Do dairy products cause acne breakouts?

A few months ago, everyone on TikTok started drinking chlorophyllin – better known as liquid chlorophyll supplements – which is believed to have therapeutic effects on the body. The bright green pigment plays a crucial role in photosynthesis (remember seventh grade?)

That said, most internet users were primarily trying the trend for lightening their skin. On the way to a summer where everyone’s determined to watch Well, blowing plant juice seemed like a low-risk skin care experience. Only problem? There’s no data (yet, at least) to support the hype; According to most dermatologists, drinking chlorophyll is not going to beat your acne.

The experiment touched on a larger problem in the wellness world: the preference of consumers to seek out a miracle diet additive instead of ending habits that cause harm in the first place. Put simply: the sacrifice will do more for your skin than the supplements. And you don’t have to rack your brains to figure out what’s wreaking havoc on your body. Look at an elementary food pyramid. A top slit, dairy must go.

Don’t be fooled by the bucolic imagery. The life cycle of your next button may have started in these areas.

Leon Ephraim / Unsplash

According to Mckenzie Hathaway, board-certified holistic health practitioner and nutrition coach at Mindbody, “Common dairy products Americans consume at extreme rates directly sabotage the skin.” While cheese, baked goods, cream, protein powders, and even salad dressings could all be seen as culprits, cow’s milk is definitely the dairy source to watch out for. “The proteins found in milk are casein and whey,” she says. “You have a stimulant and a growth hormone. When the body digests both, it releases a hormone called IGF-1. ”

This stands for insulin-like growth factor 1, and as the name suggests, it triggers an increase in insulin production throughout the body, which in turn can influence the prevalence of sebum (or skin oil) in the glands of the face, contributing to the onset and severity of acne. While this frustrating sequence is triggered by hormones that naturally occur in cow’s milk, the artificial hormones that dairy farms inject into their cattle don’t help matters either. For decades, in an effort to increase milk production, cows have been manipulated with estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and recombinant bovine growth hormone. Humans who drink milk are not directly affected by this process, but researchers suspect that it exacerbates the release of IGF-1.

A recent meta-analysis looked at the relationship between milk and the development of acne and found that of our most popular dairy products, it is the most inflammatory. And of milks in general, skim milk and skim milk are the biggest offenders. Dr. Yoram Harth, Certified Dermatologist and Medical Director of MDacne, attributes this to the fat shedding process. “This leaves him with a higher glycemic index, which has a corresponding effect on blood sugar. It is another known trigger for inflammatory acne and other skin problems.

However, you’re not entirely immune to all of the other tasty dairy options. Dr Harth identifies “dairy cheese, milk-based ice cream, dairy butter and yogurt” as containing less lactose than milk (and therefore less inflammatory properties) but still foods to watch out for – especially if you are are ready to taste an “elimination diet,” where you identify the root of a problem by removing ingredients from your food intake and monitoring changes in the body. For her part, Heather Hanks, nutritionist at Life Insurance Star, would prefer her more sensitive clients to proceed with extra caution: skin, including acne, psoriasis. and eczema.

oat milk

When replacing cow’s milk, be sure to read the ingredients before choosing an alternative.

Scott Olson / Staff

To be clear, most dermatologists suggest that there is a direct causal link between the consumption of dairy products and the production of acne. Outbreaks can be entirely situational (such as usually walking with a bag over your shoulders or wearing a chin strap over your face), age-related (such as being a postmenopausal woman or adolescent), or medical (such as taking antibiotics or antidepressants. ), but experts agree at all levels that too much dairy products do no one’s skin a favor.

Another angle to understand the problem? Consider the gut. Dr Peter Kozlowski, author of Unfunc Your Gut: A Guide to Functional Medicine, says: “Your skin is the best representation of your gut health. My favorite analogy from your microbiome is that it’s like your own garden is growing inside of you. Probiotics are the plants in your garden, prebiotics are the fertilizer. What happens when you don’t take care of a garden? Weeds are growing. Well, the worst way to take care of an unbalanced “gut garden” is to feed it dairy products. One of the most common insects that thrive in the gut is a yeast called candida, which is fed on dairy products.

Tortured high school kids are often promised that things will get better – and, of course, they usually do. But acne doesn’t always go in the direction of braces. Although the majority of Americans with acne are between the ages of 12 and 24, outbreaks return sporadically throughout adulthood in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules. It can be a real punch before any major life event, and it can trivialize the hundreds you can spend on skin care products year after year.

That doesn’t mean you should stop dairy-cold turkey. Just take the time to reassess its role in your life. If you binge on pizza and ice cream every weekend, try to cut back. Find some vegan pea protein powder and stop throwing whey in your smoothies. Consider finding an alternative milk. Avoid goat milk, which has many of the same hormonal issues as cow’s milk, avoid soy milk if you are female (which disrupts estrogen levels), and beware of substitutes that include oil. canola, evaporated cane juice (mostly sugar), or emulsifiers like xanthan and guar gum. Your best bet is probably unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk, both of which are anti-inflammatory.

How long before you notice different skin? This is where randomized trials with thousands of subjects don’t really help. Food is personal, environmental, genetic. You might see your skin clear up in a week, or it might take three weeks. At most, The Derm Review’s resident skin care biochemist, Elle MacLeman, says, “Expect up to eight weeks for changes to occur. This is usually the time it takes for the body to get used to a new diet.

It’s not as easy as swallowing a glass of bright green plant juice, but then nothing ever is. A little milk sacrifice here and there could give the skin a lot of confidence in a few months. The next time you go to the store, consider skipping that aisle completely.

About Thomas B. Countryman

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