During the holiday season, it seems we are surrounded by sweet treats. Cookies and brownies at work parties or social gatherings. Pies and cakes at Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. And for some people, constant snacking on all that leftover Halloween candy! The last few months of the year can be brutal for those trying to stick to a healthy diet.
But if you need one more reason to cut back on sugar, consider your skin.
For those concerned about skin aging, all those sweet treats could be some of your worst enemies. Sugar accelerates skin aging. The more sugar we eat, the worse the effect on our skin. Two processes that impact skin aging are inflammation and glycation.
Inflammation and Skin Aging
Eating too much sugar is linked with inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation affects every part of our bodies, including our skin. In addition to exacerbating conditions like psoriasis, acne, and eczema, inflammation can also lead to broken capillaries, loss of elasticity, and a breakdown of the cell membrane. In other words, it makes your skin appear older.
Glycation and Skin Aging
When we eat sugar and it enters our bloodstream, it binds to proteins. This process, called glycation, produces harmful molecules called Advanced Glycation End products, or AGEs. AGEs cause protein fibers to become stiff or abnormal. Unfortunately for your skin, the proteins that keep our skin supple and plump — collagen and elastin — are especially susceptible to glycation. What this means is: wrinkled, sagging, lackluster skin. AGEs also make the skin more susceptible to other dangers, like UV rays. Too much glycation could even affect what type of collagen your body can build.
All is Not Lost…
If you’re discouraged by this and still want to feed your sweet tooth, all is not lost! We’re not here to tell you not to celebrate and enjoy yourself during the holidays. We just want you to know what you’re up against!
The worst offenders are simple carbohydrates, white sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup (which increases the rate of glycation by ten!).
So, instead, stick to natural sugars — those found in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Blueberries and pomegranates are especially beneficial. While natural sugars still produce AGEs, the lower levels produced are much less harmful, and are partially offset by the healthful qualities of the food.
You can also make a habit of eating dark chocolate and drinking green or white tea, which have powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from the effects of glycation.
Lastly, taking a carnosine supplement may be helpful. It has been shown to protect against the formation of AGEs.
Let Hawaii Blue Help
We admit — even we like to splurge a little bit during the holiday festivities. But it always helps to have an effective anti-aging skin care regimen to stick to. We sell some amazing anti-aging skincare products in our store and online shop. If you need any suggestions for an effective routine, we are happy to help! And if your skin needs a little extra boost to look smooth and radiant before all of those holiday parties, we’ve got you covered there, too. Whether it’s a custom facial or a Botox touchup, schedule a free consultation to get glowing, youthful skin today!