We all know that excessive processed sugars are unhealthy for us. They add weight, especially around the waist. But most people do not realize how refined sugars also affect our skin. Here are three of the main ways that sugar is ruining your skin as well as some healthy foods for your skin.
The proteins that are most vulnerable to damage are those that serve as the building blocks for your skin: collagen and elastin. These give healthy skin a bouncy, youthful complexion. When you consume sugar, it binds with the other substances in your body through a process called glycation. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) zap your collagen and elastin of strength and spring.
The effects are seen on your complexion in the form of fine lines, sagging, and wrinkles. Skincare specialists call this the sugar sag. AGEs give unhealthy skin a yellowish discoloration that is a telltale sign of too much sugar consumption. Sun exposure, cigarette smoking, and excessive stress put the glycation process into overdrive.
Inflammation is the body’s response to anything it detects as an irritant. It presents itself in different ways throughout the body. Sugar’s ability to trigger inflammation is seen in skin conditions like swelling, acne, and rosacea. Sugar causes cortisol levels, the body’s stress hormone, to rise. This triggers inflammation, which can spur a variety of skin conditions to flare up from eczema to rosacea and psoriasis.
Sugar is a dehydrating agent, so it increases oil production and also affects water binding. This causes your skin to look less perky and bouncy, resulting in a lackluster appearance and unwanted dark circles. Water is essential to the production of collagen and elastin. Keeping your body hydrated can improve its ability to counteract the aging effects of glycation.
What Foods Are Preventing You From Having Healthy Skin?
Want youthful, healthy skin? Keep added sugar to no more than ten percent of your daily calorie intake. Steer clear of hidden sugars like alcohol, fruit juice concentrate, and maple syrup. The worst of all is high fructose corn syrup. This type of sugar, found in soft drinks, sweetened fruit drinks, and many packaged foods, produces the most AGEs. The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than 100 calories of sugar per day and men, no more than 150 calories.
What Foods Are Best for Keeping Healthy Skin?
Vitamins B1 and B6 have been identified as AGE inhibitors. Vitamin B1, found in green peas, sesame seeds, and spinach, has powerful antioxidant properties. Vitamin B6, which is essential for skin development and maintenance, can be found in chickpeas, pinto beans, and sunflower seeds.
Antioxidants are produced naturally, but you can also add them to your everyday foods like berries, leafy greens, and coffee. Look for them in your skincare products as well. Products with Vitamins C and E will help your collagen and elastin hold their shape and maintain their strength.
If you are having outbreaks, supplementing your diet with anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, turmeric, green tea, and blueberries may help. If you’re eating sugar-filled carbs, try to pair them with fat or protein, which will lessen the blood sugar spike and inflammatory reaction. Drink plenty of water and incorporate water-rich foods like cucumber, tomatoes, and watermelon into your diet to help with hydration.
Extra Tips to Have and Preserve Beautiful Skin
One of the best beauty secrets is to get enough sleep. While you’re sleeping, your skin goes into overdrive, regenerating and repairing any damage done during the day. Studies show that lack of sleep contributes to more fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and less elasticity. Your body does the most work during deep sleep to counteract the aging effects of sugar and other stressors.
At Sugarless Crystals, we want to help you have the best skin care diet. Therefore, we have come up with plenty of sugar-free recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Start your sugar-free journey today!