We all know that sugar isn’t the best thing for us. Too much of it can lead to unwanted weight gain, spiking blood sugar levels and some pretty serious chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. But did you know that too much sugar is bad for your skin? To keep your complexion fresh and clear, think about reducing your sugar intake.

So, why is sugar bad for the skin?

According to clinical associate professor of dermatology, Patricia Farris, MD, sugar wreaks havoc on the collagen and elastin in your skin.

You see, after you eat sugar, it enters into your bloodstream. There, sugar attaches to collagen and elastin. Normally, these two molecules are soft and pliable.

Once sugar gets a hold of them, it makes them weak and stiff. Not exactly what you want for supple and firm skin, right?

Here’s how you can reduce your sugar intake to have younger, fresher skin.

Processed and refined sugar shows up in lots of foods, so it can seem daunting to cut it out altogether. Instead, think of cutting back on the typical culprits: baked goods, sugary drinks, (including coffee, lattes, and ice tea) and candies.

Instead, try to use coconut palm sugar to calm your sugar cravings. And of course, whole fruits are a great way to nourish your skin and satisfy your sweet tooth.

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