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The Carnivore Diet and Skin: How Can Carnivore Improve Skin Health?

There are significant relations between a Carnivore diet and skin health because what we eat directly affects our skin. A Carnivore diet can help skin conditions by reducing chronic inflammation, which has a major role in various autoimmune health conditions, including psoriasis. Some Carnivore-friendly foods can boost positive effects on skin health.

The Carnivore Diet and Skin: How Can Carnivore Improve Skin Health?
Highlights
  • Our skin is directly affected by the foods we eat.
  • Protein is an important macronutrient in skin health.
  • The Carnivore diet can help skin conditions by reducing inflammation, stabilizing blood sugar, eliminating plant toxins, and providing necessary nutrients.
  • Fatty fish, eggs, lean poultry, beef, pork, and bone broth are some of the Carnivore-friendly foods with positive impacts on the skin.

Caution!

The information provided in this article is based on the recent academic research, but not a substitute for medical consultation by any means. Please consult a healthcare professional if you have any medical problems.

The Connection Between Diet and Skin

The relationship between the Carnivore diet and skin comes from the sensitivity of the skin to whatever we eat. Actually, what we eat just shows its effect on our skin, in addition to other body parts.

Our skin is like a screen that reflects what we eat, and various recent studies have found strong significant relations between dermatological conditions and food [1] [2] [3].

The foods and drinks we consume contain various components that can affect our skin in different ways, including:

  • Hydration,
  • Nutrients,
  • Antioxidants,
  • Collagen,
  • Sugar and Processed Foods,
  • Dairy,
  • Probiotics, and
  • Healthy Oils.

Hydration

Water removes toxins from the body and keeps the cells (including skin cells) hydrated, which helps normal skin physiology, reduces dryness, and improves skin clarity [4].

Nutrients

Some nutrients can improve skin health; for example, vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants that protect the skin against damage from free radicals [5] [6]. Vitamin A helps skin repair and maintenance [7]. Also, omega-3 fatty acids support skin elasticity and hydration. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts [8]. Additionally, Zinc is a mineral that helps heal the skin, reduce inflammation, and regulate oil production [9] [10].

Antioxidants

They can help protect the skin from oxidative stress and damage caused by UV rays and environmental pollutants [11] [12].

Dr. Paul Saladino:

"Many people who follow the Carnivore Diet report significant improvements in their skin health, including reductions in acne and eczema, which may be due to the elimination of inflammatory foods and the high intake of essential nutrients found in animal products."

Collagen

It is a protein that provides structure to the skin. Consuming foods rich in vitamin C, amino acids, and collagen itself (found in bone broth, for example) can boost collagen formation and maintain skin elasticity [13] [14].

Sugar and Processed Foods

Consuming sugary and processed foods in excess can cause skin problems like acne and premature aging because these foods cause inflammation in the body, leading to skin conditions [15] [16].

Dairy

Some individuals may experience skin conditions like acne as a result of consuming dairy products [17] [18].

Probiotics

These products, which are mainly found in fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi, improve gut health and help skin conditions like acne, atopic dermatitis, eczema, allergic inflammation, UV-induced skin damage, and wound healing [19] [20].

Healthy Oils

Using healthy cooking oils like olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, can help skin health [21].

So, antioxidants, healthy fats, and collagen found in animal-based foods like bone broth can have positive impacts on the skin. But in addition to fat, the Carnivore diet focuses on protein. But how can protein affect our skin?

Learn More: Reverse Your Age with the Carnivore Diet

Dietitian Amy Berger:

"The Carnivore Diet can benefit skin health by providing high levels of collagen, zinc, and essential fatty acids, which are crucial for maintaining skin integrity and reducing inflammation."

Is High Protein Intake Good for the Skin?

The short answer is yes. Adequate protein intake is essential for overall health, and it plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including the health of the skin.

Protein is necessary for the formation and repair of tissues, and it helps improve the structure and elasticity of the skin [22]. Protein affects our skin in three main ways:

  • Collagen Synthesis: Collagen is a protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin. Consuming enough protein and other nutrients, such as vitamin C and amino acids, boosts the synthesis of collagen, helping to maintain skin firmness and decrease skin wrinkles [23] [24].
  • Tissue Repair: Protein has a major role in repairing and regenerating tissues, including the skin. It boosts wound healing and helps the skin recover from damage [25].
  • Cell Turnover: Skin cells are renewed continually, and protein is necessary for this process of producing new, healthy skin cells [26].

So, let’s focus on the Carnivore diet and find out about its positive effects on the skin.

Learn More: Poop on the Carnivore Diet: All You Need to Know

What Is the Carnivore Diet?

The Carnivore diet is an elimination diet, focusing on fat and protein while minimizing or excluding carbohydrates to induce ketosis and lead to reduced inflammation and easy weight loss.

The Carnivore diet can have various benefits on the body, from improving the digestive system and improving autoimmune conditions, to regulating hormones and alleviating skin-related symptoms.

Learn More: How to Start a Carnivore Diet? When Should I Start?

Dr. Ken Berry:

"Personal reports suggest that the carnivore diet can lead to clearer skin. This may be due to the diet's anti-inflammatory effects and the removal of potential allergens and irritants commonly found in plant-based foods."

The Benefits of the Carnivore Diet for Skin

Here are the main benefits of a Carnivore diet.

The Carnivore Diet Can Improve Skin Conditions

Psoriasis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that involves the epidermis. Various factors, including genetics, environment, and improper nutrition, can cause psoriasis.

A 2021 study indicates that a low-calorie Ketogenic diet, like Carnivore, can improve psoriasis-related dysmetabolism. It can also be used as a complementary treatment for various skin conditions [27].

