We all obsess over our skincare routines and fret over our sun exposure, all in the name of worrying about wrinkles. But what if we told you that all the skin-saving steps you take both morning and night (and sometimes midday too) were all canceled out by the sugar in your 8am coffee or 3pm cookie?
The not-so-sweet truth of how sugar can age you…
According to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, every time you eat a sugary sweet treat you set off a process called glycation during which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins in your body, forever turning proteins in your body (including collagen and elastin) into AGEs (quite the telling acronym, eh?).
Since collagen and elastin are big players in maintaining the youthfulness of your skin, damaging these anti-aging proteins that usually keep skin firm and elastic causes your skin to become dry, brittle, saggy and wrinkled! Even worse, once these proteins are damaged and converted into AGEs, they continue to damage adjacent proteins too in a wrinkle-causing, domino-like way.
Not only does sugar break down collagen and elastin, but also a sugary diet changes the type of collagen in your skin. Too much sugar in your diet and all of sudden the stable type III collagen in your body that’s keeping you looking young and firm converts to type I collagen, a considerably less stable form of collagen. Too much type I collagen and not enough type III collagen and all of sudden your skin is considerably more vulnerable to the negative effects of sun damage, the main cause of skin aging. Yikes!
Makes you rethink that cupcake you’ve been eyeing, huh?