I am 25 Man, I had acne for 10 years (not that bad but always at least 3-5 spots with different size). I decided to go full vegetarian 3 months ago and almost vegan. I eat a little bit of dairy product and eggs when there is no other possibility, sometimes it's difficult to avoid it but I eat it less than once a week. My skin has never been this clear, I wake up and I know I wont have any more spot and it feel so great ! I think the biggest changes come from my gut, I used to have a irrigable gut, it's happening way less from now. I am also a long distance runner (50 km to 100km runs in the mountain) and I think my performance were enhanced. It might be difficult to make the diet change but once it's done you'll never go back. There is a lot of tasty and healthy food !
So I already blogged my entire journey if you want to check out my profile, but long story short going vegan + stopping wearing foundation + stopping the harsh medications on my skin CURED my acne. And it had to be all three of those at the same time, because I tried isolating them and none of them worked alone. I used an elimination diet to figure out that eggs, dairy and meat were all making my skin break out. I HIGHLY recommend doing a strict elimination diet to figure out exactly what make YOUR skin breakout. I always thought carbs and sugar were making me break out - turns out it was the opposite! Now that I'm vegan, people tell me all the time that my skin is glowing, which is super weird because I used to be SO ASHAMED of my skin. Just a tip, do not try to go totally vegan and go totally off skin creams and stop wearing foundation all at the same time!! You definitely need to slowly make these changes so your skin can get used to everything gradually. It took me months to make all these changes for good!
I actually had clear skin when I went vegan (I didn't go vegan because of skin problems, but because I wanted to try it out). 6 months into being vegan I began breaking out for the first time in years. I remained vegan for another 6 months and my skin never got better until I went to the doctor and got on medication. I am no longer vegan. I'm not saying that it was the diet that caused the acne, but it certainly didn't help at all to prevent it. Eating healthy is great for your overall health, but it isn't going to help everyone in terms of healing/preventing acne if your acne is caused by other underlying factors.
Paleo improves acne on the short term but protein is probably the real culprit
As all people I know which have tried paleo diet, my acne completely disappeared in a few days...I basically read all the scientific studies and it seems that protein intake increases the levels of IGF-1 on the LONG TERM. And when you have high IGF-1 levels, as soon you eat carbs, you will get acne. So actually when you turn paleo you might think you are cured but actually you are not at all, you are just cheating. That's the lonly explanation I could find to explain the results. Because studies show a link between animal protein intake and igf-1 levels and studies find a link between carbs/ insulin resistance and acne... But other things affect acne, sun exposure, temperature, maybe sport as well (via insulin resistance) its very complicated disorder which is unfortunately probably a marker of cancer risk (via High IGF-1 levels). Conclusion, be less inactive, do sport everyday, turn flexitarian, and eat a lot of vegetables and fruits. I will try this for a year to see if improvements will come eventually because in 1 month my acne get worse and worse because of the carbs...
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4 weeks, and lots of changes!
I think success depends on which type of acne-sufferer you are. I had acne from age 12 to 23 or so. I originally got rid of the cycle using the regimen, but now I'm successful through diet and avoiding picking, though I am not perfect in this.
I am also on a high carb, low fat vegan diet. My goal in doing this was never to clear up my skin. I had a terrible addiction to sweets. For several weeks, I would drive home on my commute and imagine getting my next chocolate or candy. Once I got home, I would indulge so much (while laying on the couch), that I would not want to make dinner or do anything productive. I decided that if I said no to dairy and sugar, I would also end my addiction to sugar. Then I thought, "If I end those, why not cut out meat as well?"
After much research, here's what happened nearly overnight:
I cut out:
- Daily coffee and tea (mostly for the tannins that interfere with iron absorption-- though I do have the occasional tiny glass of vegan red wine)
- High fructose corn syrup, white sugar, brown sugar, and any other types of processed sugars
- White bread and bleached or unbleached white flour (I am not GF. I choose to eat whole grain products like rice, bread, and pasta)
- Dairy and meat (of course)
- Preservatives and processed food
- All candy (gelatin and high fructose corn syrup) and nearly all chocolate
I now eat:
- Beans and legumes
- I do still cook with oils like olive oil and coconut oil, but I don't use vegetable oil anymore. I'm looking to find an alternative with a higher smoke point to cook with.
