Thursday, July 23, 2015

Is Dairy Bad for Your Skin?

Is Dairy Bad for Your Skin?

It's pretty much well documented on this blog that I have struggled with my skin, mainly blemishes and excess oil. As a result I have changed not only my skin care habits but also what I eat and drink, which more often than not leads me to the great dairy debate - is it bad for your skin?

Fun fact I am mildly lactose intolerant, I live on the edge (sarcasm) because a life without pizza and the odd bar of chocolate is not one I want to know. Due to acne I have visited a dermatologist a good few times as I have found that when I'm living it up, playing fast and loose with dairy produce my skin is more prone to break outs. Coincidence? I think not. It turns out that dairy products such as cheese, milk and dare I say it chocolate can naturally cause the skin to inflame (due the IGF-1 hormones naturally found in milk and dairy products that contain milk) and make acne/blemish prone skin worse, especially when women are concerned.

Said hormone (IGF-1) can encourage the skin to produce excess sebum which in turn can clog the pores and lead to blemishes. It should however be noted that this will not happen to everyone as no two bodies are the same and it should also be said that we do need calcium for healthy bones, nails and general well being. I'm pretty sure you would be hard pushed to find any dermatologist or medical practitioner who advocates cutting dairy out completely for those very reasons. If you are struggling with your skin and believe that dairy may be to blame there are plenty of great alternatives such as oat, soya and almond based products all of which tend to be calcium enriched. You can also get your calcium fix via leafy greens and tofu.

So in short, yes dairy can cause skin inflammation and of course lead to blemishes but not to everyone. In my case it only happens when I consume mass amounts of milk based products over the course of a few days. If you do think dairy is to blame perhaps cutting it out or limiting your consumption for a month or so (remember to get your calcium elsewhere) and monitoring your skin will be the best route. As always I do recommend consulting either a doctor or a dermatologist before making any major health/skin changes, internet advice seldom beats that of a professional!

What are your experiences with dairy - does it affect your complexion or can you eat as much cheese as you like without consequences? 

If you are interested, you can read all my all about my acne struggles here.

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  1. I have limited my dairy intake (mainly milk, so now I have oat milk on my cereal) over the past year and have noticed a real improvement in my skin. Before I would constantly have at least 5 red, painful spots along my chin and jaw. It wasn't as bad as others, but it was really starting to get to me. I also advise anyone else with the same issue to do the same - reduce your dairy intake and see how your skin responds!
    Great post (:
    Philippa - ByPhilippa

  2. I also find too much dairy can upset my skin - I really need to cut it back down again! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

  3. I do find that with frequent consumption of dairy products my skin can be more prone to breakouts, which is why I sometimes substitute normal milk in my tea and cereal for soy milk instead. I find doing this, minimises any pimples that crop up :)

    LOVELY ROSE PETAL | Beauty | Fashion | Lifestyle

  4. I definitely notice a difference to my skin when I over-indulge in dairy. I try to cut it out of my diet as much as possible, swapping for things like almond milk, coconut cream etc, instead. If you're worried about not getting enough calcium, then eat more dark, leafy greens, as they contain more calcium than milk anyway! :)

    Alice / Alice Grace Beauty


  5. I'm not lactose intolerant but have suffered with eczema all my life and have always found that dairy makes it worse :( I have made the switch to almond milk recently though and my skin is definitely looking a lot better

    Harriet // The Ginger Ambition

  6. I have recently started to cut diary out of my diet, however I haven't really noticed that much of a difference in my skin.

    Beth x

  7. My dermatologist told me to cut dairy too, but it's hard for me since I'm a big fan of them. But the main problem is the hormone unbalance, so with a healthy lifestyle we still can eat dairy but not over consume. But yeah, maybe I should try to cut it off again to make my skin better than ever.
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Being lactose intolerant, but not horribly so, I now only have it in ice cream, chocolate and cheese very irregularly. I haven't noticed much of a difference in my skin since seriously reducing my intake earlier this year but I'm sure if i ate tons of it every day it would not end well!

  9. I'm lucky like that since my skin NEVER reacts to anything. It's just normal, sometimes dry and doesn't really care if I indulge in any bad habits. Also it doesn't really care if I take good care of it, it's just one happy fellow!


  10. I have been attempting a more vegan diet for a few weeks now and substituted dairy with Oat Milk (Rude Health is my favourite) and now I can honestly say dairy makes me feel ill... it taste fatty and makes me feel sluggish. Its not meant for humans so has bad effects in my opinion.

  11. I didn't drink milk but I can't push away the cheese in my burger. But thinking of something better to clear out my skin, maybe I should limit out the cheese. Nice post xo

  12. Very interesting to think about. I guess I've never thought that dairy could make my skin so bad!

  13. I'm lactose intolerant as well, but often have some dairy if I'm going to be home. Lately though I've been thinking of giving up dairy, and if my skin will benefit from it too, it might just be worth it for me. Great post!

    xo, Liz

  14. I don't eat/drink much dairy but the few times my intake has increased my skin has got pretty bad. It wasn't a huge problem for me to cut down on though, apart from the chocolate bit!
    Megan x
    London Callings

  15. I don't eat dairy anymore due to links with acne and much prefer it, my digestion gets shocked anytime I do eat some but I think moderation works. Almond and hemp milk are some of my favourite 'alternative' milks, so yummy!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  16. This is interesting. I suffer from adult acne on and off and perhaps dairy does make a difference. At the moment I'm drinking a lot more milk though as it's been the only thing to help with my acid reflux. It might be worth switching to almond or soya milk and seeing if that helps.

  17. Based on my experience, yes. Dairy products affect my overall health. Since I'm moving to an omnivorous to vegetarian, I've been trying to cut my dairy consumption. And I see that this skin is getting better, my digestive system is healthier, and I'm more energized, somehow. Drinking milk makes my throat feels too full. If I need a 'milky feeling', I take a portion of almond milk or soy. :)

    But everyone is different. :D

  18. My skin has improved greatly since reduced my dairy intake - I was pretty much having milk and cheese every day and I've now switched to almond milk and ocasionally have a bit of cheese on pizza or on a burger. The horrible lumpy cysts have stopped making an appearance and now my blemishes are usually hormonal and much smaller! xx

    Ramblings of a Beauty Bird | Beauty Blog


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