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Glucose and the glow

It’s not as sexy as the latest skincare trend but managing your blood glucose levels is key to achieving healthy, glowing skin. By understanding how diet and lifestyle affect your levels, you can uncover a more radiant you — without buying into another product that promises the world but doesn’t deliver results.

The impact of glucose stability on skin is multifaceted, involving various physiological processes including:

Prevention of glycation

Elevated blood glucose levels can lead to a process called glycation, where sugars bind to proteins such as collagen and elastin in the skin. This process forms advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which contribute to the breakdown of these structural proteins. Collagen and elastin are essential for skin firmness and their degradation can lead to wrinkles, sagging and a loss of skin tone. By maintaining stable blood glucose levels, the risk of excessive glycation and the formation of AGEs is reduced, preserving the integrity of these vital skin proteins.

Reduced inflammation

High blood glucose levels can trigger inflammatory responses in the body, which are known to contribute to various skin conditions, including acne, eczema, psoriasis and premature aging. Stable blood glucose levels help minimise inflammation, promoting a calmer and healthier complexion.

Control of sebum production

Imbalances in blood glucose can affect hormone levels, including insulin. Insulin resistance, a condition associated with elevated blood glucose, can lead to increased androgen production. Androgens are  hormones that stimulate sebum (oil) production in the skin’s sebaceous glands, an excess of which can contribute to clogged pores, acne and an oily complexion. Maintaining stable levels helps regulate insulin and keeps sebum production in check.

Minimisation of oxidative stress

Elevated blood glucose levels contribute to oxidative stress, which can damage skin cells and accelerate the aging process. Stable levels help reduce oxidative stress, supporting the skin’s natural defense mechanisms.

Improve your blood glucose balance naturally Diet

The foundation for stable blood glucose levels lies in a balanced diet. Opt for whole, nutrient-dense foods including vegetables, wholegrains and high-quality protein. A simple tip is to start your meal with a side salad, the added fibre will help release glucose gradually, preventing spikes that can lead to skin issues. Incorporate foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries and leafy greens, to combat oxidative stress and promote a radiant complexion.

Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugary snacks as they can cause rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. Instead, choose complex carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index, promoting sustained energy release and stable glucose levels.


Regular physical activity is a powerful tool for regulation. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to utilise glucose more effectively. Engaging in activities such as brisk walking,
jogging or yoga also enhances circulation, promoting a healthy glow and nourishing the skin with oxygen.

Adequate hydration flushes out toxins and supports the transport of essential nutrients to skin cells. Aim for at least eight glasses of filtered water a day and consider incorporating hydrating foods such as watermelon and cucumber into your diet.

The impact of sleep on overall health is undeniable, and its influence on skin should not be underestimated. During deep sleep, the body undergoes crucial repair and regeneration processes, including the production of a growth hormone that aids in skin elasticity.

Establish a consistent sleep routine, aiming for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. Create a calming bedtime ritual, avoid screens before sleep and ensure your sleep environment is conducive to relaxation.

In the quest for beauty, it’s essential to recognise the symbiotic relationship between internal wellbeing and external appearance. By prioritising blood glucose stability through mindful diet choices, an active lifestyle and quality sleep, you can unlock the key to radiant skin and an overall healthy self.

Article featured in WellBeing 209

Ema Taylor

Ema Taylor

Ema Taylor is a naturopath, clinical nutritionist and certified fertility awareness educator. For more, visit emataylor.com or @emataylornaturopathy on Instagram.

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