We all know sugar is bad, and we usually think about it in terms of bad for our waistlines. Did you know sugar is also bad for your skin?
Indeed, consuming too much sugar will accelerate skin aging. This is because of a process known as glycation:
- Excess sugar molecules attach themselves to proteins including collagen
- Collagen then loses its strength and flexibility
- The skin thus looks slacker, more wrinkled, less plump – aka, older
Ironically, the culprits in this glycation process are called AGEs – advanced glycation end products (compounds that result from a combination of sugars and proteins). And AGEs accelerate aging.
For a more in-depth understanding of the impact of glycation on aging, read this article.
Furthermore, the glycation process accelerates aging. And we all know how bad inflammation is for the skin. (Read more here.)
Unfortunately, sugar is present in almost everything we eat. Of course, juice, soda, sports or energy drinks, cereal, desert, cookies, muffins, smoothies come to mind. But sugar is also hidden in fruits and some vegetables, yogurt (except plain), processed meats, salad dressings, sauces, bread, pasta, crackers, wine, and more.
Here are some tips to make sure you limit your sugar consumption, and help your skin look youthful for as long as possible:
- Stop drinking sugar – fruit juice, sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks
- Forego pre-made or store-bought salad dressing, at home and at the restaurant; instead, have oil and vinegar on the side
- If you must have desert, do it the European way and eat fruit, or a small piece of dark chocolate (both are filled with antioxidants)