is milk bad for your skin

Is Milk and Dairy Bad For Your Skin? Here’s The Truth

Is dairy bad for your skin? As with many things in life, the truth is kinda complicated. Here's what you should know.
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Are you someone who loves to indulge in a glass of milk or a cheesy pizza every once in a while? Or, are you someone who avoids dairy products like the plague, believing it’s responsible for your acne breakouts? Well, we’re here to spill the beans (or milk, in this case) and find out if milk and dairy are really bad for your skin.

As a woman, I’ve also had my fair share of skin woes and have often wondered if the foods I eat are to blame. So, let’s dive into the truth behind milk and dairy’s impact on our skin and see if there’s any scientific evidence to support these claims.

Let’s go!

The connection between dairy and skin

So, what’s the deal with dairy and our skin? Well, studies have shown that dairy intake can affect our skin in various ways. One of the most common connections made is between dairy and acne breakouts. In fact, many people claim that cutting out dairy from their diets helped them clear up their skin.

But why do people believe that milk and dairy are linked to skin problems in the first place? It all started with a few studies conducted in the 1960s, which suggested that there was a correlation between milk consumption and acne. This led to many dermatologists recommending that their patients cut out dairy from their diets. However, subsequent studies have had mixed results, with some finding a link between dairy and acne and others finding no correlation.

Apart from acne, dairy has also been linked to other skin issues such as rosacea, eczema, and hives. The exact mechanism behind this connection is not entirely clear, but it’s believed that the hormones and growth factors present in milk and dairy products could be responsible.

That being said, it’s important to note that not everyone who consumes dairy will experience skin issues. Genetics, lifestyle factors, and other dietary habits also play a role in the health of our skin. So, let’s not jump to conclusions just yet!

The truth about dairy and acne

Let’s talk about the big one – acne. As we mentioned earlier, there have been studies linking dairy consumption to acne breakouts. But what does the evidence say?

Well, one study published found that there was a positive association between dairy intake and acne in young adults. The study concluded that there was a significant link between consuming dairy products, particularly milk, and acne.[1]

Another study found that there was a higher prevalence of acne in individuals who consumed more milk. However, this was not true for people consuming yogurt and cheese.[2]

So, what’s the explanation behind this? One theory is that the hormones present in milk, such as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and androgens, can increase sebum production and lead to clogged pores. Sebum is an oily substance produced by our skin that can contribute to acne when it gets trapped in hair follicles.  Ingrown hair can lead to some pretty vicious irritation.

It’s important to note that these studies show a correlation between dairy intake and acne, but they don’t necessarily prove causation. There could be other factors at play that are causing both dairy consumption and acne breakouts. Additionally, not everyone who consumes dairy will experience acne.

That being said, if you’re someone who struggles with acne and you consume a lot of dairy, it may be worth experimenting with cutting out dairy from your diet to see if it improves your skin.

Does avoiding dairy improve acne?

As someone who has struggled with acne in the past, I was curious about the link between dairy and acne. After doing some research and experimenting with my own diet, I found that cutting down on dairy has actually helped improve my skin!

I used to consume a lot of milk and cheese, but after learning about the possible link between dairy and acne, I decided to try reducing my intake. I started by switching to non-dairy milk alternatives like almond and soy milk, and I also cut back on cheese and other dairy products.

To my surprise, within a few weeks, I noticed a significant improvement in my acne symptoms. My breakouts were less severe and my skin looked clearer overall. Of course, this is just my personal experience, and cutting out dairy may not work for everyone.

In fact, some of my friends who have struggled with acne have not seen any improvements after cutting down on dairy. It’s important to remember that there could be other factors at play, such as genetics and stress levels. And, everyone’s body reacts differently to different foods.

That being said, I do think it’s worth considering the potential link between dairy and acne, especially if you’re someone who struggles with breakouts. It might be worth trying to cut back on dairy and see if it makes a difference for you.

Healthy dairy alternatives

If you’re considering cutting down on dairy to improve your skin health, don’t worry, there are plenty of delicious and healthy alternatives available!

Nut milk

One great option is nut milk, such as almond or cashew milk. These plant-based milks are naturally lower in fat and calories than cow’s milk, making them a great option if you’re looking to reduce your overall calorie intake. They’re also rich in vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium, which are important for maintaining healthy skin.

Coconut milk

Another option is coconut milk, which is rich in medium-chain fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation in the body. This can be particularly helpful for those with acne-prone skin, as inflammation is often a contributing factor to breakouts.


For those who still want to enjoy the creaminess of dairy, there are also non-dairy creamers available. Soy milk creamer, for example, can be a great alternative to traditional creamer and is lower in fat and calories.


When it comes to cheese alternatives, there are also a variety of plant-based options available, such as vegan cheese made from nuts or tofu. These alternatives are often lower in fat and calories than traditional cheese and can be just as delicious.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that cutting down on dairy alone may not be the only solution to improving your skin health. But by incorporating healthy dairy alternatives into your diet, you can still enjoy a range of delicious foods while potentially improving your skin health in the process.


To sum it up, the relationship between dairy and skin health is complex and can vary from person to person. While there is evidence suggesting that dairy consumption can contribute to acne breakouts, it’s not a guarantee that cutting out dairy will solve all skin issues.

However, incorporating healthy dairy alternatives into your diet can still be beneficial for overall skin health.

Ultimately, the key is to listen to your body and make informed decisions about your diet and skincare routine.

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