How sugar is aging your skin faster

Nikki Chase



Time to read 5 min

How sugar impacts collagen formation and skin elasticity and what you can do to prevent it from aging.

There’s no denying the joys of a sweet treat to lift your spirits. But, for all the happiness sugary foods bring, they are also one of the key sources of premature aging. For your skin, sugar can impact collagen production, affecting your skin elasticity and firmness.

In this blog, we discuss how sugar impacts your skin, the science behind aging, and what you can do to help improve your collagen production.

Sugar and Collagen


Collagen serves as the protein that constructs the framework of your skin maintaining its firmness, elasticity and youthful appearance. It can be likened to the adhesive that binds everything in place. As we grow older the production of our body's collagen decreases resulting in the emergence of fine lines, wrinkles and drooping skin as a whole they leads to aging. Recognizing the importance of collagen is essential for maintaining a skincare regimen.

Collagen is an important factor for:

  • Maintaining Skin Elasticity: Collagen is essential for keeping the skin supple and resilient ensuring it regains its shape after stretching. This vital function helps prevent the development of wrinkles, aging and sagging skin.

  • Skin Hydration: Collagen plays a role in retaining moisture in the skin leading to a well hydrated appearance. Hydrated skin is less susceptible to dryness, irritation and aging.

  • Facilitating Wound Healing: Collagen aids in the repair of wounds and cuts by offering support to the skins tissues. This pivotal role positions collagen as a contributor to aging and skin wellness.

  • Hair and Nail Health: In addition to benefiting the skin, collagen also enhances the health of hair and nails making them stronger and more resistant to damage.

Though collagen production naturally declines as we age, this protein can also be affected by lifestyle and habits. Excessive consumption of sugar is one such example.

Glycation 101: How Sugar Impacts Aging

Studies have shown that people high with blood sugar levels often display noticeable signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. Moreover consuming diets high in sugary foods has been linked to a risk of skin issues and early aging. 

Overindulging in sugar can trigger a phenomenon known as glycation, where sugar molecules bind to collagen fibers. This process does not diminish collagen strength. Also leads to the creation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which accelerate premature aging.

AGEs can lead to:

  • Collagen Breakdown: Collagen, the skin's ally, is negatively affected by glycation. Sugar attaches to collagen strands making them rigid and less pliable. This leads to a decrease in skin flexibility and the emergence of creases and lines on the skin.

  • Loss of Resilience: Glycation contributes to the breakdown of elastin, the protein responsible for giving your skin its bounce. As a result, your skin may appear less firm and more prone to sagging.

  • Inflammation: AGEs trigger inflammation, a key player in the aging process. Inflamed skin is more susceptible to redness, irritation, and conditions like acne or rosacea.

Steps to Keep Your Skin Youthful

All is not lost however, by making the right lifestyle choices, you can reduce your sugar consumption, minimize glycation, and keep your skin looking youthful and radiant. 

  • Be Mindful Sugar Consumption: One way to prevent glycation is to be cautious about how much sugar you consume. While enjoying sweets every now and then can be enjoyable, refined sugar can cause an increase in blood sugar levels, which promotes the glycation process. Instead go for sweeteners. Opt for whole unprocessed foods to find a healthy balance that satisfies your cravings without harming your skin's well being.

  • Antioxidant-Rich Diet: Arm yourself against the oxidative stress caused by glycation with a diet rich in antioxidants. Incorporate colorful fruits and vegetables, green tea, and foods high in vitamins C and E. These antioxidants act as guardians, neutralizing free radicals and helping to mitigate the impact of sugar on your skin which couse aging.

  • Stay Hydrated: Keeping your skin hydrated is essential for its health. Drinking water can help rid your body of toxins, which in turn benefits your skin. Moisturized skin is better equipped to resist the signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines caused by glycation.

  • Choose Complex Carbohydrates: Opt for complex carbohydrates with a lower glycemic index to regulate blood sugar levels. Foods like whole grains, legumes, and sweet potatoes release glucose more gradually, reducing the risk of glycation-related damage to your skin.

  • Regular Exercise: Exercise not only benefits your overall health but also supports vibrant skin. Physical activity improves blood circulation, ensuring essential nutrients reach your skin cells and reduce premature aging. It also helps manage stress, a factor that can contribute to glycation.

By incorporating these mindful steps into your daily routine, you're not just pampering your skin; you're actively safeguarding it against the pitfalls of glycation and premature aging.

Boost Your Collagen Production

Enhancing your skincare routine with products featuring anti-glycation ingredients is another great way to tackle premature aging. Formulations containing peptides, antioxidants like vitamin C and E, and hyaluronic acid to combat the effects of glycation and promote collagen production.

Our super revitalizing Vitamin C Cream is a great choice, targeting signs of premature aging such as wrinkles, eye bags, and dull skin. With Kakadu Plum, our moisturizer is rich in vitamin C and packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants. Packed with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil and avocado oil, it’s the perfect choice to help fight off glycation and boost collagen production. In fact, our entire Age Defying range has something for everyone.

And don’t forget - shield your skin from harmful UV rays with sunscreen! Sun damage can exacerbate the effects of glycation. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily to protect your skin from premature aging.

Products To Protect Your Collagen


The negative impacts of glycation on skin well being are evident. Consuming sugar can result in the creation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which may interfere with collagen production and lead to wrinkles, reduced elasticity and premature aging overall. By being mindful of sugar intake following antioxidant diets, staying hydrated, opting for carbohydrates, engaging in regular exercise and using skincare products containing anti glycation components – you can safeguard your skin from glycation processes to maintain a youthful appearance and get red of aging.

Remember: Remember, skincare is a holistic journey that encompasses both internal and external care. Here's to embracing radiant, youthful skin at every age!

Related Questions

1. Will quitting sugar clear my skin?

Quitting sugar can potentially lead to clearer skin by reducing inflammation, acne, and skin issues associated with excessive sugar intake, as reported by individuals who have experienced improvements in their skin after cutting back on sugar.

2. How long does it take to see clear skin after quitting sugar?

Many individuals notice changes in their skin after cutting out sugar for 2 or 3 weeks. Some people have shared that their skin looks clearer with imperfections and a brighter glow within 1 2 weeks of reducing their sugar consumption.

3.what are some other foods that can improve skin health?

Some other types of food that are good for your skin are avocados, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and foods that are packed with antioxidants like blueberries, cranberries, spinach açaí berries, oranges and broccoli. These foods contain nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C and E, zinc and carotenoids that help maintain skin and fight signs of aging.

Nikki Chase

Nikki Chase

As co-owner Era Organics, Nikki's expertise runs deep. She spends her days immersed in the latest medical studies and scouring trusted websites, ensuring her knowledge reflects the cutting edge of science.

About Nikki Chase