5 Vegan Acne Treatment That Will Surprise You
You’ll often hear some people say that going vegan is the solution to your health problems and that you’ll feel amazing and full of energy when you stop eating meat.
But several weeks after you go vegan, you notice that your old friend acne is back. How is that possible since you’re eating healthier than ever, you ask yourself?
I can’t argue that a vegan diet has its numerous health benefits, but that doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have any future problems. And vegan acne is a pretty common occurrence, even if you find it hard to believe.
But what is the mystery behind it? Why going vegan causes an acne outburst and what vegan acne treatment should I choose? Keep reading to find out.
1. Reduce soy products
Soy is a controversial subject for many people, and it tends to spark numerous discussions regarding its safety and benefits.
Nevertheless, vegans need a reliable source of protein to substitute meat and dairy products, and most of them turn to soy and soy-based products. If you have done the same, that might be the problem and the solution.
Despite the fact that experts considered it perfectly safe for consumption, there is one thing that you should know. Soy contains phytoestrogens, which can influence the hormonal balance of your body.
But what are phytoestrogens?
Well, phytoestrogens are a form of estrogen which is not produced by our endocrine system. They come from plants, which use them as a defense measure against herbivorous animals.
For women, phytoestrogens might trip the balance between the androgen and the estrogen. If you don’t know androgen is the male sex hormone, while estrogen is the female one.
So what do phytoestrogens do? They mimic some of the effects of the real estrogen, and they prevent androgen from turning into estrogen.
As a result, you can have more male hormones in your body that female ones. This is not a pleasant scenario because such imbalance can have an adverse impact on your health.
In fact, one study has shown that women on a phytoestrogens diet have 20-30% lower levels of estrogen after only one month.
So, if you are prone to hormonal acne, soy could be the reason why these annoying pimples are back again. And the logical decision would be to cut down soy products to see if the pimple situation would get better.
However, keep in mind that soy is not the only source of phytoestrogens. They are also found in:
2. Lower your Vitamin B12 dose
As every responsible vegan knows, getting enough vitamin B12 is imperative on a diet lacking meat and dairy products. However, you might not know that taking vitamin supplements makes you prone to pimples. Yes, you read it right.
It has been known for some time that vitamin B12 pills can cause skin reactions in people prone to acne. Now, a study strives to explain the phenomena behind this response. Let’s start from the beginning.
There is a bacterium responsible for the outbreak of pimples that plague your face. It’s called Propionibacterium acne, and it lives in the pores of our faces. The study found out that this bacterium reacts to the presence of vitamin B12.
How? It some cases it starts to produce inflammatory molecules that cause pimples to appear.
The researchers also determined that the vitamin B12 changes the metabolic activity of the acne bacteria, leading to acne outbreaks even in people who didn’t have such an issue people.
In fact, one in ten people with healthy, clean skin, who got vitamin B12 injections developed acne in just one week.
So, if you have never had pimples before, it’s very likely that taking vitamin B12 could be the cause. The best thing that you can do to avoid this is to be careful with the dose. You need around 2.4 mcg daily to keep yourself healthy.
To get acne you have to take around 400 times the recommended dose, so if you are taking 500 mcg pills, this is not an unlikely scenario
So what to do if you have taken a greater dose that the recommended one? Well, in general, it’s not a big deal if you take too much vitamin B12.You’ll excrete the excess amount with the urine. But be careful that this doesn’t turn into a common occurrence.
3. Healthy fats are essential for your pimple-free skin
Essential fatty acids, for short EFA, are something that your body can’t make on its own. So you need to get them from your food.
But why are they called essential? Well, they are necessary for:
- healthy cell building
- brain development
- nervous system
- transport and breakdown of cholesterol
- regulating blood pressure
- skin and hair
But what does this have to do with acne treatment? Well, EFA, like omega-3s are responsible keeping your skin well-hydrated. So what happens when you don’t get enough of these acids? That’s right. Your skin gets dry, inflamed and prone to pimples.
Moreover, these essential acids also have potent anti-inflammatory properties. This means that they are excellent for fighting off acne and they practically don’t have any negative side effect. They also strengthen your hair, skin, and nails.
So what are the best sources of essential acids for a vegan? You can enjoy:
- Chia seeds
- Leafy greens
- Herbs and spices
If you haven’t included these healthy fatty acid foods in your diet, it’s time you do. I’m sure that you’ll notice an improvement in how your skin looks very soon.
4. Zinc for healthy skin
Another vegan acne treatment that you have to try is zinc because zinc is one of those essential nutrients that you might be lacking on a vegan diet. And that’s not a good thing because it’s necessary for many body processes, including clear skin.
Here are the reasons why you need zinc for healthy skin:
- It carries vitamin A, which normalizes skin functions.
- Zinc regulates your hormones.
- It also facilitates apoptosis (programmed cell death). This is a natural process, which prevents skin cells from sticking together. If it doesn’t happen, your skin cells won’t die and fall off as they should.
While a lot of people are zinc deficient, you as a vegan are more at risk. But why?
Well, zinc is mainly found in meat and seafood, which are off-limits to you. There are foods high in zinc like pumpkin seeds and cashew. But there is a catch. Your body doesn’t absorb plant-based zinc so easily. And that’s not all.
If your diet is rich in grains and beans, this could influence your zinc levels. They contain phytates, which bind minerals, just like zinc, and prevent your body from absorbing it.
Take 30 mg of elemental zinc per day and pimples would be gone before you know it.
5. Establish a skin care regime
When it comes to treating acne, one of the best things you can do is establish a regular skincare regime. A dirty face is an invitation for pimples to appear, and it would make treating acne tough.
You should start by determining your type of skin – normal, oily, dry or combination. This would help you when you go shopping for skin products. If you don’t know your skin type, don’t worry. Here you can find all the information you need.
Next, follow these steps:
Wash your face, preferably twice a day, to remove dirt, makeup, and sweat.
Apply a cleanser with your fingertips. Don’t use sponges or cloths because they can irritate your face.
Next, apply exfoliant to cleanse your pores and keep them open. If you have normal or oily skin, you should use exfoliants daily. However, if you have sensitive or dry skin, exfoliate every other day. In case, the exfoliant is making you uncomfortable, use it sparingly.
After you have cleansed and exfoliated your face, wash it with cold water.
Apply toner to remove excess oil from your skin. If your skin is sensitive or irritated, skip that step.
Apply a thin layer of moisturizer. Experts recommend that you moisturize daily for healthy, pimple-free skin.
Here’s a video of a skin care routine that you can watch for more information.
Acne is certainly an unpleasant side effect of a vegan diet, but it’s nothing that you can’t beat very fast. You just have to careful what you eat and remember to take zinc and fatty acids to keep your skin smooth.
What do you think about vegan acne treatment? Did you have problems with your skin when you went vegan for the first time? Share your unique story in the comment sections and how you dealt with acne. And don’t forget to show the article to all acne-ridden friends of yours.