The Kind Life is a community around Alicia Silverstone and The Kind Diet where friends, doctors, experts in green living, and members share vegan tips.

Kind Cures

How I Cleared Up My Acne

When I went vegan, I was on the pill, and acne wasn’t really an issue for me. In fact, after only two weeks of being vegan, people were beginning to ask, “What is going on with you? You look amazing!” I was still eating junk food like fries and white pasta, but I’d given up meat and dairy. That alone gave me a vegan glow.

Acne and the Pill

When I went off the pill, my skin broke out. At that time, I was experimenting with a raw diet. I was eating tons of fruits, nuts, and other cool, uncooked delicacies, but I wasn’t feeling great, and I was dealing with really bad cystic acne. I even had to reshoot a scene for a movie because of it.

Acne and Macrobiotics

Simultaneously, my husband got interested in macrobiotics. I went with him to see a macrobiotic counselor in New York – she’s the first person who suggested that trying a macrobiotic diet could clear up my skin. She also pointed out that eating tropical fruits in the middle of winter in NYC was neither good for my body nor eco-friendly. She convinced me to try macrobiotics, which I combined with a vegan diet to create what I now call the superhero diet. That’s what really made my skin turn around. Within just a week of eating superhero, my skin had significantly improved.

Here are five major changes that made the difference:

1. I started eating whole grains at every meal.
2. I had miso soup once a day and cranked up my consumption of vegetables.
3. I chose local and seasonal produce (apples instead of pineapples for example) instead of eating the non-indigenous fruits I’d been eating on the raw diet.
4. I cut out white sugar, white flour and all processed foods. Of course, I continued to avoid all meat and dairy.
5. In general I cut way down on fruits and nuts.

These changes made my cystic acne go away. I was still getting minor breakouts around my period, but nothing like before. Next, I’ll share how a facialist helped me to completely clear up those smaller breakouts.

 

What else would you like to know about diet and acne?
Ask me in the comments below.

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  • Karen Jennings

    I came off the pill a few months ago and have had terrible acne ever since. I have been vegetarian for 17 years, but decided to try being vegan to clear up my acne. I have been following a vegan diet for 6 days now and my skin is practically flawless already!

  • Christie Abbott

    Thank you for this article! I was an actress myself from a very young age to my mid twenties and acne was a huge deciding factor in retiring from acting. It’s unfortunately a difficult disease to fight when people are constantly looking at you and needing you to look “flawless”. I know not many are, but when you have acne you feel like everyone is. My acne became so severe it wasn’t even something I could cover up with make-up. I related to you having to re-shoot a scene. Its an awful feeling. I was shooting a pretty intense scene and my skin had broken out badly that week. Instead of concentrating on doing my best I was in constant fear that all the camera was seeing was my acne. The director had to shoot around it instead of picking the best scenes. It was so upsetting. We had talks about re-shooting, but it wasn’t an option. After thousands of dollars spent on potions, doctor appointments, prescriptions, lasers and giving up acting for awhile I am finally trying juicing and eating nuts, veggies and greens to improve my cystic acne. Its nice to not feel alone in this fight because sometimes you just feel like you don’t even want to leave the house! I’m 31 years old and I never thought I would still be fighting this. Fingers crossed this helps. Your post gives me hope! Thank you!

  • Christie Abbott

    Thank you for this article! I was an actress myself from a very young
    age to my mid twenties and acne was a huge deciding factor retiring from
    acting. It’s unfortunately a difficult disease to fight when people
    are constantly looking at you and needing you to look “flawless”. I
    know know one it, but my acne wasn’t even something I could cover up
    sometimes. I relate to you having to re-shoot a scene. I was shooting a
    pretty intense scene and my skin had broken out badly that week.
    Instead of concentrating on doing my best I was in constant fear that
    all the camera was seeing was my acne. The director had to shoot around
    it instead of picking the best scenes. It was so upsetting. After
    thousands of dollars spent on potions, doctor appointments,
    prescriptions, lasers and giving up acting for awhile I am finally
    trying juicing and eating nuts, veggies and greens to improve my cystic
    acne. Its nice to not feel alone in this fight because sometimes you
    just feel like you don’t even want to leave the house! I’m 31 years old
    and I never thought I would still be fighting this. Fingers crossed
    this helps. Your post gives me hope!

  • MF

    I’m so glad to have read this article. I get horrible cystic acne on my chin during my period. I became a whole foods vegan a few months ago and recently began eating 50% raw. I now have 5-6 massive, painful pimples on my chin. It’s horrible. My diet, despite being whole foods based, seems to be making my skin WORSE. It doesn’t matter how much water I drink, what kind of facial cleansing process I adopt …. nothing helps. I’m nearly in tears. I will follow your example and see how much it helps. Thanks!

    • Denja

      You got more acne because you are detoxifying your body with this healthy diet. Don’t worry, acne in this case is good and means that you are getting rid of build-up toxins through the skin of your face. Keep eating lots of vegetables and fruits, avoid milk-products and gluten.
      p.s i’m from sweden, my english is not so good. but hopefully you understood me

  • losthorizon43

    I suffered adult acne in late 20s and tried vegan diet and all kinds of other changes. Nothing seemed to work. It took 9 months on the pill to clear up my skin. When I went off the pill several years ago, my skin began to break out again. I researched natural ways to balance hormones and found something called Maca powder. It took several weeks (combined with healthy eating and exercise) adding a small amount to food/drink daily but it seemed to make a big difference. It is used to treat low libido and symptoms of menopause. But for hormone based acne issues, like mine – it worked great.

  • vaholla

    I have dealt with cystic acne off and on for the past ten years depending on if I was on the pill or not. Right now, I have a flare up! It’s so discouraging…I noticed right before the flare up set in, I had been eating massive amounts of sugar the week prior as well as it being the week of my cycle. This past week, I have cut out sugar and processed foods and have already seen an improvement. I am going to further my efforts and apply what I have read here! Thanks for the information provided, I appreciate it. V

  • Natalie Frazier

    I have been vegan for a year now, and I don’t eat white processed anything, I don’t eat sugar and I drink tons of water. My acne isn’t going away and lately these past few months I feel like it’s been worse than ever! I am 27 years old and newly engaged which means I want to be taking lots of photos haha, but seriously I am so depressed and frustrated over this. I am a health and wellness coach so I am very conscious about what I eat, and I have tried different holistic face remedies, and switched make up and hair products… HELP