How Sugar Affects Facial Aging

Glycation and AGEs: What are they and why sugar affects facial aging

We all know that sugar is bad for us–we shouldn’t consume too much as it has negative effects on the body and mind. But did you know that sugar doesn’t just affect your internal health, but also the look of your skin?

In a 2013 study by Leiden University Medical Center and Unilever R&D, a direct correlation was found between people’s blood sugar levels and their perceived facial age. In other words, the more sugar these people consumed throughout their lives, the older they looked.

The study found that people aged 50-70 with high random blood sugar levels consistently looked older than those with lower blood sugar levels. For every 1 millimole per litre increase in blood sugar, perceived facial age increased by five months. Isn’t that crazy! The smallest amount of sugar really takes a toll on your skin’s look and health. These results remained significant even after taking into account other factors known to influence facial aging such as smoking, sun exposure and body mass index.

So how exactly does sugar affect the skin?

Here’s an easy way to think about it: remember all of those times you’ve cut up a piece of fruit like a banana, apple or pear, only to forget about it, and come back and it’s turned brown? This is an example of glycation. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are proteins or fats that have become glycated as a result of exposure to sugars. AGEs aren’t only linked to skin aging, but also cataracts, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other health issues. AGEs can be formed internally in the body or ingested by eating broiled, fried or barbequed food.

Glycation contributes to the visible signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and skin thinning. It also affects important anti-aging proteins such as collagen and elastin, which keep skin plump and firm. Glycated collagen is stiff and less flexible, and first appears at the age of 20. The signs of aging and glycation are usually seen by age 35 when the body becomes less resilient and produces less collagen.

For healthy people with normal blood glucose levels, glycation happens gradually and slowly over a lifetime. Diet and lifestyle choices can affect glycation. AGE formation increases with age, smoking, poor diet and UV exposure. You can see the effects quite clearly in smokers, for example. The yellowing of skin that appears prematurely in smokers is a sign of glycation. Smoking reduces antioxidants in the skin so there is little antioxidant left in the body to slow glycation.

What can you do to fight AGEs?

Other than doing what you can to reduce your sugar intake, you can also use skincare products with antioxidants and consume foods that are high in antioxidants.

AlumierMD’s new Alumience A.G.E. helps reduce the visible signs of aging caused by free radicals, pollution and AGEs. Arginine, an amino acid, prevents glycation and reduces AGEs. A mix of Carnosine, Silymarin and Vitamin E, combines the power of antioxidants with amino acids to fight free radical damage and glycation.

Source: AlumierMD

NEW: Alumier Skin Peels

Alumier was born out of an understanding that everyone wants beautiful clear skin! This number one facial treatment is available only at selected professional spas, and we are very excited to announce that it will be available at Balance from the 1st of November 2017!

If you suffer from hyperpigmentation, rosacea, acne, uneven skin tone, wrinkeles, or the signs of aging, these treatments are for you.

Glow Peel
(Dry, Normal, Oily, Dehydrated, Acne, Hyperpigmentation & Ageing)
Glow Peel combines lactic acid, salicylic acid and resorcinol, creating a multipurpose resurfacing solution effective in minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation issues like age spots, discolouration and uneven skin tone. This formula exfoliates dead skin cells and stimulates cell renewal. To suit individual needs, Glow Peel can be customized by strength by numbers of layers.

Vitamin A Boost
(Acne, hyperpigmentation & Ageing)
Vitamin A boost is a potent and pure retinol and lactic acid resurfacing treatment. It reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation by boosting collagen production and speeding cell turnover, creating a more radiant and even-toned complexion. Ideal for mature or sun damaged skin.

Detox Clear
(Acne, Congestion)
Detox Clear contains salicylic acid and lactic acid for excellent pore penetration and exfoliation. Salicylic acid penetrates into the pore and exfoliates dead skin cells and excess sebum. Lactic acid exfoliates dead skin cells and hydrates. Eucalyptus provides strong astringent properties. Together, they work to smooth skin, minimise pore size experience, reduce acne and prevent new pimples from forming.

