September 12, 2018 3:31 pm

‘Sugar face’ may not be real, but here’s what sugar can do to your skin

WATCH: How can your diet make your skin healthier.

A A

We all know excessive refined sugar isn’t doing anything beneficial for our internal health, but what can it actually to do our skin?

A recent report in Elle Australia claimed high intakes of sugar can trigger hormonal shifts in our body that eventually show up on our skin, causing “sugar face.”

Story continues below

The concept itself was introduced by Hollywood dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer — skin doctor to stars like Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé — in his book Younger: The Breakthrough Anti-Aging Method for Radiant Skin.

READ MORE: Fruit is full of natural sugar — but is it making you gain weight?

“In a nutshell, [sugar] breaks down collagen, the springy substance that makes your skin look plump, youthful, and lifted,” noted The Cut website, adding Lancer claimed sugar weakens the immune system which makes it harder for your system to fight bacteria.

“Bacteria clogged in pores creates pimples.”

Elle Australia added people who have “sugar face” often have lines and wrinkles on their forehead, sagging under the area or thin eyebrows.

What can sugar do?

But some professionals are not convinced. “Sugar face” is not a medical diagnosis, said Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue in Toronto.

“Your skin reflects your internal health, but when you eat something, it is broken down to metabolites… there is not one entity.”

She added there is no evidence-based research that suggests sugar itself can change the way your skin looks or feels, and more research is needed on that topic as a whole.

READ MORE: Do you really need to cut out sugar to improve your health?

Some people break out, for example, if they eat a certain type of food, but there is no evidence to suggest that eating only chocolate means more blemishes, she added.

Dermatologist Dr. Julia Carroll of Compass Dermatology added the definite link between sugar and your skin comes down to sugar falling into the carb category.

In terms of glycation, we do see more AGEs (advanced glycation endproducts) in older skin, especially diabetic skin,” she told Global News. ” There are laboratory links between AGEs and skin wrinkling. However, its not clear that increased sugar consumption leads to the increased AGEs and therefore wrinkles.”

She also said there is some evidence that could suggest that foods with a high glycemic index or high carb foods can exacerbate acne, but it’s only a contributing factor.

Other experts in the past have said simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar, white bread and soda, cause your insulin levels to spike, which leads to “a burst of inflammation throughout the body,” HuffPost said.

The site also noted this inflammation creates enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. “Plus, the more sugar you eat, the more likely it is you’ll develop insulin resistance, which can manifest as excess hair growth (hirsutism) and dark patches on the neck and in body creases.”

What does this mean?

And while these findings may make it seem like sugar can ruin your skin, experts said it’s important to remember not one single food can change the how your skin looks and feels. In fact, it’s more important to focus on other ways to improve your skin that have very little to do with diet.

Avoiding the temptation to pop or pick pimples, blackheads or whiteheads or even wearing sunscreen on the daily are all better ways to improve skin.  “More doesn’t always mean better when it comes to skincare products,” Dr. Sandy Skotnicki told Global News in June. “Try to limit how much product you put on your face.”

READ MORE: Scientists make breakthrough in linking sugar to cancer growth

Carroll said when he hears about our favourite celebs using food or water or anything else to change the appearance of their skin, remember there could also be other reasons their skin looks “good.”

“I find it amusing that every celebrity with beautiful skin gives credit to water intake rather then the more likely culprits of Botox, laser and good genes.”

With files from Dani-Elle Dubé

arti.patel@globalnews.ca

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.

Global News