The 7 Skin Sins: Sugar
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The 7 Skin Sins: Sugar

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Posted: 11/26/2013 Anti-Aging in Skin Care Essentials with 


Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been discussing the effects of 7 skin sins – lifestyle habits can wreak both short- and long-term damage on your skin. So far I’ve touched on aging accelerators like smoking and lack of sleep, and this week I’m continuing the series with sugar! As if the effect of sugar on your waistline wasn’t bad enough, constant consumption of sweets or carbohydrate-heavy foods can show on your skin, too. Here’s how:

Invisible Inflammation

Immediately after consuming a carb-laden meal your blood sugar spikes and causes inflammation in your organs. Your skin – the largest organ – is no exception! A carb-heavy diet can mean your body is chronically inflamed and wasting energy trying to calm it.  Ongoing inflammation encourages the production of skin-aging free radicals and leaves you more susceptible to breakouts, rosacea, and wrinkles..

Kiss Your Collagen Goodbye

As if inflammation wasn’t enough, sugar is also out to get your collagen – the protein responsible for keeping your skin smooth, firm, and elastic. A process called “glycation” binds digested sugar to collagen. The resulting molecule damages surrounding collagen proteins, leaving them rigid. The result: sagging skin and fine lines.

Saccharine Sunburn

The same collagen-damaging molecule created from glycation also deactivates your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage – the #1 skin ager!

Aside from cutting down on refined carbohydrates like sugar and pastas altogether, you can help save your skin by switching to whole grains to avoid the blood sugar spike that causes inflammation. But for the occasional (or not-so-occasional) sweets and breads that you can’t resist, there’s amazing, professional skin care. When invisible inflammation sets in, switch to sensitive skin care products that are effective, but gentle enough to calm and soothe irritated skin. Boost skin’s resilience to irritation with a protecting skin serum. To combat collagen damage, use an anti-aging cream with calcium and peptides to restore tone and moisture. And, sugar or no sugar, always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen at the end of your morning skin care routine to stay protected from UV exposure.

What’s your biggest skin sin? Check back next week as I reveal yet another on the list!

Barbara Salomone

One of the first-ever licensed estheticians in the U.S., Barbara is an architect of the modern American facial. Her point-of-view is that a balance of nutrition, fitness and daily skin care is the only realistic way to great looking skin. Since launching the Bioelements line in 1991, she has trailblazed the skin care industry, incorporating nutritional supplements into topical skin care products including antioxidants, calcium, probiotics and lutein.

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Comments (2)

The 7 Skin Sins: Dehydration says:
Dec 6, 2013

[…] and long-term havoc on your skin. I’ve talked about some major no-no’s so far, like sugar, skipping sleep, and smoking – but this week I’m covering a somewhat trickier sin: […]'
Nina L. says:
Jan 9, 2014

Being a licensed Esthetician myself and learning the 7 Skin Sins is a bit of a treat in its self! My biggest skin sin is sugar! Pasta and chocolate! I take care of my skin to combat and use bioelements in the salon too! I can’t wait to educate the public passing by the salon I work in!

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