Sugar and Wrinkles: Is Your Sweet Tooth Aging Your Skin?

They say girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice”, but recent scientific discoveries suggest that being full of the sweet stuff we crave might not be so nice after all. Health experts now believe that in addition to a whole host of other health problems, too much sugar can make skin look old and wrinkled before its time.

According to the British Journal of Dermatology, this premature aging process can start showing up on your face as early as age 35. When you have excess sugar in your blood stream, a process called “glycation” begins. This process unleashes a domino effect of damage throughout the cells in your body, and the proteins which are most vulnerable to type of damage are elastin and collagen.

As most beauty connoisseurs know, elastin and collagen are the essential building blocks of healthy, youthful-looking skin. When glycation damages these support fibers, the skin becomes less supple and more vulnerable to sun damage.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from future wrinkles. And with a little work, you may even be able to reverse some of the skin damage you already have. First and foremost, try limiting your exposure to UV rays, which are notoriously bad for your skin. If you can avoid the sun altogether, do it. But if you must be outside, apply a moisturizer with at least SPF 30 in order to protect your face.

You can also try rebuilding lost collagen with the help of a wrinkle serum or cream. If you’re not sure how to pick one, see our guide here.

And, of course, you need to limit the amount of unhealthy sugar you consume if you want to keep your skin looking young. Try to get your sugar from natural, unprocessed sources such as fresh fruit or honey. Additionally, there are many zero-calorie sweeteners on the market today which do sugar’s job without most of its harmful side effects. Most of them come in small packets which are easy to add to coffee or tea; other brands sell in bulk, so that you can cook or bake with them instead of using regular sugar.

You can also help diet your way to better skin by taking a multivitamin every day which is high in B1 and B6. These vitamins are both excellent at inhibiting the harmful molecules which are formed during glycation. You’ll want at least 1 mg of each per day, and 1.5 mg of B6 if you’re over the age of 50.

The aging process involves several factors which can be difficult to control, but your diet isn’t one of them. If you lower the amount of unhealthy sugar you eat, stay out of the sun, and get a good anti-wrinkle cream, you won’t have to worry about fighting wrinkles before you’re ready! If you’re not sure where to start looking for an anti-wrinkle cream, take a look at our famous anti-wrinkle product comparison chart.

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