Sugar and ageing: glycation

We all know that when it comes to our bodies, sugar is a bitter foe but there is much more to it. Eating it might also contribute to skin ageing such as wrinkles and loss of radiance – and that’s not sweet. Let’s learn more about the phenomenon of glycation…

What is glycation?

The glycation reaction is considered one of the key factors in skin ageing. Usually, when you eat food, the body breaks down carbohydrates into sugars such as glucose and fructose. It then uses these sugars to produce energy. However, they aren’t fully utilised by the body and some factors can increase the sugar level in our system e.g. when we age, when we’re exposed to UV rays and when we consume too many sugary or high-glycemic foods. The excess sugars in the bloodstream attach to proteins in an abnormal way, producing harmful new molecules called “advanced glycation end products (commonly shortened, appropriately, to AGEs).” This process is called “glycation” and further ages the skin.

What are the effects on the skin?

The most vulnerable proteins damaged by AGEs are collagen (which gives skin its firmness) and elastin (which helps skin bounce back after being stretched), resulting in the appearance of:

  • age spots
  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • dull and yellow skin tone
  • sagging
  • inflammation

These external signs of glycation show up around the age of 30 and increase rapidly after that. AGEs also deactivate the body’s natural antioxidant defence, leaving the skin more vulnerable to external aggressors such as cigarette smoke and UV light…the latter still being the main cause of skin ageing.

When you’re younger, your body has more resources to fight back and you’re producing more collagen. Thus, the older you get the more important it is to target glycation.

How to reduce the glycation process?

While glycation can’t be completely stopped, it can be reduced. The more glucose we have in our bloodstream, the more likely we are to be producing AGEs. Therefore it is important to:

1. Cut back on the sweet stuff

Sugar is a potent pro-inflammatory agent that creates AGEs and speeds up the ageing process. It’s not easy to eliminate sugar completely and you shouldn’t. Indeed, sugar is an essential fuel for cells and energy metabolism but limiting added sugar can help. Remember that many prepared foods and alcohol contain large amounts of sugar…

2. Choose low-glycemic foods

It’s not just sweets that increase blood sugar. Many foods, such as carbohydrates (including white bread, white rice, white potatoes), break down quickly in the body, spiking blood sugar levels. Choose foods that rate low on the glycemic index and that take more time to break down such as nuts, seeds, yogurt and berries.

3. Watch the BBQ

Avoid blackening meats. “Charcoaling” creates AGEs in the food – before you even eat it. If you’re going to grill, marinate meat before and during cooking, and cook for shorter times at lower heat.

4. Protect your skin

UV exposure increases the formation of AGEs. Protect your skin from the sun – always. With a 25 SPF protection, Protection UV protects the epidermis from UVAs, UVBs and infrared radiation all year around.

5. Boost your antioxidant intake

Employ an inside-out approach by stocking up on powerful antioxidants that will help protect cells from free radicals and thus glycation. Consume antioxidant-rich fruits, nuts, vegetables and tea, and when the chocolate angles visit opt for the darkest they bring to save your skin from the effects of AGEs.

6. Supplement your diet with vitamin B

At least 1mg of vitamins B1 and B6 a day will help inhibit the formation of AGEs in the way as carnosine does.

7. Use targeted skin care products

Prevent glycation and boost deglycation with our new Serum A-Glyca…


Please read our blog post on skin nutrition by our partner nutritionist, Kamilla Schaffner, for more information.


About Serum A-Glyca

serum-a-glycaThe Serum A-Glyca is a genuinely innovative serum that targets the glycation reaction (which causes wrinkles and premature skin aging). Due to its formula, that is rich in anti-glycation active ingredients (mimosa and carcinine), it prevents this phenomenon by way of substitution but also reverses it through deglycation. It also has an antioxidant action that provides essential overall protection to combat skin ageing.

Serum A-Glyca has a dual action, preventive and curative.

  • Anti-glycation: Mimosa Albizia julibrissin extract (also called silk tree) protects elastin and collagen fibres at risk of being damaged by glycation and thus prevents the production of AGEs. It also combats the signs of tiredness, boosts the skin’s elasticity and leaves it radiant.
  • Deglycation: carcinine traps glucose and releases the collagen and elastin experiencing glycation. By preventing these fibres from becoming rigid, it helps to reduce wrinkles and lines. It also has an antioxidant action that provides essential overall protection to combat skin ageing.

Formulated to keep elastin and collagen fibres intact, the serum is the perfect ally in the fight to prevent and lessen the signs of ageing:


  • Combats the glycation process
  • Protects the proteins that structure the skin
  • Reduces deep lines and wrinkles
  • Lessens the appearance of facial fatigue
  • Promotes firmer skin
  • Promotes a radiant complexion


  • Signs of ageing prevented and improved
  • Healthy skin
  • ­Toned skin
  • A more even and glowing complexion

Thanks to the Serum A-Glyca, the glycation reaction can be prevented and counteracted. The usage test, carried out on 22 volunteers who applied the product twice daily for 2 months, revealed a gain of 2 years of glycation in just 2 months of use. It will reduce wrinkles and improve the evenness of the complexion. The dermis becomes firmer and the skin becomes more luminous.

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  • Can this be used directly around the eye area? I think I may have some signs of glycation in this area…. Skin seems to be changing texture / almost like cells clumping together…. Whatever I don’t like it. So if this can help round the eyes it sounds great. And how much is it?

    • Hello Zah,

      Thank you very much for your comment. Serum A-Glyca can be used around the eye area, it was ophthalmologically tested.

      It would be best to visit one of our establishments for a therapist to look at your skin and prescribe the correct products:

      If you would like to purchase the product with us directly, please contact us at

      I look forward to hearing back from you.

      • Hi Laurene – thanks for the detailed reply. Is it ok to use this under my VIP o2 eye cream? Was also wondering about the price? Is it one of the £70 serums?

        • Hi Zah,

          Absolutely, all serums should be applied on a cleanse and exfoliated face. After applying the Serum A-Glyca, you can apply your eye cream.

          Serum A-Glyca is one of the Quintessential Serums, however they all have different prices. Please contact us at for further information.

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