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Many of us love indulging in a few sweets here and there, but have you ever thought about the effect it could be having on your skin?

In case you haven’t, there are some important factors to be cognizant of before reaching for your next cupcake.

“Good Morning America” tapped dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe to unpack what sugar can do to and for our skin.

PHOTO: Candy is seen in an undated stock photo.

Candy is seen in an undated stock photo.

STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

How much of an effect does sugar have on our skin?

“If you eat or drink too many refined carbs and sugars, it can lead to a process called glycation in the skin. Glycation is when sugar attaches to proteins in the skin like collagen and elastin, and targets them for destruction,” said Bowe.

With this process, Bowe added that refined sugars can also accelerate the appearance of aging, and have also been linked to acne as well as breakouts.

How effective are sugar scrubs applied directly to the skin?

According to Bowe, sugar scrubs are generally ok for rough patches of skin such as elbows and heels. However, she doesn’t recommend them on your face as the texture can be too abrasive.

“If you rub too hard, or use these scrubs too often, it can show up as red blotchy skin. In some people it can lead to dark patches, something called hyperpigmentation and that can last for months,” said Bowe.

For those looking to still exfoliate the skin, Bowe recommends trying products with exfoliating acids.

ABP’s of exfoliating acids:

– Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHAs): can firm skin over time

– Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHAs): works to unclog pores and prevent breakouts

– Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs): helps plump and hydrate skin

Bowe’s tip: “Ideally you find a product with a blend of all those acids to get all those benefits and really brighten the skin over time.”

How does the glazed donut skin trend work?

As the name of the trend suggests, Bowe mentioned this trend is all about just getting the skin to look like a glazed donut.

“It’s all about hydration and supporting a healthy skin barrier,” she added. “The key is to really layer your skin care products.”

In Bowe’s opinion, she suggests starting with a lightweight serum. Then, you put on a moisturizer. On top of that, you put on another product that has nourishing plant-based oils — one that won’t clog the pores.

She recommends also looking for products with ingredients such as hyaluronic acids, squalane, ceramides, rosehip oil and grape seed oil that may help achieve the “glazed donut” look.

While Bowe recommends trying the trend as a part of your nighttime skin care routine, she also says it can be worn out and about during the day if worn with sunscreen layered on top.


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