Eating at irregular times could be seriously damaging your skin

If you're a late-night snacker, listen up

If you're a late-night snacker, listen up

Turns out that snacking can have a pretty negative effect on your skin.

We already know that there are links between what you eat and your skin, such as acne and dairy, but new research has revealed that the time you eat also has an impact.

A study conducted at the O'Donnell Brain Institute and UC Irvine, and published in the journal Cell Reports, found that late-night snackers may be more susceptible to sunburn and sun damage, such as premature ageing and skin cancer – meaning slathering on the best sun cream is even more important.

This is because irregular eating patterns affects the skin's biological clock, and reduces the effectiveness of enzyme XPA, which repairs UV damage.

Although more studies needs to be done, it's fascinating to learn that the time we eat affects our skin, not just what we eat. Subjects who ate at an abnormal time suffered more skin damage than those who ate at usual meal times.

'The finding is surprising,' said Dr. Joseph S. Takahashi of the University of Texas. 'I did not think the skin was paying attention to when we were eating.

'It is likely that if you have a normal eating schedule, then you will be better protected from UV during the daytime,' he added. 'If you have an abnormal eating schedule, that could cause a harmful shift in your skin clock.'

If you're yet to head on your hot summer holiday, it might be wise to avoid eating at weird times before you go.

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.