With all due respect to Mary Poppins, a teaspoon of sugar may help the medicine go down, but there’s more to it than that.

As Team Costhetics has found researching the latest news and information on skin health, sugar definitely helps bad skin pop up.

Researchers have found that even a small amount of sugar can cause: 

  • A hard and shiny surface to the skin
  • Crosshatch lines along the upper lip
  • Dark under eye circles
  • Discolouration and hyperpigmentation
  • Marionette lines and deep furrows around the mouth
  • Sagging jowls

Sweet sugar, as it turns out, has a very sour effect on the body.


Glycation is the process by which sugar molecules attach themselves to other molecules such as protein and fats. When glycation happens in skin cells, the protein that is affected is collagen. Sugar causes collagen molecules to lose their elasticity. According to the British Journal of Dermatology, the visible effects of glycation tend to emerge for women around age 35.

Glycation accelerates skin ageing by causing:

  • Free radical formation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Inflammation
  • Collagen transformation*

*Collagen goes through three stages, building resilience and stability over time. Glycation has the ability to degrade the strongest collagen back to stage 1. Collagen problems are a chief reason people get facelifts.

Sugar Sucks the Water Out of Skin

Sugar is a powerful dehydrating agent and impacts your skins ability to retain water. Dehydrated skin looks dry and grey and has less bounce. The delicate skin around the eyes is especially susceptible to dehydration and dark circles appear to let you know there’s a problem.

Sugar Causes Inflammation

A high-sugar diet has been shown to cause inflammation throughout the body, triggering arthritis flare-ups, swollen joints, and more. “Inflammation has been associated with a diet high in high GI foods,” Kara Landau, a spokeswoman with the Dieticians Association of Australia, told the Sydney Morning Herald for its article Is Sugar Ageing You?

Sugar Makes Hormones Go Wild

When you consume sugar and refined carbohydrates, your body responds with a surge of the hormone insulin. That surge also increases testosterone output which can contribute to:

  • Excessive sebum production
  • Clogged pores
  • Inflammation
  • Acne

Sugar Doesn’t Just Age Your Skin, It Ages YOU

Glucose, a by-product of sugar consumption, has been shown to suppress human growth hormone (HGH). HBH helps regulate heart function, body composition, fat metabolism, and muscle and bone growth. When production of this vital hormone is interrupted, you truly look and feel older.

Turn Back the Sugar Clock

“The good news about sugar-damaged skin: It’s never too late to turn back the clock,” reports Prevention Magazine in their article “Face Facts about Sugar.” It all comes down to:

  • Building new collagen
  • Keeping that collagen supple

You can do that by:

  • Eliminating processed sugar from your diet as much as possible
  • Get to know and enjoy low GI foods that are low in natural sugars
  • Enjoy colourful fruits and vegetables to reduce inflammation
  • Use healthy sugar-alternatives such as honey

If you’d like to know more about skin health and beauty, but aren’t sure where to turn, turn to Costhetics. Contact our team for guidance on finding an experienced skin care professional in your area.

Pin It on Pinterest