'What! Where did that wrinkle come from?'
'I've had 8 hours of sleep, but my skin still looks so tired and dull!'
'Is my skin starting to sag??!'
Have you ever caught yourself uttering those exact words as you stare at your face depressingly in the bathroom mirror? It can't be denied the stress of daily life can wreak havoc on your skin, and age creeps up on even the best of us.
If only there were a way to slow ageing and maintain fresher, plumper and clearer-looking skin. But wait a minute, there is!! Ok, don't get me wrong, you can't reverse the signs of ageing and turn back the clock ten years, but you can promote the longevity of your appearance.
The secret is knowing one of the skin's worst enemies and keeping it at bay- SUGAR!
Sugar is a key player in the skin's ageing process. Studies reveal the relationship between how sugar affects the natural process of glycation in the body. When glycation occurs, sugar molecules attach to collagen and elastin proteins and damage these proteins, one effect of this is that it causes collagen to lose its ability to keep skin firm. This process is accelerated in all body tissues when sugar increases, resulting in sagginess, wrinkles, and skin discolouration- all the classic signs of skin ageing.
In addition, free radicals, a by-product of glycation, not only hasten the ageing process but also increase the risk of skin cancer by making the skin more susceptible to UV exposure.
But surely we don't consume THAT much added sugar to impact our appearance so significantly, you might think. You'll be surprised- the average Brit ingests 150 pounds (68kg) of sugar every year, according to the Health Sciences Academy. In real terms, this figure averages about 45 teaspoons of sugar a day. In contrast, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a typical adult consume a maximum of 5 to 10 teaspoons of free sugar per day.
In 2014 a study published in the American Journal of Public Health revealed that people who drank sugar-sweetened soft drinks had shorter telomeres than those who didn't. Telomeres are at the end of chromosomes inside our cells, and as these cells divide over time with age, telomeres get shorter, a standard marker for ageing. Sugar's impact on telomeres, accelerating this shortening, tells us that sugar promotes faster ageing and quicker death. Collectively "skin experts agree that a diet high in sugar is a disaster for the face!"
Combining sugar with stress and a bit of sun, and you could say we have a powerful serial killer on our hands!
So, what steps can you take today to slow ageing and maintain your skin's youthful appearance for as long as possible?
BotaniVie comes to the rescue with a few helpful tips:
1. Break up with Sugar
The WHO advises individuals to limit added sugars to 5% of their total daily calories, equal to 6 teaspoons (25g) for an adult of normal body mass index.
2. Beware of Inconspicuous Offenders
It's not just sweets & fizzy drinks that increase blood sugar. Many foods, such as carbohydrates (including white bread, white rice, and white potatoes), break down quickly in the body, spiking blood sugar levels. Opt for foods that rate lower on the glycemic index and which take longer to break down, such as nuts, seeds, yoghurt and berries.
3. Protect, Protect, Protect
As we have seen, skin is susceptible to UV exposure. Make it a habit to always protect your skin from the sun with at least an SPF 25 sun protection cream.
4. Say 'YES' to Antioxidants
Consume as many powerful antioxidants as possible to help protect cells from free radicals and thus glycation, such as fruits, vegetables and nuts.
5. Review your Skincare Routine
Ensure your skin receives sufficient daily vitamins with a suitable cream or serum. Finding a cream with added vitamins, like vitamins A, C and E, may do wonders for your skin.
BotaniVie stocks a range of Vitamin rich skin creams to help repair and heal skin, no matter what type of skin you have.
Like everything in life, the most important thing is to enjoy those sweet treats in moderation! Swap for healthier options where possible, use SPF daily, even in winter and maintain a good skincare routine to help your skin remain in tip-top shape so you can love the skin you're in!