Sugar that is allowed on keto

sugar keto

Is it possible to do sugaring, use sugar scrubs, and lip products with sugar on keto or with diabetes? Olena Islamkina figures it out.

Sugar, as we know, is everywhere. We have found sugar in bacon and even in salt, but it is also contained in cosmetics! So let’s find out when you actually can have sugar on keto.


What it is: epilation with sugar paste. 

Sometimes the contraindications to sugaring include diabetes. So, is it assumed that the sugar will enter the bloodstream and affect glucose levels? Which means the procedure could potentially compromise ketosis?

“In order to affect ketosis, sugar needs to cross the skin barrier and ‘split’ into glucose and fructose,” explains doctor Marina Zakharova.

Crossing through the skin is in principle a difficult task because the epidermis alone consists of 6 layers. In order to get inside, it is necessary to have not only a small molecular weight but also hydrophobicity. Sugar is perfectly soluble in water but poorly in fats, so the lipid barrier is difficult to overcome.

But even if sugar did get through, it is still sugar – insulin “opens” cells exclusively for glucose. And only gastrointestinal enzymes can break it down. So “unbroken” sugar won’t get into the cell.

Conclusion: based on the available scientific data, cosmetic procedures and products cannot affect ketosis. This “sugar” is allowed on keto.

Is it possible to do sugaring with diabetes? There is one requirement. If a person doesn’t follow the diet due to high glucose levels and constant inflammation, the skin can be disturbed. Then epilation, whether with sugar or wax, will be dangerous.

Sugar body scrub

What it is: a procedure to exfoliate the dead skin cells.

What about ketosis? If the first layer of skin defense is scrubbed off (not all of it, of course), does glucose have a chance to slip into the bloodstream?

“Undamaged skin doesn’t absorb sugar; these procedures can’t affect glucose levels,” says Karina Kim, a geneticist. “There is a small chance that glucose might increase if applied to damaged skin. But I can hardly imagine anyone in their right mind doing that.”

Bottom line: you can feel free to rub sugar scrub on your body. Remember: self-care is about satisfying our evolutionary need for pleasure.

Lip balms and scrubs

What they are: products to exfoliate and moisturize the skin on the lips.

Here’s where it gets tricky. While sugaring and scrubs contain pure sugar, each lip product has to be dealt with.

sugar keto

Some, claimed to be “sugar”, actually don’t contain it. For example, Fresh’s Sugar lip balm contains sucrose ester (Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate). This is an emulsifier that, judging by studies on rats, isn’t particularly digestible and has no effect on blood glucose, especially in the quantities eaten with lip balm.

Various sugar exfoliants can contain pure sugar. For example, sugar is the number one ingredient in KylieSkin products. 

And yet! Sugar balms and scrubs come in tiny jars. This means that the amount of carbohydrates entering the bloodstream will be negligible. No threat to ketosis here. “It will be hard to ‘lick’ diabetes, too,” notes Dr. Fomicheva.

Sugar on keto. Bottom line

Sugar is allowed on the keto diet and even on the carnivore diet until you don’t put it in your month. Is even beneficial because it’s a part of self care. If you enjoy sugars crab, if you feel sexy, putting a sugar lip balm on you, do it! And may ketosis be with you.

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