Does keto cause dry skin?
Most people on keto have experienced just how thirsty this way of eating can make you. In most cases, you feel dehydrated because you are not getting enough electrolytes in your diet. However, does keto make your skin dry?
Being in Ketosis itself doesn’t necessarily cause dry skin, it’s more likely that you are deficient in Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3 and 6) which benefit the layer of skin that helps keep your skin hydrated.
Having said this, there are many other possibilities for what can cause Dry skin including climate type, genetic issues and diet. In this article, I will explain the possible causes of dry skin and provide some solutions for you.
Dry skin on Keto
Like I stated above, the most common reason for the Dry skin on keto is usually due to not having enough Essential Fatty Acids in your diet. But what exactly are Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) and why are they called ‘Essential’.
They are ‘Essential’ because your body needs them and they are super important for a bunch of reasons, one of which being healthy skin.
As to ‘what are they’, your body can create most of the fats it needs except for these two ‘Essential Fatty Acids’ Omega 3 and Omega 6, the only way we can get those EFAs is from foods you consume.
Essential Fatty Acids helps your skin remain naturally moisturised and plump. EFAs has shown to have Anti-ageing properties and who doesn’t want to look younger! If you are lacking EFAs, your skin can appear Dry, inflamed and you may get more blackheads and whiteheads. Apart from these EFAs having some amazing skincare benefits, research has shown Omega 3 and Omega 6 to have the following Health advantages:
Health benefits of Omega 3 can include:
- Help fight depression and Anxiety
- Improve eye health
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Help with inflammation in the body
- Help with age-related mental diseases
- PLUS many other benefits
Health benefits of Omega 6 can include:
- Reduced Nerve pain
- Fights inflammation
- Helps with arthritic symptoms
- Reduce Blood pressure
- Support bone health
Now you should have a picture forming of just how important Essential fatty acids are to us for maintaining healthy bodily functions.
So what can we do if we are lacking EFAs?
If you think you are deficient in Essential Fatty Acids consuming the following Keto friendly foods to help get your daily fix of Omega 3 and 6.
- Grass fed Beef
- Flax Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
Here is a more comprehensive list of Omega 3 & 6 foods on Wikipedia.
While I think it’s always better to get all your vitamins and nutrients naturally sometimes it just not viable. If you can’t get your EFAs through your food, you can always visit your chemist and buy some Omega 3 & 6 supplements.
Eggs and Balance
I want to talk about Chickens and EFAs, stay with me, this will all make sense in a minute.
Once upon a time chickens were ‘free as a bird’ and could roam around to lay eggs when they felt like it and a wonderful by-product of this carefree lifestyle of the chicken was high amounts of Omega 3 in the eggs.
Due to the commercialisation of farming, it was cost ineffective to have chickens roam around to they all got put in cages and fed stuff to make them pop out eggs at a faster rate. This has led to chickens now producing eggs with insanely high amounts of Omega 6.
Now I have said we need Omega 3 and 6, however too much Omega 6 is not good for you, like heart attack level not good for you. So you want to avoid things like Vegetable oil, corn oil, sunflower oil and Cage eggs.
When buying your eggs try and find Omega-3 eggs, they are usually branded as ‘Free Range’ or ‘Organic’ and will have Omega-3 branded on the package somewhere.
I try to buy eggs with the highest Milligram amount of Omega-3 possible, most reputable manufacturers will put the amount on the carton.
If after adding some Omega 3 and 6 into your diet you still have dry skin, here are some other possible causes.
Other causes of dry skin
Although I have covered the importance of Essential Fatty Acids and the benefits they have on your skin, it may not be the lack of EFAs causing your dry skin. Many other internal and external factors could cause you to have dry skin. Here are just a few examples:
- Genetics. A family history of skin issues like Eczema.
- Cold weather and low humidity can dry out your skin.
- Some medications. Some diuretics can cause an issue or specific medic creams like acne cream.
- Scrubbing skin too hard. This can pull away some of your skins natural protective layer and dry you out.
- Soap or detergents. Using a harsh soap can dry the skin.
- Showering too much. Being in water too much can dry you out. This includes chlorinated pools. Also, hot water can cause an issue, i.e. if the shower is too hot.
For myself, I found my face was getting dry under the eyes and around my eyebrows. I found switching my soap to Dove, which has moisturiser built in helped a lot.
You will just have to experiment and see what is causing your dry skin or if it is a real concern, go see a dermatologist.
If your skin is feeling itchy, it might be just the fact that its dry, then again, it might not. Sometimes itchy skin can be due to an allergic reaction. Either something external irritating the skin like new washing powder or a wool jumper. Then again it could be some internal allergic reaction, so something you ate. If you have introduced something NEW into your normal routine, remove it and see if that fixes it.
Don’t forget to hydrate on Keto
I mentioned in the very first sentence of this article that being on keto can really make you thirsty. That’s because when you enter ketosis your body dumps a lot of fluid and unfortunately when all that water is expelled you also lose a lot of electrolytes.
Electrolytes help with hydrating your body and other important things like regulating your nervous systems. So drink more water and replace the electrolytes you are peeing out.
Natural skin moisturisers
The final tip for getting rid of dry skin on keto is to moisturise. Now being a guy I am not the foremost world’s expert on what the ‘Best’ moisturiser for your skin, but I did a little research, and these are some of the BEST Natural Moisturisers you can use to soften your skin.
Now I love coconut oil, I am always cooking with it or making ‘Fat Bombs’ for when I get hungry, but it’s amazing on your skin too. You can
just use it by itself or mix in some essential oils and make your own fragranced moisturiser.
- ½ cup of Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
- Mix in a few drops of Only One of the following essential oils
- Frankincense Essential Oil – Good for dry skin, acne, reduces scarring. OR
- Lavender Essential Oil – Helps you relax, anti-ageing
- Rose Essential Oil – Good for dermatitis, dry skin, anti-ageing
- Mix all together and store in a sealable Sometimes the coconut oil can solidify in cooler climates. Just place the jar on a windowsill that receives direct sunlight and that should melt the oil making it easy to mix in the essential oil.
Being from a European background, my mum told me about this natural moisturiser. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and can strengthen your skins natural barrier against the sun. So next time you are making a pasta sauce save some of that olive oil for moisturising later.
Not only is Shea Butter a great source of vitamins A and F but it makes your skin so silky smooth and helps to keep your skin looking young.
Having dry skin is not fun. Hopefully, I have answered ‘What can cause dry skin on keto’ and provide you with a few ideas on how to overcome it. Please comment below; I would love to hear from you and feel free to share this article with your friends.
As always, be excellent to one another and Keto on!