If you want to lose weight, the ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to do it. On keto, you eat almost no carbs and instead fill up on healthy fats and protein. This forces your body to burn more stored body fat for fuel.
Most keto dieters lose ten pounds or more during the first two weeks, and while much of this weight is water, it’s a sign of things to come. Keto is a proven diet for speedy weight and fat loss.
It’s not all good news; keto does come with a few less desirable side effects. Dieters often suffer from carb withdrawal and a set of symptoms collectively called the keto flu.
The symptoms of keto flu include stomach upsets, muscle cramps, fatigue, and insomnia. The good news is that keto flu only usually lasts a week or two, and there are plenty of things that you can do to make the symptoms more tolerable.
Some dieters also experience skin outbreaks and suffer from keto acne. Again, like most unwanted keto side effects, this is usually a short-term problem. In this article, we’re going to discuss the causes of keto acne and suggest some remedies.
Can The Keto Diet Cause Acne
Is Keto Acne Really A Thing?
Keto acne is not very common, but it’s still “a thing” that some dieters may experience when they start a low-carb ketogenic diet. It doesn’t affect everyone, and younger dieters and women tend to experience keto-related breakouts more than men, but it can be enough of a problem that it puts some people off keto.
Interestingly, some dieters actually find that cutting things like sugar and processed food from their diet helps treat and prevent existing acne.
The good news is that keto acne is easy to treat and avoid, and if it does occur, it only usually lasts a few weeks. Once you are fully keto-adapted, keto acne usually goes away on its own.
What Causes Keto Acne?
There are several reasons that keto could cause acne breakouts:
Increased sebum production
Eating more dietary fats can increase the production of sebum. Your body uses sebum to waterproof and protects your skin from germs, bacteria, and infections. However, an excess of sebum could lead to blocked pores, spots, and acne.
Any significant dietary change can cause stress, and stress can affect your skin. Your stress levels should return to normal as you get used to living without carbs. However, any additional stress (emotional, physical, financial, etc.) could exacerbate keto acne.
Cutting carbs from your diet increases urine output, which can lead to dehydration. The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and too little water can directly affect its health and appearance.
Lack of Nutrients
Some keto dieters focus exclusively on eating fewer carbs and pay very little attention to the nutritional value of the food they do eat. For example, they eat lots of high-fat deep-fried foods but not many low-carb vegetables. This lack of nutrients can have an adverse effect on skin health, leading to acne.
How Do You Prevent Acne on Keto?
Practical strategies for preventing keto acne include:
Drink More Water
Your body uses water for detoxification. A buildup of toxins can affect your skin. Make sure you drink plenty of plain water to help your body rid itself of these noxious substances.
Aim for 2.5-3.0 liters of water per day during your first two weeks of keto and 2.0 liters per day after that. Staying well hydrated will also help ward off the other symptoms of keto flu, including headaches, cramps, and constipation.
Follow a Clean Keto Diet
People following a dirty keto diet eat a lot of junk food, drink diet soda, and don’t get enough vitamins and minerals. They achieve ketosis and lose weight, but not in a healthy way. Lack of vitamins and minerals can take their toll on your skin.
Avoid this problem by following a clean keto diet that contains plenty of low-carb vegetables and some low-carb fruits too. This will ensure your body gets all the micronutrients it needs to keep you healthy, and that includes your skin.
Keep Your Skin Clean
Cleanse your skin of excess sebum by washing regularly with a mild face wash and warm (not hot) water. Pat your skin dry using a fresh towel. Avoid clogging your pores with heavy moisturizers. In fact, because of the increased sebum production, you may not even need to use any kind of skin cream.
If your skin is feeling especially sensitive, avoid using any harsh chemicals or perfumes, as doing so increases the chances of an acne breakout.
Get Some Sun
Spending 20-30 minutes outside in the sun can help prevent and treat acne. When exposed to sunlight, your body produces vitamin D, which is crucial for healthier skin and optimal immune system function. Also, UV light is a powerful antiseptic, so it can help kill the bacteria and germs that are partly responsible for acne.
Try Not to Touch Your Face
While it can be a hard habit to break, try not to touch your face so often. Every time you touch your face, you run the risk of clogging your pores with dirt and transferring germs and bacteria from one part of your face to another, so any existing acne spreads.
Minimize Your Stress Levels
Stress often shows itself on your skin, and chronic stress can make keto acne worse. Do your best to keep a lid on stress by exercising regularly, taking time for yourself every day, getting plenty of sleep, eating healthily, and avoiding sources of stress whenever you can. Less stress will have a marked effect on the condition of your skin.
Losing weight can do a lot for your health and appearance, and keto is one of the best diets to do it. Eating fewer carbs and more fat and protein super-charges fat loss, and keto-friendly meals are both filling and tasty.
However, it’s inevitable that a diet as potent as keto also has a few less pleasant side effects. The keto flu might not be contagious, but it can be unpleasant enough that it makes some people want to quit their new low-carb diet before it starts to produce results.
Keto acne might not be a common keto flu symptom, but it can still be upsetting. After all, we all want to look our best, and that’s hard if you’ve got a face full of pimples.
Thankfully, after keto-adaptation, keto acne usually disappears on its own, and there are plenty of things you can do to make it less of a problem. Eat clean, cleanse your skin, minimize stress, and drink more water. They’re the best strategies for preventing and treating keto acne.