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The Other Cause of Wrinkles: Sugar

Posted: July 30, 2013

Every year, the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology's World Congress plays host to some of the top skin experts in the world, with research presentations and exhibits highlighting some of the most cutting-edge dermatology research in the industry.

Most people think the main reason we get wrinkles is because of too much sun. That's why we stay out of it when we can ... wear sunblock when we go outside and never, ever go within fifteen feet of a tanning bed. So why are we still getting wrinkles?

Sugar. That's right … sugar causes wrinkles. And not just the kind of sugar you get from candy bars and soda. We're talking about a glass of wine, a bowl of pasta, a slice of bread … even excess protein, fruit and veggies eventually turn into sugar (glucose) in the body.

Research reveals that sugar ages your skin through a process called glycation.

The science behind glycation is a little complex, but Elle magazine explained it in a recent article titled Sugar and Aging: How to Fight Glycation as follows: "When you have sugar molecules in your system, they bombard the body's cells like a meteor shower—glomming onto fats and proteins in a process known as glycation. This forms advanced glycation end products (commonly shortened, appropriately, to AGEs), which cause protein fibers to become stiff and malformed … The proteins in skin most prone to glycation are the same ones that make a youthful complexion so plump and springy—collagen and elastin. When those proteins hook up with renegade sugars, they become discolored, weak and less supple; this shows up on the skin's surface as wrinkles, sagginess and a loss of radiance"