I will never ever be the girl to turn down a brownie, cookie, mocha, blondie, piece of cake, lollipop, or spoonful of sugar in my coffee (you get the idea), but I can't deny the uptick in pimples and lack of glow I seem to acquire after a few snacks packed with sugary bliss. While I would've preferred to live in denial, I kept asking myself, "Is sugar bad for your skin?" and had to find the truth. While the findings aren't enough to scare off my sweet tooth forever, they're definitely going to make me think twice about what I put in my body.
First, the bad news. Dermatologist Dr. Carl Thornfeldt told Marie Claire, "Sugar has two major effects on skin — it activates inflammation and binds to the collagen to make the skin stiff ... Any processed sugar is too much, and can eventually cause long-term damage because of chronic inflammation." Prevention added, "Once damaged, springy and resilient collagen and elastin become dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles." This isn't exactly awesome, but there is a silver lining!
The negative effects of sugar really only take hold when you're eating processed sugars in the form of simple refined carbohydrates. Huffington Post explained, "Simple carbohydrates [like white bread candy, fried food, and ice cream] are your skin’s enemy, since they rapidly break down into glucose and result in insulin spikes." However, natural simple carbohydrates [like apples and berries] are balanced by fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that will actually help your skin. Yay, sweet tooth salvation!
Still want to get an extra sugar fix somehow? Dr. David E. Bank at The Center for Dermatology in Westchester, NY, told me sugar makes a great ingredient for DIY body scrubs.
Nosh on some berries, snag one of the sweet sugar scrubs below (or whip up your own!), and do your skin some good.
1. Emulsified Sugar Scrub
Emulsified Sugar Scrub, $9.99, Soapaucity
This blend of butters and sugar will get your skin silky smooth fast.
2. Sweet Pear Sugar Scrub
Sweet Pear Sugar Scrub, $14.95, NakiNagiBodyScrubs
Warning: You know that you'll be tempted to lick this goodness.
3. Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub
Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub, $7.99, Bluegrass Oils
This is the closest you'll ever get to slathering vanilla cake on your body.
4. Mint-Grapefruit Sugar Body Scrub
Mint-Grapefruit Sugar Body Scrub, $11, ScrubTherapy
Prepare to smell like a refreshing, tropical dream.
5. Orange Sugar Body Scrub Cubes
Orange Sugar Body Scrub Cubes, $8.09, DianePhotoart
With sweet orange essential oil, sugar, and coconut butter, you'll reach for this scrub every day. Want more fashion and beauty tips? Check out the video below and subscribe to Bustle on YouTube!
Images: Fotolia; Courtesy of Brands