Does sugar cause the skin to age faster?

A sweet fruit yogurt in the morning, a piece of cake with your coffee at lunchtime, a refreshing soft drink on the go, and a quick convenience meal in the evening - sugar is in many different foods, and you quickly consume more of the white sweet than you actually need. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that sugar is also hidden in products in which you would not even suspect it. On the other hand, it tastes really good, exudes feelings of happiness and thus has the greatest addictive potential. But unfortunately, the bliss doesn't last long, because too much white sugar is not good for the body and becomes visible on the outside - even on your skin.


The effects of sugar on the skin

You have once again eaten a whole bar of chocolate, although you actually only wanted to take a small piece? And suddenly the first redness appears on your skin and pimples sprout on your face. You know this problem only too well? But what actually happens in your body when you eat sugar?

An increased sugar intake leads to a permanently increased insulin level in the body. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and is responsible for filtering sugar from the blood and sending it to all organs and cells to be used for energy. If you have too much of it in your bloodstream, it tends to promote inflammation and can also lead to blemished skin and chronic diseases.

Sugar causes inflammation

An increased insulin level has a pro-inflammatory effect and ensures that the sebaceous glands become clogged. This interrupts the removal of sebum and creates a breeding ground for bacteria that cause inflammation. The sugar changes the skin - redness and small pimples become visible, which can also cause slight pain.

Does sugar influence faster skin aging?

The effects of sugar on your skin can show up not only in the form of redness and pimples, but also sagging and sallow-looking skin. This is because the insulin in the blood that is not processed or excreted can be stored. The body then binds the sugar molecules with its own protein and fat cells - the glycation end products. This process, called glycation, therefore represents a saccharification of the skin tissue. Due to the agglutination, the cells are less able to regenerate and renew themselves. Especially the proteins collagen and elastin, which are responsible for firm and elastic skin, can be affected by glycation. Small wrinkles and skin depths can develop because less water can be stored due to the agglutination of the tissue.

Do you get more beautiful skin without sugar?

The WHO recommends consuming less than 5-10% of free sugars from the daily energy intake, as natural sugars are already absorbed through fruits and vegetables.
In an online study, French scientists investigated whether diet can affect the appearance of the skin. To do this, they surveyed about 25,000 people about their dietary habits in relation to their skin appearance. Factors such as age, gender and health status were also taken into account (however, it should be remembered that the test subjects provided a self-diagnosis of their skin condition). The study showed that chocolate in particular, or rather the mixture of sugar and fat, had a bad influence on the skin and thus caused skin blemishes. Sugar could thus be linked as a possible factor in the development of pimples and acne. Based on this result, a change in diet was recommended.
In the meantime, you can read about self-experiments in all blogs, in which people try to do without sugar. They report how the sugar-free diet changes the body and thus also the skin. In some cases it is said that the skin first changed negatively when giving up sugar. That is not unusual and can occur with a nourishing conversion already times, since the body first "detoxifies".
Afterwards, the skin blemishes disappeared and the face radiated again, as the participants reported.

Healthy diet helps to keep the skin young

However, avoiding sugar can not only be good for your skin, but for your entire body. Therefore, a healthy and balanced diet, ideally sugar-free, is important. This means, of course, that for the time being you should not put particularly tempting foods in your shopping cart. These include:

Household sugar


Ready meals

Soft drinks

Wheat flour products

You can easily replace white, refined household sugar with natural sweeteners such as honey, agave syrup or maple syrup. And if you're more into the powdered form, you can turn to stevia or xylitol.
For a beautiful skin you should pay attention to a good mix of rich carbohydrates, proteins and fibers that keep you full for a long time and thus prevent cravings:




Nuts and seeds

Whole grain products

Many fruits and vegetables contain natural sugar, which you should not do without. Because the body needs a little sugar and it is even good for it. When it comes to fruit, it's better to choose ones that have stones or seeds, because these are not as overgrown and therefore not as sweet. Instead of bananas or grapes, take a handful of fresh berries or juicy peaches. You can find out which other foods are good for the skin in the article "Foods for beautiful skin".


Sugar avoidance for beautiful skin?

Skin problems can occur due to increased intake of sugar. You get redness on your face and in the worst case even acne. However, this varies from body to body. Everyone has a different hormone balance, which can also affect the appearance of the skin.
But how about a self-experiment? You don't have to change your entire diet overnight and completely banish sugar from your life. You can start small, for example by cutting out sweet soft drinks and not buying anything on the go. Instead, take 1-2 days a week to prepare fresh fruit and vegetables in the evening and prepare a few Meal Prep portions directly. This way, you'll save on the under-smuggled sugar in convenience foods and, of course, a few coins in your wallet. When cooking and baking, you can use natural sweeteners like maple syrup or xylitol. And so, bit by bit, you can rethink your old habits - and if you do have a craving for a piece of chocolate, you shouldn't forbid yourself that either.
Very important: for beautiful skin it is not only important to avoid sugar, but also to drink a lot - like 2 liters a day!
If you have really severe problems with acne, you should make an appointment with your dermatologist. He will then discuss with you whether a change in diet makes sense and what else you can do against your skin blemishes.

April 27, 2021