You already know that eating too much sugar isn’t great for your health. But did you know that having a sweet tooth can also lead to fine lines and wrinkles? Believe it or not, excess sugar intake can cause premature aging. The name for this process is glycation.
So how does glycation work, and what can you do to prevent it? Keep reading to find out.
What is Glycation?
During digestion, our bodies break down the foods we eat into sugars that fuel our bodies. We need sugars to survive. But too many sugars in the body can interact with other compounds to form harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products (or AGEs).
AGEs cause signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and sagginess. The reason? Because AGEs break down collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are the proteins responsible for maintaining smooth, firm skin. Glycation also contributes to other health conditions like atherosclerosis.
The more sugar you eat, the worse the effects of glycation. Other types of food like fried foods and red meat can also release AGEs.
How Do You Stop Glycation?
More and more people are seeking out at-home alternatives to in-office treatments. Unfortunately, most at-home treatments pale in comparison to the results that can be achieved in-office.
Adjust Your Diet
High-glycemic index foods like candy, white bread, desserts, and other sweets cause spikes of blood sugar that release AGEs. When possible, swap out these sugary foods for low-glycemic index alternatives. For example, you might choose to eat whole-grain bread instead of white bread. Of course, we’re not saying never eat sweets again! Moderation is key.
Eat Foods That Reverse Glycation
Antioxidants protect your cells by neutralizing free radicals like AGEs that damage the proteins in your body. So eating antioxidant-rich foods may help to diminish and even reverse glycation. Studies have shown these foods inhibit AGE synthesis:
- Green tea
Try incorporating these foods into your diet to reduce glycation. Or take an antioxidant-rich supplement to prevent AGEs from forming.
Use Antioxidant-Rich Skincare Products
Using antioxidant-rich products may also help to mitigate some of the effects of glycation. For example, our Hydrating Vita-Cream is formulated with vitamins A, C, and E, which have strong antioxidant properties. For best results, use an antioxidant-rich moisturizer in the morning and evening to reduce damage from AGEs 24/7.