Listen Sweet Lovers, Here’s How Sugar Consumption Impacts Skin Health
I am glad I never had those sugar cravings! I do get those looks from people when they hear me saying no to chocolates and ice creams but my skin is thankful for that. While sneaking a bite or small portion once in a while is absolutely normal, excessive sugar intake is not only detrimental to overall health but also to the skin. And if you are into overindulgence in deserts post dinner, then you know too well what it can do to the skin overnight.
Experts even say that post consuming sweets at night can show visible changes in the skin the very next morning. But what is it that sugar does to the skin that it takes extra strength for it to fight back its effect? “Excessive sugar intake cannot be easily processed by the body and leads to a chemical reaction that causes inflammation and the formation of free radicals in the bloodstream,” says Dr. Swathi Shivakumar, Consultant Dermatologist, Aster RV Hospital, Bengaluru.
Sugar’s Impact on The Skin
Dr Shivkumar also explains that sugar has a high Glycemic index which causes a spike in insulin and worsen certain skin conditions. Speaking of it technically, Dr Shivkumar explains, “When sugar molecules bind to the cells in the body, it creates a chemical reaction that affects and weakens the cell function and this impact is visible on the skin.”
In simple words, when insulin levels rise, it increases the inflammation in the skin which is a key reason behind acne and even wrinkles and fine lines. So, not just acne but if you are worried about ageing, avoid excessive intake of sugar because it can lead to the breakdown of collagen fibres leading to ageing. Therefore, people with sensitive and acne-prone skin should avoid sugar consumption as much as possible as it can aggravate the existing conditions.
Noting the Sugar Intake
While we understand that eliminating sugar altogether from our diet can be difficult, what we need to realise is that even healthy food items like fruits and vegetables have sugar in its natural form. Therefore, added or refined sugar is what we need to avoid. “Refined sugar in particular is bad for the skin. Instead one can opt for jaggery, palm sugar, date sugar, or stevia. But regardless, overdoing any of these will also have a negative impact on the skin,” explain Dr Shivkumar.
Skincare Routine for Sweet-Tooth
No skincare routine or products can compensate for continuing with this habit or reverse its impact. It’s also important to note that an ageing skin will find it tough to fight with sugar effects as skin cells and their renewal get weak with age. However, Dr Shivkumar tells us that one can use anti-ageing products such as retinols. “Products that have antioxidant benefits with ingredients such as green tea, niacinamide, vitamin E, Vitamin C, can help manage the damage,” she adds.
It is difficult to figure out the amount of sugar each of us can consume to maintain healthy skin. Though moderate consumption levels do not affect the skin but excessive consumption can exacerbate skin ageing in the long term. Avoid packaged food, added and processed sugar for clear and healthy skin.
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