Glycation: The Effect Sugar Has On Your Skin

Around Christmas time there are sweet treats and temptations all around us! For those of us with a sweet tooth, we know that sugar is bad for our teeth, weight and general health but did you know it also affects the skin? And there’s a name for the process too: glycation.

glycation christmas treats

What Is Glycation?

When there is too much sugar in the body, it can start to build up in your skin. Glycation is when the sugar molecules start to combine with protein molecules to form very harmful and weak molecules. These new sugar proteins are called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs.

AGEs tend to gravitate toward collagen and elastin in your skin. Collagen and elastin are what keep your skin looking firm, tight and youthful. So when AGEs begin damaging these proteins, your skin will begin to show signs of ageing. Effects of the glycation process at the cellular level of the skin’s structure may result in wrinkling, loss of elasticity, stiffness, and compromised barrier function. All of which are indicators of damaged, ageing skin. What’s more, glycation can cause cell turnover to slow down, and for skin to lose its plumpness and volume. This results in skin appearing dull and pale.

Plus, since your body doesn’t register AGEs as normal and safe, it produces antibodies to fight against it. Antibodies are what cause inflammation in your skin as it is an indication that your body is attempting to fight an infection.

So, the more sugar you eat the more AGEs are produced and the older you’ll look, essentially speeding up the ageing processing. Not something any of us want to happen!

What Can You Do About It?

Of course, the most obvious tip is to cut down the levels of sugar in your diet. But there are also skincare products you can use to help fight the effects of glycation.

  • To target the under-eye area, Phyto-Active Eye Serum has a multi-functional active called Eyeseryl® that inhibits glycation, decreases puffiness and dark circles.
  • For an all-in-one anti-ageing, brightening and antioxidant powerhouse that fights glycation, choose 15% Vitamin C Serum. Vitamin C is a gold standard ingredient to combat skin ageing. It helps stimulate collagen production, so it will also help create healthy, new collagen.
  • An ideal moisturiser which protects the skin while also helping to stimulate collagen production is Phyto-Active Light Moisture.

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