With Halloween celebrations a week away, we're here to demystify the spooky sentiment linking sugar consumption to acne production. The belief that cookies, candy and other overly-sweetened treats directly cause breakouts isn't always fully understood. But before you start in on all of your Halloween candy, let's really get to the bottom of what causes your acne.
Sugar itself does not cause acne, and overdoing it on the Tootsie Rolls won't necessarily lead to a flareup. How your body processes the sugar—that's what correlates. The true pimple culprit is the inflammation the sugar is producing during digestion. But, this reaction is only possible if you happen to have a predisposed inflammatory response to the ingestion of sugar. Here's the science:
Sugar, as we know, spikes your insulin levels generating swelling throughout your body. These constant boosts of insulin production can then enhance oil production (which occurs in your skin glands), hence the common link that sugar = acne. It's how your body digests the sugar that could potentially contribute to clogged follicles, leading your skin toward a path of ghostly pimples. The truth is, there really is no concrete evidence concluding that too much sugar can cause acne. The evidence is inconclusive, despite what your mother may have told you as a child or how we happen to have a few zits after eating some chocolate. However, a poor diet can, of course, affect the health of all your organ systems, including your skin.
As with most things in life, everything in moderation. Now that you're aware of this link, keep an eye out for unnecessary sugar spikes. Look out for hidden sugars that are commonly found in unexpected food products by always reading the nutrition label. One of the easiest ways to decrease your sugar consumption is by eliminating liquid sugars. These can refer to sodas, fancy frappuccinos and sweet alcoholic beverages. Swapping out your convoluted latte for a cup of black coffee or water (bonus skin hydration) will take some getting used to but can do wonders for your complexion.
In addition to a balanced lifestyle, a well-formulated skincare regimen based on your skin type will help keep your sebum production under control. Remember, just because you happen to rock a few pimples doesn't mean you're dealing with acne-prone skin. The best way to find out your skin type is to meet with a dermatologist or esthetician. We happen to have a few amazing skincare professionals at both of our boutique locations. Stop by for a complimentary skincare analysis to better understand the needs of your complexion and which products are best suited for you.