Sugar does the skin harm, and some good

NancyM on 26 Feb 2009 at 7:22am

If there's one food to have a love-hate relationship with, it's sugar. At about 15 calories per teaspoon, adding some here and there to sweeten things up can rack up added weight. But sugar is also friend and foe to your skin.

Good Sugar for Skin

Sugar—the plain ol' white stuff in your kitchen—is actually a very good exfoliator when mixed with a bit of olive oil or even your own liquid cleanser or shower gel. Gently rub into skin and rinse. Try it on hands as well for a cheaper, less abrasive alternative to some of the heavy-duty hand scrubs on the market.

Bad Sugar for Skin

The word to know here is "glycation". This is the process that occurs sugarsDr Perricone has studied the negative effects of sugar on skin aging we eat permanently attach to protein, such as collagen in the skin, causing inflammation.

Here's what Dr. Nicholas Perricone—who is often referred to as the "father of the inflammation theory on aging"—has to say on glycation:

The inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen, resulting in wrinkled, sagging skin. In addition to inflammation, glycation also causes cross-linking in our collagen, making it stiff and inflexible where it was once soft and supple.

To keep skin looking its best, are you willing to ease up on the M&M's?