What sugar really does to your skin
-Apr 1, Hannah Hargrave, Beauty -
You may keep hearing people talking about giving up sugar and wondering what all the fuss is about. But it’s not just what sugar does to your waistline that’s the problem it’s what it does to your skin! We take a closer look.
Having the will power to curb your sugar cravings to improve your overall health is fantastic, but what many women might not realise is the monumental step they’re making towards a more radiant complexion too.
Sugar is lurking in lots of places in your kitchen
Packing your diet with the sweet stuff has a detrimental effect on your skin and can make you look much older than your years – which may just be enough to make you think twice about reaching for that second piece of cake.
It’s not just the obvious cookies and cupcakes you should be limiting though refined carbohydrates like bread, pasta and white rice too are packed with sugar and processed grains.
RELATED: Can you recognise secret sugar?
Why is sugar so bad for your skin and what exactly does it do?
When you eat too much sugar your blood sugar levels increase and stay there. The sugar molecules then bond permanently to proteins including collagen – which is what keeps your skin’s elasticity – in a process called glycation.
A chemical reaction is produced and this is what makes the skin stiff and inflexible. In addition glycation causes oxidative stress, inflammation and free radical formation which all age the skin.
Sugar and processed foods are dehydrating too which can make your skin dry and lackluster and certainly does nothing to help the dark circles around your eyes.
The body also struggles to metabolise excess sugar which results in our gut and digestional balance being thrown out. Those problems on the inside show themselves on the outside too.
What can I do about reducing my sugar intake?
While it’s obvious to say ‘cut down on sugar’ it’s not always clear where the sugars we can eat and those we shouldn’t are hiding.
If you love indulging in crusty white bread and a filling bowl of pasta you might want to consider switching out some of the refined carbs for more grains and wholewheat options.
Although fruit is healthy and a much better alternative to sweets or fizzy drinks some varieties have a higher content of sugar than others.
Some low sugar fruits include strawberries, blackberries, oranges, grapefruit and honeydew melon too.
Keep an eye out for sugar in places you least expect it. Savoury sauces, salad dressings and soups might not be obvious places for a sugar kick but you’d be surprised.
What else can I do to protect my skin?
It’s important to note that while sugar isn’t good for your skin, it is by far the lone wolf at the helm of your skin health.
Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays with proper sunscreen, eating a healthy, balanced diet and being active can all aid in a better complexion.
If you enjoyed this article you might like know why glycation could also be the culprit behind your dry skin and if you’re looking for a sugar fix without the sugar why not try this anti-glycation avocado raw chocolate mousse.