Your Cart

Extra $5 off any 2 items or $15 off 3 items, code: 5on2 or 15on3 + Free US Shipping +$50

Need help choosing the right kit?

Our Skin Profile Quiz can help recommend a kit that best addresses your skin’s unique concerns


Want to order by phone or have questions about our products?

Our skincare experts are here to help 7am-3pm PT Monday - Friday



Sign into your account to track & manage orders or update your account info below.


Facial Cleanser

Ultimate clean, no over-drying

Clearing Tonic

Instant skin rebalancing

Acne Treatment Serum

All-day Protection

Clear Pore Serum

All night pore clearing

Derm-X Cloth

Skin renewing exfoliation

Moisture Complex

Weightless oil-free moisture

Microderm Scrub

Instantly Smoother Skin

Clarifying Mask

Deep down skin detox

Probiotic Complex

Clearer skin from the inside


What Is Vegan Acne? (Causes, Treatments, and More)

Transitioning to a vegan diet often comes with the promise of numerous health benefits. However, a surprising phenomenon some encounter is the emergence of "vegan acne." 

This condition puzzles many new vegans, expecting clearer skin, only to face unexpected breakouts. This comprehensive guide delves into the causes of vegan acne, its treatment, and the overall impact of a vegan diet on skin health.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Vegan acne is a genuine concern and can be caused by dietary changes, nutrient imbalances, and reliance on processed foods.
  • A plant-based diet can impact your skin health, but it doesn't necessarily mean you'll get acne. Balancing your diet with whole foods is key.
  • Cutting dairy and focusing on a nutrient-rich vegan diet can lead to clearer skin, but individual experiences may vary.
  • Due to its combination of natural and scientific ingredients, Exposed Skin Care is an effective complement to a vegan diet for managing acne.

Vegan girl with acne

Understanding Vegan Acne

What is Vegan Acne?

Vegan acne refers to breakouts that occur after transitioning to a vegan diet. Contrary to popular belief, going vegan doesn't automatically guarantee flawless skin. Instead, this change can sometimes trigger acne.

Why Does Vegan Acne Occur?

Several factors contribute to the development of acne in individuals following a vegan diet:

  • Dietary Changes: Sudden shifts in diet can impact your skin's balance. Adopting a vegan diet may introduce higher amounts of certain foods that cause acne.
  • Nutrient Imbalances: Vegan diets, while rich in some nutrients, might lack others like vitamin B12, which is crucial for skin health.
  • Processed Foods: Some vegan diets rely heavily on processed foods, which can be high in sugar and unhealthy fats, contributing to breakouts.

Common Vegan Diet Culprits

Here are some common elements in vegan diets that might trigger acne:

  • High-Glycemic Foods: Foods like white rice and certain fruits can spike blood sugar levels, potentially leading to acne.
  • Saturated Fats: Though vegan, foods high in saturated fats, like certain plant oils, can exacerbate acne.
  • Soy Products: Soy is a common replacement for animal products but can affect hormones and, in turn, the skin.
  • Nutrient Deficiencies: Lack of certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and zinc, often found in animal products, can worsen skin health.

The Link Between Vegan Diet and Skin Health

  • Antioxidants and Skin: A vegan diet rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables can help fight free radicals and improve skin health.

Woman preparing vegan meal with vegetables

  • Impact of Dairy Elimination: Removing dairy products out of your diet, typical in veganism, can lead to clearer skin, as dairy intake is often linked to acne.

How to Manage and Treat Vegan Acne

Balancing Your Vegan Diet

  • Incorporate Whole Foods: Focus on whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Monitor Glycemic Load: Choose low glycemic foods to help maintain balanced blood sugar levels.
  • Ensure Nutrient Richness: Ensure your diet is rich in vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and other vital nutrients for good skin health.

Skincare Routine Adjustments

  • Gentle Cleansing: Use a mild cleanser to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils.
  • Exfoliation: Regularly remove dead skin cells to prevent clogged pores.
  • Moisturizing: Keep your skin hydrated with a suitable vegan moisturizer.

Lifestyle Modifications

  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water to help keep your skin clear and hydrated.
  • Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate acne, so finding ways to relax and unwind is vital.
  • Sleep: Adequate sleep is crucial for skin repair and health.

Addressing Nutritional Deficiencies

  • Supplement Wisely: Consider supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals common in vegan diets, like vitamin B12 and omega-3s.
  • Consult a Nutritionist: For personalized advice, seek guidance from a professional knowledgeable in vegan nutrition.

Trying an Elimination Diet

  • Identify Trigger Foods: Temporarily eliminate potential acne-triggering foods from your diet to see what foods may be contributing to breakouts.

Woman choosing healthy food over donut

  • Gradual Reintroduction: Slowly reintroduce foods one at a time to identify specific triggers.

The Science Behind Vegan Diet and Acne

Research Insights

  • One Study Demonstrated: A link between dairy intake and acne, suggesting that eliminating dairy, a common aspect of veganism, may improve skin health.
  • Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1): Vegan diets can lower levels of IGF-1, a hormone linked to acne.
  • Effects on Sebum Production: Some studies suggest that a vegan diet could influence sebum production, affecting acne development.

Nutrients and Their Role in Skin Health

  • Vitamin B12: While essential, excess vitamin B12 supplementation can lead to increased breakouts in acne patients.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are crucial for reducing inflammation, which can help reduce acne severity.
  • Zinc: Known for its skin-healing properties, zinc can be beneficial in treating acne.

