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Inside-out · April 24, 2017

6 Sweet Uses For Sugar in Your Beauty Routine

Naturally hydrate skin

You might be surprised to learn that sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment and binds it to your skin. So, cleansing with a product rich in itlike this one with black sugar from SKINFOODwill hydrate your complexion while also effectively removing dirt and makeup. Since the sugar in the cleanser is unrefined, it retains more of its natural benefits and passes them along to you.

Defend against signs of aging

Pop quiz: what's a polysaccharide? Chances are most of us don't remember everything we learned in our high school chemistry class, but if you break down the name, it literally means many (poly) sugars (sacchars). They help your skin repair and renew itself. When the protective barrier of your skin is damaged, it results in a decrease of polysaccharide concentration, which leads to a loss of elasticity and the development of wrinkles. But don't worry, this miracle sheet mask from NER:D Skincare is composed of a layer of polysaccharides plus antioxidants and collagen building blocks. It reverses dull skin and gives you a glowing complexion while also softening fine lines and uneven texture. So, in short: more sugar (molecules) = less wrinkles. Now that's something we can get behind.

Slough away dead cells

Sugar's small granules also make for an effective physical exfoliant for the body. They're gentle enough that they won't cause tears but also get the job done to reveal glowing, healthier-looking skin underneath. Buh-bye dry flakes. Try this sugar-based scrub from TOCCA in the alluring Bianca scentinspired by an Italian beautyand you too can live la dolce vita (literally). It's a great prep step in the shower before shaving, since it removes layers of dead cells. The formula's added oil blendfeaturing omega- and vitamin E-rich olive oilcombined with sugar's natural hydrating properties also means that skin will feel incredibly smooth and supple. You could probably even skip applying lotion afterward.

Add texture to hair

Perfectly undone hair takes more products to achieve than wed like to admit. But strands can feel brittle after all the spritzing, scrunching, and teasing we put it through to achieve the look. Remember how we said earlier that sugar is a humectant? Well, it not only helps your skin retain water, but also your strands. Number 4's texturizing spray swaps out salt for a nourishing sugar blend to transform limp hair into loose, soft waves that don't feel dry and you can still run your fingers through. Sweet!

Brighten your complexion

Glycolic acid might sound like its created in a lab, but it's actually naturally present in sugar cane, the plant that sugar comes from. As an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), glycolic acid breaks down skin cells and promotes cell turnover for a fresh complexionan ideal chemical exfoliant. Additionally, AHAs and glycolic acid are also responsible for balancing oil production. Using pharmaceutical-grade glycolic acid derived from sugar cane, these retexturizing pads from Cane + Austin remove dirt and grime and restore luminosity by evening out tone and texture.

Prep lips for lipstick

Our lips see a lot in one day, from multiple sips of coffee to kisses (if were lucky!) and frequent napkin blots. So it's no wonder they get cracked and chapped so easily. With its natural exfoliating properties, sugar can also restore your pout to a soft, smooth, kissable state. We like slathering on this sugar lip scrub from Laura Geller New York before our favorite lip color so it goes on smoother and stays on longer. It's packaged in a convenient lip balm-like tube, so you can take it with you and add to your pucker with no mess and no fuss.


Alexis Bridenbaugh