We all know that sun damage is the number 1 cause of premature skin ageing, but did you know that a diet high in excess sugar can be just as damaging and cause you to age must faster? Over consumption of sugar is THE health epidemic of our generation. Sugar addiction is common in the UK with nutritional experts reporting that we as a nation consume double the recommended daily amount of sugar in our diets.
While the overall health implications for a diet high in processed sugars are not good, one side effect can be described as catastrophic for the skin. To put it simply sugar will accelerate the skins ageing processes resulting in premature ageing such as loss of structure and development wrinkles.
This premature ageing is a direct result of a process known as Glycation, which occurs when excess sugar binds to vital proteins the skin such as Collagen and Elastin. This binding or cross-linking of protein and sugar creates a new breed of sugar proteins known as 'Advanced Glycation End Products' or (AGEs) for short. The body does not recognise AGEs and will produce antibodies that cause inflammation in the skin to protect it. AGEs are naturally attracted to our collagen and elastin, causing it to breakdown or collapse leading to visible wrinkles and loss of skin structure. Wrinkles caused by glycation or AGEs are easily identifiable due to their ‘criss-cross’ appearance. Unfortunately, there is a direct correlation between the amount of sugar you consume (be in natural or processed) and the amount of AGEs you produce.
Image of AGEs around the lips, ‘criss-cross’ appearance.
To combat and prevent glycation, an obvious recommendation is to cut down the amount of sugar in the diet, however this is easier said than done. Sugar addiction is an epidemic and most lethal of all are the hidden sugars in our diets that we don’t even realise we are consuming. Avoiding processed foods is possibly the most effective way to eliminate and avoid unnecessary excess sugar. Reading food labels will show that sugar is present in many forms and can be listed as fructose, corn syrup, molasses to name but a few.
While, ridding a diet of excess sugars is the first step in any ‘anti-glycation’ plan, applying topical skincare ingredients with anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties is also important. Skincare ingredients that will help fight the damage glycation causes include niacinamide, blueberries and pomegranate. Check out the COSMEDIX Blueberry Smoothie and Pomegranate Peel professional skin treatments which are available through COSMEDIX Pro Partners across the UK and Ireland.
Applying products that have anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties as well as a daily SPF is also important. For the month of August Medico Beauty have a put together a special offer on two best-selling COSMEDIX products – Cell ID and Phytoharmony - which are key to tackling premature ageing and the damage glycation causes.
COSMEDIX Cell ID Intense Defence Serum is a restorative serum that helps restore healthy skin while reducing fine lines and wrinkles caused by premature ageing. It is packed with free radical fighting antioxidants to protect the skin against environmental stress that will cause further skin inflammation, in turn damaging collagen and elastin even more.
COSMEDIX Phytoharmony Balancing Moisturiser will stimulate collagen and elastin production, in turn fighting the loss of elasticity and firmness that Glycation degrades. It is also packed with botanical ingredients which help soothe inflammation and deeply hydrate the skin in order to allow the skin to renew itself and function at an optimum level.
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