Have you ever felt the need to avoid sugary foods lest they give you a flare? Maybe at school you were even warned not to eat chocolate the week of picture day! And yet, why, exactly, do we fear sugar in relation to our skin? Can’t acne be caused by all sorts of things – and how does sugar cause acne in the first place?
We’ll tell you what you need to know about sugar, how it really affects your skin and how you can maintain a relationship with sugar that is healthy not only for your skin, but for your overall health.
True or false: does sugar make skin age faster?
True: Too much sugar can cause skin to break down and age faster.
This is because sugar can erode elastin while breaking down collagen molecules, which are like the building blocks of our skin. Likewise, when collagen and elastin are damaged, it leads to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Largely because of this function, sugar is known as an advanced glycation end product, or AGE. This is a class of compounds resulting from the combination of proteins and sugars that can accelerate the effects of aging.
Studies observed closely how too much sugar causes tissues to become inflamed while breaking them down, weakening them and losing their elasticity. This is also true in the case of carbohydrates and starches which are digested quickly.
These foods are notoriously sweet and often synonymous with “junk food”: the main offenders are baked goods, candies, fried foods and chocolate – but this depends on the type of chocolate. More on that later!
True or False: Does Sugar Cause Acne?
False – well, sort of. Sugar alone won’t necessarily cause acne, which means you shouldn’t have to fear the occasional cupcake.
However, it is important to understand what it means when foods have a high glycemic index. When foods with a high glycemic index are ingested, they quickly convert to glucose in your body, causing insulin levels to rise. High glycemic index foods often correspond to AGEs and can be found in processed foods like candies, baked goods, and many sugary cereals, to name a few.
Likewise, an aggressive scrub tends to contain ingredients that disrupt your skin’s pH. A hard scrub can also physically remove good bacteria and substances that the good bacteria “eat”.
Now, when it happens occasionally, it’s not a big deal: our body is made to handle sudden changes. However, it’s not good if it happens often and repeatedly, as it increases your risk of chronic inflammation, which causes a host of problems, including acne breakouts.
That being said, it is important to consume sugar in moderation and approach it as an occasional small part of our diet.
True or false: is sugar bad for you?
This one is also wrong, but there’s a bit more to explaining why.
Essentially, there are three types of sugar we see in our foods: added or “white” sugar, unrefined sugar like agave nectar or maple syrup, and sugar naturally found in fruit.
We all probably know by now that of all these sugars, white sugar is the most cautioned. This is because white sugar causes the most damage and inflammation and is a key contributor to weight gain.
When it comes to the other two sweet substances, less refined or processed sweeteners like agave nectar are slightly better than white sugar – but the nutritional benefits aren’t much better. Plus, your body still recognizes these sweeteners as monosaccharides. In other words, it means our body recognizes them as almost identical to refined sugar.
Meanwhile, the best sugar you can have in your diet is the one you get naturally from fruits and starchy foods: apples, sweet potatoes, peaches, and pumpkins are good examples. This type of sugar is acceptable, not because of the quality of the sugar itself, but because of all the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that come with the rest of the food.
Does that mean we can’t give in to any cravings like decadent chocolate? In short, not all chocolate is bad for you or your skin health!
True or false: is chocolate bad for you and your skin?
False: There are certain types of chocolate that have benefits for satisfying cravings and skin health.
Everyone knows the rumor that chocolate makes you burst, but how is chocolate bad for you? Certain types of processed chocolate candies like milk chocolate, which contains cream, milk and butter as ingredients, have been linked to rashes and skin problems.
As we know, the added white sugars in chocolate contribute to the breakdown of skin cells, collagen and elasticity, leading to accelerated aging – and, just like a ghost, we can’t even see coming. Basically we can Hershey to kiss smooth and supple skin farewell if we can’t give up certain types of chocolate.
However, there is a sweet, chocolatey silver lining! Chocolate isn’t all bad; you just need to know what kindly chocolate of your choice! Pure dark chocolate and cocoa contain no white sugar and are in fact rich in antioxidants, which help to optimize the functions of our skin.
That’s right! These sweet and decadent cocoa-like treats offer essential vitamins like copper, which is a popular skincare ingredient for promoting collagen and elastin, which means more supple, plumper skin. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals that contribute to skin aging. And let’s not forget the benefits of cocoa butter for skin repair, health and protection.
How to have a healthy relationship with sugar and your skin
While our complexion is certainly affected by our hormones, our genetics, and the products we put on our skin, the foods we put in our bodies play an extremely critical role.
According to University of California San Francisco, Americans consume an average of 17 teaspoons of sugar daily. This is troubling, considering that the recommended daily allowance is only 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men.
As you might have guessed earlier, this makes it very likely that far too many Americans are consuming foods with a dangerously high glycemic index.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, maintaining a diet high in healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants—while being low in carbohydrates—is associated with instances of skin with fewer wrinkles and less collagen damage.
That being said, it is crucial to adapt to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, while getting a good dose of minerals and vitamins from legumes, leafy greens, tofu and nuts.
We’ve created our own detailed guide to creating a skin-healthy diet to benefit your skin and overall health – for the sake of your skin, it’s definitely worth reading!
Can you use topical sugar applications?
Bad chocolate doesn’t seem to escape non-chocolate naysayers and their claims that it’s bad for your skin and your health. While it’s true that nothing made with added sweeteners, especially white sugar, is ever really good for your skin, we do know there are some little-known skin and makeup benefits that can make your skin look better. caving a good thing!
Misconceptions about chocolate wouldn’t be deeply rich in their claims if facial products containing sugar weren’t thrown under the radar. Just as there are conventional sugar scrubs that don’t do much for the skin and are actually harsh on your skin’s protective barrier, there are natural face scrubs with many benefits.
Contrary to the negative benefits of overconsumption of sugar, natural sugar scrubs specially designed for your face contain real fruit extracts and natural sugars that are gentle on the skin and do not cause breakouts. This wonderful sweetener softens your skin, exfoliates it and is an excellent natural resource of certain essential vitamins for healthy skin.
A Final Warning About Acne
It is certainly true that a nourishing and healthy approach to food is a crucial factor when it comes to maintaining a healthy glow and body.
That being said, it should be noted that acne can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including changes in hormone levels, a reaction to a product, or something in your genetics.
As such, it is important that we clarify that while this can be used as a quick and comprehensive guide to maintaining a healthy relationship with sugar, it is by no means the ultimate answer to treating acne. . Additionally, it should be recognized that this approach may not work for everyone, as no one approach is one-size-fits-all.
With the previous information in mind, do not hesitate to contact a dermatologist if you are unable to identify the source of your acne. A trained dermatologist will not only be able to answer your questions accurately, they can even perform tests that will clarify the root causes of your acne and help put you on the path to healthier, happier skin.