Radiant 20/10
(Acne, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, congestion, open pores & oiliness)
With lactic and salicylic acid, radiant 20/10 resurfacing peel contains a powerful combination of them both which improves skin tone and texture by exfoliating dead skin cells and speeding cell turnover. The multipurpose resurfacing peel reduces acne pimples and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, large pores, hyperpigmentation and sun damage.

Radiant 30
(Hyperpigmentation, Uneven Skin tone, dull skin, line & wrinkles)
Radiant 30 is an alpha hydroxy acid resurfacing peel containing lactic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells. Boost cell turnover and stimulate collagen, improving skin texture and tone. This multifunctional peel targets multiple skin conditions, including fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration, sun damage and large pores.

Take a look at these amazing results from real customers, and book your appointment now at

3 Steps To Skin That Glows

All I Want For Christmas is Skin That Glows!
By Sally Penford, Education Manager to the International Dermal Institute

Why is it that at this time of the year my skin suddenly starts to look dull? We might think that it’s because the warm flush of summer is departing but it’s actually more likely to be a
symptom of dryness.

As the temperatures drop and we warm up indoors, our skins moisture levels decline. “Big deal” we might say. But actually it’s a huge deal because without moisture, your skin cannot function to its optimum. Water is required for cell regeneration, skin smoothness and most importantly, luminosity. So what can we do to make sure our skin is party prepped and glowing for the Christmas season.

Step One: Double Cleanse

This is a vital step in achieving a glowing skin. Effective cleansing removes debris such as make up or pollution which can dull the skin by reducing the light reflectiveness. As a professional skin therapist, we always recommend a double cleanse. First with an oil based cleanser to lift that pollution, makeup or residue of skin care products, then the second cleanse to truly clean your skin using a skin specific cleanser that will target your skin concerns, while brightening your complexion.

Step Two: Exfoliate

Think of a highly polished piece of furniture and see how it shines. It shines because the surface is so smooth that it reflects the light. This is what we want to achieve through exfoliation. With regular exfoliation, we peel and smooth the skins surface which will provide a silky even texture. At home, you might choose a rice brand exfoliant to use in the shower daily. If time allows however, my favourite: a Dermalogica BioSurface Peel professional skin
treatment. No redness, no sensitivity, just amazingly smooth and clear skin.

Step Three: Exfoliate

Now we have that smooth skin surface we are going to boost the moisture level to really amplify that skin glow. Hydrate with a cooling spritz which provides critical water to the skin and
then provide a boost of nourishment to strengthen your skin (while providing an antioxidant shield against pollutants) in the form of a daily mosituriser. You may want to switch to a richer texture during winter months, to provide a richer cushion against moisture loss. Finish with your favourite primer and hey presto, clear glowing skin!

Hello, Nacolle!


We’re thrilled to welcome the newest member of the Balance team, Nacolle!

Nacolle comes to Balance with 6 years of beauty experience under her belt. Having studied beauty therapy at the International College of Beauty by Mairin G in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, she went on to work at in a beauty salon in Athboy for 6 years.

She is originally from Athboy but excited to be living in Navan currently.

Nacolle specializes in CND shellac nails, eyelash extensions and CACI facials.

She is always updating her beauty knowledge and loves learning new treatments.


– Skincare: Thalgo and Dermalogica trained
– Nails: CND shellac manicure and pedicure
– Eyes: Eyebrow and eyelash tinting, Minx individual eyelash extensions
– Waxing
– Spray tan
– Swedish massage
– CACI facials
– Venus Freeze and Venus legacy
– Microdermabrasion
– Dermapen needling

About Us

Take a step into our world and find the balance between rejuvenation and relaxation and discover a whole new journey to health and beauty.

Choose from our therapies and our signature treatments and get a tailored experience that will give you the best possible results.

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