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Monday, September 15, 2014

Sugar & skin problems: One client’s story

I try to be aware of what I put into my body. I drink a lot of water, take vitamins, and I really watch my sugar intake. I am 24 years old and am struggling with acne along my jawline and chin. I definitely see an increase in the breakout around my period, so I think it is mostly hormone- and stress-induced.

Since reading your book, I am extra aware of sugar in my diet. But I will be honest—I do give in to the occasional chocolate fix (and those Girl Scouts are around again). I also know there is a lot of hidden sugar in my diet. My daily intake consists of two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee in the morning, a mid-afternoon yogurt (which I know is high in sugar), a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sometimes a cookie or small piece of chocolate, and then wherever sugar is less obvious in other things in my diet.
 

If this is an example of watching sugar intake, it is about watching a lot of sugar going into her mouth. No wonder she is having skin problems! Usually when people come to me for advice, they don’t have so much obvious sugar in their diet. But here, with this example, I hope you can see how much sugar this client is eating—every day. If she would simply and totally rid all of the above mentioned sugary foods from her diet, I would be very surprised if she didn’t experience significant clearing with her skin.

If someone is sugar-sensitive, the sugar in the coffee alone is too much sugar—especially on a daily basis. That this client is experiencing any problems with her skin, severe or not, is absolutely no surprise. Yogurt, plain with nothing added, is the only yogurt I recommend eating. You can always add fresh fruit, like bananas, apples, etc. But if you eat yogurt with fruit added during manufacturing, just look at the label—you are getting a lot of “hidden” sugar. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich may be a great meal on the run, but it is loaded with sugar. The jelly is obvious, but I’ll bet the peanut butter has sugar in the ingredient list too. If it is from a health food store, perhaps not. It may just be peanuts and oil. But a grocery store product will contain sugar. Cookies and the “occasional chocolate fix” are only going to compound this young lady’s problems.

Her program is simple: eliminate at least all of the above-mentioned items from her diet. In Timeless Skin, I recommend going on a three- to ten-day sugar fast. Sometimes limiting the amount of time you will abstain from something makes the process a little easier to get through. I don’t advocate reintroducing the same amount of sugar into your diet that you were eating before the fast. But sometimes just taking a break from sugar completely will give you the extra willpower you need to begin to reduce the amount of sugar you are getting on a daily basis. Once you stop feeding the problem, your blemishes will (hopefully) be a thing of the past.

For further reading about sugar and skin care, see: