It's True, Sugar Affects Your Skin
Time to put the cake away
Here's the deal. I spoke to Dr Teo Wan Lin, the founder and medical director TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, and according to her, evidence shows that eating added sugar – more specifically high glycemic foods – increases sebum production, and may contribute to acne formation.
And If you're worried about ageing skin, high-sugar diets could almost certainly speed the process up. Dr Teo says that high GI (a value assigned to foods based on the effect they have on your blood sugar levels) foods can "accelerate ageing theoretically via an increase in the breakdown of collagen fibres, a process known as glycation."
Oh joy, we're not nearly done –
Research also suggests that refined sugar promotes inflammation in the body, which Dr Teo adds, medical conditions like rosacea and eczema are linked to.
I have rosacea so I dug further, going off added sugar for one week to put it to a test. Keyword: Added Sugar. So, nothing guerilla – I avoided the usual suspects like cake and sweets, tragically even bread. In short, all simple carbohydrates and processed food, which often have sneaky amounts of sugar. I ate only whole, real foods, including complex carbohydrates like brown rice and fruit. Naturally occurring foods found in fruit and vegetables are fine because they add nutritious value to your diet.
Zero results, obviously. By the time afternoon strikes, my T-zone’s oily. I don't really crave anything sweet, if anything it's out of habit – I usually have chocolate after dinner. I have blueberries instead.
My cheeks are still characteristically rosy and when I check in again at around 3 pm, there’s that inevitable shine. At a social dinner, I have some red wine, which maybe isn’t part of the no-sugar diet…. Or is it? Cin, Cin.
Day Three Yesterday’s cheeky glass (fine – two, large) of wine certainly didn’t help. My skin’s flushed. On the plus side, my skin has a sheen but it’s definitely not as oily as the previous days.
Food update: NO WINE.
Face smooshed up against at a magnified mirror, I see positive changes in my skin. The redness has gone down very slightly, and I am not lying, my pores look smaller.
My skin feels smoother than usual. There seems to be some improvement with the redness and dry patches between my brows, and dare I think it, my skin seems more supple.
Day Six No major differences with the day before. I do notice however, that my makeup goes on evenly, and stays on because hurrah, my skin is less oily and textured. My rosacea hasn’t flared up like it usually does around that time of the month – no ruddy-red skin, no pustular spots.
The days have rolled on by, haven't they? My skin is more balanced and smoother than it has been in a long time. Not baby bottom smooth, but considering that my skin gets a bit rough to the touch during a flare-up, I'm beyond pleased. The dry patches have miraculously cleared up. I wish I could say my skin was plumper, but that would probably take more than a week, or time travel (back, obviously).
Would I do it again? Absolutely, I saw a difference in my skin and loved it. It honestly wasn't that hard to go off added sugars, either. Of course, a balanced diet, which Dr Teo also recommends, seems a far more sensible thing to do...