How Sugar Can Make You Age

We all know too much sugar isn’t good for you waistline but did you know it can also have a major effect on the quality of your skin? Added sugar in your diet can make you age faster than normal, contributing to wrinkles and sagging skin long before they are due. Here is an overview of the results of excess sugar that might make you change your mind the next time you reach for that soda or sugar-filled dessert.

Glycation

Extra sugar in the bloodstream causes a process known as glycation, where sugar molecules in the body cause protein fibers to become stiff and malformed. Normally when you eat your body breaks down carbohydrates into sugars and uses them to fuel your body and activities. However, when you consume too much sugar, it reacts with proteins and fats in a harmful way, damaging protein fibers. This process creates advanced glycation endproducts (AGE’s). The formation of AGE’s causes skin issues such as wrinkles, brown spots, yellow skin, sagging, inflammations, and uneven skin tone.

The proteins in the skin most susceptible to glycation are collagen and elastin. These also happen to be the proteins that keep your skin looking radiant. Collagen and elastin are the building blocks of your skin, keeping it smooth, soft and wrinkle free. These proteins become weak when they encounter sugar molecules, preventing them from supporting the skin. When the glycation process attaches these proteins, the negative effects materialize on your skin in the form of wrinkles. Glycation also makes your skin more vulnerable to other harmful assailants such as UV radiation and pollution. With more free radicals present in your body, you will be more susceptible to premature aging and loss of suppleness in the skin.

How to Prevent Early Glycation

Glycation is something that happens to a person naturally over their lifetime. In a person with normal levels of glucose, glycation occurs gradually and will usually start to show on the skin around 35 years of age. When you’re younger, your body can fight the process better and more efficiently, but as you age, increased sugar intake will have more damaging effects on the skin. Eating a lot of added sugar will speed up the glycation process. While it isn’t something you can completely stop or avoid, you can slow down the process. Avoiding white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup in your daily diet is the best way to control your sugar intake. Boosting your antioxidants will help neutralize free radicals and allow collagen and elastin to perform their purpose without interference.

Next time you are tempted to indulge your sweet tooth, think about the effect the sugar will have on your complexion. Remember sugar, is just as likely to affect your skin as your waistline. To keep your face looking young and radiant, introduce vTrue radiance water into your skincare routine. Its 25 minerals and antioxidants will help your body fight those free radicals.

For more insight into the effect of food on your skin check out our blog on chocolate and acne.