Can Sugar In Skincare Make You Age?

We all know that a lot of sugar in your diet isn’t good for you, so what about your skin care?

While you may think your skin care products don’t include sugar at all (apart from the obvious sugar scrubs), there are actually a few ingredients that mask the fact that they’re actually derived from sugar!

And rumour has it that sugar can be asbad for you when it’s applied topically as when it’s digested. But is this true? Read on to find the answer…

So, what happens to your body when you eat sugar?

A lot of things happen in your body when you consume sugar, and it all boils down to one word; Glycation.

It sounds complicated, and it is. But here it is in a nut shell: sugar is an inflammatory and reacts with the fats and proteins abnormally. This means it produces ‘advanced glycation endproducts’ (or AGEs for short).

AGEs are dangerous as they don’t allow your kidney to filter toxins correctly. This can cause cardiovascular diseases and wreak havoc all over your body, essentially.

And your skin isn’t immune to all of this. Here’s how glycation can make your skin age quicker.

It destroys collagen.

AGEs change the structure of collagen which makes it inflexible, resulting in aging skin.

It causes inflammation.

AGEs trigger inflammation which is the main reason for wrinkles and premature aging.

It gives you dark spots.

AGEs cause skin discoloration, breakouts and rosacea.

But sugar isn’t all bad! The fructose is good for your brain, mood and energy levels. It’s an essential macronutrient that we need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and cell regeneration, but going overboard really can cause problems.

So, what happens when you use it in your skincare? 

There are two reasons sugar is used in some skincare products:

1. As a humectant: Sugar works to draw moisture from the air around you into the skin and keeps it there, ensuring your skin is hydrated and soft.

2. As an exfoliator: Sugar is great at removing dead skin cells away from your skin without causing irritation. It’s a natural exfoliator, and a great replacement for harmful microbeads. 

But that’s pure sugar. Then there’s the sugar that get into your skincare without you noticing. Here are just a few:

  • Ascorbyl glucoside: this is a form of vitamin C with added glucose and it helps to fight free radicals and fight dark spots. 
  • Decyl glucoside: this a glucose-based surfactant and this helps the water mix with oil and dirt so they can be easily washed away.
  • Glycolic acid: This is an exfoliant derived from the sugar cane. This dissolves the glue that holds the skin cells together, helping you hydrate your skin.

This is the stuff you don’t want to cut out of your skincare just yet!

Final Thoughts

Sugar actually has a very important and effective role in your skin care, so rumours are wrong! While sugars remain unhealthy in your diet if you go overboard, they’re actually very good for your skin. Hooray!

So, to conclude - eating sugar ages you, but when it’s in your skincare? It won’t!

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