- Nutritional yeast, almost daily
- A 1/4 of nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts) every day
- Kale and leafy greens several times a week
- Homemade, fresh meals all week
- Hemp powder in a smoothie each morning
- Many helpings of quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, and other grains that I'm currently exploring (amaranth, barley, etc.)
- A supplement of B12 (1500mcg) every few days
- Skin was red and spotty. I haven't really had full-blown acne in a while, but I would wake up to find 4-8 pustules every morning. They were scattered over my face. I have a weakness for scratching spots as hard as I can, which explains my hyperpigmentation. My previous diet included meat, some processed foods, foods with preservatives, an addiction chocolate and candy, whole grains, an assortment of fruits and vegetables, and dairy every day.
- I would hit an energy wall and need food by 10-11 a.m., which is not so good while working with children
- I would hit another energy wall at 5 p.m.
- I'm still teetering on being underweight, but I had a bloated belly most days
- Tight, bright, mostly clear skin. I wouldn't quite say it glows (yet), but it has a different texture than it did before.
- Soft skin. It's not excessively oily or bumpy.
- Fewer pustules (1-2 daily)
- No more redness
- Lesions heal within 24-48 hours instead of 72+
- No more bloating. My tummy is flat.
- I have energy from the moment I wake up at 7 a.m. until 11-12 a.m., and I don't need 10 hours of sleep to feel refreshed
- I feel fuller, faster.
- I enjoy cooking more. It's probably just a placebo effect, though I did get excited over cooking a tomato and kale and lentil soup the other night. I don't think I'd ever tasted anything that good.
- I am more aware of the conditions in which most pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys, live. I am also more conscious of the conditions sheep, ducks, and other materials-based animals live in.
I'm definitely keeping up with this diet. I'm excited to see how it goes in the coming months and years, I hope.
Despite all the incredible positives, here are some negatives:
- I still fear what others (whom I have not told) will say about my new dietary regime.
- I am terrified of having to fight with someone who doesn't see eye-to-eye with veganism.
- I needed to learn to cook all over again. Foods that were once familiar are now foreign.
- Telling my parents, my sister, my boyfriend, and his family were all difficult experiences. I'm lucky that I feel supported by these people now. The last time I went pescetarian, I did not have the support from all of them.
- Traveling to another country, halfway across the world where English is not a main language.
- Eating out in restaurants as a vegan takes more planning.
- It's essential for me to to meal plan each week, or I'll be eating bread and peanut butter some nights if I'm not careful
- The cost of eating vegan properly is more expensive than eating a diet with dairy and meat. Legumes and beans are cheap and hearty, but nuts and seeds and alternative milks add up. The good news, is that the savings from not buying processed foods and chocolate and candy end up buying you hearty meals.
And, perhaps a neutral point to end things off:
- I made a grilled cheese sandwich with homemade bread, daiya cheese, and spread. I felt uncomfortably full after eating it because I hadn't had something so rich in a few weeks.
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-Ethical -Didn't seem to have any affect on acne
-Hard to follow, of course I've read for a lot of people cutting dairy out really seems to help. I first tried cutting out dairy, and then I decided to just go the whole way and become vegan. Sadly, neither worked, but it might work for you, so it's worth a try.
Cleared my skin including my stubborn bacne and chest. I was also drinking alot of water with it. I actually was suprised it worked for me. I still had small breakouts but nothing like before. Slowly but surely I started eating meat but only once a week and my skin still stayed pretty clear. -hard to stick to
-may take several months to clear Moderation is the key. Staying away from greasy foods can make a big difference in your skin. This diet can work if you stick to it.
Helping your skin and health in general none so far, maybe when it comes to the social aspect of keeping the diet I have been on a high carb low fat vegan diet for about a year and I have been experiencing amazing results. I follow the guidelines of the 80 10 10 diet by Dr. Doug Graham but I'm not 100% raw.
Coffee, oils and animal products are not part of my diet anymore and it took almost 8 months to my skin get clear, I still have some hyperpigmentation scars and some pimple every once in a while but my acne healed almost 100%.