No matter how good skin looks, we always want it to look more glowing and youthful, and according to the several dermatologists we spoke to, the trick is to have a healthy diet and, more importantly, quit sugar. What you eat and drink is a game-changer that can really improve your skin.
Why does not eating sugar make your skin look better?
Sugar and processed carbohydrates, in general, increase your blood sugar levels. Consequently, the body’s natural response is that the pancreas releases more insulin, which causes oily skin and triggers acne. Science shows that if you take one to two cans of sugar-sweetened sodas a day, the CRP increases. C-reactive Protein is one of the best measures of inflammation, which is terrible for acne-prone skin. So if you want youthful and healthy skin, you should quit not only refined sugar but also food that increases blood sugar, for example, white rice, white bread, and other processed carbohydrates.
Sugar and skin ageing, according to Beyoncé’s dermatologist.
In addition to causing acne, sugar also ages your skin. A high-sugar diet damages the proteins that maintain the skin plump and elastic; collagen and elastin. The sugar in your bloodstream produces harmful free radicals called AGEs and deactivates the antioxidant enzymes your body produces, leaving your skin more vulnerable to the damage of UV rays, pollution, and blue light. As a result, the oxidative stress caused by free radicals leads to the premature ageing of the skin. Dr Harold Lancer, the dermatologist of Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and several Hollywood stars, explains that sugar also creates more testosterone that makes pores larger. And he adds, “ The skin becomes sallow, lacklustre, and you get those unwanted dark circles.”
How can you tell that sugar is damaging your skin?
A study published by the British Journal of Dermatology shows that the effects of glycation ( a process caused by the excess of glucose in skin fibres) generally arise after 35 years and then rapidly increase. Here are the visible signs that sugar is damaging your skin:
- 1 – Discoloration of the skin
- 2 – Sagging skin, primarily through your jowls
- 3 – Skin looks hard and shinny
- 4 – Deep crevices around the laugh lines
- 5 – Deep lines along the upper lip.
How long after quitting sugar will your skin improve?
The good news is that if you give up sugar, you will notice improvement within 72 to 96 hours. Dr Lancer states that people “will feel better, their colour will look better, their skin won’t be so oily, and won’t be so dry.”
And if you can quit sugar altogether?
For most of us, giving up sugar is an impossible mission. But, do not despair. Dr Lancer ranked the five worst enemies for your skin, and sugar is not the only villain. Firstly, environmental toxins like pollution and ultraviolet light are what ages skin the most. Secondly comes inflammatory food, which is, according to Harvard: refined carbohydrates like white bread and pastries, French fries, sodas, red meat, and margarine. Thirdly, stress. Lack of sleep comes fourth. And then lifestyle, skincare routine, and sugar.
The famous dermatologist Dr Frederic Brandt used to say that quitting sugar would make you look ten years younger. So, you should try to give up sugar, or at least cut most of it. Your body will thank you. But to achieve great skin that looks youthful and healthy, there is a combination of small changes you can make besides not eating sugar, and balance is always the best option. A healthy lifestyle and balanced diet, a fantastic biocompatible moisturiser, and excellent SPF protection will undoubtedly keep your skin fresh, plump, and glowing.
Last but not least, here is an infographic with the basic steps to improve your skin’s health. Please share it with your friends!
Title image @notoriousmag, photo @unsplash by Myriam Zilles, infographic @ViennaSkincare