Less Is More – Re-examining Your Sugar Intake For Skin Health

By Minji

  • We all know that sugar is bad for our skin, but is it realistic to eliminate entirely?
  • Instead of resorting to drastic short term fixes, take some time to re-examine your sugar intake mindfully
  • Having a few guidelines and a general strategy is half the battle!

I know sugar is bad for me. In particular, I know sugar is bad for my skin. I haven’t found a better cure for dark circles and undereye bags than eliminating sugar from my diet.  However, I must also acknowledge that I can’t live without my sugar!

I’ve tried various elimination challenges and diets, including Keto and JLo’s 10-day no sugar challenge. I’ve had some success with short term efforts, but am still struggling with a sugar plan that seems sustainable way into the future.

According to experts, cutting out sugar helps decrease inflammation in the skin that produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagginess, wrinkles and undereye bags too.  Along with the sun and pollution, sugar seems to be one of the most notorious enemies to healthy skin. Clearly, the most challenging enemy, since the sun and pollution don’t taste this good!

So I’ve taken some time to once again mindfully re-examine my sugar intake for healthy skin.  What can I live without and what seems too precious to give up? As I dove deeper and deeper into this topic, I came across some interesting advice.

One article recommended I cut out yellow fruit from my diet.  According to this source, yellow foods are generally more calorie-dense and have less nutrition per serving. Is that true … but more importantly, what would life be like without bananas, mangoes or pineapples?

Another expert recommended chewing gum more frequently, citing research showing that gum chewing helps reduce sugar and other food cravings.  This sounded dangerous to me as I know that chewing gum can also exacerbate my facial asymmetry problems.

When it comes to sugar, there are certain non-starters.  I refuse to cut out sugar entirely… I cannot be that person reading the tiny ketchup bottle to see how much sugar it has.  I refuse to count calories – too hard and not sustainable in my experience.  I refuse to cut out foods like fruit, that might be high in sugar, but also have other great health benefits and can contribute to my glow.

My overall conclusion is to limit the frequency of sweets consumption and limit my sweet intake to high quality foods only.  When I say high quality, I’m not talking about organic or nutritious, I’m saying it better be good – for example, instead of eating a mediocre piece of chocolate cake, I’d rather have one perfectly crafted truffle. In terms of frequency, I think I’ll try to limit myself to one serving per day.  So if I have a piece of chocolate after lunch, no dessert after dinner.

My favorites to indulge in these days are dark chocolate and coconut ice cream.  I’ve been able to stay way from candies, dense cakes and doughnuts, most of the time.  Although, cup cakes and chocolate croissants are still major weaknesses.

The more I think about my sugar intake strategy for overall health and skin, as much as I agree with the general less is more recommendation, I'm realizing the most important thing is balance and having a plan. 

Instead of mindlessly devouring mediocre sweets frequently, I vow to only consume those sweets on occasion where they spark genuine joy. Even if you disagree with my specific plan, I encourage you to re-examine your sugar intake and come up with a strategy that works for you - having some guidelines is half the battle. All worth considering for your health, skin and happy life too!