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The bittersweet truth about how sugar affects your skin


The Pond’s Institute discovered that as we grow older, the cells in our body renew and regenerate at a much slower rate. Sometimes, we may even unknowingly speed up the aging process by creating conditions for ourselves that slow down effective cell renewal and break down our collagen production.

Collagen is important because it is the major structural protein in the skin responsible for making the skin plump and firm from the inside, while giving it a youthful glow on the outside. There are many types of collagen in our skin.

According to the experts, it is possible for sugar to damage the varieties of collagen in our skin.

Consuming too much sugar may speed up a natural process in the body called glycation. This is when sugar in your bloodstream attaches itself to protein and forms harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs damage the proteins adjacent to them in a domino-like effect. So more sugar means more AGEs, and that would mean more damage to the proteins that usually help keep your skin firm.

Sugar in your bloodstream forms advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

What happens when protein is damaged?

Glycation causes damage to collagen and elastin —the protein fibres that keep your skin firm, smooth and wrinkle-free from deep inside. Once the protein is damaged, collagen and elastin fibers become fragmented and disconnected from each other, effectively appearing on the surface as fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. These effects usually begin at about age 35 and increase rapidly thereafter.

AGEs damage proteins like collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles and sagging skin.

Glycated collagen can also form cross-linking structure that limit the natural repair and maintenance processes within the skin. When this happens, your skin looks and feels less supple, and becomes less resistant to wrinkles.

How can we reverse the effects of sugar damage?

Well, for sugar-damaged skin, it’s never too late to turn back the clock. One way is to boost the collagen production in your skin with products that contain retinoids. Pond's Age Miracle Firm & Lift Day Cream is a fast acting treatment that is clinically proven to lift the skin around your Y-Contour.

Pond’s Age Miracle rich in retinol boosts collagen and elastin to reverse the damage

To keep this newly-produced collagen supple, take steps to stop AGEs from forming by reducing your sugar intake.

We can slow down the production of AGEs by limiting the amount of sugar we consume per meal. Switch to a low to moderate carb diet, or opt for whole-grains and brown rice. These foods release sugar at a slower rate, reducing the rate of glycation while keeping your skin healthier and more supple for longer.

Read about other causes of aging, and learn more about solutions that can reduce the signs of aging in your skin.