Milk is your skin’s worst enemy. Here’s why

Published on:29 November 2019, 18:23pm IST
Milk might be touted as the secret to good health, but it’s anything but good for your skin. Here, we decode the acne-giving abilities of dairy.
Dr Kiran Sethi
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Milk acne
Yes, dairy products can give you acne. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

You’ve tried every cream, serum, and treatment to fight the pesky curse of acne. You’ve blamed it on pollution, PMS, and the greasy Chinese meal you devoured over the weekend. But little did you know that the culprit may have been hiding in your fridge.

Right from childhood, we’ve been told that milk is the ultimate health elixir. It’s the first thing we drink as babies and almost every television advertisement has preached its importance for growth, thanks to high mineral and vitamin content. But when it comes to adults, it can prove to be a major aggregator for under-the-skin cystic bumps.

Why does milk tend to cause breakouts, you ask?
It’s important to understand that acne is an inflammatory skin problem and milk (especially cow’s milk) contains growth hormones that influence the hormones in our body and trigger oil production in the skin and ignite the acne process. This is especially higher in the case of low-fat milk due to its high content of acne-encouraging whey protein.

milk acne
Milk coming between you and clear skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The low-fat counterpart of milk is also surprisingly high in sugars, which can further speed up the problem. It isn’t just the different types of milk, but other dairy products like cheese and cream can also contribute to the issue. This means that your morning coffee and the cheesy keto pizza that is part of your clean diet is probably the reason behind your skin woes.

So how can you keep your skin clear then?
To counteract these effects and achieve healthy and clear skin, I strongly recommend that you slowly but gradually cut out dairy products from your diet. Keep in mind that you won’t see an immediate change overnight, but have patience and allow your body to reset.

With the correct skincare routine, the right products, and a dairy-free diet, your skin will be brighter and acne-free in just two to three weeks. If you still crave your favourite foods, the good news is that there are plenty of options like almond milk and vegan cheese to substitute your dairy favourites. And if you need any more reason to eliminate dairy for better skin, I’ll leave you with this: it’s also the secret behind Beyonce’s gorgeous skin.

Beyonce skin
GIF courtesy: Giphy
Dr Kiran Sethi Dr Kiran Sethi

A widely renowned skin and cosmetic specialist in Delhi, she is a Columbia University graduate with an MD from the USA. She further studied in the UK and has a Masters in Dermatology Skills and Treatments and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dermatology and is also a Diplomate in Cosmetic Science She is additionally American Board Certified with further certificates in Aesthetic Medicine, Cosmetic Lasers and Laser Surgery, and a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Society of Dermatology, American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, European Society of Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dermatology, International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology and IADVL among others.