You already probably know that sugar is bad for your teeth and your waistline, but is sugar bad for your skin? It is! Sugar can make your skin look tired and dull, which can make you look older prematurely. So, put down that sugary snack and read this.
Sugar, Sugar Everywhere
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans consume 156 pounds of sugar each year. It’s not just through eating junk like candy bars or donuts; sugar is also hidden in many different and seemingly savory foods, such as pasta sauce, BBQ sauce, low-fat yogurt and even foods deemed by many as “healthy,” such as granola (say what?!).
Your Skin and Sugar
Like many things, sugar in moderation is just fine. But, when you consume an overload of sugar, it can attach itself to proteins in your body, a process called glycation. The resulting new harmful molecules known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are contributing factors in aging as well as many health complications.
These AGEs increase inflammation in the body and skin and cause protein fibers to form incorrectly. Additionally, the proteins affected the most by high levels of sugar consumption are those that are most responsible for firm and healthy skin: collagen and elastin.
When these skin proteins are affected by AGEs, the aging process is sped up. This means your skin can look dull, begin to sag and be more susceptible to developing wrinkles, lines and creases. Combine that with environmental factors, decreased collagen production (which happens as a consequence of the aging process) and other contributors, and your face is at risk.
So, What Can You Do?
First and foremost, you should try to eliminate (or at least limit) the sugar you deliberately consume, like desserts, candy and sodas. You should also limit fruits, vegetables and simple carbs because these foods are also high in sugar.
Try to eat lean proteins, whole grains and dark, leafy vegetables.
Read the labels of your favorite dressings or sauces to check their sugar content.
Limit alcohol consumption – all spirits are high in sugar content.
In addition to reducing sugar consumption, we also recommend that you establish a good skin care routine using quality products and monthly skin-rejuvenation treatments. Ask us what products or procedures would benefit your skin.
Ready for a skin consultation with Innovations Medical? Schedule your skin care appointment today at (214) 643-8665.