You know that sugar isn’t exactly the best thing for your body. Between causing weight gain and leading to diabetes, there are significant long-term effects of excessive sugar consumption.
But what about all the damage it causes on a short-term basis?
Your skin is unfortunately especially sensitive to sugar. While using a sugar scrub to exfoliate might lead to a temporary glow, ingesting the sweet stuff means trouble for your complexion.
And that’s not all it does … read on for details on how eating too much sugar may actually be causing growth of extra facial hair (seriously).
How Sugar Damages the Skin
Sugar damages the collagen in the skin. Yup, the very collagen that we work so hard to stimulate and emulate with aesthetic treatments like Ultherapy and dermal fillers. Breakdown of collagen is also what happens due to sun exposure, and is one of the major causes of the skin’s aging. When collagen breaks down, fine lines and wrinkles form in the area.
How does sugar make this happen? It’s due to a process called glycation. This is the effect of sugar binding to proteins in the body (like collagen and elastin). This ultimately makes the collagen fibers stuff and rigid and reduces the skin’s elasticity.
Those who decide to cut out refined sugar noticed improved elasticity within as short a period as one month. They’ve also seen improvements to blemishes and conditions like acne and rosacea.
If you’re hoping to see improvements to your skin as a result of dietary choices, focus on the following low-glycemic foods –
- Whole grains
- Nuts and beans
- Foods high in antioxidants (like berries and spinach)
- Foods rich in omega-3s (like salmon, avocados and olive oil)
- …and, above all, no refined sugar
Other Nasty Effects Sugar Has on the Skin (i.e.: Unwanted Facial Hair)
When we consume a lot of processed sugars that are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, this leads to spikes in insulin production and release. When a large amount of insulin is routinely released, the body is more likely to develop insulin resistance. This ends up causing even higher insulin levels on a long-term basis.
Chronically high insulin levels are not only a contributing factor to diabetes, but can alter hormone production. In women, the ovaries then tend to produce additional androgen/testosterone. This causes coarser, thicker hair to grow on multiple areas of the body, including the face, neck, chest and arms and legs. For some women, these hormones can also cause the hair on the top of the head to thin – all at the same time.
How to Tackle Excess Facial Hair
While reducing your refined sugar intake can help improve your skin, you may already have coarse or dark facial hair that you’re not sure how to tackle (and it may not be a result of excessive sugar). Sure, shaving, waxing and plucking will remove this hair temporarily, but it’s going to keep returning. And with the highly sensitive skin on the face, these depilatory methods can prove painful and irritating.
If you’re interested in a long-term hair solution, laser hair removal is an excellent option. Appropriate for all areas of the body, our hair removal lasers will treat hair where it’s bothering you and help you find a way forward. With each treatment, additional hair follicles will be treated and less hair will continue to grow in the area.
Ready to learn more about laser hair removal? Simply schedule a free consultation to speak with our staff.