Researchers once thought acne-prone skin continued to produce skin oils longer than non-acne-prone skin, thus postponing the thinning and wrinkling of dry, aging skin.

The latest study looks deeper, and poses a genetic solution to the riddle. There’s a strong correlation, researchers found, between acne and the presence of what are known as long telomeres — the protective coating on the ends of white blood cell chromosomes. (Think of telomeres like the reinforcing caps on the ends of shoelaces.) These protective coatings break down over time as a natural part of aging, but some people start with longer telomeres from the beginning. Geneticists have already shown a connection between the length of these telomeres and a person’s longevity; people with long telomeres live longer and show age more slowly. No one yet knows whether telomere length actually regulates the tempo of aging, or is just another measurement of it, like gray hair.


In studies with twins, those who had dealt with the severest acne had the longest telomeres — and tended to retain youthful looking skin and facial contours longer than their siblings who’d had smooth adolescent skin.

So the next time you’re tempted to curse that pimple in the mirror, remember the silver lining: acne just might be the fountain of youth!

Here’s more good news: Treating your active acne and reducing the appearance of acne scars won’t affect the genetic anti-aging advantage of long telomeres one bit. Contact us today for proven acne fighting solutions, and you’ll have clear, smooth skin now and for decades to come!