Sugar and Your Skin

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We’ve all heard about the health risks associated with sugar, but if like me, you find hard to kick this habit, you never really give it much consideration. I was recently reading a magazine article on how bad sugar can be for your skin. I was shocked at the amount of damage alone sugar can wreak on your skin. I knew it played a part in bad skin, but apparently I didn’t know the half of it!

Besides potentially giving you a catalogue of skin ailments, consuming too much sugar puts you at the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

So How Can Sugar Adversely Affect Your Skin?

  • Inflammation

Sugar causes a spike in blood sugar levels causing them to surge and then plummet rapidly. This then leads to the sugar content in your system irritating your blood vessels, which in turn leads to inflammation. Inevitably, this causes damage to the skin, which can appear puffy, red, very oily or dry. Any sign of inflammation can lead to break outs. So if you are prone to acne, you may want to cut right back on refined sugars including both white and brown sugar, honey, molasses and maple syrup. All of the above bar white and brown sugar came as a shock to me, because I thought I was being good by cutting out sugar and sticking with these substitutes!

Experts urge you to stock up on foods rich in fibre, protein and healthy fats to guard against a sharp drop in sugar levels.

  • Furthermore, high blood sugar levels can also accelerate the signs of aging by clotting collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, obstructing the normal skin renewal process. Sugar is believed to attack the healthy, supple collagen responsible for keeping your skin wrinkle free. This subsequently leads to dehydrated and dull skin. Your skin becomes depleted of collagen, and when this happens, wrinkles form.
  • Free radicals cause inflammation and disease in your body. Studies have shown a diet rich in sugar to lead to free radicals in your body. To fight free radicals, you need to have a diet rich in antioxidants like fruit and vegetables, in place of sugary snacks and other food items.
  • Sugar can lead to skin rashes as well as yeast imbalances, which are often accompanied by inflammation and redness. Try cutting right back on sugar, and chances are you’ll soon see a marked improvement to your skin health!
  • Sugar is known to draining your skin of all moisture by sucking the water out of your cells. This can lead to dry skin, puffiness and the dreaded dark under eye circles that a lot of women suffer with.
  • Too much sugar plays havoc with your digestive system, and is usually part of the reason behind cramps and excessive gas. Sugar inflames the gut, ferments and isn’t digested properly to contribute anything in terms of nutrients, other than glucose to your body! Cutting sugar out of your diet will lead to better digestion, less cravings and much better skin.

As stated before, you can help your skin health by including lower glycemic-index foods in your diet. This will lead to clearer and more supple skin. Avoid all foods that cause sharp spikes in blood sugar levels such as sweets, sodas, white bread, alcohol, and products made with high fructose corn syrup. Foods such as quality protein foods, reduced-fat dairy products, beans and lentils, and 100% whole-grain versions of bread and pasta will release energy into your body a lot slower and over time without the risk of inflammation and skin irritation.

All these facts have given me food for thought, pun not intended. I realise I could do with cutting right back, but really struggle with not including sugar in my diet! I also crave smooth, glowing and healthy skin, so this is a classic ‘catch 22’ situation for me.

Do you eat a lot of sugary food in your diet? How easy do you find it to cut back on your sugar intake?

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Skin Supplements 2

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I recently wrote an article on the best supplements to take for your skin health. I know that there are varying arguments for and against the use of supplements out there. But I don’t see anything wrong with taking supplements to help your skin, as long as you obviously don’t rely solely on them to provide you with the necessary nutrients. Supplements are not to be used in place of a well-balanced diet, and are in fact an aid to supplement your diet should you decide to go down that route.

As you can tell, I’m a fan of supplements and take some on a daily basis, in particular those designed to help skin health. For as long as I can remember, I have always had issues with my skin. I’d just hit puberty when I suddenly started getting these horrible spots that just wouldn’t go away, no matter what I did to address the sitiuation. Over the years, my acne seemed to change face, escalating to cystic acne right through to hormonal acne. I never thought I’d get rid of it, but I finally did, in part due to use of skin supplements. I learned that sometimes you also have to clean your skin from inside out, after all, you are what you eat, right?

