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Skin Ageing: Does Sugar Cause Wrinkles and Sagging Skin?

Science has revealed that your diet has a significant role in determining your health. A balanced diet will not only help reduce the risk for various diseases, it is also beneficial for your skin.

You must heard that sugar is bad for your health. Does sugar really cause damage to your body and skin?

How Sugar Accelerates Skin Ageing

Collagen gives your skin its strength and resilience, while Elastin gives your skin its elasticity and bounce back. Both collagen and elastin are made of protein (amino acids).

What happen in your body when you eat sugar?

Our body needs glucose, a type of sugar, as a ready source of energy. Without glucose, our body will need to use its stored fat to fuel its operation. Before the fat can be used, it needs to be converted into glucose. 

Under normal circumstances, glucose in moderation is good for the body. It helps the body to remain active. However, when there are too much sugar circulating in the body, it causes the blood glucose levels to rise. Over period of time, high blood glucose levels can cause serious damage to the body including the development of diseases.

Glycation, Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) and Diseases  

Glycation is a process in which the sugar attached itself to protein, causing the new formation of harmful molecules known as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). 

Glycation is a normal process in the body, however, when there is too much sugar in the bloodstream, this will result in too many AGEs being formed. When there are too many AGEs, your body won't be able to produce enough new protein building blocks to replace the damaged ones. Over time, it reduces the functioning of the body, known as ageing.

Ageing is an inevitable process in life, however, we can avoid premature ageing and slow down the natural ageing process. These can done by limiting the exposure to various ageing factors such as unhealthy diets, lack of regular exercises, highly polluted environment and prolonged mental stress.

Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) and Skin Ageing 

Collagen and elastin are two major components of skin matrix. The condition of skin matrix determines the look and the feel of your skin. A healthy and strong skin matrix is the reason behind the youthful appearance in young and younger-looking people.

Collagen and elastin are proteins made of amino acids. As we know, during Glycation, the sugar molecule attached itself to a protein molecule, triggering the formation of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). AGEs weaken skin matrix and trigger the appearance of signs of ageing including wrinkles, lines and sagging skin.

The degradation of skin matrix also causes the thinning of the skin and reducing the skin's ability to hold water. These are the reasons why skin loses its elasticity, bounciness and youthful glow with age.


Sugar Causes Premature Ageing Skin

The Best Source of Sugar

Not all sugars are bad.

Fruits, vegetables and dairy products contain natural sugar known as fructose and lactose. Eating fruits and dairy products can be beneficial for your health and skin. Most importantly, the natural occurring sugars found in them are the good sources of energy for your body.

To get the best from fruits, it is best to eat them fresh and raw. Processed fruits (fruit juices, cooked and preserved fruits) don't have the same nutrient contents as the fresh and raw ones do. 

On the other hand, refined sugar (aka sucrose), which is commonly extracted from sugar cane or sugar beet can cause serious damages to your body. Studies suggested that there is a link between high intake of refined sugar and the high risk of obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes.

How to Slow Down Skin Ageing

Eat Healthily

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for their vitamins and antioxidants that help protect your body from environmental stress and damage.

Limit the consumption of processed foods and drinks such as sweets, cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks. These kind of foods are often high in refined sugar.

Whenever possible, for cooked foods, choose boiled or steamed ones. It has been reported that, just like refined sugar; grilled, roasted and fried foods can cause damage to collagen and elastin molecules in your body.

Exercise Moderately

Frequent, moderate exercise helps reduce stress levels and improve your overall health. Stress can be damaging to your body and skin.

Stick to a Good Skincare Routine 

Be gentle with your skin. Use products that don't contain these commonly known skin irritants.

Keep your skin well hydrated at all times. Soon after taking a shower in the morning or cleaning my face at night, I apply Rose & Cacay Hydrating Serum Cream all over my face and neck. This deeply soothing and hydrating, two-in-one serum has a light, quickly absorbed texture that suits all skin types, all year round. It contains one of my favourite ingredients, Saccharide Isomerate, a 100% plant-derived complex that helps strengthen skin barrier function and soften the appearance of wrinkles and lines. 

Whenever my skin needs extra moisture (usually in winter), I mix few drops of Blue Chamomile & Cacay Facial Oil with a small amount of 24k Gold & Rosehip Rejuvenating Cream to protect it against environmental stress and premature ageing.

Your skin is your first defense against the external elements. Your skin condition is not only affecting your appearance, it is also affecting your overall health and wellbeing.

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