Published by PETA Staff.

Bodybuilder Brian Turner started getting serious acne at age 15, and it became so bad that he’d have four or five cysts on his face at any given time. The traumatic and painful experience of having chronic acne led him to experiment with what he ate. First, he removed dairy “products” and saw that his skin improved. Then, he started eating more whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. Finally, he went entirely vegan. If you’re skeptical about the link between skin and diet, this video of Turner’s impressive transformation will change your mind:

After his skin’s day-and-night improvement, Turner began to investigate and learn about the horrendous treatment of animals used for meat and dairy “products.” Today, at 25 years old, Turner considers himself an ethical vegan and is killing it kindly as a vegan bodybuilder. We think he has a bright (and clear) future ahead of him.

The connection between diet and skin

If you want clearer skin, you have to acknowledge the connection between acne and the consumption of milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy “products”—and leave them off your plate. One study found that there’s increasing evidence of a correlation between acne and what we eat, particularly consumption of foods high in glycemic load or made from cow’s milk.

Vitamins C and E, commonly found in healthy vegan meals, are powerful antioxidants that neutralize skin-damaging free radicals and help fight brown spots and prevent new ones, promoting an overall youthful appearance. Nuts and seeds are prime sources of vitamin E, and one can reap the rewards by munching on walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and ground flax seeds. Peanut butter is an easy way to pack a one-two nutritional punch of vitamin E and protein. And if you’re looking for a sweeter way to enjoy some antioxidants, enjoy a handful of berries. The zinc found in beans has also been reported to improve skin, combating zits and decreasing inflammation, which in turn prevents redness and pimples.

Ramping up your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans—while passing on milk, cheese, yogurt, and meat—is a recipe for clearer and more radiant skin that glows from the inside out.

Check out our clear-skin guide for more information on the link between your skin’s health and vegan eating. Our guide also includes an extensive list of cruelty-free and vegan skin products.

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