Will scrubbing my lips with a sugar lip scrub affect my blood sugar?
That question popped into my head one morning as I was gently scrubbing my lips. I knew I didn’t have to do a blood check to know the answer but I thought it would an entertaining way to return to regular self-monitoring blood glucose checks.
I have to admit that I’d been complacent with my testing for a while now. I had resolved to get back to SMBG checks to restart my diabetes management but after months of slacking, resuming SMBG tests was not as easy as I thought. I kept forgetting to check at the two-hour mark. Thus, adding an element of silliness and fun may not be a bad idea. So, one morning, a frivolous sugar scrubbing experiment was born.
Sugar lip scrub
The question: Will scrubbing my lips with a sugar lip scrub affect my blood sugar?
The purpose: Remembering to test two hours after breakfast.
The method: I selected a breakfast which, from experience, I know will raise my BG by no more than 15 points. Immediately after breakfast, I gently scrubbed my lips with a generous amount of my favorite bubble gum flavored sugar lip scrub. After I washed the scrub off, I had the great idea of putting on a strawberry flavored lip tint (the ingredients included agave syrup and strawberries).
The verdict: The meter read 203! I nearly fell off my chair at the office. But before panic set in, experience took over. I washed my hands and tested again. The number was 122 (from the pre-breakfast number of 113). Whew!
Lesson relearned: Wash my hands before testing.
I then thought that perhaps the test area was too small and therefore the amount of sugar used was miniscule. So, another sugar product came to mind: sugar face scrub.
Sugar face scrub
The question: Will exfoliating my face with a sugar face scrub affect my blood sugar?
The purpose: Remembering to test two hours after dinner.
The method: I did this test at night after a dinner of ika somen (raw squid sliced to resemble thinly sliced noodles), pork chop, sautéed Brussels sprouts with garlic and bacon, and one square of 70% chocolate.
The verdict: The sugar face scrub had no obvious effect on my blood sugar. But my face felt so smooth and incredibly clean.
A memory recalled: Sugar face scrub is an inexpensive exfoliator that feels luxurious.
At this point, I thought that I should round off my sugar skin product testing with a body scrub. Maybe, just maybe, contrary to my expectations, smearing sugar from my neck to the bottom of my feet may affect my blood sugar.
Sugar body scrub
The question: Will using sugar body scrub affect my blood sugar?
The purpose: Remembering to test two hours after lunch.
The method: I did this test on a lazy Sunday afternoon (last Sunday in fact), after a late lunch of eggs, sausages, a slice of apple, a handful of strawberries, and a few cups of coffee with cream.
The verdict: The heaps of sugar I spread on my body had no effect on my blood sugar. Nada.
The bonus: I found this to be an enjoyable reminder to inspect my skin, especially around my feet. Although I wash my feet, I usually neglect to check them. I certainly don’t inspect myself for open wounds which may not be healing normally, if at all. Regularly using a body scrub will remind me to check my whole body, especially my extremities, as diabetics should.
As I had anticipated, coating my skin with sugar does not affect my blood sugar. The sugar does not permeate my skin and therefore does not go into my blood stream. However, I found the experiments, silly as they may have been, to be a fun aid to get me to do random blood sugar tests after familiar meals, in order to gauge how my body is responding to those meals and to have an idea as to whether my diabetes is worsening and my body declining. Indulging myself and pampering my skin is just the icing on the cake.