Got acne? Ditch dairy!
By Laura Hogg More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the A Dairy Diary Blog Series
Ahhh, milk. What could be healthier? From an early age, we're taught that milk is absolutely essential to our diet because of the numerous benefits it provides. And it's true; milk does boast a nutritional profile that includes protein, vitamins, and of course, calcium. All of these are necessary. It's because of this (and some support from the dairy industry) that we constantly see advertisements featuring pretty people of all ages smiling, laughing, and having the time of their life - all while sporting a cute little white mustache and drinking a big ol' glass of 2%.
But what these ads don't show is far less glamorous: a nice big zit.
Despite its near-spotless reputation in the media, milk (and milk products) have been repeatedly shown to be a major cause behind one of the most common - and most frustrating - skin conditions. I'm talking, of course, about that four-letter word: acne.
Here's the breakdown.
Cows' milk hormones turn on the oil tap. The milk that cows produce is not intended for human consumption - it's made for baby cows. Cows that give milk are kept pregnant and milking at a pretty steady rate, and while pregnant, they produce hormones at high levels. These hormones that are natural for the cow. But unfortunately, when consumed by humans, these hormones turn on our oil glands - especially in the face.
Sebum suffocates the skin. Once ingested and broken down, the cow's hormones kickstart the production of a waxy substance called sebum. When the sebum has hardened, it blocks and suffocates the glands that produced it, giving rise to blackheads. Your body tries to get rid of the blockage...but unfortunately, its way of doing so is:
Your body creates a big, red, inflamed pimple. Inflammation is your body's way of telling you that it's trying to get some foreign or unwanted object out of your bloodstream. In addition to the cow's hormones, you're also ingesting some pretty nasty stuff every time you drink milk. Almost any milk you'd buy in a store (even if it's pasteurized, lactose-free, or organic) has a measurable amount of pesticides, bacteria, herbicides, dioxins, and more . It's no wonder your body is trying to get rid of it!
Cutting out dairy products may seem like a drastic and impossible step to take. But luckily, there are more dairy-free options available now than ever before. If you are having trouble with acne, try going without dairy products for a while. (Be sure to consult your doctor!) Go to your grocery store and try out some of the fortified milk alternatives - soy, almond, rice, or hemp milks are popular and can offer various nutritional benefits depending on what you're looking for.
So, despite what all the advertisements say - it might be time to wipe off that milk mustache.