Sweets & Zits: How Cutting Some Sugar from Your Diet Just Might Improve Skin Health

Posted on April 09, 2015 by Rachel Duran

sugary sweets: cupcake shop

Rachel DuranDo cupcakes and lollipops lead to dull, pimple-prone skin? While the science linking a sugary diet and acne is still being tallied, cutting back on sugar just might calm your complexion.

I'm sorry to say it, but sugar is a sly villain that messes with our body’s complicated systems. It may even be linked to overactive sebum production. In other words: eating sweets now could mean clogged pores ahead.

If you’re prone to breakouts, it may be in your skin’s best interest to avoid refined sugars and added sugars, including: white sugar, brown sugar, agave syrup, molasses, maple syrup. 

For most of us, completely eliminating pie and ice cream would be a shame, but cutting out two-thirds of your refined sugar intake is an easy-to-swallow start. Here are a few reasons why you should put down the candies...at least most of the time.


Sugar is highly acidic which causes a rise in blood sugar levels and leads to inflammation. When this hits the skin, look out for a breakout and redness.

Blood Sugar

When you nibble on sugar, your blood sugar levels will alter, rising rapidly and then falling shortly after insulin is released into your cells. These dramatic drops can make you shaky, hungry, and moody—your body is experiencing internal stress, which can lead to breakouts.


Sugar sucks the water from your cells, drying out your skin and leaving you with puffy, undereye circles. Sugar also eats at the healthy supple collagen in your skin that helps keep wrinkles at bay. Avoid the dull & skip eating sugar on days you want to look your best....which is always, right?

Gut Health

The sweet stuff inflames your stomach, ferments in the gut, and doesn’t digest efficiently because it can’t be broken down into nutrients outside of simple glucose. Anytime a food doesn’t digest well, it will most likely manifest its frustration through your skin.


  • Rachel Duran is an editor at Arithmetic
  • About Us: Arithmetic is a new skincare company focused on helping adults achieve clear, healthy skin
  • Photo: Cupcakes by Leeroy via Lifeofpix

Posted in acne, adult acne, clear skin, lifestyle, nutrition, sugar



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