Ahh the sweet smell of sugar. It gets us all! It’s delicious. It’s haunting. It’s controlling. And when you’re scoffed 6 crispy cream original glazed donuts, you well and truly feel the effects of all that sugar you just consumed. You know what I’m talking about – that #ragrets feeling you get when you enter the stage of self loathing. Your stomach starts making growling noises – not the good kind – as if asking you to take its life to stop the pain.
Sugar is everyone! It’s unavoidable and it’s inescapable. You’d have to pick up a meat and/or vegetable based diet to save yourself from the haunting affects of sugar. Because quite frankly my dear, you have no fricken idea how much sugar has become a part of our lives!
And no, this post isn’t about forcing a new diet craze down your throat. Nor is this an intervention about your sugar addiction – which FYI studies have found is stronger than any cocaine addiction! This post, like many of our others, is about educating ourselves about skin health. So we want to teach you kiddies how sugar is pretty much linked to our bestest friends in the world – PIMPLES!
How it works – sugar, when absorbed by the body is converted into glucose. Simple biology / chemistry 101. This glucose is spread through out the body, simple right? Well what they don’t teach you in year 12 biology is how that glucose affects our key hormone producing powerhouse – the ovaries! That’s right, glucose can cause some havoc on our 2 lady friends down there, making them over produce testosterone.
Now before I start ranting about how a male-prominent hormone is causing havoc on our face, let me clarify something. And no, there will be no mansplaining here… When our lady flow starts knocking each month (le period for our male readers), most of us will experience some form or strain of hormonal acne. This acne is due to our body attempting to recalibrate the hormonal imbalance by making the ovaries produce spiked levels of testosterone. Given females are only required to maintain testosterone levels equal to 1/10th of that in males, the female body needs to find a way of expelling the excess testosterone. But the trouble here my lady friends is that we’re missing one crucial appendage which to humanity is known to be raging with this hormone….so alas, it ain’t that easy for us X chromosome beings to dispose of the testosterone. But thank the lord Mother Nature blessed us with an alternative means of disposing of this hormone – androgen receptors!
Located under the surface of the skin, the androgen receptors assist the body in disposing of any excess androgens produced on a daily basis, including testosterone and our beloved stress hormone, cortisol [note sarcasm…if you haven’t picked on the sarcasm yet, gurl pick up your A game]! To dispose of these hormones, the androgen receptors produce sebum which leads to excess amounts in our skin during cramp-time. This excess sebum of course creates a loving place for bacteria and excess toxins to start fornicating to create a clogged pore and of course that beautiful bright red pimple currently sitting on your chin!
I gather your heads are spinning right now? And you’re probably wondering how the feck this relates to sugar…well let me explain my fellow skincare-patrons.
As many of you know, when sugar (particularly refined which is found in all our fave candies) is consumed, our body converts the sugar into glucose. Most of us know from our year 10 biology classes that glucose then gets distributed throughout the body to our cells, the mitochondria to be exact. What year 10 biology forgot to point out to us is that the glucose also gets distributed to our OVARIES!! Mind blown right? I know, sounds pretty obvious…BUT! What most of us don’t know is that glucose actually makes our ovaries start to produce excess amounts of TESTOSTERONE! Queue light bulb moment 💡
That’s right chickies, sugar creates a hormonal imbalance which leads to some of those breakouts we can’t blame our periods on. Leading us to look at the stars trying to figure out the last time we felt overly stressed, because surely that’s the cause for this mother-flippin monster pimple of my chin. I’ve named him Clive, just in case anyone’s interested…I’ll be holding his funeral tonight – there will be plenty of salicylic acid to bury him in!
Anyways….where was I?! Ah yes, sugar and pimples! Just like we’ve mentioned before in our posts regarding skin care and make up, everyone is different. And the same applies to how our body breaks down sugar. Some of us can eat cakes and live a pimple-less life, while others like me eat a tic tac and Zeus zaps me with another pimple and now Clive has a cousin (Ralph if you’re interested…and his funeral will be in 2 days from now FYI).
So what can we do if sugar is affecting our skin. Everything in moderation! I for one know how hard it is to cut sugar out of my diet, particularly when it can be found in everything. From your healthy protein bar to the mayonnaise you put in your fave avocado and chicken sanga! It just shows how much sugar is a part of our lives and therefore our skin (and overall body) health. By moderating sugar, we can reap the benefits for our skin, mental health (because as a hormone imbalancer, it screws your mood up – big time!) and our overall physical health.
It should be noted that my sugar rant is specifically reserved for refined sugars – natural sugars found in fruit and grains, totally cool with! Why? Because the fiber not only helps the body digest the sugar effectively, but also makes it low GI (glycemic index) meaning that the release of glucose (and therefore production of testosterone from the ovaries) is equally distributed over an extended period of time.
So in summary kids, be sugar wise because admitting you’re a sugar addict is the first step to better skin, mental and physical health.
Superstitiously yours x
P.s. Stay tuned for our Whole30 post where we chat about whether cutting out sugar ACTUALLY helps…and if not, well it’s been nice knowing ya!