Don’t let the title fool you: High-sugar diets won’t do your skin any favors but incorporating it into your topical beauty routine can deliver some pretty sweet results.
I have a serious love/hate relationship with sugar. If you read my blog Sugar…It’s not quite as sweet as you think, you know that I am not a fan of eating processed sugars. But I can’t totally dismiss these sweet lil granules, for it has some amazing topical uses, check ‘em out below:
First, sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin. So when you apply products with sugar or sugar derivatives, they'll actually help hydrate your skin and keep moisture within.
Secondly, sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that penetrates the skin and breaks down the "glue" that bonds skin cells, encouraging cell turnover and generating fresher, younger-looking skin. Glycolic acid is typically used to treat sun-damaged and aging skin. Because it can be irritating to certain skin types, over-the-counter products typically contain less than a 10 percent concentration of glycolic acid in their formulas.
Finally, sugar's small particles make an excellent topical exfoliant, and are used in a number of body scrubs to exfoliate dead surface skin cells and reveal the glowing, healthy-looking skin underneath. Sugar scrubs also have a few benefits over salt scrubs. For one, small sugar granules are generally gentler than salt, which can cause microscopic tears in the skin; two, because of sugar's natural humectants properties, these scrubs are more hydrating than salt scrubs, which can strip skin of natural oils.
Tips for At Home Sugar Scrub
When choosing a sugar scrub, consider the key ingredient: Brown sugar is softer than granulated sugar, so can generally be used on the face and sensitive skin. Raw sugar (also known as turbinado sugar) is more naturally coarse, so is usually reserved for the body. Do a small patch test if you aren't sure how your skin will react.
Easy Sugar Scrub Recipe
You can make a simple sugar scrub at home using basic brown sugar, olive oil, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance. I like lavender – it is very soothing for the skin and it is generally regarded as safe for most people. You can also mix lavender with a few drops of citrus essential oil (like grapefruit or orange) for an awakening kick.
Easy Face Scrub Recipe
For the face, mix sugar, maple syrup, and a few drops of lemon juice to hydrate, clarify, and reveal softer skin.
You only need to use a topical sugar scrub about twice per week. Sugar scrubs are great to use throughout the year, as exfoliating the top layer of skin helps moisturizers penetrate more deeply and hydrate longer.