Sugar: Would Your Skin Be Better Off Without It?

gummy bears

As much as I try to keep my sweet tooth in check, there are inevitably occasions- like a certain wedding that I attended last weekend- where I over-indulge. Just look at the candy table I was faced with:


And I know, even as I'm savoring mini cupcakes, that my skin is going to suffer for it. At the very least I'll notice a less radiant complexion the next day and I'll likely see redness and a pimple or two. It's the same for most of us, even if the damaging effects of too much sugar aren't instantly visible. A high-sugar diet causes inflammation and makes it difficult for the body to repair collagen (a critical process for delaying wrinkles). The body also steals moisture from the skin in order to process sugar, leading to dryness and more visible signs of aging.

You really don't have to take my word for it, either. Here's the opinion of Dr. Nicholas Perricone, skincare expert and author of Ageless Face, Ageless Mind.

"I believe that inflammation is at the basis of aging in all organ systems, including the skin. One of the reasons inflammation occurs is from a rapid rise in blood sugar, which causes biochemical changes in the cell that result in accelerated aging. You can have deterioration of the brain or the heart muscle, and likewise of the skin... In addition to biochemical changes, sugar causes damage to the skin in another way: When blood sugar goes up rapidly, sugar can attach itself to collagen in a process called glycation, making the skin stiff and inflexible. Losing this elastic resilience of young skin will give you deep wrinkles and make you look old."

Before you go spending big bucks on anti-aging skincare, consider cutting the refined sugars in your diet.  Sweet vegetables and small amounts of honey and maple syrup are great alternatives that will help as you slowly alter your diet.  Let me know what kinds of changes you see in your body and skin!