Veganism's surprising skin effects

Choose substitutes wisely.

Skip overly processed and often genetically modified soy ‘meats’ and soy hot dogs (skin pros say they can lead to breakouts) in favor of organic brands of tofu. “Tempeh is a wonderful choice because fermented soybeans are unprocessed. Or try seitan, which is made from wheat,” suggests Blum.

Get skin-plumping protein.

Blum recommends protein-dense combos at every meal, such as lentils with quinoa, hummus or nut butter with whole-grain crackers, black beans with brown rice, and split pea soup with a whole-grain pita.

Limit complexion-sabotaging carbs.

Simple, processed carbs break down into sugar in the body, which in turn breaks down collagen and elastin.

Banish breakouts with zinc.

This mineral is readily available in animal-based foods, but vegans can find it in asparagus, spinach, almonds, and pumpkin seeds. Tip: Toasting nuts and seeds before tossing them on salads will enhance absorption.

Maintain moisture with flax.

Fend off dry, dull skin by grinding up flax seeds and sprinkling them on veggies and in salads. Bonus: Flax contains zinc and other trace minerals.

Make a get-glow shake.

Blum “prescribes” this beautifying blend to her vegan patients. You’ll score essential fatty acids, B vitamins, antioxidants, zinc, and plant protein in every sip.

Combine and blend these ingredients until smooth:

  • 1 cup hemp or almond milk

  • ¾ cup strawberries

  • 1 banana

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds

  • 2 handfuls spinach

  • ½ an avocado

  • 1 scoop pea or artichoke protein

  • Ice (optional)