Can Eating Too Much Sugar Harm Your Skin: According to certain studies, sugar may accelerate aging and play a role in some skin disorders such as psoriasis. Here’s what you should know.
Candy appears to be unavoidable during certain seasons of the year. What can you anticipate if you indulge if you want clear, healthy skin?
Can Eating Too Much Sugar Harm Your Skin in 2023
Sugar, believe it or not, may wreak havoc on your skin health, contributing to the development or aggravation of skin diseases including psoriasis and acne. Excess sugar consumption may also result in premature aging indicators such as fine wrinkles and sagging. You might have heard it referred to as having a “sugar face.” As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out, this may increase your risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The CDC suggests reducing added sugar (seen on Nutrition Facts labels) to 12 tablespoons per day. (An adult consumes 17 tablespoons each day on average.)
This does not apply to natural sugar sources such as fruit. Although fruit has been dubbed “nature’s candy,” it also contains fiber and other critical nutrients linked to better health. Furthermore, there is some evidence that consuming fruit may help enhance skin moisture, which can contribute to a glowing complexion.
So, when it comes to added sugar, keep reading to find out how it affects your skin – and what you can do about it. And don’t worry: you can still have some fun!
Your Skin Reflects What You Eat
According to MedlinePlus, your skin is the largest organ in your body, so it’s no wonder that what you consume can be mirrored outward. “Diet definitely plays a role in the health of the skin,” says S. Tyler Hollmig, MD, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, other factors such as smoking, sun exposure, and sleep all have an impact on skin health and aging indications.
Here are three ways sugar can harm your skin.
May Accelerate Signs of Aging
Sugar has a specific influence on skin aging due to a process known as glycation. “Glycation is the bonding of sugar molecules to proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids.” “As a result, advanced glycation end products form, which can harm collagen and elastin fibers in the skin,” Dr. Hollmig explains. According to a study published in Clinics in Dermatology, glycation interferes with collagen repair, a process critical to maintaining springy collagen fibers.
As a result, skin aging may be accelerated. Furthermore, glycation may promote the generation of free radicals that harm the skin. According to Hollmig, a high-sugar diet may develop fine wrinkles and crepiness. It may also cause drooping, which a research letter refers to as “sugar sag.”
May Promote Acne
Check your sugar intake if you’ve seen an increase in breakouts over the holiday season (which begins with Halloween). “A high-sugar diet has been definitively linked to acne,” Hollmig explains. A JAMA Dermatology research of over 25,000 adults discovered that eating fatty and sugary foods was connected with a 54% greater risk of acne, while drinking sugary drinks increased that risk by 18%.
The authors emphasize that the high-fat, high-sugar pattern is consistent with the present Western diet. Sugar may cause an increase in insulin, which raises inflammation, which is one element that encourages the development of acne. Sugar may also enhance some growth factors that raise androgen levels, which are hormones linked to increased pore-clogging oil production.
May Worsen Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition in which skin cells proliferate at an abnormally rapid rate, resulting in plaques and scaling. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, it affects more than 7.5 million adults in the United States.
Animal studies are shedding light on the impact that nutrition, including sugar, may have in the development of psoriasis. According to study co-author Samuel Hwang, MD, PhD, professor and chair of dermatology at UC Davis Health in Sacramento, California, mice fed a diet heavy in sugar and fat, similar to a Western diet, developed psoriasis-like inflammation in only four weeks. Yes, this study was conducted on mice, but Dr. Hwang feels that the findings are likely to apply to humans as well. More research is required to establish this.
According to Hwang, the mouse study implies that elevated inflammation may enhance one’s vulnerability to psoriasis and, in some cases, cause observable changes in the skin consistent with psoriasis symptoms such as redness and plaque. Subclinical inflammation, in which there is no obvious skin redness or scaling but there is itching, can also occur.
Hwang points out that humans rarely consume a high-sugar diet alone; it is frequently accompanied by fat. (Sugar and fat are a delightful combination.) Sugar and fat may have a deleterious impact on the gut microbiome by affecting the population of beneficial bacteria, resulting in the inflammation seen in psoriasis. However, more research is required.
What you can do about it is clear. “When I see patients with psoriasis, I not only tell them about available medications, but also about lifestyle changes they can make,” adds Hwang. Changing your diet from a Western to a Mediterranean diet (high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes) may help reduce inflammation and improve your symptoms.
How to Reduce Sugar for Your Skin Health
According to a review, there is still a lot more to learn about the relationship between nutrition and skin health. And changing your diet does not produce quick results today. “Improvement in skin aging through diet should not be rushed,” argues the authors. Poor diet takes a long time to contribute to skin aging, and nutritional adjustments will take much longer. You’re in it for the long haul here.
Eating Too Much Sugar Harm Your Skin:
“It’s hard to go wrong recommending a healthy, relatively low-sugar diet,” adds Hollmig. This does not imply that sugar should be avoided totally. You can have fun by eating sweet things in moderation.
Also, some perspective is beneficial. “A reasonably healthy diet is required but not sufficient for healthy skin,” he adds. In other words, in addition to reducing your sugar consumption (if you’re already overdoing it), don’t forget to sleep properly, use sunscreen every day, and design a skin-care regimen tailored to your complexion’s demands.