More and more of us are giving up meat and dairy for all manner of reasons–whether that’s ethical, environmental or health. In fact more than 620,000 people signed up to take the 31-day Veganuary challenge last year, up 100,000 in 2021. But can a vegan diet benefit your complexion? Heaven Skincare founder DEBORAH MITCHELL explains…
ON THE PLUS SIDE …
One of the benefits of a healthy – and I stress, healthy – vegan diet is that it can be great for your skin because it encourages you to eat more fruits and vegetables. Because plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants and bioactive compounds – such as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene – they lower inflammation, promote blood flow and boost the structural support of the skin.
Meat can have a toxic effect on our complexion, especially when teamed with too much alcohol over Christmas and New Year. So giving it up – even for a couple of weeks – allows our bodies to detox in a healthy way. When we detox, changes take place in our skin: the jaw line becomes more defined as fluid is released; and the under-eye area becomes less swollen as the high salts in animal protein are no longer present to retain water.
If you’re not ready to give up meat entirely, you can instead ditch diary, especially if you suffer from eczema or acne. There are many plant-based alternatives readily available and almond milk, for example, is naturally free of cholesterol, lactose and saturated fat, while being rich in calcium and essential vitamins A, D and E.
ON THE DOWNSIDE…
You do need to be aware of the negative impact when opting for such a restrictive diet. Simply replacing meat with carbohydrates, bingeing on sugary snacks or eating the same processed meals day in day out means you’ll miss out on healthy nutrients and protein. This can lead to breakouts and sensitivity issues; while a lack of iron and vitamin B12 can cause dark circles under eyes as well as brittle hair and nails.
MY ADVICE …
Maybe try a vegan diet for a month to start with, but promise yourself you’ll combine it with a varied diet, exercise and an effective skincare regime. In a couple of weeks you’ll notice healthier, brighter skin and you may even lose a few pounds too. Win win!
If you’re already a fully-fledged vegan or thinking of going meat-free you can introduce these plant-powered Heaven Skincare essentials into your daily routine.
Nettle Venom Anti-Ageing Cream:
Traditionally, vegan ingredients haven’t made very effective anti-ageing creams but with the patented NETTATOXIN® the power comes from the skin’s own rebuilding system to tighten and renew. With regular use the skin continues this healing action, smoothing lines as it does so.
Nettle Venom Eyes:
When you apply around the delicate eye area the body’s natural defence starts to heal; of course there’s no damage but the skin is tricked into thinking there has been. By using it daily, it tackles dark circles and fine lines.
Nettle Venom Serum:
Designed to be used morning and evening as part of your regular skincare routine, a little goes a long way; simply apply one or two drops to your face and neck. Alternatively, you can add a small amount to the Nettle Venom Anti-Ageing Cream for supercharged results.
Nettle Venom Shoots:
The leaves and roots of nettles contain a wide range of nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins. They also contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. Together, these act as antioxidants inside your body to defendagainst damage from free radicals, which affect the development and survival of cells.
Nettle Venom Polish:
This potent exfoliator scuffs away dead cells and clears pores, working effectively on the upper layer of your skin to improve texture. With its clever blend of phytotherapy ingredients–including nettle leaves, echinacea and maple sap – it’ll help alleviate fine lines and lighten pigmentation.
Heaven Skincare by Deborah Mitchell is available from Heaven Health & Beauty, 13a Market Place, Shifnal, Shropshire. You can also shop the range online at www.heavenskincare.com