2019 saw record numbers of people signing up to Veganuary.  The heavyweight supermarket chains are expanding their vegan offering and sales are soaring. The Vegan Society reported that 600,000 Brits regarded themselves as vegan and 2018 saw the UK launch more Vegan products than any other nation.  Veganism is also revolutionising the beauty industry with product launches laying focus on their vegan claims and using them as a USP.

With adopting such a drastic change in eating habits, it is no surprise that the most noticeable changes occur in the first year. If you’ve recently transitioned (or are thinking about transitioning) to a vegan diet then you might be wondering how it might affect your skin? Here, the health and wellbeing brand Gear Hungry give the low down on the impact a vegan diet has on all skin types.

Dry/Dehydrated skin
Certain foods can work to restore and repair the damage caused by skin that is dry and/or dehydrated.  There are certain food groups that amplify hydration and work on a cellular level to ensure the skin is smooth and supple.

Nuts – Almonds are full of Vitamin E which sees that the skin is protected from cell damage.  If you find that your skin is particularly dry and flaky in the winter months, then a handful of Almonds daily can reverse the effects of weather damage.

Sweet Potatoes – Sweet Potato contains plenty of Vitamin A.  Vitamin A is a vital ingredient in preventing dry skin. Vitamin A also reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

Avocado – As well as essentials such as Vitamin E, Avocados contain potassium.  The skin’s epidermis (its outer layer) loves avocado (especially in oil form) as it works to renew the skin.

Oranges – Vitamin C is the heavyweight in anti-oxidants and not only supports the immune system but promotes glowing skin.  Packed with goodness, the anti-oxidants also contain anti-ageing prospects.

Veganism will see that your natural intake of these ingredients will increase, which will assist in aiding dry and damaged skin.

Acne
Research has shown that removing dairy products from a diet works to improve Acne.  Skimmed milk is arguably the biggest culprit with regards to generating stubborn breakouts and acne. This is due to its high hormone levels, whey proteins and sugar. Whey proteins especially are known to increase inflammation of the skin.  

However, it is important to be mindful that this may not be the case for all Acne sufferers and it is best to put it to the ‘test’ by removing dairy products from your eating habits one by one.  This way, you can pinpoint which product (if any) is triggering your acne breakouts.

If you are an acne sufferer and opt for a vegan diet, it is wise to be conscious of your intake of highly-refined carbohydrates. Numerous studies have pointed to high-glycemic index carbohydrates instigating an acne breakout. Refined carbs such as white bread increase your blood sugar levels and cause your insulin levels to rapidly surge.  In turn, the body’s production of androgen is amplified. This hormone is said to encourage acne production. Acne sufferers who are vegan or wish to adopt more of a plant-based diet are commonly advised to consume carbs such as brown rice, oats, sweet potato, whole wheat or brown rice pasta as they are low-glycemic.

Oily skin
Oily skin can be frustrating, however, it is arguably easier to control than any other skin condition.  Veganism encourages eating foods such as whole grains, greens and flaxseeds. Whole grains are great for oily skin as they encourage digestion helping to keep your skin oil free.  Vegetables such as Broccoli holds huge amounts of Vitamin C and A which is known to reduce oil in the skin. Finally, Flaxseeds reduce the production of oil in the skin which in turn, reverses the effects of oily skin.

Combination Skin
Veganism cuts out all processed meat. Processed meat and food that is high in sugar does not ‘feed the skin’ quite like other foods can. Consuming more vegetables work to balance the skin with essential nutrients and anti-oxidants.

The need to knows of veganism
Of course, the impact of veganism on the skin is prescriptive and is fully dependant on an individual’s needs. However, if you are choosing to trial or commit full time, it is important for you to be mindful of the nutrients you might need an extra helping hand with. The essentials are –  

Zinc

Iron

Calcium

B12 Vitamins

Vitamin D

Jordan Crater at Hear Hungry says ‘Veganism is a process, or at least it is for most people.  A change to veganism can take several weeks, months and even years. It is great that there is a continual rise in people being more aware with regards to where their food comes from, however, it is vital to remember that we are all human and that taking gradual steps is still a great positive’.  

If you’d like to know more about transitioning to a vegan diet and what supplements you might want to take, we advise speaking to your doctor or a registered dietician for further advice.


Read more: 6 Tips On How To Make Going Vegan Easier

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