Here’s What Happens To Your Skin When You Do Veganuary
5 minutes read
It’s Veganuary! Vegan food for clear skin, anyone?
Indulgent festive feasting is one of the joys associated with the holiday season. The inevitability to say no from those salivating roast beef and turkey trimmings makes one guilty come January. But instead of losing your mind over weight gain and zits, taking some time off meat would be a good overhaul reset.
At the start of every year, the global appetite for self-improvement doesn’t appear to be waning and so we turn to our resolution to make things right. New Year, New Me and No Meat! In fact, January is the most popular month for vegan-related searches according to Google Trends. Some searches you may have made yourself include: “vegan diet for skin health” and “does a vegan diet clear skin?”.
However, committing to a full-blown vegan diet means giving up cheese and chocolate. We’re telling you: compulsive decisions and unrealistic goals see 80% of resolutions fail by mid-Feb. So we’re taking baby steps.
Signing up to Veganuary, a global movement challenging people to go vegan for 31 days, would be your best bet. See the short-term effects and decide if veganism is for you.
Today, we’re exploring the world of veganism, how a vegan diet can affect your skin and nutritionist-approved vegan recipes you can try now.
What is veganism?
Animal rights organisation PETA defines vegan as people who do not consume, wear, purchase, or use anything that is made from an animal. In essence, this means vegans abstain from purchasing products that were tested on animals, or that contain animal-derived ingredients and eating animal-derived products.
Veganism interest has recorded an all-time high record in recent years as research has claimed that there are major health benefits to a plant-based diet.
In fact, 1-in-4 Brits had cut animal-product consumption since the start of the pandemic with consumers increasingly conscious of the zoonotic origins of coronavirus and prioritising health. According to a report from Just Eat, orders for vegan food have increased a whopping 119%, with it surging in popularity more than 2900% since 2015.
The veggie-centred diet also offers environmental benefits, since not eating meat or dairy can reduce your carbon footprint. In fact, the meat and dairy industry is responsible for 60% of all agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists agree that cutting out meat is the single best way individuals can tackle the climate and wildlife crises.
Companies are doing their bit to combat climate change, too. In 2020, Clarins became carbon neutral thanks to various carbon offsetting programs. The brand has pledged to maintain this neutrality while at the same time lowering the global carbon footprint by 30% by 2025.
Does going vegan cure acne?
There’s another argument in favour of going vegan: it can improve your skin.
According to experts, a vegan diet is an antioxidant-rich one. It’s loaded with vegetables and fruits that can combat acne and reduce acne formation while promoting radiance and a healthy glow of the skin.
Many meat and dairy products contain additional hormones, which are used to increase the growth rate of young animals and increase milk production. Studies have looked into the potential health risks that can come with consuming produce that has been reared with growth hormones, however, when combined with good veterinary practises, has shown negligible health impacts on humans.
When it comes to dairy specifically, there is some research that suggests acne can be triggered or made worse when consuming dairy. However, as with any food and nutrition, people can have intolerances and allergies that manifest in different ways. If you feel you are reacting poorly to dairy or any foods you consume, consult your GP.
Is a vegan diet the way to a better complexion?
Going vegan can also improve your skin complexion. Cutting down on processed meat means less intake of saturated fats and sugar. A vegan diet is rich in anti-inflammatory food, which boosts skin radiance, improves hydration and plumpness. A healthy, balanced vegan diet is rich in wholefoods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds. Several studies have reported that people who eat vegan tend to consume more fibre, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin-rich foods.
It’s also worth mentioning that vegan foods don’t necessarily translate into healthy foods—French fries are vegan, after all. Going vegan might also cause stubborn breakouts as a result of a lack of protein. Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in foods from animal sources, so the NHS strongly advises vegans to supplement their diets with Vitamin B12.
Ingredients you can include in your vegan diet
A plant-based diet will give you beautiful skin and hair. Do it correctly and you might reap the benefits. Follow our nutritionist-approved recipes.
A diet rich in omega-3s may help prevent or reduce the severity of acne. Omega-3s reduce inflammation. Add chia and flax seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds in your breakfast oatmeal. Try this easy two-step overnight chia seed pudding by combining chia seeds, nut milk and sweetener of your choice topped with fresh fruits!
Antioxidants help decrease the effects of environmental damage caused by sun exposure and pollution. So load up on antioxidant-rich foods such as berries and dark leafy greens. Want an easy skincare smoothie? Try this three-ingredient recipe. Throw in some berries, spinach or kale with nut milk of your choice. You can also swap your fruits with beta carotene-rich mangoes and pineapple (also loaded with antioxidants) for a healthy virgin pina colada.
If you’re craving for something savoury, why not give this vegan pumpkin rice a go? Pumpkin contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants. Both nutrients work to protect your skin from sun damage and may help improve skin tone and slow ageing. All of these are loaded with Vitamin A, C and E, good for collagen production and skin elasticity. Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale are packed with hair-healthy nutrients such as iron.
By eating a variety of whole grains, legumes, tofu, and supplementing your diet with Vitamin B12, experts say you’ll be able to meet your protein requirements. Try this savoury Spice-crusted tofu with kumquat radish salad. This simple Japanese-inspired vegan salad is anything bursting with flavours. Here’s a wide variety of high-protein vegan recipes.
Whether you choose to participate in Veganuary for health or environmental reasons, make sure to do everything in moderation and listen to what your body needs.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about being vegan for 30 days. Are you ready?