Glycation is a process which is caused by the presence of excess glucose in skin fibers. This excess triggers an internal reaction in which sugar molecules adhere to the collagen and elastin proteins, which normally help keep skin firm and supple. In this process, something called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are formed. In time, these end-products make collagen rigid, meaning that it loses its ability to keep skin firm, and ultimately contributes to making us look older than we really are.
This process begins when we are about 20 and gradually intensifies. So, while it is a natural process, diets that are high in sugar accelerate glycation, causing more AGEs to form in the skin. This is why our face starts to “fall” and needs extra help to continue looking youthful.
In addition to signs of aging, other signs of glycation include sudden hormonal acne changes and acne flareups in general, excess sebum output or dehydration, yellow and dull skin, and skin inflammation.