Really? Another article on the benefits of going plant based? Try save the eye rolling for later — switching to a vegan diet may be the only thing standing between you and the skin you’ve always dreamed of. Intrigued? Stick around for everything you need to know about vegan benefits skin.
In this article we discuss the following:
- Is Veganism Healthy?
- Benefits of Veganism
- Veganism and Acne
- Vegan Skin Before and After
- Aging and Veganism
Is Veganism Healthy?
Every day, more and more research comes out proving just what was suspected all along; veganism is one of the better choices for most, but not all, human bodies. Granted, there will always be exceptions to any rule, and no single truth is absolute, but for the most part, most human’s can receive incredible benefits from a plant based diet.
Eliminating the harsh components of meat and dairy from daily consumption seems to do wonders for the body, and it seems that aging is not exempt from this. Clinical dermatologist, Dr. Enrizza P. Factor shares this view, stating that “there is considerable evidence that a vegan diet rich in whole, plant-based foods, can help to improve common skin complaints.”
Fruits and vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants which play a vital role in preventing premature aging, and bestowing the skin with a radiant glow. Over time, your skin loses its volume and its youthfulness. A vegan diet tends to be higher in antioxidants and other nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. These are linked to better health and brighter, more glowing skin. So yes, in many cases, “Vegans do have better skin!” says Dr. Factor.
Benefits of Veganism
To understand the true benefits of veganism, it helps to shine a spotlight onto what is usually lost in the adoption of this kind of diet. Nutritionist and creator of the Candida Diet, Lisa Richards, breaks it down better than we ever could:
“Cutting out dairy and other animal products can improve your skin’s health and appearance by reducing the saturated fats and mucus producing dairy proteins. Dairy and dairy products, like milk, can be pro-inflammatory for many people which can lead to a host of health conditions. These are common health nuisances and conditions that people live with on a daily basis and treat individually that may actually be caused by dairy in their diet,” says Lisa.
She adds that these include nasal congestion, acne, and ear infections to name a few. “Ideally it takes up to four weeks for dairy to be completely out of one’s system from the time they remove dairy from their diet.”
You see, dairy is an inflammatory substance for us all and also causes the body to produce excess mucus. “Chronic, low-grade inflammation leads to poor immune function and cellular damage that ultimately leads to chronic diseases and replication of damaged cells. This excess mucus and oil production can create issues for the skin as well in the form of acne. The inflammatory nature of dairy worsens the presence and length of time acne persists as well,” says Lisa.
So you see, the true benefit of veganism is not having to worry about any of the above ever again. So long excess mucus, goodbye chronic inflammation and hello radiant, youthful skin!
Vegan Skin vs Meat Eater Skin
One of the main problems with veganism is that people just don’t understand it. Growing up in a world where the meat and dairy industries had dominion over the mainstream media, it is embedded into most of us that our survival depends on animal proteins and byproducts.
This is simply not true, and the ignorance of it is becoming more and more apparent by each passing day. Max Shak from Abtron tells us that there is no doubt that a vegan diet is more digestible and less stressful on your stomach compared to a meat-based diet. “As a result of healthy digestion, we have a healthy body mechanism that eliminates toxins from our bodies. In ripe old age, it serves to rejuvenate your skin, so you can still retain your youthful exuberance. Thus, rather than only relying on various cosmetic products available in dime and dollar quantities, you can benefit from cleansing your body from the inside out,” says Max.
Elliot Torsney, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, adds that it’s a proven fact that a vegan diet can be digested quite comfortably compared to meat and is not hard on your gut.
“Good digestion leads to a healthy body mechanism which in turn eliminates toxins from our body. It plays a vital role in rejuvenating your skin and you may still retain that youthful exuberance in ripe old age. So instead of solely relying on various cosmetic products available in dimes and dozens, cleansing your body within can prove more beneficial for your skin,” says Elliot.
Veganism and Acne
The link between veganism and acne lies in the elimination of meat and dairy, not necessarily in the introduction of more plants (though this may very well have something to do with it). For the most part, when veganism seems to drastically improve the condition of a person’s acne, it is usually just the elimination of the meat and dairy products that we are observing with vegan benefits skin.
Registered dietitian, Trista Best, explains how dairy leads to an overproduction of mucus in the body, which results in a greater amount of oil on the skin, primarily the face. “This along with the inflammatory nature of dairy create a perfect combination for painful and embarrassing acne flare ups, regardless of age,” says Trista.
