Holiday Skincare: Sugar's Affect on Skin
The holidays are all about sweet indulgences. From the cookie exchanges to the dessert spread at yet another holiday party, sugar can quickly become its own food group. While delicious, this is not a good thing. Too much of the sweet stuff can have serious consequences on the appearance of your skin.
When we consume sugar, our body processes it by converting it to glucose, which acts as fuel. And when it hits our bloodstream - boom - instant sugar rush. But, at the same time the sugar is giving you renewed energy, it is also attaching itself to the collagen in your skin, causing it to become tough and inflexible. With poor elasticity, skin is unable to bounce back into place, and facial movement lines become more visible. In short, sugar can accelerate the signs of aging.
That's not all. Sugar creates inflammation in our bodies, which can affect our joints and/or increase our susceptibility to illness. Inflammation can also manifest itself into rosacea, acne, rashes, or increased pore size.
Just as quickly as sugar can perk us up, a lack of sugar can make us "crash." When our bloodstream is void of sugar, it starts craving the energy it once had. This is responsible for us snacking on sweets or reaching for a soda in the afternoon. The vicious cycle of sugar rush and crash thus begins. Keep up this bad habit and your body might become conditioned to need a donut or pastry to jump start our morning or need that afternoon soda to make it through the day. Experts say that by balancing and maintaining blood sugar your body will eventually stop craving these skin altering sugars.
Eliminating sugar is more than just cutting out chocolate, soda, and other desserts. High-glycemic carbohydrates, like pasta, bread, white rice, oatmeal, and potatoes, also quickly break down in our bodies and rapidly elevate glucose levels. Even honey, melons, and raisins have a high glycemic index (GI).
With the holidays and all their sweet temptations right around the corner, now is a great time to start transitioning away from foods that rank high on the glycemic index. Here are a few tips and tricks we have used around the Sally B’s kitchen:
- Eat 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day is ideal to help to keep blood sugar levels stable. Keeping yourself fueled (and hydrated!) will keep your blood sugar from plummeting and ensure that you don’t go on an “I need sugar” binge.
- Say no to sugar, artificial sweeteners, honey, and agave in your hot beverages. Instead try natural stevia or xylitol, which you can buy in packet form in any major grocery store. It’s amazing that plants can be so sweetening.
- Swap the soda, sweet tea, Gatorade, and other sugary juices with sparkling water with a twist of flavor. Fresh lemon, lime or raspberries are great additions.
- Drink one of Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothies every morning. It creates natural, all-day energy and eliminates the afternoon crash. Sally's personal tweak to the recipe reduces the sugar content by leaving out some of the fruit. She uses Kale, a whole peeled lemon, an apple or a banana, parsley, cilantro, spinach, celery, ice, Stevia and water. True to its name, drinking this smoothie regularly will help your skin begin to glow.
- Snack before the party. Holiday buffet spreads are bound to be filled with sweets and pastries, so eat before you go. Arriving at a party with a satisfied tummy will help keep you from munching and snacking on sugar-filled treats.
If you do find yourself falling victim to the sugary drinks and treats this winter, help repair skin with these products:
- Nighttime Antioxidant Serum. This antioxidant-rich serum gives your skin an effective and beneficial boost of reparative antioxidants while being a superb moisturizer. Learn more.
- Fruit Acid Toner. Sugar can enlarge pores, so keep them clean and refined with our Fruit Acid Toner, an all-natural alpha hydroxy acid complex. Learn more.
- B Green Mud Mask. Designed to absorb excess oil and toxins from skin, this mask base can be customized to meet the needs of your skin. Add food items like yogurt, avocados, banana and more to calm, moisturize, and refine. Learn more
Kicking the sugar habit is one of the hardest diet changes we have ever made, but it has also been one of the most rewarding. Not only do we feel better physically, but our skin seriously glows; a glow skin care and makeup products can't replicate. We encourage you to discover this beauty secret for yourself. You will see changes in your skin fairly quickly and we are positive that your ROE (return on effort) will be well worth it!
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