Sugar and Your Skin

Sugar and your SkinWith all the holiday cookies, cakes, pies, and hot chocolate, stacking up the calories may not be your only concern. Not only can all the yummy sugary treats make your belly bulge, it can make your skin look older and more wrinkled.

When you eat sugars, or anything that turns into glucose in your body, the glucose hits your bloodstream in a process called glycation. The glucose latches onto proteins to form a new molecule called advanced glycation end products, or AGE for short.

So that means the more sugar you eat, the more AGE you produce. These AGE molecules can damage proteins essential for youthful looking skin, namely collagen and elastin. Damaged collagen and elastin equals wrinkles and a farewell to peachy skin.

What can you do to stop the AGE molecules from destroying your beautiful skin? The obvious answer is limiting your sugar intake. However, we all know that is easier said than done. Even when we think we are eating healthy by eating yogurt, some brands have upwards of 20 grams of sugar per serving! Sometimes we forget to account for added sugars in foods, so check for corn syrup, corn sweetener, or sucrose under the ingredients list.

But no need to swear off sugar forever just yet. According to dermatologist Dr. Darren Casey, sun exposure and smoking are much more damaging than eating sugary foods. For youthful skin, it’s more important to wear sunscreen and stop smoking. Your best bet is to get plenty of antioxidants and vitamins. Dr. Casey recommends taking a chewable Vitamin C.

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