Studies show that what we eat can actually affect our skin and worsen acne, and evidence is mounting to point the finger at a food you probably consider good for you: milk. Studies suggest that milk drinkers develop more severe acne than non-drinkers. So, is there a link between milk and acne? Here’s an answer to that question in this article from The Dermo Lab.
Is there a relationship between milk and acne?
As you know, several factors can contribute to the sudden appearance of stubborn acne on our skin. It is therefore important to note that the consumption of dairy products might also lead to acne.
The reason for the increase or exacerbation of acne due to milk consumption is not yet fully understood, but there are a few theories that can explain the association between milk and acne. We list them as follows:
Some experts believe that hormones in milk contribute to the appearance of pimples. Milk contains androgenic hormones, which have long been associated with the formation of acne pimples. One particular androgen is testosterone, which is strongly linked to acne development.
Through a complex chain reaction in your body, testosterone creates dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT stimulates the sebaceous glands, creating oily skin that is more prone to clogged pores and, ultimately, pimples and acne.
- Amino acids
Milk contains amino acids, such as arginine, leucine, and phenylalanine.
These amino acids, when combined with carbohydrates, can increase the production of the hormone insulin, which in turn can lead to the stimulation of male hormones such as androgens, glucocorticoids, and growth factors.
These factors lead to the accumulation of dead skin, increased sebum production in the skin, and thus the formation of acne.
- Other ingredients
Some other ingredients found in milk, such as whey protein and iodine, can cause or worsen acne.
Foods to eat for people with acne
If you are looking for healthy foods to add to your diet, you can start with the following list of foods:
- Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and chia seeds, contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation.
- Oily fish, such as salmon, are rich in omega-3 and omega-6.
- Other foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, fresh fruit, olive oil, and garlic.
Foods to avoid for those who suffer from acne
Some foods are thought to cause an increase in the appearance of acne or exacerbate it, so it is best to avoid them. These foods include the following:
- Foods with a high glycemic index, such as sugar, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and packaged drinks.
- Cow’s milk, as it is best to replace it with milk from other sources, such as plant sources.
- Meat and amino acid supplements, as reducing their consumption can also help.
General skin care tips for acne
Here are some skin care tips for acne:
- Wash your face daily
Oil-free cleansers are best for acne-prone skin. Try to keep your face clean and dry so that your pores can “breathe” while they heal.
If the skin is not cleansed of accumulated cosmetics and oils, the pores will clog. Therefore, it is recommended to always keep the skin clean, especially after sweating.
For best results, choose a cleanser that is free of aggressive and potentially irritating chemicals. Here are the leading acne facial cleansers to keep your skin clean and blemish-free.
Ducray Keracnyl Foaming Gel
Eau Thermale Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel
A-Derma Phys-AC Foaming Gel
- Use the right skin care products
Most of us have a hard time sticking to a good skin care routine. This is one of the crucial steps when it comes to treating dairy-related acne. You need to choose a daily skin care product that is gentle on the skin and treats pimples.
Here are a series of recommendations for the best topical acne treatments for clearer skin.
Ducray Keracnyl PP Anti-Blemish Soothing Cream
Eau Thermale Avène Cleanance Comedomed
A-Derma Phys-AC Global
- Keep your hands away from your face
You’ve heard it a thousand times, but you shouldn’t scratch or squeeze acne pimples. You risk introducing more bacteria into your damaged skin and prolonging the duration of the breakout.
- Other tips
Here are some other skin care tips:
- Wash your makeup brushes and tools frequently.
- Avoid excessive exfoliation of the skin.
- Consult a dermatologist to help you determine the cause of your acne and choose appropriate treatments.
- Take care of yourself
Following certain healthy habits will help relieve acne in the long run. Here are some of these good habits:
- Get enough sleep at night.
- Try to get rid of daily stress and anxiety.
- Drink plenty of water every day. It is important to keep the skin well hydrated, which not only flushes bacteria and toxins from the skin, but also opens up clogged pores and clears up acne.
- Eat a healthy diet. Anti-inflammatory nutrients such as seeds help fight inflammation and cleanse the blood of toxins and bacteria.
A word from the experts
Research suggests that some people’s acne is triggered or aggravated by dairy products. But everyone’s skin is different. Acne isn’t always linked to dairy, but it’s worth experimenting with your diet to find out how dairy affects your skin.
If you’re thinking about changing your diet to fight acne, make sure you talk to your health care professional about how to make the change without compromising your health.
Remember, acne is a challenging disease that can be difficult to treat. So, you may need to make more than a few dietary adjustments.
Last Updated on February 2, 2023