You probably know that eating sugar is bad for your health. However, that doesn’t always stop us indulging in sugary foods especially during the festive season. Surveys show that Americans consume 20 teaspoons of extra sugar per day during the Christmas and New Year period. The recommended averages are 9 teaspoons for men and 6 teaspoons for women per day.
Apart from making you gain weight, and putting you at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, eating too much sugar affects your skin. Sugar will make your skin age faster.
How Eating Too Much Sugar Affects Your Skin
High Sugar Levels Breaks down Collagen
Eating too much sugar increases the sugar levels in your blood, which makes the extra sugar to bind to collagen protein through a process known as glycation. The product of the glycation process is a substance known as AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products). AGEs cause destruction to your skin by breaking down collagen, which causes the skin to develop wrinkles and lose firmness.
Insulin Causes Inflammation
When we consume foods with high sugar levels like a generous piece of cake or white bread, our body immediately responds by increasing insulin production to tame the sugar levels. High levels of insulin increase the likelihood of developing inflammation. Hence, people with skin conditions like acne, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, should try and avoid eating too much sugar or will notice an exacerbation of the inflammation on their skin.
Inflammation Causes Skin Breakouts
A diet rich in sugar creates the perfect conditions for developing acne. Too much sugar causes inflammation in all parts of the body, and this makes blemishes look extra red and feel painful. Diets rich in sugar weaken the immune system, making your skin vulnerable to acne causing bacteria that live on it.
Inflammation can also trigger the body to produce stress hormones such as cortisol that increases the amount of oil on your skin, which gives bacteria the greasy environment they need to breed.
Dehydrates the Skin
Sugar dehydrates your skin by drawing water from body cells. This causes dry, puffy skin and the scary under-eye circles. Drinking lots of water and refraining from sugary foods is a sure way to improve the appearance of your skin.
Causes Dull-Looking Skin
High sugar intake causes rapid changes in blood sugar level. Every time you eat foods rich in sugar, your blood sugar level goes up. Insulin is secreted as this is the hormone that controls blood sugar, leading to a fall in sugar levels. The sudden fall in sugar levels makes your body experience internal stress that manifest as a dull-looking skin.
Increases the Production of Free Radicals
Free radicals are known to cause diseases and inflammation of the skin. Research indicates that foods rich in sugar make the body produce more free radicals. Foods with high antioxidants and natural sugar levels like fruit and vegetable are an excellent antidote.
It is evident that eating too much sugar is harmful to your skin. To lower the chances of skin damage caused by high sugar levels, go for complex carbs like brown rice.