Dairy and acne

So apparently despite earlier studies not finding any link between diet and acne a recent meta-analysis did find a positive relation between diary and acne after all.

So I've been just wondering how many people here who have or had acne noticed any improvements after stopping eating dairy? And how noticeable it was?

(I'm currently preparing myself to rebound acne which I will most certainly get after stopping BC and want to look into things that might help although I'm not looking forward to quitting dairy since it's my most convenient protein source)


  • NextRightThing714
    NextRightThing714 Posts: 355 Member
    edited November 2018
    I have tried it in the past and it did not help. That said, a meta-analysis will provide better guidance than anecdotes.

    I'm not sure how many responses you'll receive here but there's a ton of info on acne and dairy on r/acne and r/skincareaddiction. Good luck!

    I had a pretty bad bout of acne after stopping BC. Spiro seems to be helping. Finally.
  • ghudson92
    ghudson92 Posts: 2,061 Member
    I am lactose intolerant so I do find that too much dairy gives me bad skin and a sore stomach, not to mention various other symptoms. As far as I am aware, that is due to my sensitivity, not sure it is generalisable to other people.
  • somethingsoright
    somethingsoright Posts: 99 Member
    I went vegan a year ago and saw an improvement, then started getting acne again out of the blue. From a YouTube video with Dr. Greger (sp?), I realized it was because of the sunflower seeds I was eating. Once I cut them out, acne hasn't been back.
  • tequila5000
    tequila5000 Posts: 128 Member
    I know that I am sensitive to dairy. The less dairy I consume the better my complexion is-acne, rosacea redness. Also, since I cut way way back, much less mucous/phlegm.
    I don’t think everyone is as sensitive to dairy, But anyone who is curious can give it a try and reflect on it.
  • Danp
    Danp Posts: 1,561 Member
    My n=1 experience from my teenage years is that dairy 100% increased/caused an outbreak of acne.

    My n=1 experience from my adult years is that dairy didn't cause me to have an outbreak of acne.
  • ImChipper
    ImChipper Posts: 44 Member
    It sounds crazy, but I cut dairy from my diet due to a feeling of bloat, and my face began to clear up within a month. I don't know how to prove it to some people, but for me at least, dairy SEEMED to support pus-cysts in my cheeks. Once cutting down on my dairy, those cysts rarely came back except maybe during my period, and even them they were nothing compared to what they were before.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,426 Member
    My experience has been that my adult acne does not seem to be from dairy or other foods.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    I have been dairy-free for over ten years and have struggled with adult acne for most of my life. I never noticed a difference. This doesn't mean that it won't be a factor for others, I just don't believe it is a factor for me. It's been better the past few years, but I attribute that to my skin care routine, being compulsive about keeping my hands off my face, and changing my pillow cases frequently.

    Anecdotally, from what I've heard from other dairy-free people, some people do notice a big difference.
  • AJB1014
    AJB1014 Posts: 1,380 Member
    edited November 2018
    I struggle with hormonal acne. I cant say what cutting back on dairy alone has done for me because I'm on RX treatment too. BUT - I did replace traditional dairy where I could with grass fed Jersey milk/cream/and butter and do feel better as far as digestion goes. It has a different type of casein than traditional dairy - so lower levels of the A1 type that seems to be harder for some people to digest.
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,875 Member
    Dairy does not affect acne for me. There have been periods of my life where I eliminated dairy and I still had acne. I eat a lot of dairy now and rarely break out.
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,967 Member
    Some people claim that dairy causes acne for them but I tried going off dairy for a while in the past and it did nothing.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    My acne wasn't related to, or aggravated by, any food including dairy.

    Sunshine helped but getting older helped more.
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    I have always had adult acne. Dairy does not make a difference. What finally cleared it up for me is:
    - washing my face both morning and evening (Neutrogena acne wash with salicylic acid in the morning, Cetaphil gentle cleanser at night—don’t overdo the medicated face wash). This is the single most important thing for me. My acne did not improve no matter what I did until I started washing in the evening with a gentle cleanser.
    - using a noncomedogenic sunscreen that I wash off immediately after I come inside
    - changing my sheets and pillowcase at least once a week
    - when I get a zit, putting a hydrocolloid bandage patch on it at night
  • Urbancowbarn
    Urbancowbarn Posts: 97 Member
    edited November 2018
    I always breakout with dairy. It stops relatively quickly after cutting it out of my diet.
    For example—
    I recently went on a Greek yogurt parfaits kick after avoiding dairy for years and started breaking out. As much I miss those parfaits I stopped getting new pimples within 48 hours of staying away from them.
  • potatobunnykara
    potatobunnykara Posts: 2 Member
    I have an immediate response to dairy with acne. 4-8 hours after eating it I will have a cystic pimple on my chin. If I eat dairy again the next day I will have another one within the same time. And same for if I do the same for a third day. Source: ate cheesecake 3 days in a row!! Even if there is cream in a gravy or starbucks uses milk by mistake I have the same response. 4-8 hours, BOOM! Mt. Fuji on my chin.
    I do 99% dairy free foods now. Except cheese and butter... because I'm in the south 😎
    SFJULES66 Posts: 168 Member
    My son's dermatologist told us that dairy can make acne worse.
  • nowine4me
    nowine4me Posts: 3,985 Member
    I’ve never had acne, but my skins looks way better after stopping dairy
  • JMBird
    JMBird Posts: 6 Member
    I had recurrent hormonal acne that was pretty bad. Over a year ago I cut out all animals and animal byproducts and my skin amazing now. I think I've had like... Two small blemishes since, around my cycle time and when I wasn't drinking enough water.
  • 100_PROOF_
    100_PROOF_ Posts: 1,168 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    My acne wasn't related to, or aggravated by, any food including dairy.

    Sunshine helped but getting older helped more.

    Same with me.

    Proactive also helped tremendously. I use it every day and no more acne.