Who knew that sugar could be contributing to your wrinkles? If your waistline hasn’t made you watch your sugar consumption, maybe the fact that it is contributing to your skin aging will.

Once sugar is consumed, the molecules latch onto fats and proteins in the body, in a process called glycation. The main proteins in skin are collagen and elastin. Collagen essentially is what gives our skin it’s strength, and elastin is what lets our skin snap back into place. When glycation happens to these proteins in our skin, it then stiffens and malforms them, leaving them unable to assist at maintaining youthful skin. An article in Shape recently outlined the effects, “This damage leads to an increase in fine lines and wrinkles” says Doris J. Day, M.D., clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center.

The bad news is – it’s not just refined sugars that cause glycation. Even fruit and wholegrains cause this process, as they turn into glucose in your blood stream when digested. The good news is, there are steps we can take to stop, or minimise, this process. Making smart diet decisions, like cutting out refined sugars are definitely going to help. Even minimising wholegrains will assist, and choosing smarter carbohydrate choices such as brown rice over white rice as it contains less glucose.

Skincare will also make a difference. Aminoguanidine molecules can block the glucose-collagen pairs from forming, and super-antioxidants like green tea interfere with the process, inside and out. If you drink green tea daily you will be doing wonders for your skin. It stimulates collagen synthesis which is going to help replace the damaged collagen molecules with new ones. As well as green tea, retinoids will also help with cell turn over and forming new collagen.

Some wonder products to add into your skincare regime: 1. Aspect Retinol Brulee 30ml, $128.80 2. Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex 15ml, $112.00 3. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Honey Drops Body Cream 400ml, $65.00 4. Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturiser 50ml, $42 5. Aspect Envirostat SPF 15 Moisturiser 100ml, $75.90

To read more about the chemistry and process of glycation visit here.

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