Does sugar cause your skin to age?
As January typically signals the start of all our health kicks, I thought it was only right for our first topic to be sugar. It's a question I get asked all the time so let's cover it... Does sugar really cause your skin to age?
As teenagers, we were advised by old aunts that sugar will cause breakouts and blemishes. Whilst there is no scientific evidence to suggest sugar causes acne, there is evidence to prove that sugar ages our skin.
Sugar causes a process in the body called glycation. In simple terms, sugar binds to our collagen fibres causing them to become brittle and snap. This breakdown of collagen leads to sagging, lines and wrinkles and begins to show in our faces from our mid-30s.
Below is our graphic that highlights the deterioration of collagen as we age. As you can see, without collagen providing the structure our skin needs, lines and wrinkles begin to form over time.
Although glycation can’t be completely stopped (it’s all about balance), there are lots of ways we can prevent and reverse the damage.
#No1. Relax, unwind and get your beauty sleep. The sleep hormone melatonin has been proven to reduce glycation by up to 50%, so do your best to get a full 8 hours each night. The stress hormone cortisol increases glycation by up to 20%. Focusing on your self-care routine can really help to reduce this number.
#No2. Make sure your skincare routines include antioxidants, peptides and retinol to help reverse the damage that’s already been done and protect against any further degeneration. These ingredients will stimulate natural collagen production within your skin to restore firmness and reduce lines and wrinkles. Don't worry, I’ve packed them all into the Proactive Age Kit.
#No3. I know it’s stating the obvious, but look to swap sugary treats for a healthier alternative. For example, instead of a glass of wine, go for a gin and slimline tonic. The more you're aware of your choices, the stronger the healthier habits become…something I discovered on my own journey!
To a certain extent glycation is a fact of life, but these top tips will help to significantly reduce the damage it causes. Swap your sugar for skincare, get to bed early, practice self care and you’ll be youthful and glowing.
Amy is a qualified skin expert and founder of BASE. When she’s not writing about skincare, you’ll find her applying it, developing it or daydreaming about it instead!