Sugar is addictive - fact. And if the horrors of what it does to your insides isn’t enough, perhaps its effect on your skin will help you curb your addiction.

Most people are unaware of what it can do to your skin; we're well versed in how the sun can age your complexion but sugar? Not so much.

Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar, explains: "If there's one thing I could educate women on this summer it's that sugar causes more skin damage than the sun. 

"Let me explain. Sugar reacts with proteins in our bodies, changing their structure to form advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) which accelerate the ageing process. As a result, sugar makes collagen and elastin less supple, radiant, elastic and resilient - and more susceptible to sun damage."

[Related story: Healthy smoothie recipe: The best blend for glowing skin]

Check out four other ways sugar is ruining your skin:


Those innocent looking granules are actually collagen-eating machines. Sugar attacks healthy, supple collagen that leads to dull, dehydrated skin. Less collagen equals more wrinkles.

Redness and inflammation

Irritation or sudden reddening of the skin could be down to the amount of sugar you’re eating. Noticed your nose suddenly looking rosier or you’re finding your skin doesn’t like your usual moisturiser? Put down the sugar - it causes sudden rises and falls in blood sugar levels that lead to inflammation, which often leads to…


Increased inflammation equals a break-out. Your skin is directly connected to your digestive system so if your body is having trouble processing a food or particle, the consequences may show on your skin.


Dark circles

The sweet stuff creates such an imbalance in the body that it essentially draws all of the water out of your cells. This can lead to dry patches, puffiness and those dreaded bags under your eyes. If you are going to be chowing down on the chocolate, drink plenty of water to compensate.

Sugar you shouldn’t eat

Your skin’s worst enemy? Simple carbohydrates. In sugar terms, that’s the refined kind. We’re talking sweets, chocolate, ice cream, sugar in your tea (white and brown) and fruit juice, not forgetting the less obvious foods that hide an alarming amount of sugar such as ready meals, tomato ketchup, crisps and cereal. Stock up on berries, nuts and proteins for a youthful, glowing complexion.

How does sugar affect your skin? Tell us in the Comments box below.