While the occasional slice of cake or cookie after your meals might seem harmless, the truth is that even a small amount of sugar can have serious consequences on your health. No matter how many serums, creams or sheet masks you slather onto your face, what you ingest is far more important than any beauty product. Apart from the obvious effects on your waistline, sugar also has many effects on your skin. Here are some of them.
When you consume foods with high amounts of sugar, they immediately get converted into glucose, which raises insulin levels. Refined sugars, such as the ones found in white bread and soda, can especially cause a spike in insulin that causes inflammation throughout the body. One of the major effects of this is the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the body, both of which are responsible for keeping your skin healthy and plump. This leads to premature signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin.
Another side-effect of insulin spikes is a process called glycation, where the digested sugars get attached to the collagen in the skin. This aggravates skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. Sugar furthermore increases the amount of testosterone in the bloodstream, which can lead to an increased production of oil. If giving up sweets is too much to ask for, try getting plenty of sleep and keeping stress to a minimum to curtail these effects.
Once your body becomes used to ingesting high levels of sugar, it develops insulin resistance, which can manifest itself as excess hair growth, also known as hirsutism. This is most noticeable in areas like the chin, upper lip, inner thighs and chest. The increase in testosterone levels can also cause this hair to grow coarser and darker. Additionally, it can cause dark patches and creases on the skin, especially around the neck.
Although eating sugar definitely won’t give you a cold- some sugars like honey are actually used to treat it- it’s likely to cause a dip in your immunity levels. Since the skin is the largest organ on your body, 25% of our immunity is stored in it, so a drop in our defence system would leave it more susceptible to pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and other skin conditions.
We all know the importance of drinking adequate water, but eating too many pastries can easily counteract it’s benefits. Sugar can, quite literally, suck the hydration from your skin, leaving it dull, dry and and tired looking.
So, while the occasional bite of chocolate is totally fine- God knows we all need it to stay sane sometimes- keeping sugar intake to a minimum is vital for healthy and supple looking skin. And if it’s too difficult to give up sugar, the next best option is to replace harmful sugars with healthier substitutes like fruits, dry fruits, honey, etc.