We’ve heard of “sushi face,” the phenomenon of eating sushi for dinner the night before and waking up with a puffy sodium face. David Kirsch, Kate Upton’s trainer, has talked at length about “carb face,” one of the reasons why he puts the model on a no-carb, no-sugar diet. Now, the word “sugar face” has been bubbling up in beauty vernacular.
Putting the phenomenon to the test, I reluctantly gave up sugar for a few sad weeks. Offsetting my sorrow at saying no to every dessert that passed though my office was the fact that my face generally looked better. My skin appeared brighter, my wrinkles seem less pronounced, and I even seemed to need less under-eye concealer. A few of my colleagues who have tried giving up sugar have noticed similar positive benefits. Was this all in our heads? I tracked down medical experts to shed some light.
The legendary Dr. Frederic Brandt used to say that giving up sugar could make you look younger by ten years.
“Sugar breaks down collagen, the springy substance that makes your skin look plump, youthful, and lifted” explained Dr Low Chai Ling, founder of SW1 Clinic. Acording to doctors, sugar can also weaken the immune system, and a suppressed immune system is bad at fighting off bacteria. Bacteria clogged in pores creates pimples. And so the chain reaction goes.
Sugar also creates more testosterone which makes pores larger and skin oilier. Testosterone, rampant in males also turns your beautiful female skin into ruddy football player skin. The negative effects do not stop there. Sugar affects water binding so your skin looks less perky and bouncy, and doesn’t appear as oxygenated. Enter dark eye circles as well as dull, lackluster skin.
In any case, great skin is made up of a combination of factors including genetics, skin care, and environmental and lifestyle factors. Asked to rank sugar on a list of good-skin “enemies” from bad to worst, doctors placed environmental toxins like air and ultraviolet light as first, inflammatory foods as second, stress as third, lack of sleep as fourth, and general lifestyle, including skin-care routine and sugar, as last. So if you want that gummy bear, go ahead.
If you however want to rescue your face from being afflicted with the ‘sugar face”, jump right into these skin-salvaging remedies.
Wipe the slate clean with hot water and lemon.
It’s important to start your day with hot water and lemon as lemon has an incredible alkalizing, toxin-flushing ability and a high vitamin C–derived antioxidant potential.
Choose a breakfast that’s good for your gut.
After a night of bad habits, the gut develops an imbalance of bad bacteria, and the body can wake up craving even more sugar. Try taking a probiotic supplement to rebalance blood sugars, give you energy, and reduce mood swings.
Put dairy, caffeine, and high-intensity exercise on hold.
Avoid all dairy products (they are hard to digest) and salt, since the latter can cause bloating and further sugar cravings. Pass on coffee too, she says, because your liver is already overworked and caffeine and acidity levels will not help. Instead, opt for a light, refreshing walk outside that will be “beneficial to the recovery process.
Tackle sugar-related breakouts and skin issues.
Skin, too, can see the effects of a heavy night of trick-or-treating. Excess sugar can cause inflammation and even rosacea. To kickstart the de-puffing process, LED light mask is a godsend. “The red lights can help calm skin and soothe redness,” says Dr Low.
A lack of glow can easily be treated with Plasma C Boost, a quick infusion of pure vitamin C to the skin. Feeling like a breakout is about to happen? Ask for BBL Forever Clear, a broadband light therapy that helps to stop pimples in its tracks without the use of hasrh ingredients or products.
Dry brush your way to a full-body detox.
For those with a little extra time on their hands, a quick dry brushing session will boost circulation, exfoliate dead skin, stimulate lymph nodes, and even improve digestion—especially when followed by a good steam that provides a restorative and purifying head-to-toe boost. Until the next sugar craving strikes, that is.
Read More: 5 Things You Should Do When Acne Won’t Clear