Can the low-carb keto diet give you great skin? Here’s the real truth

Updated on:3 December 2019, 15:13pm IST
Heads up for all the keto queens out there: you might be happy with the weight loss, but do you know what this diet is doing to your skin? Read to know more.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Can keto diet really help you get that glowing skin? It’s time to find out. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Keto diet is great! Keto is bad for your health. Keto can help you lose weight. It can give you acne! Welcome to the era of ever-changing information on keto diets. 

You see, with each passing day we come across new research on this “wonder” diet. A while ago, a number of studies claimed that keto diets can give you acne. Then came one, which stated that it can cure acne. And now there is a study published in Investigative Dermatology that is going gaga about how keto diet can give you glowing skin!

So much science-backed information. So much confusion! But before we debate on the effect keto has on your skin, lets..

Understand what a ketogenic diet has in store
Ketogenic diets are high on fats and low on carbs. But why are they becoming so trendy? Well, that’s because from Karan Johar to Alia Bhatt everyone is following this diet regime to lose weight. 

But is it correct to follow the B-Towners blindly? Especially when yeh skin ka mamala hai

 Well, turns out keto diets are a boon for those their dry skin
More fat means more moisture and nourishment for your skin–especially if you have dry skin.  

“This study leads to a broader understanding of possible effects of ketogenic diets with a very high-fat content on skin inflammation and underlines the importance of the composition of fatty acids in the diet,” says co-lead investigator, Barbara Kofler, PhD, research program for receptor biochemistry and tumor metabolism, department of pediatrics, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria.

Dr Kofler further explains: “We found that a well-balanced ketogenic diet, limited primarily to long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) like olive oil, soybean oil, fish, nuts, avocado, and meats, does not exacerbate skin inflammation.”

In short, a high-fat keto diet can keep your skin supple without causing any inflammatory reaction. 

But, there is a flipside of keto too
Gobbling more fats is blissful situation in case you have dry skin, but if you already oily skin then tables can and will definitely turn. Here’s a simple equation:

Fat rich keto diet + already oily skin = high production of sebum means ACNE

keto diet can cause acne
Image courtesy: Giphy

And that’s not all: Dr Kofler elaborates on how ketogenic diets containing high amounts of medium-chain triglycerides (read: coconut oil), especially in combination with omega-3 fatty acids (like fish and nuts), should be used with caution since they may aggravate pre-existing skin inflammatory conditions. This could be the reason why a lot of people on keto diets complain of itchy, red rashes.  

All in all, you have to take a call
Well, there is no denying that keto diet has many benefits. Not to mention, it’s very popular and can help you effectively lose weight. 

But let’s also get a reality check on the effects that keto has on your body overall. So, you choose for yourself–weight loss or acne? Because just sticking to research won’t help.

keto diet can cause acne
Image courtesy: Giphy

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.