Does Dairy Cause Acne?

Acne is looked down upon as being a very common skin problem among men and women that comes uninvited and during the most unexpected of situations. But what causes acne is a lesser known phenomenon.

[Link: The Hidden Causes Of Acne]

Acne is basically an inflammatory condition, and it occurs when oil clogs skin pores. As a result of this clogging, bacteria growth becomes rampant within the follicles, thereby causing zits. There have been a lot of myths and misconceptions about what may or may not lead to acne breakouts, and dairy has been thought to be one of the major causes of acne.

Let's  investigate the connection (if there is one) between acne and dairy products such as milk and cheese. Since these two products are considered staple foods as part of our routine diet, a connection, even if subtle, is most likely. Let’s explore!

Milk And Acne

According to a renowned dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner MD, cow’s milk can cause inflammation. The hormones found in cow milk come in contact with the testosterone in the human body, thereby increasing the production of sebum on the skin. This oily substance causes clogging and triggers the process that ends up with weird-looking zits on the face.


The Hormones In Milk

Their hormones are also known as IGF-1 are found in abundance in cow milk and are considered good for the health of calves. IGF-1 ensures growth and strength among baby cows but is not as beneficial to the humans. When humans consume cow milk, these hormones are transferred to their bodies, thereby leading to acne breakouts.

Dairy products especially milk causes an insulin spike within the body, which triggers the liver to generate more IGF-1, and this leads to the formation of zits. Excessive consumption of dairy is thus considered bad for the skin, acne bacteria feeds onto the sebum that further causes inflammation and zits. More so, dairy glues together dead skins within the pores, which makes clogging even more harmful yet appealing to acne bacteria.

Alternative Sources Of Dairy

If you consume excessive cow milk, then it’s time that you switch to whole milk and avoid skim milk as much as possible. Whole milk does not contain proteins such as whey and casein that are majorly responsible for releasing a hormone similar to IGF-1 and is hence beneficial for you if you want a zit-free life!

Cheese And Acne

Another staple dairy product is cheese, but studies have yet to prove whether or not cheese can cause acne. According to research, cheese has less lactose than milk, but whether lactose is a cause of acne or inflammation is debatable!

Yogurt and Acne

This is true for yogurt and acne too. Yogurt has been considered a good choice for controlling acne breakouts. Probiotics found in yogurt have been found to calm inflammation and since yogurt goes through a fermentation process, it produces lesser IGF-1 than milk.

What Is The Takeaway?

If you thought acne was caused by dairy, then the answer is mixed. Physically clogged pores cause acne and this clogging may be a result of consuming more than just a few dairy products. Milk is known to cause inflammation which makes acne more likely if cow milk is consumed excessively. If you have a rampant acne condition, then you must avoid skim milk and soy milk. If you are planning to switch to whole milk, consume it in moderation.

Each individual’s body is different and will react differently to dairy products. You cannot possibly eliminate all dairy products from your daily diet as these provide essential nutrients to the body, but moderate consumption may be exercised. If you are consuming too much of a dairy product and have frequent acne breakouts, try cutting down on consumption of that particular dairy and see if there is a decline in growth of acne.

Product Recommendations

If the condition persists, you can consult your trusted dermatologist or skin specialist. There are a number of acne preventive products available in the market that you can use to combat breakouts. Try using a cleanser that comes equipped with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. You may benefit from a product from the following for a clearer, smoother and zit-free skin.

[Link: Should You Be Using Benzoyl Peroxide Or Salicylic Acid For Acne?]
  1. Humane Benzoyl Peroxide
  2. Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay
  3. Proactiv 3-Step Acne Treatment System
  4. Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1%
  5. Song Benzoyl Peroxide Wash 

These products are a great way to fight acne breakouts, provided that you have not established a definite cause of your stubborn zits.

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