Yes, dairy is a main cause acne. Not the only one and not necessarily your cause, but something to look at.
Dairy products spike your insulin levels three to six times more.
Let’s look at how dairy works in our bodies. Milk was never intended for humans. It is made by pregnant cows for their calves so that they grow strong and big. It has an insulin like growth factor (IGF-1) that accelerates our growth (including acne if you are prone to it)
Here’s the basics of how when IGF-1 is increased in your body how it effects your skin.
- Your skin produce excess oil
- IGF-1 tells your skin cells to multiply too fast (so your pores get clogged more often with dead skin cells)
- IGF-1 glues dead skin cells together before they can shed normally-meaning more clogged pores
- Causes inflammation in humans(the redness and swelling that comes with your acne)
This is because the same hormones that stimulate muscle growth also stimulate sebum production and skin cell growth.
Something I didn’t know was this little fact;
Milk contains casomorphin, which is a physiologically addictive substance that essentially does to your brain what morphine and opium do (to a lesser degree).
Casomorphin binds to opioid receptors in your brain and makes you happy, and then your brain gets used to the jolt when you drink milk over and over, and you get unhappy
if you try to stop drinking it. (Or eating cheese, or yogurt, or pretty much any other kind of dairy.)
Need some alternatives??
Goat and sheep milk
Generally easier to digest, but it can still cause acne.Goats and sheep, like cows, pump hormones into their milk to help their babies grow. It does still contain IGF-1 though
This is probably the worse of the lot. Especially if you have hormonal breakouts(chin/jaw/chest/back) It has an estrogen-mimicking effect on the body. Any food that could potentially disturb your hormones in this way is something you’ll want to avoid. Soy also contains large amounts of omega-6 fats, which cause inflammation and redness/swelling of acne.
But these are good……
- Unsweetened, organic almond milk
- Unsweetened, organic coconut milk
- Organic full-fat coconut milk
The easiest way to see if dairy is a trigger is for you is to eliminate. If you can take it out completely for 30 days you should see an improvement in your skin, or if a complete elimination is too much, do a partial (the results won’t be so dramatic, but you should see a difference)
When dairy is re-introduced take note of your skin in the days following.
Remember dairy is lurking in unsuspecting foods as well as most we know (soup, pasta, chocolate, some breads, cereals, peanut butter)
The ingredient label on prepackaged foods may list whey, lactalbumin, lactoglobulin or casein, which are all milk proteins. Products that contains these ingredients should be avoided or cut back.