Case study: Sue
Sue came in complaining of new breakout (new within the last six weeks), concentrated mostly on her chin and around her nose. She couldn’t think of anything new she had been doing; she had no real changes in her hormones or menstrual cycle, and no unusual stress.
After I got her in the facial chair and looked at the problem at hand, I asked if she had been eating any sugar or more sugary foods than normal. “No. I don’t think so,” she insisted, “except for a new protein shake I’ve been making each morning.” She was putting soy milk, a soy protein powder called *Soy-lycious®, and a banana in her drink. This sounds pretty harmless, doesn’t it? Wrong! Soy milk, some more than others, contains quite a bit of sugar. Plus, anything that tastes ’licious is always suspect to me.
|Soy milk is not just soy nuts. It is loaded with sugar!|
[*I don’t think this particular protein powder is still on the market. But any soy product, like soy protein powder or soy milk, could possibly have a lot of sugar grams in it. Do your research!]
If you check the labels, you can find a low- to no-sugar protein powder. In my kitchen I currently have a powder that has 8 grams of sugar, which is still high, but just over half the amount of Sue’s protein product. I also have a protein powder that has a sugar content of zero. These lower versions do exist; you just have to read the labels.
I believe the biggest contributing factor to Sue’s skin problems was sugar. Later that day Sue called me after speaking to her gynecologist. Her confirmation was complete: even the doctor, after finding out Sue was drinking soy milk, agreed it contains too much sugar.
After spending about 15 minutes on the phone with Kim, who was complaining about having breakout that wouldn’t go away, she finally told me about her huge sugar intake. Every morning she has the equivalent of two cups of coffee with two tablespoons of sugar—not teaspoons (which is bad enough), but tablespoons. That is a lot of sugar! Day in day out, it is bound to eventually cause problems. Do you put sugar in your morning coffee? Do you experience frequent breakouts? Maybe there is a connection here for you too.
Kim said the breakout started about six months ago, yet she had been drinking sugar in her coffee for longer than that—for years. My theory is that about six months ago she crossed the threshold of her body being able to tolerate excess refined sugar. This may not be the sole cause of Kim’s skin problems, but her coffee drink is probably not the sole source of her sugar intake.
What I have found in the past is clients will speed up this elimination process because they see a positive difference in their skin. Knowledge is power, and once you know that sugar is contributing to your problem skin, you can decide to stop eating sugar, or at least you will know why you have breakout.
Note: Kim has read my book and has heard me, through several consultations over the phone, talking about sugar and skin problems for years. She just didn’t make the connection. My guess is she just didn’t want to, so the sugar snuck by her consciousness. That, by the way, is a common occurrence. You love your sugar, and you certainly don’t want me trying to take it away from you! I tell you this so you will look a little deeper at your sugar intake and maybe come up with sugar you were ignoring that is a mainstay in your diet. So be honest. You don’t have to stop eating sugar completely; I just want you to take ultimate responsibility for your clear (or problem) skin!
For more information, see:
- Sugar’s effect on skin: Clients with widespread breakout, scarring and menstrual issues
- I’m sensitive to sugar—are you?
- Sugar in your precious Frappucchinos