Trendy diets and nutrition programs are everywhere. Losing weight and feeling better is typically the main goal, but we wanted to investigate some of these diets and learn what kind of effects, both positive and negative, they could have on your skin.
The basis of this plan is to focus on eliminating processed and sugar-laden foods as well as alcohol. Eat as much as you want, if it isn’t sugars, alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes, additives such as MSG or baked goods. While restrictive, the goal is to reset your body and allow it to crave and thrive on whole, unprocessed foods.
What can this plan do for your skin? I can speak from experience on this one. My brother and sister in law did Whole30 and the transformation in her skin was remarkable. She typically suffered from breakouts and when I saw her mid-program her skin was smooth and glowing. Doctors suggest a diet free of added sugar and refined carbohydrates and dairy allow your insulin to remain more balanced and prevent inflammation and a surge in oil production and breakouts. However, if you aren’t sensitive to dairy and carbohydrates, the crazy restrictions may not be worth the tradeoff for minimal skin improvements.
With flashbacks to the Atkins craze of the ’90s, many have adopted this high fat, low carb plan designed to have your body enter ketosis burning fat vs carbohydrates for energy. While controversial, devotees of the plan swear by the positive results they experience, both in weight loss and in how they feel. How does this plan impact your skin? Short answer, it depends on the choices you make. If you follow the intent of this plan and increase the healthy fats in your diet (think avocados, raw nuts, fish, etc.) and minimize carbohydrates, which are often loaded with refined sugars, your skin will reap the benefits via increased hydration and reduced inflammation. The challenge of this plan, like most, is choosing healthy fats vs. refined fats. If you choose a Keto lifestyle and continue to consume highly processed foods while skipping vegetables, don’t expect skin miracles.
While this plan may not have the buzz others do, a diet that encourages red wine deserves a place in the running. This plan minimizes the consumption of sugar, processed carbohydrates and red meat while focusing on fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and healthy fats. Swapping things like a burger for a perfectly cooked piece of salmon is what the plan advocates. How does your skin fare with this plan? All signs are positive, in fact, they are so positive that the Mayo Clinic recommends eating most of the foods in this diet if you want healthy skin. By consuming a diet full of produce, you are receiving skin-loving vitamins and antioxidants that will not only make you healthier but will make your skin glow from the inside out. Foods like salmon and nuts have healthy fats that keep your skin smooth and plump. Lastly, legumes have been shown to decrease redness and inflammation. It sounds like this plan has something for any skin issues you may have!
Many of these diet plans require a pretty big overhaul of your lifestyle. However, health and skin benefits may be just what you are looking for. At the very least, implementing small changes to your diet can make a pretty big difference. Try swapping meat for fish on occasion, eat a variety of brightly colored fruits and veggies, choose whole carbs (baked potato, brown rice, oatmeal) vs. refined and processed carbs like donuts and bread. And lastly, give up the soda and drink more water! With these little tweaks, your body will thank you and you just might start loving your skin.
 Gibson, L. (2019, December 19). What are the best foods for healthy skin? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/healthy-skin/faq-20058184