Does Dairy Cause Acne? (Short Answer: Yes!)

December 19, 2017

Does Dairy Cause Acne? (Short Answer: Yes!)
by Kali Kushner


We’ve all heard this one before, to clear your acnejust stop eatingdairy. Wait what, dairy? Who, why, when, how could such a delicious beautiful food make my skin feel so bad? It tastes so good there’s no way it can be wrong, I can’t give up cheese! Plus, tons of other people with clear skin eat dairy so it can’t possibly be affecting me. If you’ve been told to stop eating dairy for clear skin, I’m sure you’ve thought at least one of these things. And while I wish I could tell you that it’s hogwash or a silly myth, the dairy acne link isn’tjust an ole wives tale anymore folks- it’s really real and pretty frightening.



igf-1 and acne


There’sIGF-1 is in all of us, your mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle , and yes- even you. IGF-1, known as insulin-like growth factor 1,is the key toboth hormonal and inflammatory acne.High IGF-1levels lead to changesin gene expression, that causeinflammation, hormonal imbalances,increased oil production, and acne.


Acne sufferers naturally have a higher level of IGF-1 in comparison to those who aren’t acne prone. This perhaps explains why a person who isn’t acne prone is able to eat certain foods like dairy and refined carbohydrates without triggering a breakout.Both dairy and refined carbohydrates spike IGF-1 levels, which can trigger inflammation and acnein those whoAREacne prone since they naturally suffer from higher IGF-1 levels to begin with.For acne sufferers, it’s like your body is taking 2x the impact, creating an unmanageable level of inflammation throughout the body. This can show itself in fatigue,achiness,inflammation and of course, once again, acne!




the dairy-acne link


It’s long been suspected that dairy affects acne, dramatically making it worse and turning small whiteheads into throbbing cysts.All dairy contains IGF-1, which is great for growth in baby cows and also great for growth in acne.Dairy is also responsible for the redness and swelling that makes acne so dangannoyyyyyingggg.


Not only does dairy contain IGF-1, it creates a spike in insulin levels thatcause the body to produce evenmoreIGF-1!This, of course, leads to even more acne.This could also explain why a low GI diet- which helps to control insulin and blood sugar levels, is often recommended for the treatment of acne.


Dairy also causes your skinto produce excess oil or sebum leading to more clogged pores and moreinflammatoryacne.Theexcesssebum is a breeding groundfor p-acnes bacteria, which feed on the sebum and create even more acne as a by product.On top of this, dairymakes it harder for skin cells to shed naturally, glueing dirt and oil inside the pore- creating those tinyunder the skin bumps.



the reserach surrounding dairy and acne



The effect of dairy on acne is strongly documented throughout various research studies published both online and in text.It has beenproven, the greater consumption of milk, the greater severity of acne.For example,astudy published in pubmed,found thatteenage boys who drank milk had increased acne and severity compared to those who did not.

I could go on for hours discussing the various studies proving the connection between dairy consumption and increased acne severity.You can read about three others,here,here,here, andddddhere or simply search“dairy and acne”into



kicking dairy to the curb


If you’ve reached the end of this article hopefully I’ve convinced you that cutting out dairy is one of the most powerful things you can do to help clear your skin. Dairy is addicting, there’s a reason it’s so delicious and hard to quit- it actually links up to the feel good receptors in your brain.More scientifically speaking, dairy contains casein, a proteinthat has opiate molecules built in- making it hard to ditch your favorite soft cheese.


The fastest way to see results (and what personally worked best for me) is quitting dairy cold turkey.You’re probablythinking there’s no way I could possibly do that-but hear me out! There’s tons of dairy free substitutes that taste equally delicious and aftera 30 day dairy free detox- you won’t even crave it anymore!


Perhaps you can’t completely cut it out right away, but even reducing your dairy intake to once every few days or once a weekcan show noticeable results over time.If you’re looking to kick dairy to the curb you can read more about delicious dairy free substitutes in this articlehere.


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