After our article last week, sent in by one of our lovely readers, about whether or not drinking milk can give you acne, we realised that our research had only really scratched the surface, and so we’ve decided to dig a little deeper into this particular food myth. Sadly, the cheese-lover that I am, all of our research pointed to the conclusion that, while dairy does not cause acne in and of itself, it is a major culprit for affecting your skin and exacerbating your acne if you already have the condition.
As such, we recommended two courses of action to help you cut back on your dairy intake, in order to better your chances of achieving clearer skin. As a rational adult, I thought it would be easy to cut down on dairy, in order to be responsible and do what’s best for my skin and my health… how wrong I was – and for me, cheese is my biggest weakness!
So why is it so difficult to give up on cheese in particular? I mean, it smells like somebody’s unwashed socks for a start! Is it possible that it could actually be addictive? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
As I said last week, to get to the root of this mystery, we have to go back to what milk is actually for; growing strong babies, and strengthening the bond between mother and child. Because of this, milk contains a chemical called casomorphin, a psychologically addictive substance that binds to the opioid receptors in your brain that make you happy when you drink it – perfect for baby cows to keep them coming back to mum, to make them grow up big and strong. But the problem is that no other animal drinks the milk of another species, so we humans are unique in that we are inadvertently consuming this chemical intended for babies well into adulthood, essentially causing a minor addiction to dairy that is surprisingly hard to break, sometimes even resulting in withdrawal symptoms.
When you consider that it takes around 1kg of milk to make 100g of cheese, you realise that the casomorphin content is so much more concentrated compared with other forms of dairy… hence the struggle.
What about lactose-free dairy products?
It’s a commonly believed skin myth – that’s right, we’re doing a myth within a myth! – that lactose-free milk is somehow better for acne-prone skin. In fact, the only thing that lactose-free milk is better for is people who are lactose-intolerant. Aside from the fact that lactose-free milk has that additional ingredient of lactase, to help those who are incapable of processing lactose, it is otherwise exactly the same as regular milk and therefore will still have the same effect on your skin.
This is also true of goats’ and sheep’s milk, which are also commonly believed to be better for your skin, when in fact, they still contain all the same growth hormones that will exacerbate your acne. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any wiggle room on this one.
Getting over your cheese addiction:
Last week, we said that cutting out dairy completely is one of the best things you can do for your skin, but it may not do much for your mood. It may be that you have to wean yourself off milk gradually; try lasting two weeks or so without dairy, then have a cheat day, and just wait and see the effect it can have on your skin – doing that a few times is sure to give you the motivation to kick your milk addiction!
There are also some alternatives to milk that you might want to consider:
– Unsweetened, organic almond or coconut milk (lovely on granola, in porridge, or blended into smoothies and milkshakes)
– 100% coconut cream (a great addition to desserts, salads and soups)
– Organic, full-fat coconut milk (delicious in curries, stir-fries and risottos)
Any dairy that you can’t bear to part with should be as raw, organic, and unprocessed as possible; that means, full-fat dairy from grass-fed cows, and looking out for hidden dairy in other foods as well, like pre-made soups, curries or mashed potatoes. The more processed the dairy – like skimmed or powdered milk or low-fat versions of cheese and cream – the worse it is for you.
As we’ve said time and again, however, while diet and lifestyle can have a huge impact on your skin, it’s only half the battle to get you the results you want. For the other half, you’re going to need an acne solution that is medically licensed to treat all causes and symptoms of acne, to give your skin the best chance of success.
Acne TripleLock® is a clinically proven skin solution, and unlike cosmetic brands, is medically licensed in the treatment of acne, with thousands of successful users across the UK and Europe.
The products were created through decades of experience, in collaboration with top dermatologists from all around Europe. Professor Tony Chu, President of the Acne and Rosacea Association UK (ARA UK) endorses and prescribes the products for his patients – you can be certain you’re in the right hands.
To learn more about the Acne TripleLock® range, click here.
SkinMed® has a variety of product ranges to treat many skin conditions, suitable for almost all skin types.
Need help deciding what to buy? Take advantage of our trained skin specialists, they know skin inside and out as well as our extensive product ranges – that makes them the best people to ask when it comes to seeking advice.
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