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How Sugar Ages the Skin

By Kia Troutman

Over the years many studies have focused on how too much sugar in the bloodstream contributed to chronic health conditions like diabetes, but recently its effect on skin has come to the forefront. The metabolizing of sugar in our bodies is called glycation and is defined as the bonding of a sugar molecule to a

protein or lipid molecule without enzymatic regulation. As the studies mount the

term is becoming more popular in mainstream communications.

The science behind what happens in our bodies when we consume sugar is

complex, yet the outcome doesn’t require a Ph.D. to recognize. I have gathered

from the research that certain tissues and cells in the body turn over more slowly thereby allowing the damage from glycation to be extended over time. In more simple terms sugar (glucose and fructose) targets the collagen in our skin

making it lose its elasticity. Adding to the negative effects of glycation are:

epigenetics, UV exposure, oxidative stress, and nutritional habits. Sagging,

wrinkles, inflammation, and dull complexions are the result.

Cutting back on sugar is a challenge for many individuals even with helpful

information being readily available, and the reason for it has been researched as

well. When we consume sugar it creates an opioid and dopamine effect in our

brains. No wonder so many of us are literally addicted to sugar. So you may be

wondering how you make the positive changes needed for your overall health and skin. Here are some suggestions:

  • Consume your sugar by eating fruit so it is released into your bloodstream slower than it would otherwise. The fiber in fruit helps with this.

  • Take antioxidant supplements like vitamins E, C, D, and l carnitine. And also Omegas in proper doses. They have been shown to slow down and even eradicate the free radical damage that occurs from sugar consumption.

  • Make sure your gut is supported.

  • Prepare cooked foods by boiling and/or steaming to reduce free radical

  • consumption.

  • Reduce the sugar in your sweet recipes by lessening the amount in the recipe.

  • Reduce excess stress.

  • Get enough quality sleep to reduce cravings.

  • Try to leave unhealthy sweets out of your reach.

  • Up your healthy protein and fat intake to stay full longer.

  • Use SPF and reduce UV and Blue Light exposure.

  • Be patient with yourself. If you have an overboard moment, dry off and get back on the healthy boat.

  • Connect with a wellness coach for your wellness goal support and accountability.


Kia is a Holistic Health Coach, trained as Master Certified Health Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute and has a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Studies and Organizational Communication from Florida Atlantic University in addition to other professional certifications and licenses. Kia offers a range of wellness programs and services focusing on healthy eating, stress management, gut health and overall self-care.

Check out for more resources and coaching.

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