Vegan diet = bad skin? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-03-2015, 01:50 AM
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Vegan diet = bad skin?

Hi guys.
I've had a vegan diet for about a month now and my skin is getting worse and worse. I haven't had skin problems since puberty and unlike then (when the affected area was my t-zone) I am now getting big, red spots around my hairline, jawline and on my cheeks. I have only changed my diet so far and I am not yet using any different cosmetics/wash products.
My diet before going vegan consisted of meat, eggs, fish and dairy. I ate a lot of junk food, mainly greasy takeaways and have never really exercised before or after going vegan. I thought a change in diet would only be a good thing for my body but the bad skin is very disheartening! I've read so much about links between dairy and fatty foods with bad skin but since cutting down on these the opposite has happened.
A typical day of mine consists of a big bowl of porridge for breakfast (oats, soy milk and two bananas), whatever fruit I have in for lunch (pears, peaches, grapes, kiwis, berries etc.) as well as maybe a wrap with avocado/raw broccoli and hummus. For dinner I've had pasta with tomato sauce, vegan stir frys using rice noodles, homemade vegetable soups and smoothies (spinach, kale, asparagus etc.) and lots of chips (what I order when people are getting take out food) /chip butties with dairy-free spread if I get in from work late or need comfort food. I must stress that I am definitely NOT eating any more chips than I was before when my skin was fine. In terms of saturated fats/oils/sugars I feel like I am having a lot less than usual.
Does anyone have a similar problem or know why this might be happening to me? I've considered it being the increase in soy products (milk, vegan cheese/spreads etc.) or simply my body reacting to such an intense change of diet all at once. I will be going to my doctor but I don't want to take any medication. From your experience how long will this last for? Any suggestions on how to reduce it? Unfortunately I do have very low self-esteem and if my skin continues to get worse I don't think I will continue with a vegan diet.
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#2 Old 10-03-2015, 02:06 AM
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When people go vegan, it can be tempting to blame everything on the new diet, but the evidence to suggest a link between diet and acne is tenuous, and even that evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables should be beneficial for skin health rather than detrimental. There's simply no reason to suspect that a vegan diet could cause acne. Many vegans struggle with acne and many have clear skin, just like everyone else.
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#3 Old 10-03-2015, 02:23 AM
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I'm sorry that I can't really help you. But maybe you have some kind of intolerance against some of the food you eat now? E.g. I can only eat very few oranges or my skin gets unclear. Like one orange or so, and not every day. I suppose it is because of pesticides as I can drink plenty amounts of orange juice without anything happening.

I'm not sure if that is helpful.

In general, acne is an inflammation in the body. So you can google how to reduce an inflammation (and going vegan helps with that as long as you don't compensate meat with sugar or trans fats ...).
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#4 Old 10-03-2015, 02:26 AM
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I have not experienced bad skin whatsoever in the years of being vegan. When my sister went vegan I also witnessed the amazing transformation of her face from being very acne prone to clear for the first time in 30 years. However, it is not unheard of for people to complain of skin changes. It could be the stress of changing your diet abruptly, or not eating enough, or your body getting used to new foods. If you ate a lot of junk food before, more than likely you already had a huge exposure to soy on a regular basis as it is in a lot of commercial breads, crackers, highly processed meats (farm animals are often fed a soy heavy diet), mayonnaise etc. If you think soy might be the culprit, it is not hard to avoid it as a vegan. There are other plant milks such as almond, rice, oat, hemp, cashew etc. I rarely use vegan butter. You could try cutting back on the soy first before giving up altogether.

Have you changed anything else so far as a new vegan, such as soaps, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent?

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#5 Old 10-03-2015, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
When people go vegan, it can be tempting to blame everything on the new diet, but the evidence to suggest a link between diet and acne is tenuous, and even that evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables should be beneficial for skin health rather than detrimental. There's simply no reason to suspect that a vegan diet could cause acne. Many vegans struggle with acne and many have clear skin, just like everyone else.
I understand that, but I have had completely clear skin for 5 years and since changing my diet have had a massive break out like never before and in new places. I doubt it's a coincidence! I am not acne-prone.
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#6 Old 10-03-2015, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naturebound View Post
I have not experienced bad skin whatsoever in the years of being vegan. When my sister went vegan I also witnessed the amazing transformation of her face from being very acne prone to clear for the first time in 30 years. However, it is not unheard of for people to complain of skin changes. It could be the stress of changing your diet abruptly, or not eating enough, or your body getting used to new foods. If you ate a lot of junk food before, more than likely you already had a huge exposure to soy on a regular basis as it is in a lot of commercial breads, crackers, highly processed meats (farm animals are often fed a soy heavy diet), mayonnaise etc. If you think soy might be the culprit, it is not hard to avoid it as a vegan. There are other plant milks such as almond, rice, oat, hemp, cashew etc. I rarely use vegan butter. You could try cutting back on the soy first before giving up altogether.

Have you changed anything else so far as a new vegan, such as soaps, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent?
That makes sense about the soy, thanks so much! And no, no other changes whatsoever other than the food I eat.
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#7 Old 10-03-2015, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Berry View Post
I'm sorry that I can't really help you. But maybe you have some kind of intolerance against some of the food you eat now? E.g. I can only eat very few oranges or my skin gets unclear. Like one orange or so, and not every day. I suppose it is because of pesticides as I can drink plenty amounts of orange juice without anything happening.

I'm not sure if that is helpful.

In general, acne is an inflammation in the body. So you can google how to reduce an inflammation (and going vegan helps with that as long as you don't compensate meat with sugar or trans fats ...).
That is helpful, thank you. I went from junk-food carnivore to buying every vegan item I could find. It will be difficult for me to pinpoint which food is the problem, if any, because I've introduced so many new things in to my diet at once!
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#8 Old 10-03-2015, 07:41 AM
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It's possible your body is releasing toxins from your old diet through your skin. If so it will clear up and be better than ever very soon.
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#9 Old 10-03-2015, 07:51 AM
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Personally, no changes in my skin related to my diet. My skin changes are more related to topical creams, sweat, make-up, and stress. My skin is best when I wash my face every morning and evening, apply anti-acne cream in the evening, don't wear makeup during exercise, drink plenty of water, and try not to stress too much. I have also noticed that sun and swimming tend to help.

Changing one's diet can be stressful. Stress can be related to skin issues.

It's also possible you could have a food allergy or intolerance but realistically the skin changes related to that are more of a true rash and not just breakouts.
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#10 Old 10-03-2015, 02:37 PM
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I agree that the stress from a new lifestyle might be the cause (it often is) or maybe soy IF you have a mild allergy to it (some cleared out acne when they started eating soy). Try another plant milk to see how it goes. A plant base diet usually is linked to the famous vegan glowing healthy skin lol. Myself never had better skin as when I went vegan. Plenty of blogs saying acne cleared when dairy and meat were cut out of the diet. Some point out coconut oil as a skin clogger but I see so many Youtuber cooking with it and with perfect skin that it's hard to believe.

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