Guilty Pleasures

Sugar and how it affects the skin

How sugar affects our health is well known to everyone. We are taught early on sweets are bad for our teeth. But it is only as the years go by that we realize what impact sugar has on our health and skin.

"In the past 50 years,
sugar consumption
has more than
tripled worldwide."

 As we get older, the problem of sugar consumption becomes ever more acute and visceral as we attempt to keep our skin youthful and healthy looking. Moreover, sugar drains not only our energy but also depletes the body of vitamins and minerals.

In the past 50 years, sugar consumption has more than tripled worldwide. In Europe alone, people consume an average of 100 grams of sugar a day. All the while, the WHO recommends no more than 25 grams.

Sugar is literally hidden in everything we eat. It even finagles its way onto labels disguised under different wordings, and so people unwittingly consume sugar in large quantities even as they try to avoid it. Avoiding sugar is quite a challenge! 

How does sugar affect our skin?

If you've cozied up with your favorite sweets in the evening, you know all too well what happens to your complexion the next morning – an unwelcomed little pimple on your face. It’s no surprise. However, the blemishes are only a short-term effect. It’s the long-term repercussions that sugar leaves behind that is of concerned. When sugar is ingested, a large number of free radicals are released, destabilizing healthy molecules and cells and creating even more free radicals.

All this leads to oxidative stress on the body.

Sugar consumption accelerates skin aging

While the aging process involves many different factors and a big part of it is genetics, sugar speeds up the process. Scientists have charted the process, known as glycation. When processed sugar enters our bloodstream, it binds to collagen and elastin proteins in the skin and begins to break them down. The skin then loses its elasticity. This leads to the formation of wrinkles. The signs of aging become increasingly evident - drier and less supple.

Sugar causes inflammatory skin diseases

Acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and rosacea are conditions that can be triggered by inflammation. When we consume sugar, the liver releases insulin to break it down which is then transferred to the liver. However, the pancreas can only process a certain amount of sugar. It is the excess that plays havoc on our body. The result is inflammation, which can lead to acne and a variety of skin issues.

Oily skin

Sebum in the right proportion keeps skin moisturized. Foods with a high glycemic index raises blood sugar and activate hormones that stimulate sebum production in the skin. This excess amount of oil leads to the clogging of pores and resulting in blemishes.

Eating less sugar translates to lots of benefits! Scientists and dermatologists advise choosing the smart way to improve the complexion and delay visible signs of aging.  Especially in stressful situations – stay away from sweets and instead go for a good book, tea and get lots of beauty sleep! 

An excess of high glycemic foods leads to premature aging of the skin because sugar damages collagen. The best anti-aging strategy is to take care of the skin from the inside!

less sugar
to lots of