Should Your Skin Care Match Your Eating Philosophy?

Source: Unsplash/Sasha

You've nixed gluten and dairy from your diet (awesome!). You have iron-clad willpower to fend off daily temptation as it arises (go, girl!). And then you step into your bathroom and slather on creams and serums only to find that your face products can contain these ingredients. Wait, what!?

Lifestyles have become more integrated nowadays, and that includes ties between diets and skin care. It's a good thing. As Robert Anolik, MD, a New York City dermatologist notes, this allows people to live more seamless, well-rounded lives. Of course, in the crowded, 18-step beauty world, I beg the question: Is it actually necessary? 

 Is it actually necessary? 

“While your diet may affect your skin from the inside out, not all data shows that the skin-care products applied topically need to match the food you ingest,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at New York-based Mount Sinai Hospital. “In fact, what your gut needs may be different from what your skin needs.”

So, I rounded up various eating philosophies and polled the pros and stacks of studies to find out what they can really do for your complexion.

Keep scrolling to learn how food strategies and beauty align.


“Vegan skin-care products abide by the same rules of vegan diets,” says Zeichner. “They don't contain any animal-related ingredients, and they're not tested on animals.” The key ingredients in vegan products are usually botanical extracts and natural oils. Therefore, if you've gone vegan for ethical reasons, it may also bring that ethos to your skin-care routine.

What's more, non-vegan beauty products can also bring allergies to the table. Research from The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found a link between a goat's milk allergy and an immunological response when it was applied topically.

Try: Tata Harper Elixir Vitae ($380)


For those who suffer from celiac disease, an auto-immune disorder where gluten causes the small intestine to become inflamed, ingesting wheat, rye, or barley is a top concern. But applying it topically shouldn't be a huge worry, according to the Mayo Clinic, because gluten molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin. If you’re noticing irritation from a skincare or beauty product, Zeichner suggests you stop use and visit a dermatologist, but it could possibly be because of another active ingredient.

If you want to be hyper-sensitive to guard yourself from gluten reactions,  he does suggest investing in g-free lip care. “A lip product may cause you to ingest gluten if it touches the tongue or inside of the mouth,” he says.

Try: W3LL People Nudist Lip Butter ($14)


The high-fat diet has yet another iteration, but if you're someone who loves to pack oils into your diet, you might see actually see improvements by doing the same in your skin-care routine. There's science to back this up: Coconut oil, the crowd favorite, has been shown to increase hydration and barrier function and avocado oil, a key ingredient found in a B-12 cream, was shown to help with psoriasis. In other words, the ketogenic eating philosophy might just transition well to a skin-care regimen.

Try: Cocovit Coconut Oil ($25)

If you want to delve deeper into the inner-outer beauty connection more, check out Jessica Alba's smoothie recipe and find out what happened when an editor took an ACV shot each morning.

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