Sugar and Skin

You must have heard about that extra intake of sugar adding up to your belly fat smashing all your dreams of a perfect waistline. But to your surprise, that added sugar to your diet does, even more, harm to your skin than you can probably imagine. It contributes to your puffy eyes, patchy and wrinkled skin and that pesky acne and pimples you always hated to see on your facial skin. Yes, you heard that right!

Recent research reveals the harmful effects of sugar intake on the skin. When you take a bite of your favorite flavored cake or even an apple, what happens behind the scene or to be specific under your skin is that your body quickly degenerates the carbohydrates into glucose thereby raising the insulin level in your blood stream. The spike of insulin causes an inflammation burst throughout the body thereby producing enzymes that attach with and break down collagen and elastin fibers leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. This permanent attachment of digested sugar to collagen, a process known as Glycation, creates harmful molecules called AGEs (advanced glycation end-products). AGEs formation, in turn, exacerbates the skin damage thereby reducing insulin resistance of the skin. Results are excess vulnerability to sun damage, sagging, and fine lines.

So, if you want to look young for a longer lifetime, avoid eating foods that are proinflammatory, have high saturated fats or have high glycemic such as white bread, candy, ice-cream, fried foods, packaged foods, sugar, and sodas. Rather eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and fresh vegetables, have low glycemic such as beans, whole grains, and nuts; and rich in fiber that delays sugar absorption in the blood.

And as you work out a better diet plan, don’t forget to have plenty of sleep, keep stress at bay, consume a balanced diet, follow healthy food preparation habits, eat protein rich meals first as they delay insulin spikes, and include healthy fats in your meals.

Whatever be your age, it’s never too late to reverse the signs of aging with proper diet intake and maintaining reduced stress levels. So, embrace a healthy skin by cautiously planning your sugar intake!

Melanoma Awareness Month

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

Designated by the American Academy of Dermatology, National Melanoma Skin Cancer Prevention Month is dedicated to increasing awareness about skin cancer and the chances of early detection so treatments can be given early.

Skin cancer is a growing problem across the world. Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. Currently, each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people; while each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.

Sun exposure is one of the root causes of skin cancer, and it is clearly an issue that we must all be aware of and take the necessarily steps to ensure we protect ourselves as best we can.  Here are my tips to protect yourself from the sun and lower your risk of developing skin cancer:

Broad-spectrum sunscreen

The sun’s ultraviolet rays come in two forms: UVA and UVB. UVA is the form of light that causes premature skin ageing and damages your skin’s cells and DNA; while UVB is what causes your skin to burn after sun exposure. A broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect against both either by deflecting the rays away from your skin or by converting them to heat energy.

Your sunscreen’s sun protection factor (SPF) value is the level of protection it offers against UVB light. Be sure to use a sunscreen with SPF30 or higher; this will protect you from 97% of UVB light.

If you’re planning on swimming or sweat very easily, it’s best to go with a water resistant sunscreen. Similarly, if you are going in the water or towelling yourself dry, you have to assume you are wiping away the sunscreen and its protective benefits. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours to get the maximum benefit and not leave yourself vulnerable.

Protective clothing

It may seem like a no-brainer, but it is easily forgotten. Pack a wide-brimmed sun hat when you head out for the day or pack your bag for your holiday. When at the beach or even shopping around town, cover your arms and shoulders with loose-fitting clothing, which will act as a physical barrier to the UV rays.

Be sensible

During hot summer days, it’s best to avoid going out or seek shade during the peak hours (usually 10 am to 4 pm) when UV rays are at their greatest. Also avoid using tanning salons, which increase your risk of skin cancer.

I hope these tips come in useful this summer and help you make the most of the gorgeous weather without increasing your risk of what is becoming a very common yet avoidable disease.


Read more here and here