Sugar & Aging

Sugar & Aging

The devil is sugar dressed up like a cupcake
— Hannah Arcega

At a recent Thermae event this spring, we hosted NeuroTritionist Orsha Magyar, as she spoke on the importance of food for beauty and brains – we discovered the top super foods to include in our diets to encourage healthy cells and beautiful skin.

This resonated with my recent mind shift about food and my own personal eating habits, as it finally occurred to me that food truly IS medicine and is meant to nourish the body and not be my therapist (remember those snowy days and wanting to run directly to a bar of chocolate?)

Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of my favourite book “Goddesses Never Age” states, “As adults, we often try to nurture ourselves through food when what we really want is affection, love and attention.”

Which leads me to talk about the main culprit against our body beautiful – SUGAR. Because sugar causes inflammation, followed by disease, researchers agree that one of the most important things you can do to prevent aging is to keep you blood sugar levels from fluctuating through the day. This means you must “make peace” with food and avoid the intake of refined sugars. Fluctuating blood sugar levels are strongly related to many diseases such as Type II Diabetes, depression, obesity and dementia; according to Dr. Northrup, Alzheimer’s disease may even be thought of as Type III Diabetes.

Sugar molecules have a direct effect on skin cells, causing collagen and elastin to stiffen and become malformed. This process, known as Glycation, causes the formation of Advanced Glycation End Products or “AGE’s” (coincidence – I think not!) The result of the Glycation process is wrinkles, sagging, discoloured and aged skin.

Since most of us like to indulge in the occasional cookie, we’ve brought in some of the best products that contain ingredients that defend skin cells from the attack of sugar molecules. Here are my top “musts” to look for in skin care products to best treat aging skin:

  1. Inhibit the enzymes that degrade collagen and elastin in our skin by using thirst-quenching ingredients. Look for ingredients like: Camellia Sinensis, Soya, Lycopene, Resveratrol and Vitamins C & E. These are all anti-oxidants that will prevent collagen breakdown.
  2. Activate the formation of new collagen. It’s a fact that we lose 1% of collagen from our skin every year after our 30th birthday! Therefore, Peptides are a must. Peptides come in many forms, but are all effective in building new skin cells.
  3. Stimulate cell renewal with products that contain AHA’s, Retinol, Salicylic Acid and Glucosamine. These all exfoliate the skin
  4. Hydrate the tissues and reinforce the barrier lipid layer with products that contain Hyaluronic Acid, a substance that holds water in the skin. Finish with emollients such as Shea Butter, Rose Oil and Nut Oils that protect the skin.

Don’t have the patience to read every single label? Below I’ve listed my “Top 10 Super Products” that help reverse AGE’s and nourish the skin so that you don’t have to feel as guilty eating that cookie once in a while.

With Warm Appreciation,

Hannah Arcega,

Founder of Thermae Centre for Advanced Aesthetics

Personally follow Hannah’s own beauty and health journey on Instagram here: @AgeSmarter

  1. Dermalogica Age Smart Resurfacing Cleanser containing lactic acid to help exfolliate while cleansing
  2. Dermalogica Age Smart Multivitamin Power Serum containing Vitamins A,C, & E and protein peptides
  3. Dermalogica Age Smart Overnight Repair Serum containing Argan and Rose oils to smooth fine lines
  4. O. Skin Health Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 has a 12-hour time-release antioxidant complex to guard against photodamage
  5. O. Skin Health Growth Factor Serum with glucosamine phosphate and fermented red ginseng extract to stimulate cellular regeneration & collagen production
  6. Vivier (Pharmaceutical Grade) Vitamin C & E Serum with Peptides is a patented serum which helps damaged skin look and feel younger.
  7. Vivier Platine Peptide Eye Cream contains a proprietary blend of advanced peptide technology, Retinol, powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin C as well as hydrating ingredients such as Argan Oil, Squalane, Shea Butter and Jojoba Esters
  8. Vivier Platine Peptide Face and Neck Cream moisturizes the skin while helping to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This exclusive formulation contains a proprietary blend of advanced peptide technology, Vitamin C, Retinol, Shea Butter, Jojoba Esters and Squalane
  9. Vivier Retinol 1% Night Complex is the enhanced anti-aging complex you’ve been dreaming of. It’s uniquely formulated to prevent wrinkles, smooth fine lines and refine pore size.
  10. Skincerity Renew® Breathable Masque contains all of the moisture-retaining and vital oxygen-releasing properties of Breathable Barrier® technology while providing the added benefits of natural collagen activation and telomere protection. Use as a night time masque over any of the products listed above to optimize results.

Bring out your INNER GODDESS! One of our favourite books on women’s health (and health = beauty) is “Goddesses Never Age” by Dr. Christiane Northrup. We LOVE how she explains how to be AGE-LESS! How you get older depends on your attitude not your genes! Check it out!


“Goddesses Never Age”, Dr. Christiane Northrup
PATH Through Life project study 2011

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