Is Sugar Bad for your Skin?

It is common knowledge that eating sugar leads to many health problems, but do you know how sugar can be bad for your skin?

Starting with the Basics

When you ingest sugar or foods that rapidly convert to sugar – whether it’s in the form of a piece of fruit or a piece of cake — your body breaks down these carbohydrates into glucose, which raises your insulin levels. Simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar, white bread and soda, cause your insulin levels to spike, which leads to a burst of inflammation throughout the body.

Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, which results in sagging skin and wrinkles. Digested sugar attaches to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation. In addition to the effects of aging, glycation can provoke skin conditions like acne and rosacea. The more sugar you eat, the more likely it is you’ll develop insulin resistance, which is linked to excessive hair growth (hirsutism) and dark patches on the skin.

Sugars to Avoid

Simple carbohydrates are your skin’s enemy. They rapidly break down into glucose and result in insulin spikes. Avoid consuming things that are ‘pro-inflammatory’, high in saturated fats or processed foods like white bread, candy, fried food, ice cream, fruit juice, refined sugar (white and brown), packaged snacks and sodas.