There are many reasons why acne may occur. These include hormonal changes, sensitivities, improper skin care...etc. Essentially, there's rarely a cause and effect relationship between just one factor and the presence of acne. This being said, promoting healthy skin requires a holistic approach. This means using the right skin care products along with healthy lifestyle choices. Here, we're going to discuss how diet, in particular, sugar can affect the skin.
Sugar and Acne
While sugar doesn't necessarily cause acne, it has qualities that can promote the occurrence of breakouts. Sugary foods have a high glycemic index which means that they quickly turn into glucose, causing the insulin levels in your body to rise. This sudden elevation in insulin causes inflammation throughout the body.
Eating foods that are high in sugar content, can cause a pretty steep spike in your insulin levels leading to even greater inflammation within the body. This sudden increase results in overactive oil glands and can lead to clogged pores (which we all know is the precursor to acne).
The rise in insulin also causes inflammatory enzymes to go to work, attaching themselves to collagen in the body. This causes the collagen and elastin in the skin to break down which overtime, can lead to increased signs of aging -- wrinkles and sagging in the skin.
What can I Do?
If you've ever had a sugar addiction, you know how tough it can be to quit sweets. Luckily, you don't need to go cold turkey in order to reset the balance in your skin.
Detoxing can be very beneficial to the body and to the skin. It works to rid the body of toxins and impurities.
Don't worry! Detoxing does not have to be extreme, you can slowly wean yourself off of the sugary foods and incorporate healthy substitutes such as a square of 90% dark chocolate after dinner.
It also helps to designate a specific time during the week (once or twice) that you will treat yourself, instead of making it an everyday practice. Drinking a glass of water also helps to curve cravings in the moment.
Practice eating small snacks throughout the day including fruit (natural sugar), vegetables and grains so that your stomach feels content and you'll be less likely to give into a craving.
In all, remember that sugar promotes inflammation in the body and can also work to breakdown collagen. The less sugary foods you consume, the less spikes in insulin your body will experience. The best thing you can do for your skin when it comes to your diet is to cut back on the artificial sugars, and make simple, smart choices when it comes to snacks. These small steps can lead to a greater change in the look and health of your skin.