One of the countless perks of going completely plant based is clear skin! Avoiding foods with hormone filled dairy and processed meats are synonymous for clearing up your skin. So after being vegan for 3 years with little acne issues (except the occasional pms zit), I was beyond puzzled and pissed when I started getting painful acne flare ups on my face and ugh...back! I knew I was eating clean, working out and taking great care of my skin with bi-monthly facials and clean skincare products. So what the heck was I doing wrong all the sudden!??
After countless hours spent researching the cause of acne in vegans, I found this:
“Too much vitamin B12 may promote acne, according to a new study. The study found that, in the presence of vitamin B12, the skin bacteria that are commonly linked to acne start pumping out inflammatory molecules known to promote pimples.” – Live Science
Suddenly, it all made sense. I had started taking a B12 supplement several months before after hearing countless people tell me that I could be lacking B12 due to my plant-based lifestyle. In fact, the pill that I was taking was 1000% of my daily B12! In addition to that, the pre-workout drink that I was using also had vitamin B12 in it! I was basically overdosing myself on B12!
I immediately stopped both the supplement and the pre-workout and was amazed at how quickly my skin stopped breaking out. Within 3 days, I had no new breakouts and after 2 weeks, my skin was almost completely clear (minus a few post acne scars)!
What I learned (my personal opinion, obviously this is not a medical journal):
Unless you are truly deficient in vitamin B12, there is no need to take vitamin B12 supplements. Make sure you are eating foods that contain B12, such as, fortified non-dairy milk, meat substitutes, breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast and vegan spreads and you have nothing to worry about!