Lisa Lansing

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As a minimalist vegan, my skincare routine is very basic. I don’t wear make-up and I haven’t washed my face with anything other than water since 2014!

Using water to my face is the mildest way to treat my skin. It’s also the cheapest since I’m not buying any skincare products and the easiest for me as a perpetual traveller because I’m not lugging all these products around. 

I suffered from terrible acne for years, tried Accutane twice, wasted money on every type of skin care regimen, was on and off birth control, and tried various vitamins and supplements. Nothing worked! I had pretty much given up hope so I tried the unimaginable.

I quit washing my face.

I stopped washing my face and using all skincare products in June 2014. I decided to try the minimalist approach because nothing else ever worked. I realised that washing my face with soap, or any cleanser no matter how mild, is, in fact, counterintuitive.

When we wash our face, we strip our skin’s natural oils and deprive it of moisture. Then we typically apply moisturiser to counter this. I figured why not skip all of this, and just let my skin breathe and heal naturally without interfering in any way. I also stopped using cosmetics a few years ago and saw great improvements in my skin but nothing compared to the drastic improvement I saw after I quit washing my face.

Now I simply let water hit my face in the shower and very gently massage it over my face. Even after a sweaty workout, I rely on my shower to refresh my face without washing it.

It did take my face about a month to adjust. Initially, my skin became more oily, but that subsided after a few weeks.

A clean diet for clear skin

I know my success is also due to eating a clean, high carb low fat vegan diet. I aim to eat little to no fat, meaning I’ll have some nuts once in a while or a Nakd bar, but I avoid all fried food and never use oil when cooking. Every time I indulge in fats too much (especially when something contains oil), my skin breaks out like crazy! Every time! So now I avoid fats as much as I can because clear skin is so nice.

Now that I eat mostly fruit during the day, I find that I don’t need to drink that much water. If you are eating mostly cooked food, though, I recommend drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. As soon as you wake up, chug a litre of water. Then wait 30 minutes or so before eating. Drink water during the day too, but always drink it well before meals so it doesn’t interfere with digestion and cause tummy troubles. 

Photo by Elquinn / Getty Images Pro

If you suffer from acne, try eating a clean high carb low fat diet with lots of fruits and veggies and avoid fats completely, drink more water, forgo the make-up, and quit washing your face. Give it a few months and see how you like it. Our skin regenerates every 2-3 weeks or so, so it will take some time to heal.

What’s your skincare routine? Have you noticed an improvement in your skin since going vegan?

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