No sugar diets are increasingly popular and easy to find. Evidence is continually mounting to show links between sugar and just about every issue you can think of. This is because sugar (glucose) is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and leads to spikes, which causes inflammation, which can affect weight, gut health, mood, and yes, even your skin.
To be clear, sugar is in almost every processed food. And even if you are eating something without added sugar, if it’s a starch, like white bread, your body quickly converts that into glucose. On a no sugar diet, reading labels becomes super important. It’s not just candy and those fancy cupcakes and macarons, but watch out for that pasta sauce, or yes, even that hot sauce. Alcohol counts and so does that caramel macchiato. You can eat fruit but look for ones that are lower on the glycemic index (GI), such as cherries or apples, as they contain less sugar. You may even choose to consume low-GI vegetables as well. If you choose to start a no sugar diet, there are plenty of plans to follow, like Whole 30 or Keto, or you can go it alone.
What happens on a no sugar diet? Articles abound and report a fairly consistent experience. In the first few days to a week, you may not feel that great, as your body is detoxing. You will likely be tired and somewhat rundown feeling. But after that, things improve. You start to gain more energy and feel better all around. If you are doing a 30-day program, by the end of it, you’ll likely have lost weight and maybe even see some muscle definition.
So how exactly does sugar affect skin? Well, as mentioned in the beginning, inflammation is detrimental to the skin. It can cause acne, puffiness, and dullness. You might have heard of the term “sugar face”, which refers to exactly this. Inflammation can also affect collagen and elastin, two very important skin components that contribute to strength, and as the name suggests, elasticity. So when the inflammation is mitigated or eliminated, you’ll start to see results in your skin. Usually, you’ll start to notice these results after the first week, as your skin becomes less puffy and a bit brighter, and after a few weeks, you’ll notice less acne.
Dermatologists are fans of the no sugar diet. Dr. Nicholas Perricone, skincare guru and founder of his namesake brand, recommends an anti-inflammatory diet. Dr. Harold Lancer, dermatologist to the stars, also recommends reducing or eliminating sugar for great skin. Dermatology Times, a clinical journal, even suggests that no or low sugar diets are best for eliminating acne and that overall, there is a diet-skin condition link.
While everyone will have a different experience, the evidence does seem to be in favor of no sugar diets for reducing acne and puffiness and increasing your natural glow.
Have you noticed a positive change in your skin when on a no sugar diet? Let us know!
Lia is a makeup addict in Washington, D.C. When not at her digital marketing day job, she explores all things beauty and works as personal makeup shopper. She enjoys a strong latte in the mornings and a strong cocktail in the evenings.