5 Ways Fad Diets Can Ruin Your Skin

Making healthy changes to your diet and exercise habits can come along with a host of amazing benefits for your body, mind, and skin. But before jumping headfirst into the latest fad diet, you should know that nutritional deficiencies can wreak havoc on your complexion – not to mention the rest of your body as well.

These are some of the ways that trendy diets can negatively affect your skin, plus what you can do instead to work on your fitness goals while keeping a glowing complexion.

1. Dry skin caused by low fatty acids

So many fad diets are based on eating low-fat foods or even eliminating fat from your diet almost entirely. But our bodies and skin rely on healthy fats to perform a wide range of functions, including hormone regulation, energy storage, fat-soluble vitamin storage, and keeping our skin hydrated and protected.

Without enough healthy fatty acids in our diets, our skin can experience detrimental effects like dryness, itching, flaking. Sources of healthy fats include flaxseeds, chia seeds, nuts, avocados, and fish.

2. Hormonal acne caused by crash dieting

Sudden drastic changes to your diet and exercise habits can send your hormones flying out of whack, which can cause sudden breakouts on your skin. Instead, make gradual changes and healthier eating choices, rather than simply depriving your body of crucial calories.

Hormonal acne is also linked with low-fat diets, since healthy fats are necessary for hormone regulation throughout your body.

3. Red, itchy skin caused by the keto diet

Commonly called “keto rash,” prurigo pigmentosa is an inflammatory skin condition that has been linked with the state of ketosis that the ketogenic (or keto) diet triggers. Ketosis occurs when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to use as energy, so your liver turns fat into compounds called ketones to use as energy instead.

While we know that keto rash appears to be linked to this state of ketosis, we are still unsure of the exact cause. Signs of keto rash are:

  • An itchy rash, usually on your back, chest, or stomach
  • Red spots that form in a web-like pattern
  • Brown spots that are left on the skin in place of these red spots, caused by hyperpigmentation

If you start to notice any of these symptoms, consider reintroducing carbohydrates into your diet with the help of your doctor or nutritionist.

4. Wrinkles caused by low-calorie diets

Severely cutting calories sends your body into survival mode. This means that your body will want to preserve vital vitamins and other components used to make proteins like the collagen and elastin that give your skin its youthful bounce and firmness. As a result, you may notice signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin if you are not eating enough calories for your body to function properly.

A very low-calorie diet can also cause hair loss, due to the stress placed on your body from calorie deficiency.

5. Eczema caused by nutrient deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies have been linked with eczema flare-ups, and, in some cases, may be the root cause of eczema altogether. Your body needs to obtain a wide range of vitamins and minerals from food sources in order to function properly. When you eat a very restrictive diet such as the “cabbage diet” or the “pineapple diet,” your body and skin will be deprived of many of these vital nutrients.

The same goes for long-term juicing cleanses, which are high in sugar and low in fiber and many vitamins and minerals that are found in the skins of fruits and vegetables.