Pimples. Zits. Spots. Blackhead. Face demons.
We may disagree on a whole lot of things, but I think we can ALL agree that battling with acne is terrible and wish it didn’t exist.
But it does. And there are currently hundreds of methods that people swear by (which for some reason, magically do not work for you.), treatments (which will funnel away your cash and STILL leave you with acne. Proactiv, I’m looking at you, sweetie.), diets, medicine, and so much more we read on the internet or hear about. But what is the truth? What works?
In my personal experience and according to science: we cannot treat severe/moderate acne as if it were caused by a single root cause. There’s so much going on and so much that our bodies are trying to tell us with the spots that appear on our faces and body.
So, does veganism cure acne?
Short answer is: not entirely.
If you are stressed, dealing with imbalanced hormones, live in a polluted environment, and aren’t weary of the major bacteria hot-spots offenders causing your acne– changing your diet will not fix the problem.
This is my story:
The before picture was actually my face on a good day! On the after, you can see that all that’s left is hyperpigmentation (scars) and just a few smaller active spots of acne which are a result of a stress.
I had moderate acne during high school, but after I graduated, it quickly escalated to cystic acne which was really painful, embarrassing, and frustrating to deal with. I went to 2 different dermatologist for about 4 years and had no lasting results. Just a shrug from the doctor and a “It’ll probably calm down eventually, just deal with it. There’s nothing I can do for you.”
Online, I always edited my pictures, added excessive filters, and/or used my hands or hair to cover it up. In short, I was very self-conscious about the way I looked and it devastated my confidence level whenever I stepped outside into the real world.
Over the years and through trial and error, I learned what were some of the major offenders in my diet that caused severe breakouts: Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter), artificial junk food loaded with excessive amounts of sugar, and meat.
It’s even been shown that in cultures where these products are not a large part of the local diet, acne is much less common. In the case of meats such as beef & pork, though they don’t directly cause acne, they have been shown to aggravate pre-existing acne.
Some of the things that have helped me heal from my severe acne problems have been:
- Eating clean (cutting out dairy, processed foods, & meats) and drinking more water
- Working on reducing my stress levels
- Washing my pillowcases weekly
- Keeping my hair out of my face/cheek areas as much as possible
As for products I use (out of the dozens I’ve tried already), here are my holy grails:
- Obagi – Clenziderm system (face wash/pore therapy) I get them off Amazon for a cheaper price than in stores here. They might seem a little expensive(?), but literally nothing has worked better for my skin. The reviews on their products are also amazing. Absolutely amazing for cystic acne.
2. Witch Hazel toner. Great for people with oily skin + combination. It’s simple, natural, and comes from plants. Just a few swipes with a cotton pad and you’re good. It helps reduce puffiness, tones your skin, balances your oil levels, and is really refreshing.
3. Hollywood Beauty Tea Tree Oil (specifically this brand of oil). I bought this by accident actually. I applied a few drops of it anyway on my face while I was going through a major breakout that had my skin looking as red as a tomato and woke up to noticeably calmer skin– all the redness was gone!
It’s made with several other beneficial oils and has a very light peppermint smell. My skin is super sensitive so it’s great for people who don’t do well with fragrances.
In conclusion: though the vegan diet is not a wonder cure for your acne troubles, cleaning up your eating habits do help to reduce irritating your skin even more, improve your skin’s health, & prevent future major breakouts.
Plus it’s really good for your overall health and the planet in general but that’s besides the point.