How did your New Year’s Resolution work out?
Maybe your 30 days of running never happened, maybe you promised yourself you’d meditate every day, and that definitely didn’t happen, or perhaps you swore away sugar—and then you walked past that new bakery…
Now that January is over and we can let out a sigh of relief for all the graveyard promises we made—it’s time to get real.
Why did you make these goals? Getting to the ‘why’ is what will help you achieve your goals. That’s why in this article, we’re getting to the ‘why.’ Maybe a sugar detox wasn’t even on your radar. But maybe you’ve been noticing your skin not looking so hot, and your confidence is at an all-time low.
It’s my mission to help you feel like your best self, and yes, that includes how you feel about your skin. I want you to love the skin you’re in. So in this article, I’m diving into the effects of sugar on skin and why you should try a sugar cleanse. You’ll learn how to do a sugar detox properly for happy hormones, a glowing complexion, and radiant confidence.
The Effects of Sugar on Your Skin
Sugar damages your skin through glycation, a natural process in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins and produces harmful free radicals called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The more sugar you consume, the more AGEs develop and damage surrounding proteins. How does this impact your skin?
1 – Damages Collagen and Elastin
Collagen and elastin are the building blocks of your skin. As we age, collagen and elastin production slows, making way for fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
Collagen and elastin are the two most vulnerable proteins when it comes to AGEs. AGEs make elastin and collagen stiff and dry, taking away that bounce, plumpness, and glow.
2 – Deactivates Natural Antioxidant Enzymes
AGEs also deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes. Antioxidants are potent protectors against environmental agers like blue light, UV light, pollution, and other chemicals. This is why the best foods for skin health are always high in antioxidants. AGEs, as a result of a high sugar diet, turn off our body’s natural antioxidant building blocks.
3 – Impacts resilience of collagen in each stage
Your skin contains three primary types of collagen (I, II, and III). The stability of each type of collagen builds with each stage, with type 1 being the weakest and type 3 being the strongest. Glycation degrades Type III collagen into Type I. As we know, collagen production is already slowing as we age. It’s crucial for a youthful complexion that we support resilient collagen types.
Signs & Symptoms that Sugar is Affecting Your skin
The most obvious signs that sugar affects your skin are wrinkles, deep crevices, dull and dehydrated skin, and sagging skin. But what is the relationship between sugar and acne?
At the root of it, skin issues resulting from a high sugar diet is a hormone problem. Sugar spikes blood sugar levels, causing the adrenals to release stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline).
Suppose blood sugar is out of whack daily (which in our American culture it does). In that case, it can lead to serious hormonal problems, including PMS, fertility issues, fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, mood swings, and of course—acne. Your skin truly is a mirror of your internal world.
Here’s the thing: all acne is hormonal. Forget what you heard about bacteria and oil. You can learn more information on acne, root causes, and herbs for healing in this episode with Dr. Shannon Curtis.
Other signs and symptoms that sugar is impacting your skin:
- Dull, dehydrated skin
- Skin surface looks hard and shiny
- Discoloration and hyperpigmentation
- Deep crevices along the laugh line area
- Sagging skin, especially around jawline
The American Heart Association says that women should consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar daily or roughly 100 calories. This is a hard thing to stick to, especially in our processed sugar-laden standard American diet. Most foods are loaded with more than your daily serving of sugar. And not only that, but sugar hides in the most unlikely places: salad dressings, sauces, breads, smoothies, and juices.
How to Do a Sugar Detox for Skin
Completely eliminating sugar can be hard, but I want to give you an easy guide so that you can improve skin health and self-love.
This is 7 days of a sugar detox. I recommend doing it for 10 days to 2 weeks, but 7 days can be a good starting spot.
1- Increase water intake
Increasing your water intake will have a two-fold benefit: 1. Staying fully hydrated will help curb sugar cravings, allowing you to follow through with the detox 2. Water will do wonders for your internal health, and your skin will glow.
When it comes to water, you want to make sure that you are drinking it in its purest and cleanest form possible. If you have trouble drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day, try adding a tasty electrolytes powder. Our Hydration Superfood Energy powder makes hydrating on the cellular level easy. It’s filled with energizing and skin-loving B vitamins, electrolytes, and superfoods for gentle detoxification and healthy skin. If you’re wondering how to sugar detox quickly, this powder is your #1 pal.
2- Whole Foods Diet
Next up, diet. Processed foods have got to go during your sugar detox. Processed foods, even if they don’t seem like it, are loaded with sugar! Tomato sauce, Thai curry sauces, soy sauce, salad dressings, breads, etc. Stick to whole foods for the duration of your sugar detox for skin.
Load up on antioxidant-rich foods—blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, dark chocolate, oranges, dried mango, artichokes, goji berries.
Prioritize foods that balance blood sugar and make hormones happy.
Healthy fats, protein, and fiber need to be accompanying colorful veggies in every meal for balanced blood sugar and hormones. These foods can look like avocado, chia seeds, coconut oil, really good quality olive oil, wild-caught fish, sweet potato, and a spoonful of almond butter.
3 – Sleep
Sugar cravings are often a result of poor sleep. For your body to get the energy it craves, it will crave sugar! Make sure you are prioritizing sleep. You can do this by creating a nighttime routine you love and will stick to.
This can be as simple as making a cup of tea (passionflower, chamomile, skullcap, lavender, ginger) and putting on blue light glasses and journaling. Maybe winding down with a bath or self-massage. Whatever it is, prioritizing your sleep is necessary for balancing hormones and waking up with glowing skin.
Another last point on sleep, a lot of people who struggle with adrenal fatigue also struggle with insomnia and skin issues. At the root of adrenal fatigue is blood sugar and hormone imbalance. To heal, prioritizing rest and sleep is essential.
4 – Switch to an alternative sweetener that won’t increase insulin
Natural sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia are good alternatives if you still want the sweet taste without the insulin spike. While I recommend trying to go without all sugar alternatives for at least a week, this is a good idea after your no sugar cleanse to add these in!
5- Bonus: Add in collagen
Has youthful skin ever met a better friend than collagen powders? Probably not. Adding in a collagen supplement will help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and promote skin health. Our Beauty Collagen Complex is a delicious vanilla honey flavor (sweetened with stevia) and packed with collagen boosters, stress-reducing adaptogens, and beautifying vitamins and minerals for 3-10x better results than conventional collagen on the market.
I hope this article has helped you understand how sugar impacts skin health and what you can do about it. Check out our Hydration Superfood Energy and Beauty Collagen Complex for your skin health and hormone journey. And if you are struggling with adrenal fatigue or any other hormone issues, sign up for our group coaching program waitlist.