No Dairy = Clearer Skin?

Over the past few years I have heard about the benefits of cutting out dairy from your diet (via word of mouth) – but more importantly the benefits that is has on the skin and complexion. I decided to put my curiosity aside and research into this to see just what effect dairy has on the skin.

Here’s what I found out..

  • Milk contains large quantities of a growth hormone called IGF-1 (insulin growth factor 1), which is great for baby cows, but not humans. This growth hormone contributes to inflammation which eventually leads to the redness and swelling around acne.
  • Dairy causes an insulin spike in humans which produces even more IGF-1.
  • Sebum is an oily and waxy matter that is secreted from the sebaceous glands, which are microscopic exocrine glands found in the skin. Dairy causes an overproduction of sebum which leads to clogged pores and acne. This is a breeding ground for propionibacterium which feed on sebum and discharge inflammatory by-products.
  • Dairy causes dead skin cells inside the pores to glue together. This makes it difficult for the skin cells to exit naturally, causing the pores to be clogged.


If you’re wanting to cut out dairy to see what improvements it has on your skin, you should cut out dairy completely for 12 weeks or 120 days. The average life of a skin cell is around 120 days, so if you’re wanting to see improvements, it’s best to be patient around this time frame.

Has your skin cleared up? If so, and you’d like to continue with a dairy diet, you should slowly introduce it back into your diet. If you start to break out again with small amounts of dairy then you know that you’re sensitive to it.

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