Top 5 Ways To Heal Your Skin And Body After A Sugar Binge
If you woke up to a puffy face, extra bloated tummy, and a few extra breakouts post Valentine’s Day, leading experts share how to fix the damage.
So you polished off that bag of candy messenger hearts, box of assorted macarons, or tray of chocolate-covered strawberries. Everyone deserves a little indulgence during the eye roll inducing “holiday of love.” But what if this year’s “little indulgence” morphed into a sugar binge of epic proportions? It’s no surprise what this could potentially mean for your diet, but what about your skin?
To break down sugar’s effect on your body, both internally and externally, we chatted with owner and esthetician of Dermaplus Skin + Body, Andrea Ghigliazza-Lembkey, as well as the CEO of NY Nutrition Group, Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN. Their tips and tricks to combat the sinful sweet stuff will have you prepared for your next (and inevitable—we’re coming off 2020, after all) dessert splurge.
Sugar’s Effect on Your Overall Health
It’s important to reiterate that we’re not here to judge your sugar consumption levels or diet, but it is important for everyone to periodically reflect and examine whether or not their eating habits are potentially harmful to their health. “One binge will not lead to any permanent or significant harm,” says Moskovitz. “However, if it happens frequently enough, or more than once a month, it can affect health over time.”
Think of sugar, like alcohol or any damaging substance you put into your body, as something that makes your organs go into overdrive. “Digestive issues like acid reflux, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea can emerge,” warns Moskovitz. “Blood sugars and insulin levels can [also] spike, as well as other hormones that may increase inflammation, negatively impact mood, deplete energy and even disrupt sleep.” These are all symptoms we obviously want to avoid.
Sugar’s Effect on Your Skin
Sugar’s effect on skin is no different, especially because your largest organ is typically a reflection of everything going on underneath it. Ironically, there is an acronym for sugar’s aging effect on the dermis called (wait for it) – AGEs: Advanced Glycation End products. “The sugar we consume attaches to proteins in our bodies and in our skin, breaking them down and creating free radicals,” explains Ghigliazza-Lembkey. “Sugar is the antithesis of antioxidants, [which causes] inflammation, increased insulin levels (resulting in oil production), and weakened elasticity.” These aforementioned characteristics result in aging skin and, like the internal effects of sugar on the body, should also be avoided.
1. As far as general health and well-being is concerned, “keeping your body calm will help with the digestive process,” says Moskovitz. “Take deep breaths [and] try to relax. Stretching or a light walk can also help.” She also advises sugar sufferers to stay as hydrated as possible to alleviate any digestion issues and assist with absorption.
2. Hydration is, unsurprisingly, a must for your skin, as well. “An easy detox drink with warm lemon water will help flush the system out after sugar indulgence,” says Ghigliazza-Lembkey. “Be sure to continue hydrating like crazy to stabilize blood sugar and help promote the kidneys and colon to eliminate waste and prevent a post-sugar binge breakout.”
3. Another tip is to gently reduce onset inflammation by cooling the skin. Tools like the icy La Glace Skin Roller may preventatively calm the puffiness and breakouts associated with excess sugar intake.
1. When it comes to nutrition, strive for balance, not perfection. “Allowing yourself foods you like, and enjoy, is a part of healthy balanced eating as long as it doesn’t replace more nutrient-dense foods like veggies, proteins, nuts, and whole grains,” says Moskovitz. And if that pesky sweet tooth demands more than just an occasional splurge, you should opt for sugar alternatives like stevia, monk fruit, or allulose, which are all recognized as “safe, effective substitutes that have minimal to no impact on blood sugar levels and are not health hazardous.”
2. To combat the effects of aging skin after a long relationship with sugar, Ghigliazza-Lembkey endorses the use of probiotics, as well as the gut-friendly Candida Diet to promote healthy digestion. “These healthy whole foods have a major impact on controlling and eliminating internal inflammation caused by sugar intake,” she adds, which assists in balancing the body and healing the damage you may have already caused.
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge to preventatively treat the negative impacts of sugar, your next cupcake should taste that much sweeter.
Sweets on the brain? What have you found to be the best remedies, both internally and dermal, for excess sugar consumption? Sound off in the comments below!