It’s hard not to feel a little guilty when we indulge our sweet tooth. After all, the saying goes “A moment on your lips is forever on your hips.” As if that wasn’t enough to make you reconsider grabbing a pastry with your morning coffee, studies have shown that sugars can also cause your skin to look older because of a process called glycation.

Could your love of all things ooey, gooey, sticky, and sweet be the culprit behind your premature aging and skin concerns?

The Science of Glycation

When you munch on something that contains sugars, your cells take a beating. The sugars attempt to stick to fats and proteins in you body in a process called glycation (or the “browning reaction).

Once the sugars have gotten to know their targets well enough, they begin to produce Advanced Glycation End Products, or AGEs for short. These end products do major damage to the proteins in your skin, causing them to become stiff and malformed.

Unfortunately, the proteins most highly favored for glycation include elastin and collagen, both of which give your skin a youthful plumpness and bounce. When your collagen and elastin proteins stiffen, they do a poor job of supporting your skin’s structure.

Additionally, this stiffening of proteins damages your body’s connective tissues, such as ligaments and tendons, and causes them to slack on their job of keeping your skin taut.

Sugary sweets aren’t the only cause of glycation. Any “charred” meat from the grill or “brown” baked goods contain glycated proteins.

Unless you’re willing to commit to becoming an herbivore, your body will undergo the process of glycation.

Prevention and Intervention

Skincare experts have been looking towards a compound called Supplamine to help prevent and reduce the effects of glycation. MEG 21, a leader in anti-aging skincare, is leading the charge.

According to their researchers, “Supplamine prevents skin damage in two distinct ways: by preventing the development of toxic sugars and neutralizing the toxic sugars in our systems.”

Their line of products boasts major results for those looking to prevent aging and wrinkling, stop the glycation process, boost collagen production, and even tackle oxidative stress.

Advanced Skin Therapeutics carries their comprehensive line, including toners, cleansers, anti-oxidant boosts, and treatments packed with good-for-you ingredients  that can help your skin combat glycation and the signs of aging.


Neostrata products can also aid your body in the breakdown of collagen proteins by boosting production at the cellular level. Their unique lines containing PHA’s (polyhydroxy acids) gluconolactone, effectively combat and inhibit glycation.

You can find these ingredients in products like their Triple Firming Neck Cream, which targets all signs of aging and UV damage, including glycation. It promotes collagen and hyaluronic production, plumping up neck wrinkles and firming saggy skin