Esthetician to Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, and Sofia Coppola, among other poreless beauties, facialist Joanna Vargas is known for sending her clients home with cold-pressed juice to further enhance the effects of her treatments. Read on to see how the skincare maven is infusing her own diet with skin-loving nutrients.
Confession: I became a vegan for a rather vain reason—I wanted clear skin! (Okay, acne is more than skin deep—it can be a serious issue indicative of hormonal disruption, especially when it’s severe, but it’s also true that my motivation to become vegan was at least partially cosmetic!)
Although I just had my five-year veganniversary, and there are *so* many more reasons why I embrace this lifestyle today, I still consider eating plants a huge part of my beauty routine. Which is to say that my last ditch effort to improve my complexion five years ago worked (after a period of months, #patience) and continues to keep my skin relatively clear.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy skin, of course, I’m convinced that a whole-foods, plant-based diet can really make a difference. It took me years to fine tune a healthy eating plan that was also doable in the long run—and I’ve ultimately become a bit less restrictive in terms of what’s “pure” enough for my plate, which, thank goodness, has lead to a healthier relationship with food and a more enjoyable eating experience.
Even though I feel more confident in knowing what works for me, I still take inspiration from nutritionists and skin-care experts. (I never tire of tinkering with my green smoothies!) So, of course, I wanted to hear all about celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas’ plan to reboot her diet with plant-based goodness. Joanna Vargas explains on her blog that she’s using a nutritionist to help her map out a revised meal plan. So far the results have been noteworthy:
“One thing I noticed within a week of starting this nutritional program is that my skin is absolutely glowing. And even though my skincare routine remained the same it is now working even better. It is as if I turned up the wattage and now I have this permanent radiance and new energy.”
Turned up the wattage. I love it!
The good news is that you don’t have to have a nutritionist on speed-dial to incorporate skin-loving nutrients into your diet. “Anyone can have amazing-looking skin if they just take the steps,” says Vargas. “You can’t eat garbage, and have amazing skin.” Sad but true. Vargas explains that eating too much sugar and processed foods can exacerbate inflammation (like acne) and that dairy consumption is linked to increased sebum (oil) production, which can lead to clogged pores. (Let’s all pause to give sebum our best side-eye.)
But don’t fret if you have a few indulgences (hi, soy lattes), some dietary tweaks, namely the inclusion of fresh juice, can go a long way, Vargas says: “You notice such a difference in people’s skin and health when they drink fresh-pressed juice. Even my clients in finance who work obscenely long hours, have rich dinners at night, and have to be at work at 6 a.m. Their skin regains its vibrancy. I’ve threatened to call their assistants to have a juice delivered.”
One important thing to note, however, is that vegetable juice makes an excellent supplement (especially when it’s low-sugar), but juice cleansing may not do you any favors for the long-run. Vargas herself advocates incorporating solid fruits and veggies—including avocado: “I’m obsessed with eating avocado for the skin—they make you hydrated from the inside out,” she says.
Don’t have a juice bar nearby? Whip up a Joanna Vargas classic, this veggie juice packed with eight different veggies (a.k.a. the V8):
1 kale leaf
1 collard leaf
Handful of parsley
1 stalk of celery
1/2 red pepper
1 broccoli floret
Have you tried a plant-based clear skin diet?
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