Does sugar make wrinkles?

We know that sugar makes you fat and is bad for your health. But not everyone knows that sweet temptations also cause wrinkles. The keywords are glycation and AGE. More information from the anti-aging expert Roswitha Sieghold.

I go weak at the thought of melt-in-the-mouth chocolate. Or even when I imagine a lemon tart with meringue. I am not alone in this. Roswitha Sieghold, anti-aging expert at Parfümerie Brückner, explains what role the saccharification of the skin, glycation and AGE values play in connection with anti-aging and what you can do about it.

How can you delay aging, how do you manage to look vital for longer? What role do genetics play and how important is personal lifestyle? There are many questions in this context that cannot yet be answered, but one thing is scientifically proven: “Only about 25 percent of the aging processes are genetically predetermined, the rest is one’s own lifestyle, which includes above all the topics of exercise and nutrition,” says the anti-aging expert.

Germans eat around 35 kilos of sugar per year, which is around 96 grams or about 32 sugar cubes every day – about four times as much as the total amount of sugar recommended by the World Health Organization. It’s nothing new that this is bad for us: There is much evidence to suggest that sugar not only makes us fat, provokes tooth decay and promotes diabetes, but can also cause liver disease, vascular, cardiovascular and possibly even cancer.

Skin aging due to glycation

Meanwhile, not only nutrition experts, but also anti-aging specialists and dermatologists warn against too much sugar consumption. Because: sugar accelerates skin aging. “An honestly formulated warning for sugar could sound more dramatic than the package inserts of many prescription drugs,” explains Roswitha Sieghold. “The so-called glycation is one of the main causes of skin aging, development of wrinkles and loss of elasticity,” the expert continues

Why is this so? When there is an excess of sugar, simple sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose dock onto the body’s own proteins, including those in the skin. The “advanced glycation endproducts” (AGE) formed in this biochemical reaction form sticky cross-links.

Sugar makes wrinkles and glues elastin fibers together!

Sugar molecules, which are taken in through food (as sugar or carbohydrates, attach themselves to the elastin fibers in the tissues, chain themselves there and cause the fibers to stiffen, the skin loses its tone and elasticity. As a result, these “caramelized” fibers can no longer free themselves from sugar on their own. “This also blocks the ability to produce new skin cells and new tissue,” Roswitha Sieghold emphasizes.

And what can be done about it? “At Parfümerie Brückner, we can detect skin saccharification by measuring AGE levels using an AGE reader. By the way, at Parfümerie Brückner we are the only ones in Munich who have such an AGE reader. After the measurement, you can then create an individual holistic anti-aging plan. This includes care tips with special products and dietary recommendations. Frying, too strong heating and naturally sugar as well as carbohydrates as far as possible from the food plan delete. Antagonists that can lower the AGE value are, for example, green tea, tomatoes or oregano,” the expert recommends.

In addition, specific active ingredients help against glycation: the body’s own protein L-carnosine acts like a magnet by binding the sugar molecules to itself and breaking them down before they can attack the skin cells. “L-carnosine is a combination of two amino acids (alanine and histidine) and occurs naturally in tissues and muscles. However, its concentration decreases with age,” says Roswitha Sieghold. So it makes sense to use this L-carnosine as an active ingredient for anti-aging care, too. The products are available at Parfümerie Brückner in Munich and also online:

Lead photo: iStock.com/CoffeeAndMilk, Photos: PR

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