As veganism and vegan skin care become more mainstream, more people are discovering what it can do for their skin. Naturally, as a plant-based skin care company, this is a subject we’re passionate about. We put together a short primer on the benefits of a vegan diet and why you should consider vegan skin care. All of this just in time for National Vegetarian month in October!
Why a plant-based diet is better for your skin.
Plant-based diets and skin care have many positive environmental impacts. Today we’re focusing on the impact of a plant-based diet on your skin. The benefits come from two sources: a lack of animal protein, and the addition of more plant nutrients.
When it comes to your complexion, multiple studies have linked animal protein with the development of acne and blemishes. The studies suggest that dairy-derived amino acids promote the secretion of insulin,which is believed to be a key driver in acne development. Participants who restricted their dairy intake not only reported less acne, but other complexion improvements like increased brightness and decreased bloating.
Just like how you want to know what’s in your skincare, you want to know what’s in your food. But with many animal products, there's a host of mystery chemicals that go into their food and medication. These chemicals can then be passed onto your body, without your knowledge. Eliminating these animal products - or at least consuming hormone free ones - can prevent unnecessary chemicals from entering your body and affecting your complexion.
There’s also the added benefit of eating more plant nutrients that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Some vegetables are rich sources vitamin E, C, and Zinc - to name a few - that can help improve your skin. Foods such as nuts and seeds also have components that act as anti-inflammatory that help reduce redness. For more information on what plant benefits, check out some of our previous ingredient spotlight posts.
Soy products are also a great protein source alternative when switching to plant-based food. However, people following a plant-based diet should always be mindful of potential nutritional deficits. These nutritional deficits can potentially have an extremely negative effect on skin. Many people on plant food diet or 100% vegan diets take iron, fatty acids or vitamin B12 supplements, which are the more difficult nutrients to get from plants.
Just eating carbohydrates without a mix of vegetables, for instance, can wreak havoc on your skin and overall well being. For people targeting weight loss, vegan food can be a great help as they tend to be lower in saturated fats. Additionally, people with history of high blood pressure, heart disease and any other health issues should always see their doctor before making any drastic change in their diets.
Vegan skin care
Poéthique is proud to be part of a growing community and ecosystem of plant-based skin care. We don’t use any animal products as ingredients in our formulations. Common animal products include innocuous ingredients like beeswax, honey, and lanolin. Can also include shark oil, gelatin, allantoin (aka cow urine), and sheep placenta.
Many of these ingredients even sound terrible (though they’re not technically harmful), and are often given misleading names on labels. What’s more, none of them have shown to be more effective than their plant-derived alternatives.
Just because something is plant-based, however, doesn’t mean it’s completely ethical. Vegan skin care just refers to the ingredients of a product—this means it could still have been tested on animals. Fortunately, cruelty-free and vegan beauty often go hand in hand.
Organizations like the Leaping Bunny program (see if your favorite products have their label!) check to make sure there's no animal testing at any point of a products lifetime, from ingredient testing to the finished result.
One final benefit of a plant-based diet and skin care: it can improve other facets of life. Oftentimes, when people change their diet, they gain a broader understanding of what goes into their body and their effect on the world around them. This means the health benefits aren’t just for your skin and body, but resonate across the greater world and environment.