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.