Avoid Sugar & Get Sweet on Healthy Skin

Sugar sugar, da da da da du du, aww honey, honey! Are you a candy girl or boy? I certainly was. From my late teens until about the age of 25, my skin was a mess. Puffy, breakouts, dry & oily splotches. I had no idea it was because I was eating cookies and sweets with reckless abandon. I recently saw an old photo of myself at a party eating a donut and drinking a beer... super fun but not so cute. Luckily, as an esthetician, through trial and error I was able to clear my complexion by replacing the sweets with veggies and whole foods. 

So why is eating pie making your face look older and broken out?  It's all about the process of glycation happening in your body and skin.  The legendary Dr. Frederic Brandt used to say that giving up sugar could make you look younger by ten years.

"It is already known that excess sugar can lead to a variety of health concerns, but what most forget is that too much sugar can also affect the skin. Sugar can be digested in many forms, including the consumption of carbohydrates and can even be formed via meal preparation. If there is too much sugar in the body, protein molecules can cross-link with sugar molecules. Once this cross-linking process has occurred, the new sugar proteins are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The human body does not recognize AGEs as normal, and will produce antibodies that cause inflammation in the skin. Once formed, AGEs tend to gravitate toward dermal collagen and elastin.

 A little self-love can go a long way when it comes to not just our skin but our overall well-being. 

A little self-love can go a long way when it comes to not just our skin but our overall well-being. 

As people age, proteins in the body can become damaged through the introduction of AGEs—one of the key factors in aging of the skin. The more sugar you eat, whether processed or natural, the more AGEs are produced. When the body is overwhelmed with AGEs, collagen becomes compromised. Effects of the glycation process at the cellular level of the skin’s structure may result in wrinkling, loss of elasticity, stiffness, accelerated aging and compromised barrier function."

Is it realistic to cut sugar to keep your skin looking healthy? Keep in mind that sugar is highly addictive, it stimulates the brain in a similar way as cocaine & heroin! If you can keep cookie monster from making too many food choices, you are likely to notice a difference. Try to choose whole foods on the low end of the glycemic index.

How soon post-sugar will my skin improve?  Skin professionals say people see changes within 72 to 96 hours. “They’ll feel better, their color will look better, their skin won’t be so oily and they won’t be so dry. Their circles will be reduced, perkier.”

How far you want to go with it is up to you! I was really serious about a no sugar diet for a few solid years and noticed a huge difference in the health of my skin...now as a Mom I like being able to enjoy a sweet treat with my wee one on occasion, so I have more of a 90/10 rule. 90 percent wholesome, 10 percent fluff.  

- See more at: http://www.skininc.com/skinscience/physiology/Glycation-and-the-Skin-230102271.html#sthash.AA7PvXl7.dpu

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