Is Going Vegan Good For Your Skin?
You might have heard about "vegan", and all the hype around it. Is this diet good for our skin? Let's find out.
What's veganism? Well a vegan diet, or veganism, is a way of living in which people exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, as much as possible. Today this diet is adopted not only for these ethical reasons, but also for health and environmental reasons. Hence a vegan diet avoids all foods of animal origin, including meat, seafood, eggs, dairy, milk, cheese, cream, butter, honey, gelatin, whey and casein.
What happens to your skin when you go on a vegan diet?
Our skin and gut have a symbiotic relationship - and our skin is a reflection of our gut health, and the foods we eat.
Hence simply because a vegan diet is based on consuming vegetables and fruits rather than dairy, meat, and processed snacks, the antioxidants present in these foods have a positive impact on how our skin looks and feels. In fact a study published in the Journal of Dermatology found that people who adopted a vegan diet had better skin health than people who were on a non-vegetarian diet. The participants on a vegan diet had lower levels of inflammation and fewer skin concerns, like blemishes, acne, oily or dry skin.
The improvement in skin health especially the clearing up of acne can be attributed to the elimination of dairy and even processed foods from the diet. Diary is known to cause acne due to the simulation of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) which impacts the sebaceous glands, leading to excessive of oily sebum production.
There was also another study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology in 2020. It found that a plant-based diet can help to prevent skin aging - noting “a [whole food plant-based] diet has been demonstrated to lengthen telomeres” as well as “reverse the aging process of [DNA].”
Dermatologist Dr. Pamela Benito based in London UK, mentioned that breakouts and skin changes are common for people who are transitioning to a vegan diet. She advises giving your body a few weeks to adjust to your new eating style, and you'll skin will clear up on its own.”
However going on a vegan diet is not just about cutting away animal products. Dermatologist Dr. Papri Sarkar also reminds us to be mindful about replacing simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates. For example replacing pasta with wholewheat pasta, and avoiding sauces with too much added sugars in them - all whilst increasing the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lastly if going on a vegan diet, we need to be mindful that we do not receive the full spectrum of nutrients - as some vitamins come mostly from animal products. These include Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iron, Omega 3 fatty acids - which are necessary for good health in general - hence supplementation is advised for vegans.
In conclusion, there are certainly many benefits of veganism for our skin but be mindful of the nutrition that is lacking with such a diet. A vegan diet is typically low in unhealthy fats and processed foods, and filled with beneficial antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. As such we can see improvements in our skin health, clearing up and prevention of acne, minimizing rosacea, reduced risk of skin cancer, reduced inflammation and oxidative stress on our skin. So if you're already on a vegan diet, you're well on your way to better skin. If you're not, consider incorporating more vegetables in your diet while enjoying other foods.
Kumuya Nutritive Skincare products are all made vegan. Find out more about our collection here.