Does Veganism Cause Aging?

If you're like Carrie Underwood and eat a vegan diet or you've considered making the switch to one, part of your reason for eschewing animal products might be to live a healthier lifestyle. Often, being healthy means that you not only feel better but also look better. Sometimes, vegan diets can lead to signs of aging in your face. Unfortunately, plant-based diets sometimes cause what the Evening Standard called "vegan face." Inge Theron, Face Gym founder, explained the situation to the publication. "We noticed a lack of elasticity. Collagen and elastin are made up of protein, and those are the two most important substances for youthful, toned, and sculpted skin, so it's very important to substitute with supplements. If your body doesn't get the protein that it needs, it can cause your skin to become dry, sallow, crepey, and lackluster, with saggy jowls and a loss of muscle tone and elasticity."

Byrdie features editor, Amanda Montell, experienced skin issues after going vegan. "For the first three months I went vegan, I broke out like crazy, literally like never before in my life," she noted. However, after cutting out processed foods, her breakouts calmed. 

While eating a plant-based diet may show in your face, it helps your overall health by reducing heart disease and diabetes (via Medical News Today). If you're careful, you can reasonably ensure that you avoid "vegan face" if you chose to ditch animal products from your diet.

Here's how to avoid vegan face

If you stay on top of your diet, you can avoid the adverse skin effects of eating a vegan diet. By concentrating on high-quality proteins like tofu, quinoa, beans, and eating healthy fats with avocado and nuts, combined with careful skincare, you can enjoy your diet without paying the price in your face. Inge Theron said, "The effects of veganism are reversible if you fuel your body with rich, plant-based protein, fermented plant and pre- and pro-skin biotics and look at collagen supplements" (via Evening Standard). 

Cutting out processed foods can help with vegan diet-related skin issues you may experience. Dr. Marie Hayag told Byrdie that refined sugars and carbs could increase acne. However, she noted that "foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins like nuts, dark leafy greens, and fruits could lead to improved skin health. There is no direct link between these foods and better skin health, but they all contribute to improved health overall, which can ultimately help keep your skin healthy." 

Finally, ensure that you don't experience vitamin deficiencies when making a lifestyle change. When you eat a vegan diet, you may end up deficient in Vitamin B12 and iron (via Medical News Today). If you've noticed any significant changes in your skin since making the switch to a plant-based diet, take a look at what you're eating. If you still have issues, be sure to talk with your doctor.