Strategies for a Clearer Skin with a Vegan Diet

Embracing a Whole-Food Vegan Diet

  • Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foods: Emphasize foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for healthy skin.
  • Limit Processed Vegan Foods: Reduce the intake of processed vegan foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats.
  • Diversify Your Plate: Include a variety of foods to ensure a balanced intake of all essential nutrients.

Understanding Food Allergies and Sensitivities

  • Identify and Avoid Allergens: Be aware of any food allergies or sensitivities, as these can cause or worsen acne.
  • Consider Food Intolerance Testing: If unsure, consider professional testing to identify potential problem foods.

Getting a professional acne skin testing

Incorporating Beneficial Supplements

  • Omega-3 Supplements: Consider algae-based omega-3 supplements to counteract the lack of fish in a vegan diet.
  • Vitamin B12: Regularly supplement with vitamin B12 to maintain adequate levels without overdoing it.
  • Zinc Supplements: Zinc can aid in reducing inflammation and is often lower in vegan diets.

Vegan Acne: A Balancing Act

The Importance of Moderation

  • Avoid Overdoing Certain Foods: Foods like nuts and soy products are healthy but can cause acne in excess.
  • Moderate High Glycemic Foods: Limit foods like white rice and certain fruits that can spike blood sugar levels.
  • Balance Fat Intake: Ensure a healthy balance of fats, avoiding excessive saturated fats even from plant sources.

Transitioning Smoothly to a Vegan Diet

  • Gradual Changes: Slowly transitioning to a vegan diet can help your body and skin adjust more comfortably.
  • Monitor Skin Changes: Pay attention to how your skin reacts during the transition and adjust your diet accordingly.

The Role of Patience and Persistence

  • Give It Time: It can take several weeks to start to see improvement in their acne after switching to a vegan diet.
  • Consistency Is Key: Maintain a consistent, balanced vegan diet and skincare routine for best results.

Experimenting with Skincare Products

  • Finding the Right Products: Experiment with different vegan skincare products to find what works best for your skin.
  • Natural Ingredients: Look for products with natural, plant-based ingredients that are less likely to irritate your skin.

Benefits of Using Exposed Skin Care for Managing Acne

Incorporating Exposed Skin Care into your routine can offer significant benefits, especially when combined with a healthy lifestyle and a balanced plant-based diet. This skincare line is designed to target acne effectively, while also being gentle on the skin.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Here are some key advantages:

  • Comprehensive Approach: Exposed Skin Care combines science and nature, using a blend of natural extracts and scientific ingredients. This holistic approach complements a plant-based diet, working internally and externally to combat acne.
  • Prevents Pimple Formation: By penetrating deep into the pores, Exposed Skin Care helps in preventing pimple outbreaks. It clears existing blockages and prevents new ones from forming, essential for maintaining clear skin.
  • Reduces Inflammation: Ingredients like tea tree extract in Exposed Skin Care reduce skin inflammation, a common issue in acne sufferers. This is particularly beneficial for those on a plant-based diet, as the diet itself is anti-inflammatory.
  • Balances Skin Oil: The products regulate sebum production, ensuring that your skin is neither oily nor dry. Maintaining this balance is crucial in a skincare routine, especially when transitioning to or maintaining a plant-based diet.
  • Safe for All Skin Types: Exposed Skin Care is formulated to be gentle yet effective, making it suitable for all skin types. This inclusivity ensures that anyone, regardless of their skin type, can enjoy the benefits of this acne treatment alongside their chosen diet.

Incorporating Exposed Skin Care into your acne management routine can offer a balanced, effective, and less aggressive alternative to traditional acne treatments.


Switching to a plant-based diet may initially seem challenging, particularly when navigating how diet choices impact your skin. The key is understanding that eliminating red meat or cutting dairy, while beneficial in reducing acne breakouts, isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. 

Each individual's skin reacts differently, and you may start to see varying results as you adapt to your new diet. A healthy vegan diet, rich in beta-carotene, polyphenols, and other nutrients, shows potential benefits in promoting good skin health.

However, being cautious is essential, as relying too much on certain foods may lead to issues like excess sebum or even new skin concerns like dark circles. 

It's vital to ensure that your diet includes a variety of foods that can help reduce skin inflammation and balance sebum production. 

When it comes to skincare, using products like Exposed Skin Care can complement your dietary efforts. This skincare range works effectively to manage acne breakouts, aligning well with a plant-based regimen. 

Remember, no single diet or skincare product is a magic bullet. Achieving and maintaining healthy skin often requires a holistic approach, encompassing diet, skincare, and lifestyle adjustments. 


What Exactly is Vegan Acne?

Vegan acne refers to breakouts that occur after switching to a vegan diet. It's caused by changes in diet, nutrient imbalances, and sometimes an increase in processed food consumption.

Can a Plant-Based Diet Cause Acne?

A plant-based diet doesn't necessarily cause acne, but certain high-glycemic or processed vegan foods can contribute to breakouts. Nutrient imbalances in a vegan diet might also affect the skin.

Does Cutting Out Dairy Help with Acne?

Yes, cutting out dairy has been linked to a reduction in acne. Dairy consumption can trigger hormonal changes that might lead to increased sebum production and acne.

Are There Specific Foods to Avoid on a Vegan Diet to Prevent Acne?

Avoiding high-glycemic foods, excessive intake of soy products, and processed vegan foods may help prevent acne. It's essential to focus on a balanced diet rich in whole foods.

How Does Exposed Skin Care Help with Acne?

Exposed Skin Care combines natural and scientific ingredients to effectively treat acne. It helps prevent pimples, reduces inflammation, balances skin oil, and is suitable for all skin types, complementing a vegan diet.