Sugar - the enemy when it comes to trying to maintain a healthy weight, right? This is one of the most common negative associations of sugar with the human body. But did you know that too much sugar can also be our skin's anti-aging enemy as well?? Let’s FACE it, we all want to slow down the aging process…ESPECIALLY when it comes to our skin. Our skin can tell our own stories so well - such as a dull complexion, or ACNE, just from not drinking enough water. Our skin can be a visible example of how well, or not, we choose take care of ourselves. Too many daily stressors combined with sleep deprivation, nutrient depleted diets of processed convenience foods, lack of physical exercise, even a simple common cold virus...it can all show up on your skin.
Collagen - the naturally occurring protein in our skin that gives it it's firmness, elasticity and smoothness. As we age, our body’s collagen production decreases, which shows up on the surface as fine lines and wrinkles. Choosing too many foods laden with sugar (very often hidden!) and empty carbohydrates can over time add to the skin's loss of elasticity and youthfulness by means of glycation. To better understand this process, dermatologist Dr. Perricone stated:
"As a dermatologist, I know that wrinkles, deep lines and sagging skin are a partial by-product of the process known as glycation. Sugar and other high-glycemic carbohydrates (breads, starches, potatoes, baked goods, pastas, desserts, soda) are rapidly converted to glucose in your bloodstream. This overload can cause a reaction called glycation, in which the excess sugar molecules attach themselves to collagen fibers. Glycation occurs when a glucose (sugar) molecule binds to a protein molecule without the influence of enzymes, (proteins that accelerate the rate of chemical reactions). In scientific terms, we refer to these sugar/protein bondings as AGEs, an appropriate acronym for advanced glycosylation end products. This causes them to lose their strength and flexibility, so the skin becomes less elastic and more vulnerable to sun damage, lines, and sagging."
Similar to the effect of the sun's damaging rays on our skin's youthfulness and vitality, I feel it is extremely disheartening that our boxed and on-the-go wrapped foods can contribute to premature skin aging. Superfoods for your skin come in deep vibrant colors and are virtually straight from the earth, such as organic carrots, oranges, red cabbage, cherries, blackberries, etc. Unprocessed, unrefined fibrous fruits and veggies can help provide the antioxidants our skin needs to help fight free radicals from damaging our DNA, keeping our skin soft and supple. Also, and unfortunately, we cannot simply absorb collagen from applying topicals; however, we can help keep our existing collagen strong with help from skin penetrating topical antioxidants (vitamin C), chemical exfoliants (retinol), growth factors and physical sunscreen (titanium and zinc oxide) from medical-grade skin care. AND if you would like to essentially wake up your skin's collagen production, Micro-Needling is an amazing anti-aging treatment that we offer here at Dr. Michaud's practice.
If you want to learn more about the hidden sugars in our processed foods, check out SugarScience...
and please email me if you would like to chat more about keeping your skin healthy!
Think positively and be well...