The Reality of Sugar
Cue my favourite song…. “Sugar sugar, oh honey honey, you are my candy girl….” If you do not know the song…..you are missing out!
Who needs the weekend!? Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas… In fact, every occasion known to man and woman is a time for chocolate and SUGAR – bullets through our bloodstream causing fits of giggles, lots of energy and then ……… CRASH!
Sugar has been reported to be as addictive as cocaine and shown to trigger stronger cravings than the Class A drug. Yet sugar consumption is at an all-time high, in fact, many university scientists have recommended that the use of sugar be regulated and taxed in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco.
Does this sound bananas?!
It may seem excessive but when you consider the how it contributes to such a wide range of illnesses, it may not be such an unimaginable and ridiculous notion! Maybe that would help my willpower! TAX ME! Two words I did not think I would ever say! (any psychologists reading this, fear not I jest I jest!)
Guess how much an average human eats in sugar per annum? A whopping 15 bags – that’s 70 pounds….. five stone – the weight of an actual child! Imagine that the next time you have your cheat meal!
“Sugar lasts a moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips”
Did anyone else listen to this fab saying growing up?! Yet continued to devour the chosen treat regardless – perhaps in defiance? But leaving aesthetics aside, do you realise that this drug causes severe inflammation within the body and needs addressing NOW.
Skin and Sugar
Sugars left unchecked in the bloodstream have to go somewhere so they grab onto protein molecules in the body. These protein sugar complexes are called advanced glycation end products, or rather appropriately, AGES. These protein sugar complexes can be found in virtually every organ of the body. And as you know – the SKIN is an organ!
There are two anatomy and physiology words I have no doubt you are familiar with – collagen and elastin, two seductive proteins you may care for as they are directly responsible for the amount of crepey, crows feet, sagging lines you may have! But sugar attacks the collagen and elastin molecules that are responsible for the bounce, plump youthful appearance of the skin. In other words, THERE IS AN INTERNAL WAR!
When these molecules are turned into AGES their soft and supple fibres become more rigid and can no longer perform as designed and intended. This then leaves the skin saggy, haggard and wrinkled in criss-cross patterns and design! In other words, the genetic rate at which you were due to age is now being fast-tracked by your diet!
How diet affects your skin
The sun is known as a culprit for rapid and accelerated ageing, and so too is smoking – but before we judge those who have indulged in both of these, we should take a close look at our diet. The reality is that all the botox, fillers, chemical peel, cleansers, serums and eye creams in the world will not mask a bad diet full of sugar.
THIS IS WHY on a consultation form we dermal specialists ask: do you eat well? Drink water? Eat fish? Eat greens? Are you on medication? How is your sugar craving? As much as I wish that the three-step skincare process was all you needed to think about, the reality is that what happens in the kitchen has just as much an impact on your skin as the products you use so carefully each morning and night.
Glycation is the fancy pants name given to sugaring within the skin… stress, inflammation, and proteins being adhered to by sugar. Essentially, this is the diet’s visual impact on the skin: sluggish, lethargic, yellowing, and lined.
So what to do, what to do?
Firstly, DROP THE BAR! Walk away from the sweet press…..invest in anti-glycation ingredients within your fridge/cupboards and within your skincare. These include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, green tea, niacinamide, and ANTIOXIDANTS. Essentially, eat green and look for health and goodness. Don’t think you need to cut sugar out completely; similar to oil and fat, there’s a need for it but in moderation. Stick to natural sugars in fruit as much as you can and avoid processed sugar in chocolate and sweets. Your skin will thank you for it.