How Does the Keto Diet Affect Your Skin?

keto diet and skin

The ketogenic, or keto, diet is the latest diet craze that lots of people are trying. Like any strict diet, the keto diet can also have an impact on your skin. If you’re thinking about trying this popular weight loss strategy, here’s what you need to know about how it might affect your skin and what you can eat for a healthier, glowing complexion.

What Is the Keto Diet?

The keto diet is similar to the Atkins diet and other low-carb diets. It involves reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat and replacing them with fats. The goal is to trigger your body to enter a metabolic state called ketosis, when your body begins to burn fat instead of burning carbohydrates for energy. The standard keto diet typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs.

Will the Keto Diet Affect My Skin?

There is no guarantee that the keto diet will help or hurt your skin, but there are a few benefits and drawbacks that you might notice on your skin:


  • Omega-3 fats are great for your skin. High in fats, the keto diet may help to combat dry skin and inflammatory conditions like acne. Just make sure you stock up on healthy fats from foods like avocados, salmon, and walnuts, and not binge on junk food fats like potato chips and french fries.
  • Cutting down on simple carbohydrates can help your skin. Simple carbs like white bread, white potatoes, and pasta are converted into sugar in your body, which can increase inflammation and contribute to a whole host of skin problems, including acne and accelerated aging.
  • Increased dairy intake make lead to breakouts. Studies have shown that dairy can increase the odds of developing acne. Since the keto diet encourages the consumption of dairy products like butter, cheese, and cream, you may have issues with acne.


What Is Keto Rash?

Some people on the keto diet have reported an itchy rash, now referred to as the “keto rash.” The medical term for this skin problem is prurigo pigmentosa. It is an inflammatory condition characterized by itchy, red, raised bumps that typically show up on the arms, neck, chest, and back. These bumps can become pigmented over time, hence the name “pigmentosa.”

While we still do not know the exact cause of this rash, it has been associated with ketotic metabolic states, as it is sometimes seen in diabetic and bariatric patients, as well as some people on the keto diet.

If you think you might have keto rash, consult a board-certified dermatologist right away. The sooner you treat it, the less likely you will be to develop permanent dark spots. Your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics, as neither topical nor oral steroids are effective at treating prurigo pigmentosa.

Beauty Foods for Healthy Skin

While the keto diet can offer some benefits for your skin, it’s not the most effective diet to try if your goal is to achieve a smoother, healthier-looking complexion. If this is your main goal, try adding more of these beauty foods to your daily diet:

  • Salmon
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Watermelon
  • Bell peppers
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Berries
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Dark chocolate

In Summary

It is always best to check with your doctor before starting a new diet. Weigh the pros and cons of any diet before deciding if it could be right for you. If you develop a rash or other skin or health issues while on the keto diet, talk to your doctor.

For more skin care tips, advice, and how-to videos from Dr. Leslie Baumann, be sure to follow Baumann Cosmetic on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Wishing you great skin!


©2019 Metabeauty, Inc.

March 11, 2019 Skincare