09/30/2016 12:39 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Your Zits Are Actually Keeping You Young

(Photo: B2M Productions/Getty Images)

By Ashley Weatherford

Acne is a drag, but in 20 years or so, you might come to appreciate your blemish-checkered face. This hinges on new research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, which suggests that acne sufferers are more likely to have longer telomeres, a protective component of DNA strands.

Related: 12 Women on Their Best Acne Home Remedies

Telomere length has long been associated with the aging process. As we age, telomeres shrink in size and contribute to cellular aging. Longer telomeres are more effective at protecting cells and slowing the overall aging process.

For the study, scientists at King's College studied the length of telomeres in 1,205 twins. They found that those who suffered from acne in the past were also more likely to carry genes with longer telomeres. Ultimately, the findings relay the inevitable beauty conundrum: suffer now or suffer later.

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