What Happens To Your Skin When You Stop Eating Sugar

Sugary foods have long been banned when it comes to acne-prone and aging skin. You may have been advised to avoid sugar in your diet as much as possible, and dermatologists point out that’s for good reason. High-sugar diets have long been linked to premature aging, flare-ups of inflammation, and other skin issues that many of us want to avoid. We spoke with board-certified dermatologists Dr. Debra Jaliman, MD, and Dr. Simran Sethi, MD, MBA, to learn more about sugar and anti-aging beauty routines, and what you and your skin could do feel if you largely cut out sugar. of your diet.

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What Sugar Does To Aging Skin And What You’ll Notice Without It

Sugar is found in countless processed foods, which both experts say you should avoid if your goal is firmer skin with fewer acne breakouts. “Avoid processed foods like sugar and dairy because they make you burst,” says Jaliman. She continues: “The processed sugars glycate the collagen which stiffens and ages the skin. For those with acne-prone or oily skin, Jaliman says dairy products [and especially dairy products with lots of sugar] “May aggravate the skin and exacerbate acne.”

“When people stop eating these types of foods and beverages, they notice firmer skin and fewer acne breakouts,” Jaliman says of a diet with little to no excess sugar. To be clear, there is a huge difference between natural sugar (like that found in fruit) and added sugars/artificial sweeteners, as Jaliman’s lists are often found in “soda, packaged cookies, cakes and other processed foods.

Sethi notes that sugar, and specifically “excess consumption of refined sugar”, causes “intrinsic damage to collagen and elastin proteins in the skin through the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs)”. This, she says, reduces the integrity and elasticity of the skin, “making it prone to dehydration and wrinkles.” She also says that alternatively, fruit can “satisfy a sweet tooth and hydrate the skin due to its high water content.”


Jaliman notes that a well-balanced diet is “essential” to your skin’s health, and that fruits and vegetables containing skin-loving nutrients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C are vital. Additionally, she recommends “eating foods with antioxidants because they help slow the aging process.”

“Sugar ages our skin just like smoking, pollution and UV rays,” Sethi notes in conclusion, saying that stopping or removing sugar from your diet can have similar effects to eliminating other harmful elements. listed. When there’s excess glucose in the body, Sethi says, it “cross-links with collagen and elastin,” proteins that give our skin its firmness and elasticity.


The cross-linking of the sugar hardens the proteins in the skin, “making the skin weaker, thinner and less hydrated,” she continues. “Damaged skin proteins lead to increased and premature wrinkles, sagging and discoloration of the skin.” Additionally, she adds that glycation also occurs in proteins in our blood vessels, joints, and other important organs, “further underscoring the importance of wise sugar intake” in aging and prone beauties. to acne.

Good, you have it now! Both experts note that taking small steps to replace your favorite sugary foods (i.e. swapping fruit for dessert, etc.) can promote healthier, more radiant skin and, as Jaliman says, ” brighter, less dull skin” overall. Although results won’t be instantaneous, you can help encourage firmer, healthier skin with plenty of hydration, exercise, sleep, and a classic anti-aging skin care routine: cleansing, moisturizing, use of serums and of course, adequate sleep. For more information on sugar related to your skin in particular, consult your dermatologist.