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Beware of Holiday Skincare Sabotage

November 13, 2020

Beware of Holiday Skincare Sabotage

You're making great progress in your skincare. You're seeing some bounce return to your skin, areas that were sagging are beginning to lift, and your skin tone is beginning to even out. But you could sabotage your results over the holiday if you don't consider this important warning. 

Sugar is an enemy to our skin! I know. Who doesn't love sugar and the delicious desserts of this season? But, please, hear me out. I don't want you to lose the momentum you're making in your skincare. Few of us can eliminate sugar altogether, but here's some reasons why we need to reduce it, and we'll look at signs it's affecting our skin, and steps to heal skin damaged by consuming too much sugar.

You likely know skin contains collagen and elastin, which makes our skin supple, soft, and more youthful. The problem with sugar is it causes cross-linking of collagen, resulting in inflammation, stiffening, and loss of elasticity of our skin. The more sugar we consume, the more at risk we are for the breakdown of collagen and our skin suffers as a result.

Sugar attaches to proteins to produce harmful free radicals called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). As AGEs accumulate they damage the proteins around them.

AGEs make collagen and elastin stiff, dry and brittle, zapping it of strength and flexibility. The effects are seen in the form of glycated skin of fine lines, a hatching like pattern in the skin, sagging skin and wrinkles.

Did you know we have three kinds of collagen? They are called Type I, II and III. The stability and resilience of collagen build during each stage. Type I is the weakest, with Type III the strongest. Glycation degrades Type III into Type I, thereby diminishing our skin’s structural strength and stability. I'll share more on this in another blog post. 

In addition to damaging our skin’s essential proteins, AGEs deactivate our body’s natural antioxidant enzymes. Without protection from antioxidants, our skin is more vulnerable to the free radical damage caused by environmental assailants. Left to roam (and bind to our skin’s structural proteins), free radicals trigger oxidative stress contributing to premature aging of our skin.

Is Your Skin Showing Signs of Sugar Damage?

Here are the signs sugar (or too many carbs converted to sugar) could be the culprit behind our aging skin:

  • Skin looks hard and shiny on the surface
  • Deep, crosshatch lines appear along the upper lip
  • Discoloration and hyperpigmentation
  • Deep crevices appear around the laugh line area
  • The skin around the jowl area is sagging

Don't Panic! You can take steps to heal your skin!

Our bodies have an amazing capacity to heal if we provide what it needs to heal. Now that you know how sugar could be behind the damage, here’s what it needs to heal.

Increase Hydration 

Drinking water helps our body to carry out the key functions that support healthy skin more effectively. Water is essential to the production of collagen and elastin. Keeping our body hydrated can improve its ability to counteract the aging effects of glycation. Drink plenty of water and eat high water content fruits (watermelon, apples, etc.,) and vegetables (cucumber, spinach, etc.,) to maintain hydration.

Reduce Sugar Intake

Keep added sugar to no more than 10% of your daily calorie intake and steering clear of “hidden sugars” like fructose (any word ending in *ose is a form of sugar), barley malt, fruit juice concentrate and maple syrup. The worst offender is high fructose corn syrup. This type of sugar, found in soft drinks, sweetened fruit drinks, and many shelf-stable foods, produces the most AGEs (advanced glycation end products).

Supplement Your Diet with Foods Rich in B1 and B6  

A number of published studies cite vitamins B1 and B6 as AGE inhibitors. Vitamin B1 (thiamin) can be found in green peas, sesame seeds and spinach, and has powerful antioxidant properties that fight against free radicals. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), which is essential for skin development and maintenance, can be found in chickpeas, pinto beans, and sunflower seeds.

Load Up On Antioxidants

Antioxidants neutralize and protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. These naturally occurring vitamins and minerals throw a wrench in glycation by preventing sugar from attaching to proteins. Your body produces antioxidants naturally, but you can also find them in everyday foods like berries, leafy greens and even coffee. And, of course, you can  find them in your skin care. I love Triple C + Gold which contain Vitamins C to help collagen and elastin hold its shape and maintain strength.


One of our best beauty secrets is to get enough sleep. While you’re sleeping, your skin goes into overdrive, regenerating and repairing any damage done during the day. Studies show that lack of sleep contributes to more fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone and less elasticity. Quality sleep that is restorative is the goal. It is during deep sleep that our body does the most work to counteract the aging effects of sugar and other stressors.

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