Sugar Crash: How Sugar Intake Can Sabotage Your Skin

by BiE - Beauty in Everything
Sugar Crash: How Sugar Intake Can Sabotage Your Skin



Not everything sugar and spice ends up being nice. Did you know that sugar speeds up your ageing process? Or that midnight dessert binge could be the cause of a breakout the next morning? Now, you must be wondering how your sugar intake can damage your skin and body. Let’s break it down to you: Sugar, consumed in its direct form, is like poison for your body. It gives you instant gratification that satiates your cravings or pumps up your energy. But, slowly you will feel a sudden drop in your energy levels and feel even hungrier.

When it comes to skin, sugar intake could be the culprit for those acne flare-ups, dull skin, accelerated signs of ageing and inflammation. This entire sugar debacle takes place due to a process known as glycation, where inflated amounts of sugar act as a catalyst for damaged skin. Want to know more about glycation and how sugar can sabotage our skin? Let’s delve deeper into the anatomy of sugar and understand how glucose can ruin the health of your skin & body.

Sugar Intake

The Science Behind Sugar Intake

Sugar intake isn’t just bad for your waistline, it can also speed up the process of ageing in your skin. Here’s how:

In times of worry or anxiety, it is natural for us to reach for that one slice of chocolate cake to release stress. This elevated sugar intake can manifest into dull skin, visible signs of fine lines and wrinkles and lacklustre skin. But what’s the science behind it?

Increased sugar intake, i.e. glucose attach themselves to collagen and elastin fibres. These proteins are characterised as the building blocks of your skin responsible for that springy & bouncy appearance. When glucose in your bloodstream bonds with these proteins and forms free radicals. The presence of these free radicals cause oxidative stress which is very apparent on our skin, nails, hair & body. This chemical process is known as glycation.

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What is the significance of AGES in our skin?

When sugar molecules bind to collagen and elastin, they create stiff, inflexible structures called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). Visualise beautiful, springy collagen fibres becoming brittle and stuck together.

The Effects of Sugar on your Skin

  • Loss of elasticity: AGEs make your skin appear less bouncy & supple, & make it look older and stiff.
  • Reduced production of collagen: AGEs hinders the production of collagen and makes the skin look dull & sagging.
  • Inflammation: It triggers inflammation, leading to acne flare-ups or skin sensitivity.

Sugar and its impact on acne prone skin

It is important to know that natural forms of sugar like fructose, lactose, if consumed in adequate amounts, will not trigger acne. However, sugar consumed in its direct form like in pastries, desserts, mithai will lead to acne flare-ups & breakouts. BUT HOW? Is sugar bad for skin? Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can lead to inflammation, eventually leading to acne on the skin. In the quest of satiating our sugar cravings, we end up spiking your insulin levels. This spike leads to the excessive production of sebum, clogged pores, oil and acne-inducing bacteria.

Lack of hunger, hydration and hurry manipulate us into succumbing to anything that we see on the food table. Most of us when we are hangry, we turn to something sweet for that instant gratification. Perhaps, we end up consuming excessive amounts of sugar till we aren’t satisfied. Excessive amounts of sugar can cause a rapid increase in our blood sugar levels, eventually spiking your insulin levels. Insulin is an essential hormone that manages your blood sugar levels. Fluctuations in these hormones can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. This imbalance then leads to formation of acne, clogged pores and oil on your skin. All in all, sugar causes pimples & acne.

Sugar Intake

Understanding the impact of sugar intake on body

Sugar face, sugar sag and sugar tummy are all bodily manifestations of consuming excessive amounts of sugar. The effects of sugar are quite apparent on your skin, but sugar can severely damage your body as well.

The breakdown of sugar intake

Our bodies break down the sugar in the small intestines to the form of glucose. This glucose is released into the bloodstream, where it is transported to various organs and muscles in our body & converted to energy. But now how is energy bad for your body?

It is an established fact, excess of any element in life is harmful for your skin and body. Moderation is key. Consuming moderate amounts of sugar intake, primarily found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, is generally safe for a healthy body. These sugars are accompanied by essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

However, excessive sugar intake, particularly from added sugars in processed foods and sugary drinks, can have detrimental effects on the body. The insulin hormone plays a key role in processing excess sugar, but if overloaded, it can lead to various health problems.

Succumbing to sugar cravings generally spike up your energy levels for the time being. But later, it results in a sudden drop of energy followed by fatigue and tiredness. This is because foods that are high in sugar lack the essential nutrients and vitamins that keep your body healthy & energetic. These are the effects of sugar on skin and body.

sugar skin problems

One of other side effects of sugar on skin and body is weight gain. When you consume sugar more than your body needs for energy, it converts into fat. This leads to weight gain and obesity. One of the key reasons for sugar cravings is an unsatiated stomach. The lack of fibre, nutrients, vitamins and minerals in sugary foods will make you want to eat more to satisfy your hunger pangs. But in turn, it leads to weight gain.

side effects of sweets

Sugar crashes and spikes

Sugar causes blood sugar levels to rise rapidly. The body then releases insulin, a hormone that helps move sugar from the bloodstream into cells. However, a surge in sugar intake can lead to a blood sugar crash later, leaving you feeling tired and hungry, which can perpetuate the cycle of sugar cravings.

Overtimes, increased blood sugar levels can also lead to type 2 diabetes, increased risks of heart problems, dental problems and constant fatigue.

Perhaps, navigating your sugar cravings is crucial with a healthier approach.

Conquer your sugar intake for a healthier lifestyle

The first reaction to getting your sugar intake down would be to completely eliminate it. But the answer is NO! Completely eliminating sugar from your diet will result in low energy levels and increased tiredness & dull skin. The idea is to consume it smartly & moderately. Here are some tips to stay afloat with your sugar intake:

face skin care

  • Compare food labels and select the products with the lowest amounts of added sugars. Processed foods should be avoided as they are loaded with sugar.
  • When baking cakes, try to replace sugar in recipes with dates, figs, jaggery or other natural ingredients.
  • Swap unhealthy sugar cravings with healthier options such as dates, figs, dark chocolate. You can even have fruits like oranges, watermelon, fig, bananas to satiate your cravings.
  • As a rule of thumb, eat small meals at regular intervals to keep yourself full, eat food rich in fibre and vitamins to your diet.
  • Hydration helps. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to quench your thirst.


In conclusion, we all have established what sugar intake can do to your skin and body. Well, eliminating it completely is not the solution. But keeping a check on your direct sugar intake, hidden sugars will help you keep your glucose levels in check. Switch to cooking more at home, regulating the ingredients you use, exercising, improvised circadian rhythms, basically living a healthy BUT sustainable lifestyle. Remember, a balanced diet with moderate sugar consumption is key to a healthy body and a youthful you!

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