We all know sugar is bad for the waistline, but did you know how it effects the skin?
The Symptoms: Lines and wrinkles on the upper forehead, sagging under the eyes, widespread blemishes and pustular or cystic acne, gaunt appearance, thinning of the skin, dark grey or pasty white hue to the complexion.
What It Means: It’s no secret that consuming sugar on a regular basis can wreak havoc on your skin, not to mention your waistline too.
Sugar increases the effects of aging through a natural process called glycation (Digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin). . Glycation occurs when the sugar molecules in your bloodstream bind to proteins to make harmful molecules called Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs). And that’s exactly what these molecules do — age your skin!
AGEs damage surrounding proteins, and the more sugar you eat the more damage they do. The proteins most vulnerable to AGE harm, are collagen and elastin, the two protein fibers that keep your skin firm and elastic. When AGEs damage collagen and elastin, the result is wrinkles and sagging skin. As if that weren’t enough, AGEs also deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, which protect your body from sun damage. This leaves you more susceptible to sun damage — the main cause of skin aging.
Read any anti-aging book of the major dermatologist and there will be an extensive chapter devoted to the dangers of glycation, the effect sugar has on the skin. Dr. Frank Lipman, holistic doctor to Gwyneth Paltrow (and author of the charmingly named book 10 Reasons “You Feel Old and Get Fat”), talks at length about sugar’s “toxic” effect on the body. The legendary Dr. Frederic Brandt used to say that giving up sugar could make you look younger by ten years.
When you ingest sugar or high-glycemic foods they rapidly convert to sugar — whether it’s in the form of an apple or a piece of cake — your body breaks down these carbohydrates into glucose, which raises your insulin levels, which causes high levels of inflammation throughout the body by producing enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles
But not all Sugars & Carbohydrates are bad
Simple carbohydrates are your skin’s enemy, since they rapidly break down into glucose and result in insulin spikes. Avoid foods that are proinflammatory, high-glycemic or high in saturated fats like: white bread, candy, fried food, ice cream, fruit juice, pasta, ketchup, cream jam, pizza, sugar (white and brown), packaged snacks and fizzy sugary drinks.
Aside from increasing the effects of aging, glycation can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Plus, the more sugar you eat, the more likely it is you’ll develop insulin resistance, which can manifest as excess hair growth (hirsutism) and dark patches on the neck and in body creases.Simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar or any food groups ending with an “ose” ie Sucrose – simple sugars are the ones to avoid, but there are other hidden sugars found in other “ose” groups too: Dextrose
Fructose – Fruit sugars – some fruits are best avoided, like Pears, Mangoes, Cherries, Grapes. The best fruits to eat to reduce the insulation spike are: keep to berries, high fibre fruits.
Opt for complex carbohydrates, like brown rice and vegetables, which are broken down into glucose at a slower rate (and therefore don’t cause that pesky insulin spike). Low-glycemic options, like beans, nuts and whole grains, as well as fibrous foods, which delay sugar absorption, also help control blood sugar levels. Do your best to follow an anti-inflammatory diet of healthy fats (like olive oil and avocados), lean protein (like salmon), fiber (like broccoli and cauliflower) and antioxidants (like berries) if you want glowing, youthful skin.
Other Tricks To Counteract Sugar’s Effects On Skin
- •Get plenty of sleep. When you don’t get enough shut-eye, your body releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which mobilizes sugar stores and causes your insulin to spike.
- •Speaking of stress, try to keep yours at a minimum. Stress can spike insulin levels just like eating sugar can. The effects of stress are particularly correlated with acne breakouts.
- •Eat frequent, balanced meals. Don’t think lowering your sugar intake means lowering your food intake per se. If your goal is to keep your blood sugar levels consistent, make sure to fuel up with low-glycemic, high protein food every three hours to avoid insulin spikes.
- •Order counts. Eat your proteins first when sitting down for a meal, since they don’t stimulate insulin spikes and therefore keep your body from triggering the inflammatory effects caused when you ingest insulin-spiking foods.
- •Fats are your friend. Healthy fats, like Omega-3s, keep your skin looking soft, supple and radiant (read: youthful).But, SUGAR can be added to good for you skin too
But, Sugar can also be good for your skin
Sugar is also one of the best natural beauty ingredients to exfoliate your skin – read our previous blog:,https://nuraskincare.co.uk/tips-for-super-smooth-skin/
Softens the Skin
The benefits of sugar for your skin is not limited to exfoliation. If you use a scrub of brown sugar and olive oil it is very help in keeping the skin soft and supple. If you feel that crystals of the brown sugar will too harsh 0n your skin then use castor sugar, misxed with olive oil to your skin. Olive Oil, rich in Vitamin E and Omega 3-fatty acids will naturally moisturise the skin.
Balances the Skin
One of the major benedits of sugar for your skin is that it maintains the oil balance. Sugar contains two imprortant components,s glycolic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid. These components help to maintain perfect oil balance in the skin. They will not allow your skin to become too dry or too oily. So all you are left with a healthy radiant glow.
Make your own Protein & Sugar Mask
Keeping your skin beautiful can be made with simple kitchen ingredients. The sugar in this mask acts as a gentle exfoliator to remove dead skin cells from your face.
- 100g of Castor Sugar
1 Egg white
Put all the ingredients into a bowl.
Whip the ingredients together briskly until you form a paste.
Spread the paste onto your face, avoiding your eyes and nostrils. Massage the mixture gently into your skin to exfoliate dead cells.
Leave the mask on for about 15 minutes.
Rinse off the mask with warm water and pat your face dry. Follow with a moisturizer.
If you use any products that contain an AHA, that includes sugar or milk always wear a sunscreen to protect your skin.