Sugar Can Hurt and Help Your Skin

Sugar does not only affect general health but it can also ruin our skin, which is rather spooky when you think about all the sugar consumed on Halloween tomorrow. Some Americans are so spooked about the harmful effects of sugar they are finding healthier ways to indulge during the holiday, without disappointing children by handing out apples.

How Does Sugar Hurts Your Skin?

‘Firstly, sugary and processed foods contain little in the way of vitamins and minerals that nourish and protect the skin. Secondly, sugar and refined carbohydrates (which are quickly absorbed, just like sugar) cause a surge of the hormone insulin, which can then increase your levels of testosterone, which in turn can contribute to breakouts and acne. And thirdly, high levels of sugar in the blood can increase the rate of a process called glycation. This occurs when sugar molecules bind to proteins or fats, making them stiff and inflexible. One of the proteins affected is collagen, and this can result in loss of elasticity of the skin, encouraging the formation of wrinkles.’ explains Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.

Research:

Study on Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation 

The effect of sugars on aging skin is governed by the simple act of covalently cross-linking two collagen fibers, which renders both of them incapable of easy repair. Glucose and fructose link the amino acids present in the collagen and elastin that support the dermis, producing advanced glycation end products or “AGEs.” This process is accelerated in all body tissues when sugar is elevated and is further stimulated by ultraviolet light in the skin.

Derivatives of Sugar Compounds Provide Anti-Aging Effects

Consumer perceivable improvements to skin were noted for wrinkles and fine lines, with no evidence of an acnegenic effect. Fifty percent of the participants rated the N-acetylglucosamine-containing product better than their currently used moisturizer. Fifty-four percent of the participants felt their skin looked and felt younger within 2 weeks, and two-thirds felt their skin was noticeably improved within 3 weeks of product use. N-acetylglucosamine is a natural sugar derivative that is safe and effective for use as a novel, non-acid anti-aging ingredient.