More than this, the elimination of meat products means less saturated fat consumption; a compound that usually clogs pores. “Vegans and vegetarians tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than their carnivorous counterparts which is great for their skin. Plant-based diets
are typically low in fat and avoid the pore clogging saturated fats found in animal products,” says George Yang, registered dietitian and nutritionist.
He adds that fruits and vegetables are high in essential vitamins and antioxidants, which are the building blocks for radiant skin. “Plus, the fiber from produce and whole grains crank up that healthy glow by flushing out toxins,” says George.
Vegan Skin Before and After
Looking at images of plant-based diet skin before and after is an easy way to see what kind of a difference can be achieved over what period of time. You see, people who are serious about the skin tend to document everything with photographic proof as is, but when one switches a diet, since it is a lifestyle change it’s not usually something that is actively documented.
The good news is that because the effects of veganism on the skin is such a natural occurrence — one doesn’t really need to take specific photos at specific times as evidence. Any photographs you are involved in after the day you go vegan will soon be easily comparable to all photographs that exist of you pre-veganism benefits skin.
This means that just going about your everyday life, taking your usual amount of selfies, or being photographed with friends, will soon form a comprehensive before and after album of evidence by which you can observe your skin’s transformation. Within months, you’ll have an entire archive of vegan skin before and after images, and you didn’t lift much more than a finger!
Aging and Veganism
Based on what we’ve learnt above, aging and veganism undoubtedly go hand in hand in terms of vegan benefits skin. Tania Long is the nutritionist at Mealfan, and walked us through the process of skin aging from a nutrient perspective: “Your skin cells require the same nutrition as the rest of your body. Vegans obtain vitamin A from plant pigments known as carotenoids, abundant in dark green and deep orange vegetables,” explains Tania.
“Because zinc and vitamin C are required for collagen synthesis, they are crucial for healthy skin. Vegan diets are typically high in vitamin C, but zinc deficiency can occur. Make sure your
diet has a lot of legumes and at least one or two servings of nuts or seeds. This will help you get more zinc. A diet rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables and herbs and spices, including cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and rosemary, helps minimize the development of AGEs, which are detrimental to collagen. People with the highest intakes of fruits, vegetables, and beta carotene had a more golden skin tone, independent of ethnicity,” she adds.
Veganism and Anti-Aging
Veganism is anti-aging, anti-aging is veganism. All signs point to yes when it comes to vegan benefits skin and veganism and anti-aging, and when you consider the data provided above by Tania, it becomes evident exactly how the body and skin are affected by the things we consume in the day to day.
A good anti-aging skincare routine is necessary for all human’s, regardless of their dietary specifications. But treating the aging process from the inside out is just as, if not more, important as treating it from the outside-in. What’s more, we now know that individuals who suffer from acne run greater risk of developing premature signs of aging, and should thus take action early on.
Dr. Enrizza P. Factor, who we spoke to earlier, made a point of adding the following: “Beyond just helping with stubborn pimples, going vegan can also improve your complexion. Because a vegan diet typically requires that you eat vegetables and fruits rather than dairy, meat, and (most) processed snacks, the natural antioxidants can impact the way your skin looks. A vegan diet hasn’t been proven to clear acne. Cutting back on dairy products might improve breakouts in some cases for some people. However, a completely vegan diet doesn’t seem to be necessary in any case.”… food for thought.
Does Veganism Cause Aging
There are many naysayers on the Internet who would have us all believing that veganism is bad, but can veganism cause premature aging? The answer seems to be a resounding no, and this comes from those who live it as a reality, as well as those who are experts in their fields.
There is no evidence to suggest that a vegan diet makes a person age faster than meat eaters, in fact, the opposite seems to be true. Meat eaters are faster in the aging race, and it is speculated that this has a lot to do with how much energy it takes the body to digest a dense meat-filled meal. This leaves less energy for things like cellular turnover, which results in premature aging and the inability to churn out new collagen.
Whether you’re already eating plant based, or simply considering making the switch, take everything we’ve included here into consideration and feel into what is the best decision for you and your health journey. Remember, not all bodies function the same, and while a vegan diet may be the solution to your aging woes, it may not be the best thing for your individual B12 and iron absorption rates, or the nutrients required for your blood type.
We always recommend that people try everything out before deciding whether or not to stick with it, and the same goes here! In the words of Lisa Richards — “Ideally it takes up to four weeks for dairy to be completely out of one’s system from the time they remove dairy from their diet.” — give yourself a 90 day window to try out a vegan diet and see how it lands for your system, and your skin!
May the plants be with you!