Updated: Jan 13
Since I was 13 years old, I have been battling with acne. I have large pores around my nose, chin and in the t-zone. I have oily, and therefore, very acne prone skin. I tried plenty of the over-the-counter acne medicine and some worked for a while but most ended up drying my skin out and causing it to overproduce oil. I thought I would suffer from acne forever.
I didn’t realize how much my diet had an impact on my skin. I used to love eating pizza, burgers, milk products and other foods that inflamed my skin, increased the oiliness and threw off my body’s PH balance. Everything I eat, comes out in some noticeable way. If I eat onions, it comes out of my armpits. If I eat pizza, it comes out of my face. If I eat beans, it comes out of… well you know where. Food has a huge impact on my body and how it looks and feels. When I overeat sugar, I get small bumps on my arms, a common sign of a fungal overgrowth called candida. I would pick at my skin in an attempt to get rid of my acne but would only cause scarring and dark marks. It wasn’t until I became vegan that I saw the effect a vegan lifestyle has on my skin.
The first and most important step towards curing my acne was choosing a plant-based vegan diet. One study linked milk consumption to acne and no one is talking about it enough. When I cut dairy out of my diet, cystic and recurring acne were less severe and infrequent. When I incorporated more water and less soda, my skin became more supple, fresh and elastic. When I cut out oily foods like pizza, my face wasn’t as shiny and over the top like it used to look. When I changed my diet, my body became cleaner and therefore my skin became more balanced.
Veganism isn’t the only factor responsible for improving the manageability of my acne prone skin. It took a change of consciousness too. I became more aware of my PH and how to keep it balanced. For those who don’t know, a PH is a logarithm that determines how acidic or basic a substance is. So your body becomes more acidic or basic depending on the foods you eat. If your body is too acidic, it can cause bloating, nausea, and even cancer. If your body is too alkaline, it can cause nausea, lightheadedness, confusion and other health issues. So finding the balance between acidic and alkaline is key for your health and your skin.
Balancing my PH was a huge factor in curing my acne but so was my gut. I needed to keep a healthy gut in order to achieve the skin results I wanted. Gut health is so important to your overall physical health. If you don’t know about how your gut works, I’ll briefly explain. In a nutshell, there are acidic and alkaline foods that impact your gut and its health. The more acidic foods you eat, the more your body craves them. Some examples of acidic foods are: ketchup, sugar, donuts, cakes, cookies, soda, and red meat. Conversely, the more alkaline foods you eat, the more your body craves them. Examples of alkaline foods are: apples, spinach, celery, water, and ginger. The foods you eat change the microbiome of your gut and can oftentimes explain cravings and consistent poor eating patterns. Eating more alkaline foods will encourage your gut to crave more of those foods. As we discussed before, what goes in, comes out. Eating a healthy mostly alkaline plant-based diet improved my skin from the inside out.
A vegan diet took me from excessively oily skin to completely balanced and normal skin. It was incredible. I couldn’t believe diet alone changed my skin so dramatically. No topical treatments or expensive dermatological visits were required. I realized in that moment that a change of diet was the basis of a good skin routine. From there, I still experienced acne because I was using harsh chemicals on my skin that didn’t balance the PH on my face. For a long time, I grew accustomed to using African Black Soap. For my body, it’s fantastic. For my face, not so much. The PH of African Black Soap is a 7 and your face’s PH is happy around 5.5. The average soap has a PH balance of 10. Most conventional soaps are WAY too acidic for your face. So I kept it simple. I started to skip the soap and went straight to water. Wait.. just water? Yes, cool (not cold) water. In the morning and at night, I would simply splash and lightly massage my face with cool water and pat dry with a clean towel. In a matter of days, my acne went away. All of it. My skin was soft, supple and moisturized. I apply no oils, creams, butters, soaps or anything to my face. I simply wash my face with water and pat dry. Granted, I live in Florida and the climate here is extremely humid and temperate. So my face stays nice and hydrated pretty much year round. If you live in drier climates, you may wish to follow up a water only wash routine with a light oil that won’t clog your pores (like jojoba or olive oil). Try this method and let me know if it works for you.
If you would have asked me years ago, how I would cure my acne, I wouldn’t have had an answer for you. Nowadays, I am die-hard about choosing a vegan plant-based diet and keeping my skincare routine as simple as possible with this 1-ingredient water only regimen. What an incredibly affordable, effective and natural way to cure such a serious problem in my life. Since I started this regimen, I have very few breakouts (even during that special time of the month). I highly recommend this method to anyone that wishes to adopt a simpler, more affordable and natural skincare routine.