The Skincare Calendar is back — as a lighthearted, quick read. I hope you enjoy today’s tips that will help you prevent and maybe even undo sugar-induced skin damage.
It’s all too easy to oversnack on sweets in January; in winter in general: the sky’s grey, the weather’s dull, it’s pitch dark in the morning, pitch dark after work, the gilded fun of the festivities is all gone, while we’re hungry for sunshine, warmth or, alternatively, for simply sleeping in all day, every day.
However, it’s common knowledge that sugar wrecks havoc on our skin. And winter skin is particularly fragile — already prone to dryness, cracking/ chapping and even exzema. So what exactly happens when we indulge, in a nutshell?
The scientific term for the process is Glycation. Glycation makes our skin less elastic by damaging collagen fibres and is also known to promote inflammation, dehydration and oxidative stress, causing skin drama from acne to wrinkles to undereye circles. Yikes. We already fight it — thanks, winter! — so why aggravate the situation?
Here are a few tips on how to undo the damage, and maybe even on how to prevent it, along with a few skincare favourites:
Protect Your Skin From Sugar
1 Hate the sin, not the sinner.
Goes without saying that it helps to go on a sugar detox in the first place, but well, we’re all human…
Sooo, despite not having much of a sweet tooth, I went bonkers and ate a delicious piece of Galette des Rois as well as a small but mighty cherry-filled Kouign Amann today.
To help my body metabolise the sugar, I enjoyed a cup of quality, organic matcha tea and ate a small handful of almonds dusted with cinnamon to naturally, gently reduce the glycaemic effect and stop possible cravings.
2 Stress less.
Lemme be plain here: don’t be a whiny arse about your poor choices. Own the mistakes!
And no, I’m not saying keep going, just don’t beat yourself up if you happen to enjoy something that’s really not that good for you. Because stress will make everything even worse.
High cortisol levels are not your skin health’s friend, in fact, they will weaken your body’s collagen supplies even more. Meditate, practice mudras, relax with good classic music, try the magic of lucid dreaming… Briefly: do something to shield yourself from any kind of stress.
3 Sleeping rules!
Quality sleep is key, my friend. Go to bed earlier, get your nightly sleep fix of some 6 to 8 hours, depending on what your body needs; and most importantly, go to sleep the same time every night.
Your body will thank you by burning more calories, protecting you from from insulin sensitivity, and giving your skin a product-independent glow; you’ll be more focussed and feel ready to face whatever surprising plat du jour the day throws at you.
4 Nighttime skincare
Every other day — not everyday —, treat your skin to a little bit of extra love.
An intense cream for the delicate skin around your eyes, a rich and sensual body serum applied to the dry and patchy spots in particular, and a nighttime serum for your face should do the trick.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated and getting your balanced diet game on.
5 Daytime skincare
In January, oil-based skincare is best. (Read more about winter-time skincare tweaks here.)
To conceal sugar-induced breakouts and dark under-eye circles, grab a decent “green” concealer that you can also use to lighten certain areas of your face to get away with wearing as little make-up as possible — always a good idea when your skin is stressed anyway.