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Did you know that milk can cause acne?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Jyoti Monga 92% (550ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Delhi  •  22years experience
Did you know that milk can cause acne?

Did you know that milk can cause acne?

Including cheese, milk, and ice-cream etc into your daily meals maybe the reason behind the painful acne on your face. Processed milk and other dairy products negatively affect your skin and trigger the formation of whiteheads, blackheads and pimples

Here’s how milk causes acne and what you can do to get clearer skin.

How does milk cause acne?

1. Milk contains a growth hormone IGF-1 (responsible for the growth and strength of calves) in large amounts. This has an adverse effect on your skin, and is responsible for its inflammation, which results in acne. In fact, this hormone can even increase the size of the acne.
2. Consumption of milk and other dairy products also result in a sharp rise in the amount of insulin present in your body, which initiates more IGF-1 production by the liver, thereby increasing acne.
3. Excessive sebum (oil) is secreted by your skin due to the consumption of milk, which results in more number of clogged pores, causing an acne breakout. Additionally, an increase in sebum helps the acne bacteria to grow and breed, which further causes skin inflammation.
4. Consumption of milk can render your skin unable to get rid of dead skin cells, causing more acne due to clogged pores. This happens as milk sticks dead cells together inside your pores, interfering with their natural process of falling off.

What can you do to get acne-free skin?

The best way to get acne-free skin is by trying to limit your consumption of milk and dairy products. You can do so in two ways:

1. Discontinue Milk Intake: Stop consuming milk and its products completely for at least 30 days and observe the changes. If your skin improves after 30 days, you can add small amounts of high-quality dairy, like organic yoghurt, to your diet. If eliminating milk does not show any positive effects, try observing other triggers of acne and look for appropriate methods of removing them. 

2. Switch to Organic Milk Products Only - If you find it difficult to totally cut off milk from your diet, try reducing the amount of milk intake and totally avoid processed milk products. Switching to raw, grass-fed dairy products will also be beneficial.

What are the alternatives to milk which can be consumed without harming your skin?

You can also replace milk with the following products in your diet chart to prevent the occurrence of acne.

1. Organic almond milk without added sugar
2. Organic coconut milk containing no artificial sweeteners
3. Natural coconut cream

Warning: Do not consume soy milk as a milk substitute as it contains omega-6 fats, which cause skin inflammation and swelling of acne.

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