It’s hard to believe that something so “sweet” could damage your skin, but it’s true!  Sugar is aging your face! Do you have “Sugar Face”?

Who doesn’t love the sweet taste of sugar? From cookies, candy, ice cream, and even wine, it’s everywhere. The problem with sugar is that it tastes great but it’s calorie dense with zero nutritional value. And, for some of us, it’s hard to identify on product labels because there are over 60 different terms used on labels to define sugar. It’s often disguised as fructose, sucrose, glucose, maltose, dextrose, corn syrup, honey or even fruit juice. It’s granulated, brown, powdered, pure cane, and sometimes in the raw.  Any way you sprinkle it sugar consumption is one of the worst offenders when it comes to skin aging. Is sugar aging your face?

10 Symptoms of a “Sugar Face”:

  • Lines and Wrinkles especially on the forehead and upper lip
  • Sagging, loose skin under the eyes
  • Blemishes and breakouts
  • A gaunt or sallow looking appearance
  • Thinning of the skin
  • The skin’s surface looks shiny and hard
  • Hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration
  • Deep marionette lines around the mouth
  • Pustular of cystic acne
  • Saggy jowls

How Sugar Damages Your Skin

Sugar damages your skin through a natural process called glycation. This is when the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to produce damaging free radicals called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The more sugar you consume the more AGEs you get. And as the AGEs accumulate, they damage the proteins around them.

And, it’s not only sugar, it’s also those high-glycemic foods that convert to sugar. When this happens, insulin levels spike and unnatural demands are put on your body including a major burst of inflammation. When it comes to your skin, inflammation produces enzymes that cause the breakdown of collagen and elastin resulting in fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.

Glycation definitely increases the effects of aging and may also negatively impact acne and rosacea. And, if you have a real sweet tooth, you’re more likely to develop insulin resistance. When this happens it’s not just wrinkles you have to worry about. You may notice dark patches or hyper-pigmentation on your skin and even excess facial hair growth.

The Aging Effects of Sugar

Breaks down Collagen and Elastin

Considered the building blocks of your skin, collagen and elastin are responsible for the skin’s firmness and elasticity.  They provide you with a plump, healthy and more youthful complexion.  When your collagen and elastin break down, they become brittle and stiff and lose their strength and spring.  The result is fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.

Compromises Immune System

Sugar can also weaken your immune system.  When this happens your body can’t fight off bacteria effectively.  The result? Nasty, clogged pores that lead to blemishes and breakouts.

Deactivates Natural Antioxidant Enzymes

AGEs caused by sugar, not only damage the skin’s essential proteins, they also affect the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes. Antioxidants are what help you fend off free radical damage. Free radicals are very harmful to the body and the skin and are a key contributor to premature skin aging.

How to Prevent Sugar Damage to Your Skin

1. Stay Hydrated – Drink Plenty of Water

Water is essential for the production of collagen and elastin and it keeps your body hydrated. Water helps the body improve its ability to combat the aging effects of glycation. Be sure to drink plenty of water and include water-rich foods like watermelon, cucumber and tomatoes into your diet to help with hydration.

2. Get Plenty of Beauty Sleep

Sleep is the best beauty tip of all. When you are sleeping your body begins to repair the damage that occurred throughout the day.  This regeneration and repairing relates directly to your skin.  When you are in a deep sleep your body works hard to counteract the aging effects of daily stresses and the damaging effects of sugar on the skin.

3. Load Up on Antioxidants – Inside & Out

Antioxidants are important for the entire body but especially the skin. They help to neutralize and protect the body from free radical damage.  Antioxidants prohibit sugar from attaching to proteins in the body. The entire body benefits from antioxidants so the more the merrier. Be sure to look for antioxidant rich foods like green leafy vegetables and berries. If you don’t think you’re getting enough antioxidants in your diet, take a daily supplement containing Vitamin C & E.  And also use skin care products that contain antioxidants to offer protection externally. Antioxidants will help your collagen and elastin maintain their overall strength and shape.

4. Destress and Relax

Keep your stress levels at a minimum and do your best to relax.  Just like eating sugar, stress can spike your insulin levels too. The effects are not great and can lead to blemishes and breakouts.  Set aside some time for yourself for a nice walk, warm bath or a bit of yoga to unwind.

Everyone loves a little sugar in their life.  But when it comes to your skin make choices that won’t overwhelm and damage your skin. Look for sugar free or sugar-less options to benefit your appearance and prohibit the signs of aging from occurring.