Let’s face it—pimples SUCK. To have blemish-free skin, you must first clear up your acne and then maintain your new, healthy skin. You can help prevent future breakouts and keep your skin under control by eating healthy foods (which includes ditching dairy products, of course) and using store-bought skin-care products or your own DIY concoctions. While I was researching this topic, I was happy to find that many companies make cruelty-free vegan skin-care products. Here’s to your new compassionately clear skin!
If you want clearer skin, you have to acknowledge the connection between the consumption of dairy products and acne and cut those products from your diet. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that there’s increasing evidence of a correlation between acne and our diets, particularly diets that are high in glycemic load and dairy products.
In addition to being dairy-free, vegans’ diets generally contain more vegetables than those of their meat-eating counterparts, which is good news for your skin. Plant-based diets are typically low in fat and avoid the pore-clogging saturated fats found in animal products. Fruits and vegetables are high in essential vitamins and antioxidants. Plus, the fiber from produce and whole grains cranks up that healthy glow by flushing out toxins.
Vitamins C and E—which are commonly found in healthy vegan meals—are powerful antioxidants, and according to a recent article in Health magazine, the zinc found in beans combats zits and decreases inflammation, preventing redness and pimples.
Ramping up your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans—while taking a pass on dairy products and meat—is a recipe for clearer and more radiant skin that glows from the inside out.
Cruelty-Free Vegan Skin-Care Products
Check out the cruelty-free vegan skin-care products that these compassionate companies offer:
- Bare Bones: This company’s toner is made simply with lemon juice and witch hazel, and it’s super-refreshing.
- Alba Botanica: We love the Acnedote cleanser to help zap zits. It’s a deep pore wash that’s also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial colors.
- Aveda: The Outer Peace acne relief collection contains a cleanser, a cooling mask, lotion, and acne-relieving exfoliating pads.
- Desert Essence: The company’s skin-care regimen for oily and combination skin includes the Thoroughly Clean Oil Control Lotion, the Blemish Touch Stick, and the Thoroughly Clean Face Wash.
- LUSH: One of our favorite lines of skin- and beauty-care products offers several options for acne-prone skin, including the Herbalism and Grease Lightning cleansers and more.
- DermOrganic: We love the Calming Facial Toner, which is 70 percent organic.
- Murad: This company has some interesting products in addition to its regular facial cleanser, including a three-step regimen to help get rid of acne scars, the Post-Acne Marks Kit. It also has an anti-acne supplement, the Pure Skin Clarifying Dietary Supplement.
- SIRCUIT Cosmeceuticals, Inc.: The skin-care line for those prone to acne features Fixzit serum, the Clarity Broccoli Sulfur Mask, and Sircuit Skin Savior facial cleanser.
- Dermalogica: Luckily for us, Dermalogica has two skin-care lines for troubled skin—one for adults and one for teens! Note: Please avoid the Skin Smoothing Cream, Gentle Soothing Booster, Skin Hydrating Masque, and Essential Cleansing Solution, as they contain animal-derived ingredients.
- Earth Science Naturals: This company offers a fragrance-free Clarifying Facial Wash and a lovely Clarifying Herbal Astringent.
- Aubrey Organics, Inc.: This smaller company, which prides itself on its handcrafted products, has a Clarifying Therapy skin-care line to help prevent breakouts.
- S.W. Basics: A simple Skin Care Cleanser made of rosewater, tee tree oil, and vegetable glycerin.
- Freeman: The Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask helps to draw out toxins from the skin and leaves you moisturized to boot.
DIY Home Remedies
Here are some acne-fighting remedies that you can easily whip up at home:
- Problem spot treatment: Mix a dash of lemon juice with a pinch of salt. Apply the mixture to the problem area with a cotton ball or Q-tip. Leave on your skin for 15 minutes, then rinse.
- Overnight spot treatment: Mix 1/4 cup of water with a dash of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Add a healthy pinch of cinnamon to the mixture. Apply with a cotton ball or tissue to problem areas. Leave on your skin overnight, then rinse in the morning.
- DIY toner: Brew a bag of green tea with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Put 1/4 cup of the green tea and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar into a plastic bottle and shake. Place in the refrigerator to cool. Use regularly after washing your face at bedtime.
- Banana mask: Mash up one overripe banana and spread it onto your face. After 15 to 30 minutes, rinse it off with warm water.
- Tea tree oil face wash: Mix 1/4 cup of liquid Castile soap and 3/4 teaspoon of tea tree oil in a small bowl. Brew a bag of chamomile tea with 1 cup of boiling water. Pour the tea into the bowl and mix, then allow to cool. Wash your face with the mixture in the morning and at night.
- Oatmeal Mask:
- 3/4 cup plain oatmeal
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 tsp. agave (optional—it has nice soothing and healing properties)
- A few blueberries or strawberries (optional—they’re high in antioxidants)
- A few drops of tea tree oil (optional—it’s a great antiseptic)
Put the oatmeal and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 to 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Next, add your optional ingredients and mix everything together into a nice paste.
Apply your mask to clean skin and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Then, rinse off the mask with warm water and pat dry with a towel. Use this mask once a week for a month and you’ll start to see improvement in you skin.
- BONUS: To soften, try our DIY avocado face mask, too!