There you are standing in front of your bathroom mirror picking at your spots once again. You’ve tried every acne product on the market, all of which would eventually stop working and your skin would go back to its usual state of acne-prone affairs. But have you ever thought about how the food you eat affects your skin?

If you’ve ever had to deal with problematic, acne-prone skin you might have heard about the dairy and acne link. So, is it true? And more importantly, will it make a difference for your skin?

We are mostly told that the cause of acne is too much sugar, stress or an imbalance of hormones, right? What we forget is that some foods we eat can cause hormonal and stress reactions within our body, dairy being one of these foods.

How can dairy contribute to acne?
Milk and milk products naturally contain hormones. Interestingly, skimmed milk actually contains more hormones than full fat milk and has been associated with acne more. Not everyone who eats dairy will be affected by these hormones, some bodies with a stronger immune system can automatically re-balance the hormone levels after dairy consumption and no problems will appear whatsoever.

For the rest of us who have a slight lactose intolerance or already unstable hormone levels, eating dairy will actually cause an inflammatory response within the body and can cause acne alongside other side effects such as indigestion.

How do I know if dairy is causing my acne?
There is only one way of finding out if dairy is what is causing your skin problems. Completely eliminate milk and milk products from your diet for a 14-28 days. This may seem impossible at first (especially for all the cheese lovers out there), but trust us, it is a small price to pay if it means your skin will clear up!

Foods to cut out include:

  • Milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, and butter
  • Chocolate
  • Salad dressings with dairy base
  • Baked products containing milk

It might seem overwhelming to consider at first, but take a deep breath and check some tips and tricks for helping you give up dairy.

✓ Checklist after 14 days

Did your skin clear up?
Did your breakouts reduce in severity or number?
Is your skin less inflamed or irritated?
Any other improvements in the look of your skin?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, your best option is to eliminate these foods from your diet in the long term. Also, if you’re interested in experimenting more with how your skin reacts to your diet, find out more here. Slowly re-introduce one item back per week, and watch your skin’s reaction to each of the foods. Maybe there’s still hope for your cheese dependency!