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Can Too Much Sugar Affect My Skin?

Updated on November 30, 2015
Sweets like chocolate are OK in moderation
Sweets like chocolate are OK in moderation | Source

Have you heard that eating chocolate and sweets causes breakouts? This article will finally clear this up.

Eating chocolate cannot trigger breakouts, but there is recent evidence that suggests consuming excessive amounts of sugar over a long period of time can cause skin to look dull and wrinkled. The extra sugar molecules attach to proteins in your bloodstream, causing glycation; this forms a new structure in your blood, which can destroy the flexibility and density of collagen (skin-firming tissue) – it’s called Advanced Glycation End-product (AGE). This breakdown in proteins and collagen can also weaken the naturally occurring antioxidants in your body (built-in protection against environmental damage).

Eating treats high in refined sugar, such as candy and cupcakes, causes a major spike in your blood sugar. Your body is not built to handle this. How the body responds: Muscles may get weaker, joints feel stiffer and facial skin starts to lose its elasticity. The same is true when you consume high-fat foods cooked at or in high temperatures, like fried chicken.

To undo damage before your sweet tooth or fried-food fixes take a toll on your complexion, use the tips below.

Good Habits, Great Skin

  • Indulge often in fruit, less in cookies. Though you can’t see the result of eating just one brownie, every bite makes it harder for your body to clear the high blood sugar levels spurred by sweets.

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  • Beware of hidden AGE-containing foods – roasted or fried items. Eat steamed, poached or sautéed entrees when possible.

  • Exercise regularly to burn extra calories and improve your overall well-being. The increase in adrenaline you get from running, walking or dancing lasts longer than the short energy burst you feel after a sugary soda or snack.

  • Apply antioxidant-rich products to protect skin against pollution, smoke, stress and sugar – all of which contribute to signs of aging.

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My favorites: Prescriptives Anti-AGE Advanced Protection Lotion with hydrating olive extracts; Obagi Professional-C Serum packs vitamin C; Olay Total Effects 7 Signs Serum, with vitamins B3, B5 and E; and retinol-enriched Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Intensive Night Cream

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