by Michelle Tighe

It is that time of year where we find ourselves surrounded by chocolate which is very hard to resist especially if we have a sweet tooth. But how does chocolate affect our skin?

Most chocolate as you know is high in sugar. Sugar unfortunately is one of the worst substances for your skin as it brings about a process called “Glycation”. Glycation is a process whereby sugar goes into the bloodstream and attaches itself to proteins in our skin such as collagen and elastin. Our collagen and elastin is what gives our skin its elasticity and plumpness. This is usually soft and supple but becomes stiff and inflexible as a result of glycation which then brings about a loss of elasticity. On top of this, glycation also produces harmful free radicals called “Advanced Glycation End Products” aka AGE’s. These create oxidative stress and inflammation and in turn we have accelerated ageing!!

Sugar also damages our strongest collagen which is Type 111 and converts it into Type 1 (our weakest) while at the same time it deactivates your body’s natural antioxidant enzyme which leaves your skin more vulnerable to UV light etc.

Lastly sugar can cause an increase in the level of androgens in the body which can result in the likeliness of having a breakout!

That is enough of the bad news! There are many ways in which we can help our bodies lower the chances of glycation occurring such as the following…

The most obvious step we can take is to lower our sugar intake and be more mindful of our diet e.g. eating more foods with a lower Glycaemic Index (Our Complex Carbohydrates) e.g. Berries, Non-starchy veg, Whole grains and even dark chocolate as long as it has a high percentage of cocoa! On the other hand we should try and help ourselves by reducing our intake of foods with a high Glycaemic Index (Our Simple Carbohydrates) e.g. White bread, Baked potatoes, Watermelon, Sweets, Milk Chocolate etc!

We can also increase our intake of Vitamin B1 and B6 as they are AGE inhibitors as well as loading up on our antioxidant rich foods such as avocados, spinach and blueberries as they will help prevent sugar attaching to proteins.

There are also many supplements which are available in Simplicité which can help protect the skin these include:

Hush & Hush Hydrate+ which has Vit C and is a powerful antioxidant which will help prevent against free radical damage.

Hush & Hush Clear+ contains turmeric which protects against inflammation which can occur as a result of sugar.

Osmosis “Sugar Detox Elixir” is the perfect supplement if you have a sweet tooth and want to curb your cravings!

Topically we can use “Ultraceuticals Antioxidant Serum” which is a daily must for everyone which can help reduce the level of protein glycation/DNA damage.

Also “Ultraceuticals Ultra Smoothing Pore Refiner” works to reduce the signs of ageing with particular benefit for Glycations.

If you wish to take things a step further we also have our in house Nutritionist Emma who can tailor a bespoke diet to help reduce your sugar intake!