Why your sweet tooth is aging your skin and how to prevent it …
For decades now, you’ve been cautioned against consuming too much sugar because of the havoc it can wreak on your body – including your waistline – teeth and heart. Ready for some more not-so-sweet sugar news?
No Sugar-Coating This
Sugar might also be causing your skin to age, according to recent studies. Drooping or thinning skin and wrinkles might be caused by ingesting too much sugar – and not just processed sugars, but natural sugars too (the sugars found in fruits and vegetables).
In fact, once the symptoms of aging start to show, they can essentially multiply with increasing speed because new damage forms on top of existing damage. Simply put: wrinkles develop on top of wrinkles. Not only that, but the skin’s ability to heal and repair itself slows down over time.
How Does Sugar Attack the Skin?
The chemical process of how sugar destroys the appearance of skin is called glycation. Glycation takes place, primarily in the dermis, when sugar is ingested and glucose molecules bond to certain proteins in the body (including collagen and elastin – the proteins responsible for keeping your skin taut, smooth and youthful). Here, these proteins that have been exposed to sugars (a.k.a. glycated) collect over time. These corrupted proteins are known as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs).
As AGEs change the chemical makeup of collagen and elastin in your skin, they become more resistant to being broken down into amino acids. When this happens, they’re prevented from healthy renewal and can’t interact with other proteins the way they’re supposed to.
Ages = Age-(Ing)
So, little by little, glycation permanently weakens your skin’s network. As a result, your skin loses its strength and suppleness, wrinkles and fine lines form, and your complexion sallows. These are precisely the symptoms that reveal signs of aging and make you look older than you really are.
Your body can actually tell that AGEs are really bad for it. In fact, your body wants them gone, so it tries to rid them by releasing certain toxic antibodies to eliminate them. But the antibodies cant decipher between what’s good for your skin and what’s bad – so they take out everything they can, including healthy skin cells. The result of this interaction is the appearance of redness, puffiness and blotchy spots.
But, don’t despair. Sure, cutting down on sugar intake is always a good thing, but there are solutions to reducing glycation without permanently giving up your favorite sweet treats!
3 S’s to Preventing Aging Skin From Eating Sugar
Blueberries – As far as fruit goes, these little guys possess some of the highest glycation-fighting qualities, according to researchers. A serving size (cup) per day helps to protect against collagen breakdown and slow the cycle of AGEs.
Vitamin C – In the body, Vitamin C serves as an antioxidant which helps to protect cells from free radicals and assists in making collagen. Substantial doses, such as 1,000 milligrams per day, are recommended for the best results.
Carnosine – As a combination of two amino acids, histidine and beta-alanine, carnosine has been shown to reverse aging damage to cells. For prime benefits, take 1,000-1500 milligrams of carnosine per day.
Skin Care Products
Anti-Glycation Treatments – Recently, there’s been revolutionary breakthrough in skin care products specifically designed to combat glycation. Look for products that contain the following ingredients: Vitamin B3, helps detoxify skin from glycation and renew collagen; Snow Algae Powder, boosts natural production of the anti-aging protein-based enzyme AMPK; Phytosan K, from soybeans, help strengthen your skins defenses against UV; Perfection Peptide P7, boosts age-defying antioxidants; and Elix-IR, improves elasticity and tautness, helping to reduce creepy skin.
Unfortunately, as with aging, we cant stop glycation entirely. However, even if you have a sweet tooth, there is an even sweeter solution to slowing its effects. Prevent further skin damage due to eating sugar by loading your diet up with superfruits, taking supplements, and using a new anti-glycation serum on the market.