While a handful of sugary lollies at morning tea every now and then might seem harmless enough, have you noticed the difference in your skin when you’re consuming sugar regularly?

As you probably know from your high school science teacher, many foods we consume contain carbohydrates, and once digested these carbohydrates break down in simple sugars and circulate throughout the body for energy. But as we age and our skin cell turnover begins to slow, these excess sugars start to bond or morph abnormally with the protein molecules (known to us as keratin or collagen) in our skin. As a result of this – the technical term being ‘glycation’ – the skin begins to show the appearance of ageing, leaving the skin looking sallow and puffy with dehydration, with fine lines and wrinkles beginning to form.

Not only skin deep, sugar loaded foods are generally less nutrient dense and rob internal organs of precious much-needed nutrients, and cause a huge spike in insulin levels. This in turn begins to increases sebum (oil) production under the skins barrier and can lead to visible blemishes and breakouts. Glycation can also aggravate or exacerbate skin conditions such as acne or rosacea, and can affect internal tissues and joints within the body. Worse still, it’s suggested by some that the physical effects of glycation are accelerated when exposed to UV rays!

To begin to combat the glycation process topically, consider a product like Roccoco Soothing Cleansing Oil, a gentle and soothing cleansing oil designed for inflamed skins and those who struggle with constant redness. It contains Sunflower Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil and Passionfruit Oil which are renowned for their essential fatty acid content to calm and replenish the skins barrier, and is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

As previously mentioned, many foods contain carbohydrates – both good and bad – so arm yourself with the knowledge of the GI Index. The GI index ranks carbohydrates according to their effect on blood glucose levels, and in turn the appearance on the skins surface. Foods with Low GI are broken down and released into the body slowly over time, which leave you feeling fuller for longer, while High GI foods are digested rapidly and increase blood glucose levels. Incorporate nutrient-rich foods like salmon, leafy greens like kale, spinach and brussel sprouts, and almonds to your diet, and begin to notice the improvements inside and out.

Emily Crawford
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