When most people think of skin care, they picture moisturizers, cleansers, face masks, and facials. While these are important to maintaining healthy skin, nutrition is another factor that cannot be ignored. Eating a high-sugar diet can exacerbate existing conditions and speed up cell aging. Here’s what you need to know. 

How Sugar Affects the Skin

Carbohydrates are converted by the body into energy. Simple carbohydrates, such as refined sugar in baked goods, candy, soda, and white bread, turn to energy more quickly than complex carbohydrates. Because simple carbs cause surges in blood sugar, the body produces more insulin to stabilize its blood sugar levels. The rush of insulin results in inflammation, which causes puffiness and redness.

skin careSpikes in insulin can also have long-term effects. Inflammation can cause collagen and elastin, the compounds that keep skin healthy and supple, to break down. This can speed up the effects of aging and result in wrinkles and sagging skin.

A diet high in sugar can reduce your body’s white blood cell count, resulting in a weakened immune system. This makes you more vulnerable to bacteria, including those that cause acne. This is why simple sugars make pimples, psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea worse. 

Types of Sugar to Choose & Avoid

Not all sugars are created equal. Different kinds have varying glycemic indexes, meaning the body digests them at different speeds.

Avoid simple sugars, which are linked to obesity, heart disease, and skin care problems. These are common in cereals, soda, candy, and ice cream.

Complex carbs have lower glycemic indexes, so they don’t cause the same surges in blood sugar and inflammation. Foods that fall under this category include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Complex carbs also have higher nutritional value, which can enhance the healthy appearance of your skin. For example, apples, citrus fruits, and strawberries contain vitamin C, which can boost the immune system and reduce hyperpigmentation. Blueberries, another complex carbohydrate, contain antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and protect cells against aging. 


For skin care treatments to combat the effects of diet and aging, turn to Bared Monkey Laser Spa – Penn Station in New York City. These skilled technicians provide a broad range of spa services, including skin tightening, pigmentation removal, and CoolSculpting® to reduce the appearance of stubborn fat and wrinkles. Call (212) 256-9777 to schedule a consultation, or visit their website to learn more about their skin care procedures.