Sure, we are entitled to our cake. The problem begins with a diet high in sugar, little exercise and detoxification, and genes that predispose you to accelerated aging by glycation.
Glycation, or A.G.E., standing for Advanced Glycation End Products, is a process where sugar, or glucose, binds to collagen protein in the skin. The body needs sugar for energy, but excess sugar that is not properly metabolized will store in the body. The process is similar to a caramelization of the skin from the inside out. This damages skin, sort of in the same way as charring a burger on the barbeque. The result of this ‘caramelization’ is A.G.E., where the skin’s fibers become rigid, and topically, skin is cracked and thin. Further, when the skin’s supportive structure is damaged, we might see cellulite and poor wound healing.
So, how can you be proactive in protecting your skin from glycation?
- Reduce refined sugar in your diet. Speak to a Nutritionist to learn how to replace damaging foods with healthy alternatives, curb cravings and balance blood sugar.
- Incorporate fitness, including cardio and weight-bearing exercises, at least 3 times each week. Speak to a professional about setting up a routine that is right for you and your lifestyle.
- Avoid lifestyle factors that will accelerate aging, like smoking, alcohol consumption and overexposure to sun.
- See a professional about having your blood glucose levels tested. Diabetics are at a greater risk for glycation due to a lessened ability to break down sugars in food.
- Have your skin tested for genetic markers, with a SkinDNA test, that pinpoint the glycation process in your body. One in two people are genetically predisposed to reduced protection against glycation. Once you have results, you can customize your skin care products to target glycation, with specific protective ingredients.
Bottom line, be proactive daily in protecting your skin. Aging is a beautiful process and we can accelerate it, embrace it, and even slow down the visible effects, all with diet and lifestyle. It’s all about our choices.