I've been a vegan for about 4 years, and unlike Alicia, I have not experienced great skin and hair benefits. I realize that this could be due to a number of factors; but, I don't eat "crap" vegan. With the exception of my Friday nite pizza and some wine/beer occassionally, I don't eat processed, over-ingrediented food. I prepare a lot of foods myself and rarely eat frozen/prepared foods. But nonetheless, I suffer from dull, lifeless skin and have a lot of little acne breakouts, with sometimes HUGE ZITS. Also, my hair is frequently dull, lifeless, and dry (although I do blowdry every day). And I drink plenty of water every day and use organic/cruelty-free cleansers like Andalou.
I'd hoped that becoming a vegan would help bring out more of my "natural" beauty, but no luck so far. Any suggestions?
It sounds like you're pretty much doing the right things. Maybe you could switch up your facial routine? It could be the products you're using just aren't right for your skin type. Same with hair. A month or so after I went vegan I tried a different facial routine because the product was leaping bunny certified and my skin broke out like CRAZY! It really was horrible. Since I've switched back to the routine that works for me, my skin has cleared up. Yes, I do still get a zit occassionally but overall my skin has a great glow to it and is in pretty good shape now. Good luck & hope you find something that works for you!
If you are still experiencing huge zits, but you are eating a healthy, balanced vegan diet, I would look at a few other things and see what you think might be the culprit:
When you sleep at night, do you go to sleep with clean hair, clean face, and a clean pillowcase? Make sure you have clean hair, or that it's tied away from your face and in a cap or something to ensure the natural oil in your hair isn't getting all over your pillowcase--and thus your skin. I usually experience skin problems if I go to sleep with product in my hair, or unwashed hair, because I end up transferring the oils from my hair to my face via the pillowcase, which you should try to change often. See if this helps!
After the gym/sweating, wash your face as soon as you can, rinse with ice cold water, and use a cruelty-free, natural toner. Cleansing the bacteria off of your face as soon as possible will prevent pores from clogging, and rinsing with ice cold water will really help those pores to close. Give it a shot if you haven't already and see what happens.
Try to avoid blow-drying your hair every day and, instead of washing it often (I know this seems to contradict advice above regarding bedtime, but hear me out!), put it in a cap at night and only wash a couple times a week. This will restore the natural oils to your hair and it should look glorious in about a week's time. If you don't like the feeling of it being "unwashed," use a little baby powder to soak up some of the oil in between shampoos.
Similarly, for your face, don't overwash. Twice a day should be fine, and ALWAYS moisturize after closing the pores with ice water and a toner. Some people with acne and oily skin avoid moisturizing and this only causes the skin to create more oils to compensate. Plus, it will help give your face that healthful, vibrant look with a little help from topical moisture.
You might try avoiding fruits and replacing them with antioxidant rich veggies. Really load up on the greens instead. Also, carrots, flaxseed, avocado... those are just some of the things that can do wonders for your skin. Decaf green tea, as well! If you drink coffee, that could be drying you out and keeping your skin from its full potential.
Finally, if all else fails, I highly recommend going to a macro counselor, or trying to follow Alicia's superhero plan to a "T" for at least a good month to see if that restores the hormonal balance that may be missing. Unfortunately, for some of us, going vegan may not be enough and we have to do even more than the lucky others who find their vegan glow by just giving up meat, dairy and eggs. I guess we all have our own journey. But I feel strongly that going macro should alleviate your concerns.
You don't have to answer this, but are you on birth control? This could be messing with your hormones and causing acne from the inside out.
I use alba products and they work very well. Product is so hard to recommend as it changes from person to person, but I have to work hard to get good looking skin, too, and the alba stuff has really helped.
I can sympathise. My skin is not great at the moment. It is dry and spotty all at once. My scalp and hands are also really dry. But I know why, my triggers are - hormones, too much sugar and white foods, not excersing (I need to sweat out some toxins, really stops my skin looking dull), not enough raw green food, not enough essential oils (I need avacodos, nuts and oil everyday to keep my dry skin away), central heating, and hydration. Not sure if any of these may apply to your situation.
Basically I have had a slack few weeks stuck on the sofa with a chest infection and have been living off toast and sugary apple juice! Feeling better now though so hope to get out in the fresh air and my diet and skin back on track.
Hi there, I've had the same issue especially with zits - the problem could be yeast overgrowth - candida which can lead to a hormone imbalance. If pimples are around the mouth or chin area this indicates a hormone imbalance.
Agnus Castus is a good herbal supplement to balance hormones, though I found after a few months it was no longer effective.
Cutting out all sugar - meaning anything sweet, even fruit, white flour, and coffee and anything with yeast in helps though very difficult to stick to.
I've tried probiotoc supplements, and good quality ones are costly and don't seem to have a great effect.
In the meantime tea tree oil helps the zits and applying jojoba oil to hair and leaving it overnight gives it a great boost too. Good luck !
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