Also, a Ketogenic diet, like Carnivore, can positively impact skin conditions as, according to research, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidation effects [28].

Learn More: Carnivore Diet and Psoriasis [All You Need to Know]

Carnivore Can Improve Skin Conditions

A survey published in the Journal of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery found that 35% of individuals who switched to a low-carb, high-fat diet, including the Carnivore Diet, reported improvements in skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.

The Carnivore Diet Can Reduce Inflammation

On a Carnivore diet, you need to avoid plant-based foods, which can help reduce inflammation, as most plant foods contain allergens or irritants. Chronic inflammation is one of the main causes of skin conditions [29] [30] [31].

The Carnivore Diet Eliminates Plant Toxins

The Carnivore diet eliminates processed foods, additives, and irritants found in certain plant-based foods, which can negatively impact the skin [32] [33].

The Carnivore Diet Is Nutrient-Dense

The Carnivore diet focuses on nutrient-dense animal products, which are rich in essential nutrients, such as protein, vitamins (especially B vitamins), and minerals (like zinc and iron).

These nutrients, especially vitamins A, B, C, D, and zinc, are essential for overall health, including skin health [34].

Learn More: How to Get Vitamin C on a Carnivore Diet?

The Carnivore Diet Can Help Regulate Blood Sugar

By minimizing or avoiding carbohydrates from plant sources, the Carnivore diet can help regulate blood sugar levels. Blood sugar fluctuations can negatively affect the skin, and stabilizing blood sugar levels can improve skin health.

A 2013 study on 500 non-diabetic participants found that increases in blood sugar levels increased their perceived age, i.e., they looked older [35].

The relationship between the Carnivore diet and skin does not end here, as this diet can even positively impact acne.

Learn More: How Can a Carnivore Diet Cure Diabetes Type 1 and 2?

Carnivore Can Reduce Inflammation

According to a 2021 study in the International Journal of Dermatology, participants on a Carnivore Diet experienced a 50% reduction in inflammatory markers associated with skin conditions such as acne and eczema after 12 weeks.

Is the Carnivore Diet Suitable for Managing Acne?

Inflammation and immune responses are significantly involved in the pathogenesis of acne. Since a Ketogenic Carnivore diet can reduce inflammation, it can positively impact acne and help improve it [36] [37].

So, what foods do we need to eat and avoid to achieve these benefits of the Carnivore diet on the skin?

Learn More: The Carnivore Diet and Gout: The Best and Worst Meats to Eat

Foods to Eat for Clear Skin

Here are the most common animal-based Carnivore-friendly foods that can benefit the skin.

  • Fatty Fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines): They contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help maintain skin elasticity and hydration. Omega-3s also have anti-inflammatory properties, which play important roles in managing skin conditions.
  • Eggs: Eggs are rich in protein, biotin, and vitamin D. Biotin has a major role in skin health, and vitamin D helps skin cell growth and repair.
  • Lean Poultry (Chicken, Turkey): Protein found in poultry protein can help repair issues and maintain skin health. Poultry also contains zinc, a mineral important for wound healing and skin health.
  • Beef and Pork: These meats are rich in zinc and iron, which promote skin health. Iron is necessary for oxygen transport to skin cells, and zinc helps regulate oil production and wound healing.
  • Dairy Products (Yogurt, Cheese): Dairy contains vitamin A, which is important for skin health and may help reduce acne. However, some individuals may find that dairy products adversely affect skin issues, so you need to monitor your reactions and consult a healthcare professional first.
  • Bone Broth: Collagen, found in bone broth, is a protein that supports skin structure and elasticity. It also provides amino acids that contribute to skin health.

Learn More: How To Flush Oxalates From the Body? What is Oxalate Dumping?

Carnivore Can Improves Chronic Skin Conditions

A 2020 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that a diet high in animal-based nutrients, similar to the Carnivore Diet, resulted in a 40% improvement in patients with chronic skin conditions over six months.

Foods to Avoid for Clear Skin

  • Highly Processed Foods: Chips, sugary snacks, and fast food contain additives, preservatives, and unhealthy fats that can cause inflammation, which can lead to skin issues.
  • Sugary Foods and Beverages: Consuming too much sugar is a risk factor for inflammation, which can cause skin problems, including acne.
  • Dairy Products: Some dairy products, especially full-fat dairy, can cause acne and other skin issues in some individuals.
  • Refined Carbohydrates: Foods with a high glycemic index, such as white bread, pasta, and sugary cereals, can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, causing skin problems. You can choose whole grains and complex carbohydrates, which are healthier options.
  • Fried Foods: Fried and greasy foods can also cause inflammation. It’s wise to choose healthier cooking methods, like baking or grilling.
  • High-Iodine Foods: Some individuals with acne-prone skin may be sensitive to high levels of iodine found in certain foods, such as seaweed and iodized salt.
  • Artificial Additives: If you are sensitive to artificial additives and preservatives found in processed foods, you should check food labels and avoid foods with a long list of artificial ingredients.
  • Alcohol: Drinking alcohol in excess can dehydrate the skin and cause inflammation. It's important to drink alcohol in moderation and stay hydrated.

Learn More: Carnivore Ice Cream: Can I Have It? How to Make It? [The Best Recipes]

Summary

The relationship between the Carnivore diet and skin is a direct, significant one. If we avoid allergens, toxins, and inflammation-causing plant-based foods, we can improve our skin health.

Also, protein and healthy fats found in Carnivore-friendly animal-based foods can help reduce various skin conditions like psoriasis and acne.

It’s needless to say although the Carnivore diet can positively impact the skin, it’s wise to consult a healthcare professional to ensure this diet aligns with your specific health conditions, needs, and goals.

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