There’s just no way to sugarcoat it—you’re aging.
Throughout history, mankind has searched for anti-aging secrets to help them hold on to youthful skin just that much longer. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop aging altogether, but it is possible to slow and diminish the appearance of fine lines. And, you don’t have to follow Joan Crawford’s crazy strict regimen to do so.
Dr. Tony Youn, plastic surgeon and author of best-selling book The Age Fix, had this advice on a recent Reddit AMA:
There is no one secret to looking younger. It necessitates multiple factors. Diet is the first key: eating foods high in anti-oxidants and good fats and avoiding sugar and processed foods. Cleanse, treat, and protect your skin every morning and every evening.
What you eat can influence how and when your skin reveals its true age. So toss out last year’s Halloween candy, because research shows sugar and aging go hand in hand.
The not-so-sweet effects of sugar on skin can be blamed on how our bodies break down glucose. Known as glycation, this process directly causes skin aging. It is the means by which a sugar molecule bonds to a protein or lipid molecule. This, in turn, creates an “advanced glycation end product”, which breaks down collagen and elastin—those lovely structures that keep your skin plump—and causes wrinkles. Thus, eating a diet full of sugar and refined carbohydrates (aka sugar in disguise) can speed up skin aging. So what can you do to avoid the dreaded sugar face?
A zero sugar diet may seem like an impossible feat to some, and with added sugars hiding in pretty much everything, you may be wondering how to stop eating sugar completely. The good news is, a low sugar diet can be equally effective if you learn how keep your blood sugar levels from spiking.
Start by avoiding the obvious refined sugar culprits: sugary sodas, desserts and artificial sweeteners. Then, you can move toward reducing intake of alcohol and carbohydrates, which can cause glucose levels to jump. Overall, avoiding hidden added sugars can be the most difficult. Reading labels is important, but an easy way to dodge them is to eat more fresh produce and less packaged items. Incorporating more green vegetables and lean protein sources like chickpeas, lentils and fish will keep your glucose levels stable, to properly fuel your body without the damaging effects of sugar.
Of course, every once in awhile, it’s nice to treat yo self. When you do indulge, try replacing carb-heavy beer with an occasional glass of red wine and instead of white pasta, opt for a hearty grain, like quinoa.
You’ll start to notice that with your new low daily sugar intake, your skin will start looking more youthful than it did before and it will stay feeling that way for much longer!
Disclaimer: The information on this website and any related links are for general informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, contact a professional healthcare provider.
Katie Steadman is a native Texan roaming Asia with a penchant for writing, and solving sudoku puzzles at breakneck speed.