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Veganism has become a huge trend in the last few years.

Having lived in the LA area I saw this trend develop firsthand. It went from just a few trendy new cafes and restaurants to a vegan revolution. Now finding vegan restaurants is pretty easy and many non-vegan places will accommodate special vegan requests.

Different people go vegan for different reasons. Some may do it for moral reasons, health reasons, or simply to follow a trend.

I am doing it to save my skin.

What Is Rosacea?

I have lived with Rosacea for about 2 years now.

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that makes the skin of your face blotchy and red. As it advances it also brings small bumps and flakiness to the skin. Having Rosacea means having extremely sensitive skin and looking like you’re constantly sunburned. It’s not a fun thing to have and it never goes away.

Disclaimer: I’m not a healthcare professional. This is just my experience.

How To Calm Rosacea Flare Up?

All you can do with Rosacea is keep it under control. This means finding your “triggers” and avoiding them to save your face. Now the trick is that these “triggers” can be just about anything! From environmental triggers (sun, wind, cold, humidity, etc.) to food triggers (dairy, eggs, spicy foods, alcohol..) pretty much anything in normal life can trigger a flare up. This makes life extremely uncomfortable!

Since my Rosacea started I’ve had to do several lifestyle changes. I no longer drink any alcohol, use any non-natural skincare products, and have completely changed my diet. I have found that my biggest triggers are food related – dairy, spicy foods, alcohol, and anything greasy/unhealthy. Eating these things guarantees a rash-like flare up.

Before turning to veganism I eliminated these trigger foods from my diet. Things were going well since I was mostly cooking for myself and controlled the ingredients used in my meals. Since I started traveling in July of this year things have taken a turn for the worse. I’ve sadly found out that my skin does not share my love for travel.

Being a digital nomad means not having a home to cook in, which also means eating out…every meal. While I love trying new restaurants and cafes in each destination, it has proven to ruin my face. Eating out means giving up control over your food.

Every place I go I have to ask what the dish I am interested in is cooked with. I ask for every ingredient to make sure there is no dairy, chili, or bad oils involved. The problem with this is that many restaurant employees have no clue what each plate consists of. That is completely understandable. Why would you memorize the ingredients of each item on the menu to the type of oil it is cooked in? Most customers don’t care about this at all. But knowing this is essential for my skin’s health.

After going through a tedious process of asking the chef for the ingredients and modifying the dish to exclude oils (other than olive or coconut), any dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter), spicy chilies, and sugar, I usually still end up eating something that harms my face.

Restaurants are busy places and wait staff/chefs can’t drop everything to accommodate my skin problems. That pasta that I asked to be cooked in olive oil instead of butter has Parmesan cheese generously sprinkled on top. That soup that had no cream had butter. That sandwich I ordered without mayo has sundried tomatoes…mixed with cream cheese. It feels like I’m being pranked. This, I’m not exaggerating, happens 99% of the time. So of course my face looks like a bumpy tomato. I’m eating all the things I shouldn’t on a daily basis even when I’m trying so hard to avoid them. It’s a nightmare!

After 4 months of travel my skin hit rock bottom.

There was no skincare product that could help it, no facial that could calm it. I looked in the mirror and I didn’t see me anymore.

My skin was so reactive that everything burned it and made it itch. It was like I was having a huge allergic reaction that never stopped. We were in Krabi, Thailand when I decided it was enough.

Karen in Thailand

If I kept ignoring my skin there would be irreparable damage. I had read a lot about Bali and its vegan cafes, yoga culture, and overall health-oriented lifestyle. It sounded like the perfect place to get myself back to normal. We booked tickets to Bali that same day and 5 days later we were there. As soon as we arrived we decided that switching to veganism was the right thing to do. Nick doesn’t have any food-related problems, but he wanted to help me get healthy. Taking on this challenge together made things much easier.

At first I craved chicken like crazy! But as the days went on things got easier. It really helps that Bali has so many vegan cafes. It has now been a month since I’ve switched to a vegan lifestyle and my skin is better than ever! My Rosacea is not completely gone, but I have only a light blush instead of a full-on rash on my face. I am no longer uncomfortable in my own skin.

My Rosacea Vegan Diet

My diet for rosacea is based mainly on eating superfoods…all day! I have tropical fruits throughout the day like dragon fruit, mango, passion fruit, and pineapple; grains like quinoa or black rice, nuts and seeds, health powders like maca and spirulina, and plenty of teas – both regular and fermented. My body, skin, and mind are all nourished and, in turn, I feel healthy.

My skin is healing, I have more energy, I’m sleeping like a baby, and I’m leaner. It’s the best thing!

Switching to vegan also means that I no longer have to fight with my food. I simply go to vegan cafes where the ingredients that cause me harm are already off the menu. For now, it’s the perfect choice. Once I have a home to cook in again, I’ll probably stick to eating vegan. Except I’ll incorporate salmon into my diet. I love it and it’s also super healthy!

So, to sum it all up:

If you’re suffering from Rosacea or any other skin condition, shifting to a vegan diet may help you get rid of your symptoms. I know it can be hard to make dietary changes, but it’s worth it. It’s not an overnight fix but it can be the first step to getting back to feeling comfortable in your own skin.

Give it a try and see what works for you!

Are you currently vegan or considering going vegan? What inspired you to make the switch?

Let me know in the comments how you’re doing on your journey!

And before you go…

Read my other posts with my favourite vegan cafes and restaurants:

About the Author

Karen Delgado

Karen was born in Lima, Peru, but grew up in Palm Springs, California. She started her travel journey in 2016 with an around-the-world trip that took her through Europe, SE Asia, and Australia. Since then she has created a lifestyle of travel, and splits her time between NYC (her current home base), LA, Barcelona, and Lima. She loves all things wellness, travel, and entrepreneurial, and is always working on new projects while exploring the world.

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