How Sugar Affects Your Skin

How Sugar Affects Your Skin

We know sugar is bad for the waist, but how about the skin? You might want to put that cupcake down when you read this.

Regularly consuming large amounts of sugar affects your weight, energy and health. But do you know that it also messes with your skin? Here’s the lowdown.

Your skin is closely linked to your digestive system and what you consume shows up on your skin eventually. Sugary drinks and treats can cause your skin to break out because they make blood sugar levels surge and plummet, which leads to inflammation. This inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles because collagen makes skin look young and wrinkle-free.

Through a process known as glycation, digested sugar attaches itself to the collagen in your skin. This process speeds up the effects of aging on skin and can worsen existing skin conditions such as acne and rosacea.

Here’s more bad news. Since sugar causes inflammation, this weakens the immune system. A compromised immune system is bad at fighting off bacteria and bacteria clogs pores, creating pimples.

Sugar also has dehydrating effects which can make skin appear dry and puffy, making wrinkles and dark eye circles even more obvious.


Now that we’ve hit you with the facts, let’s get to know a little bit more about sugar.

Sugar is a carbohydrate and carbohydrates can be classified according to 2 groups – simple and complex carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates are composed of multiple simple sugars. The more complex a carbohydrate is, the longer it takes to be broken down by the body and the less impact it has on blood sugar levels.

Simple carbohydrates are composed of single (monosaccharides) or double (disaccharides) molecules and are digested quickly, releasing sugars rapidly into the bloodstream. The 2 main monosaccharides are glucose and fructose and the 2 main disaccharides are sucrose and lactose.

It’s hard to eliminate sugar completely from your diet since it is present in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. What you can do is choose healthier options over simple carbohydrates such as white rice, pasta, packaged snacks and sweet drinks. Reduce your consumption of sugars from junk and processed food, and opt for complex carbohydrates.


Here are options you can add to your diet for more balance:

– Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and vegetables which get broken down to sugar at a slower rate

– Beans, nuts, whole grains which delay sugar absorption and help control blood sugar levels

– Antioxidant-rich foods such as berries which help repair skin from the inside out

– Green juices which make for a quick, easy way to digest antioxidants when your skin needs a boost

– Anti-inflammatory foods such as lean protein and fibre for youthful, glowing skin


Counteract sugar’s effect on the skin with a combination of the following:

– Catch those ZZZ’s. Your body releases cortisol (the stress hormone) when you are sleep deprived, causing insulin levels to spike

– Keep your stress levels down. Similar to sugar, stress can cause insulin levels to spike

– Eat frequent, balanced meals. The hungrier you are, the more likely you are to want a sugary treat

– Drink sufficient water. Prevent dehydration while flushing out some of that extra sugar in your system

– Exercise regularly to burn excess sugar

Less sugar = better skin


Your Beauty BFF


DrGL® Recommends:

A potent, premium-grade Hyaluronic Acid enriched skin therapy, DrSpa® HA+ Optimiser utilises an advanced IonWave Technology that aids to instantly boost skin’s hydration level, plump dry & aging skin and retain optimum hydration in your skin for at least 28 days. Skin is visibly hydrated and smoothed, leaving you with a youth-enhancing glow.