Ever notice how that acne breakout is timed soon after your chocolate binge? You’re not imagining it – there’s a connection. We’ll be unpacking the many ways in which sugar could be fuelling your skin woes.
Up to 85% of Aussie will experience acne at some stage in their life, with 5% reporting severe cases. But it’s not just teenagers! Around 50% of people go on to experience acne in their 30s – if this is hitting home for you, know that you’re not alone. At different stages of life, people go through some big hormonal changes, from puberty to menopause or andropause, all of which can cause pH imbalances in the skin, poor blood circulation and excessive oil production – all of which contribute to acne breakouts. Hormonal acne can be told apart from other varieties by its deep indentation and appearance similar to that of cysts. It’s also true that harsh skincare products can clog pores, leading to more breakouts – but did you know the foods we put on our plate can also contribute to the severity of our acne?
How sugar fuels acne
Research has suggested that sugar may contribute to the development of acne in several ways – one such way is by increasing insulin levels in the body. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, but it can also stimulate the production of androgens, which are hormones that can increase oil production in the skin. Excess oil production can lead to clogged pores and the development of acne. Excess sugar consumption may also increase to inflammation in the body, which can exacerbate acne as it causes skin to produce more oil, leading to clogged pores.
We also know that too much sugar can affect the balance of bacteria in the gut, which can have a significant impact on the health of the skin – not to mention the whole body! A healthy gut microbiome is essential for overall health, so when things get thrown off, it can lead to a spike in acne breakouts.
Here’s the tricky part – sugar is added to many foods, including bread, sauces, cereal and flavoured yoghurt. That’s why so many of us end up soaring over the daily limit for sugar without even realising. You don’t have to eat cakes and lollies to overdo it on the sweet stuff – simply consuming household staples like a cereal brekkie, a sandwich with store-bought sauces and a fruit yoghurt after dinner could be enough to shoot you past that 6-teaspoon limit. What can you do? The easiest way to avoid unknowingly eating added sugar is to go for whole foods over highly-processed foods. Things like whole vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and whole grains won’t have any added preservatives or sugars – and if you love your morning cereal, you can even make your own. Simply add nuts, seeds – you may enjoy adding puffed whole grains like millet or amaranth – along with berries and plain yogurt. Nutritious, tasty and added-sugar free! It’s also worth avoiding sugary drinks like lemonade, juice and sports drinks, which can have you drinking far more sugar than you realise – not to mention the lack of fibre means it’ll spike your blood sugars dangerously high.
Need a little help with that sugar addiction? That’s what we’re here for. Join us for the 8-Week Program and we’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. You might even consider gifting your mum with the program!
With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!