Is all sugar created equal (no pun intended, lol)?  In recent years, interest in organic sugar has increased as more people become concerned with the potential health hazards of not only eating refined and processed foods but putting them onto our bodies as well. If you haven’t heard me rant on about how most of what we put onto our body is absorbed and is carried throughout our bodies you are now… Within less than a minute what is applied topically has entered our bloodstream. Now I admit we cannot gain weight by putting sugar on our bodies, yet if you look at a package of white sugar do you see the big word on the label? REFINED!!! White and brown table sugars are refined, meaning they have gone through a chemical process that removes impurities and beneficial nutrients. Sucanat, unrefined crystallized sugar cane, is the most direct substitute for refined sugar. High fructose corn syrup is also a chemically altered refined product with the same health consequences as table sugar. Unrefined alternatives contain beneficial nutrients and may have fewer adverse health effects.

The starting product, called raw sugar, is softened and dissolved, then the components are separated to yield the white, pure sugar recognized as table sugar, or pure sucrose. Refined sugars are classified by some as potential poisons to the body. They provide only empty calories lacking in other nutrients and minerals. In addition, they can drain the body of nutrients because of their demanding digestion requirements. Although refined sugars are believed by many to be the basic table sugar that we add to coffee or tea, there are actually a number of different types. Many alternatives offer more beneficial nutrients and fewer adverse health effects and can help cut down on the 24 teaspoons of refined sugar that the average American eats every day.

Contrary to popular belief, the label organic does not mean unprocessed when it comes to sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration labels pure raw sugar as unfit for direct consumption because of the impurities it often contains. All sugar, therefore, must undergo some form of processing before it’s sold. The term organic is actually used to indicate the farming methods used to grow the sugarcane or sugar beets from which the sugar is obtained. White sugar, in addition to being processed in a way that removes all traces of its natural molasses content, is usually obtained from sugarcane or sugar beets grown in fields utilizing commercial chemical pesticides and herbicides. If you are concerned about potential pesticide contamination and want sugar that has undergone the least amount of processing, you should look for sugar labeled “organic” and “raw” or “natural.”


Although refined white sugar is made from natural sugar cane or sugar beets, the natural juices are processed several times before becoming the final crystallized, granulated product. Refined white sugar is pure sucrose, the final filtered state of the processed juice. The white sugar that remains after the multi-step processing is a pure carbohydrate, with all the natural vitamins and minerals removed. Organic natural milled sugar is a product of the sugar mill and is never sent to a refinery.

Organic sugar products are made from certified organic sugar cane or sugar beets. Organic sugar cane and sugar beets are grown without the use of synthetic herbicides or insecticides, using sustainable farming practices that conserve soil and resources. The organic plants are not altered through bioengineering, and the products are not exposed to ionizing radiation. The sugar industry touts refined white sugar as being “pure,” which only refers to the purification and filtering processes used to turn raw sugar into refined, pure sucrose. Organic natural milled sugar does not contain additives such as anti-caking agents. It does retain the natural vitamins and minerals from the sugar cane juice: iron, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium, and chromium. Sugar is not deemed a good source of nutrients, however, since they are found only in trace amounts.

Okay… Now to get off my soapbox about sugar and tell you how organic raw cane sugar actually can benefit your skin.




Sugar may get a bad rap in sweets, but it’s an excellent ingredient in skincare. First, sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin. So when you apply products with sugar or sugar derivatives, they’ll actually help hydrate your skin and keep moisture within. Sugar is also a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that penetrates the skin and breaks down the “glue” that bonds skin cells, encouraging cell turnover and generating fresher, younger-looking skin. Glycolic acid is typically used to treat sun-damaged and aging skin.

Because glycolic acid — and all AHAs — exfoliate the top layer of skin, it’s important to always follow with a sunscreen if going out during daylight hours to avoid the damaging newly tender skin.

Sugar’s small particles make an exceptional exfoliant and are commonly used in a number of body scrubs to exfoliate dead surface skin cells and reveal the glowing, healthy-looking skin underneath. Sugar scrubs also being a natural humectant they are more hydrating than salt scrubs.