Here are more supplements that your skin could benefit from:

  • Olive fruit extract. This extract helps protect the skin from free radicals and the oxidative damage associated with aging. It also improves the overall health and beauty of skin.
  • Biotin is a member of the B-vitamin family. Research has indicated that nail strength and quality are improved by taking 2.5 milligrams per day.
  • Hyaluronic acid. In essence, hyaluronic acid is one if the skin’s premier moisturizers, as it holds water in the intracellular matrix of dermal connective tissue and contributes to the skin’s elasticity.
  • Rosemary contains active plant compounds like ursolic acid and carnosic acid that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary can help keep your skin looking vibrant by supporting cell membrane health.
  • Green tea extract. Green tea is a source of polyphenols known as flavonoids, the predominate flavonoid being Catechins are strong antioxidants that promote overall health and protect against free radical damage to the skin. More and more beauty products contain this powerful ingredient.

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Supplements and Diet For Flawless Skin With A Glow

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Ask any woman and they’ll tell you they’d love to have flawless skin with a glow. Yes, we’d all like that without the hefty price tag that comes with the skincare products and beauty procedures that the industry churns out at an alarming rate. Yet we all seem to have lost sight of the fact that the very best beauty care or nourishment we can treat our skin to is through diet, what we put in our bodies. After all, you are what you eat!

A diet rich in high-quality proteins such as salmon and calcium-rich foods including yogurt is a great way of nourishing your skin from inside out. You would do very well to include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet, because they’re packed full of protective antioxidants that your skin will thank and reward you for!

In as much as a good diet is good for great skin, you still need further help to you fight the free radicals your skin is subjected to on a daily basis. These free radicals are your number one enemy as they play a huge role in escalating wrinkles, fine lines, and other effects of ageing. Your best bet is to couple a good diet with supplements that promote optimal skin health and beauty.

Below are some of the best, recommended supplements to help you nourish and feed your skin in your quest for flawless, glowing skin and a more youthful appearance:

Vitamin D

Many people have insufficient levels of this important vitamin.

Vitamin D is believed to protect the skin from sun damage and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Kudzu extract

An ancient Chinese and Japanese vine extract that helps support collagen production and the skin’s natural support structure, improving skin tone and firmness.

Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring carotenoid pigment that gives salmon its distinctive colour. It’s packed full of antioxidants, helping protect the skin from the free-radical damage linked to ageing.

Tocotrienol

Tocotrienols are a specific form of vitamin E with potent antioxidant properties. A combination of tocotrienols and astaxanthin has been reported to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and discolorations while smoothing and moisturizing the skin.

Lutein

Spinach is a rich source of Lutein and is important for good eye health. Recent studies suggest that the antioxidant properties of lutein may support healthy skin lipids and increase hydration in the skin.

Lycopene

Lycopene is a red plant pigment found mainly in tomatoes and contains impressive antioxidant properties. Lycopene has been shown to improve skin color and radiance, and reduce the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.

Alpha lipoic acid

Alpha lipoic acid is the universal antioxidant, working with both the fat- and water-soluble parts of cells. The antioxidant properties of alpha lipoic acid have been reported to help reduce signs of skin photoageing.

Calcium

The mineral calcium is vital to the health and strength of all of your bones, including your facial bones. Firm facial bones ensure that your skin doesn’t sag and wrinkle easily.

Vitamin C

In addition to its antioxidant properties, which have been reported to protect the skin from free-radical damage, vitamin C is vital for normal collagen production and the skin’s natural support structure.

Kiwi seed extract

Kiwi seed extract improves radiance, reduces the appearance of fine lines and dark circles, and improves skin moisture.

Armed with all this information, you should be able to enjoy gorgeous, glowing skin should you choose to go down this route. Do you already use any skin supplements that work really well for you?

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