Cool news you guys. I’ve been working with Daniel, our intern, as well as a statistician, and a well known doctor to put together a “prospective dietary trial” on milk and acne. What is a “prospective dietary trial”? Well, it means basically that we’re going to ask people on Acne.org to stop eating and drinking dairy and to fill out surveys and take pictures to document changes in their acne symptoms. If we get enough people to volunteer and follow through, it could be seminal research on the topic. Pretty darn cool.

Daniel, our intern, has been amazing with all of this–big shout out to him. He’s basically running the show. But all of us can be involved too! I’ve decided to be a candidate for the study, which will be hard because it will mean no pizza, but I’ll do it in the name of science! I’ll let you all know when this starts and when you can sign up.

45 Responses to “Dairy and acne study”

  • Zach

    I’ll sign up for this. It’s gonna kill me not to eat dairy, but who knows — it may help acne studies. :)

  • Anonymous

    This is a good idea! I’m off the dairy right now and on the Regimen. Can’t tell which one is helping more, though. Boo.

    But don’t worry, you can still have pizza with vegan cheese!! Delicious!!

  • karolynka

    i’ve been drinking soya milk for quite a while, and it works, it really helps! i mean it’s no miracle..but still..and i’m on the regimen as well though in Itay it’s very hard to find the products! i discovered your site recently and i’m so happy! i’ve ordered neutrogena bp 2,5% on ebay but it takes up to 2 months for it to arrive and there are limited quantities allowed. not to mention most of the times it’s held in customs for ages! i’ll order from you – the big sizes :) so i don’t have to stop my regimen anymore! great job!!

  • Allison

    I’m lactose intolerant… I just wanted to give my side so y’all know! I havent had milk in ages… But i do eat ice cream every once in a while. One week I ate ice cream practically every night and about a week or two after i noticed a slight increase in lesions but nothing much. I have no idea if it was because of ice cream. Anyway, i have to say that when i do eat something dairy, i might notice a slight increase in pimples but not much.

  • Debs

    hello

    I have already cut out dairy products due to testing them ,cheese is the biggest culprit for boils spots huge sore red spots, its hard but worth it, and that means mayonaise butter margarine , i use soya milk unsweetened, soya marg or sunflower stuff, also read packets when buying food because hidden ingrdiants contain dairy stuff, cut out garlic too, so yes this is a really good idea as most people do not relise that this will help ALOT

  • Leah

    Hi there,

    I started your regimen a couple years ago and it was amazing. When I got pregnant I had to stop using the BP because I wasn’t sure if it was safe. To make a long story short, I am breastfeeding and my baby has a milk allergy…so that means I’ve had NO dairy products or ANYTHING containing dairy for a long time…and my skin is still reeeeeally bad. But that’s probably because I am not doing the regimen right now. I am just about to order all my supplies from you so I can get started again. I’ll have to see how things go when I’m on the regimen but not having any dairy.

  • Jason Smith

    I cut out the amount of diary and wheat I consumed over three months and noticed an improvement in my acne. I still don’t know whether it’s diary or wheat that’s the problem!

  • Heather

    My dermatologist suggested a year and a half ago that I cut out or severely cut down dairy. I was crushed! It makes sense though…after all, we are the only animals that drink milk after infancy *and* drink the milk of another animal! No wonder it can screw us up so bad! However…cheese and ice cream are part of my reason for living! Three days into my no dairy diet and my skin significantly improved though! I mean, it was night and day–crazy! Since then, I’ve cut out *most* dairy (I use Rice Dream on my cereal), but cheese is definitely the hardest to give up…and the worst for my skin! If can manage to just eat one serving of dairy anything on any given day, I’m doing good. That said, I still have problems, but not as severe as before. My face is great, but my back still gets bumps occasionally. It should be interesting to see the results of others that take on this challenge!

  • KrazyK

    Yes, I’ve been on the Regimen for almost three months now. About 3 weeks into it, I gave up dairy and it has definitely helped a lot. I’m not sure if it was the no dairy or the initial breakout from the Regimen coming to an end. But my face started improving drastically. Good idea to study this, though. Finally someone is doing it!

  • Laura

    Hi, I stopped using dairy products over a year ago. I noticed when I was eating cottage cheese and greek yogurt daily my skin was breaking out badly. Now I drink organic rice milk and switched to a probiotic that was dairy-free. My skin is not completely clear, but MUCH better than when I was consuming dairy products. I’ve read that both wheat and dairy products can cause acne, so I try to buy gluten-free products and non-dairy. Trader Joe’s has a great selection. They even have a vegetable pizza that is non-dairy. I was skeptical at first, but it is actually really tasty!

  • Natalie

    I just recently stumbled on Acne.org and haven’t tried the regimen yet. I started cutting back on dairy about nine months ago and have noticed significant improvement. When I eat dairy from time to time, I can tell the effect it has on my skin. I would encourage anybody trying to nail down their skin issues to try cutting out dairy first before seeing a dermatologist or trying a new method.

  • Kay

    Same as most of you. I cut back on dairy significantly. Today was my first bowl of cereal in about 3 weeks! lol.. I think cutting back on dairy has had an affect on my skin & that makes me happy. Plus the regimen, I’m clear now :). Just don’t consume as much as you used to. Don’t have 3 bowls of cereal with milk for breakfast, then have yogurt, cheese, ice cream, all that in one day. Hope it helps you guys. Also, soy milk is one of my favorites & I thought subbing it for milk would help, I don’t think it did. I think soy breaks some people out, so I don’t do soy milk anymore :( Oh well, my whole diet has improved actually, I’m eating super healthy now, I think long & hard about everything I put in my mouth, to the point where I don’t have to think about it anymore actually I just know what I will & will not eat. I’m super proud of myself :) Thanks dan for everything!

  • Megan Lewicki

    It’s totally worth it!!! I’ve given up all dairy including milk protein such as casein and whey. This pretty much illuminates a lot of processed foods, candy, chocolate, etc. Basically all the things we’re told not to eat any way? While I still get the occasional zit, they aren’t NEARLY as out of control, big, or red. It’s been my expereience that milk is definitely an inflamatory!

  • Cristina

    Can I be in the control group who continues to drink and eat dairy? :) lol. It would be so hard for me to give it up! Anyway I’d really be interested in the results of this study and would love to participate…

  • Jordan

    Since using your products, my skin has cleared up tremendously, however, every time I eat large amounts of dairy, I experience a flair up of breakouts. So, my parents have encouraged me to remove dairy from my diet. This has brought upon much success. Just thought I would share my 2 cents!!

  • Camellia

    I am really glad you are doing this.

    I gave up casein (dairy) and also gluten for health related issues. One amazing thing was that after giving up dairy I noticed an almost immediate improvement in my skin. it just got better with time.

    I have no doubt that dairy contributes to acne. Now I don’t even have to use any acne medication, but use retinoids for their wrinkle fighting ability and not for acne. I have read that cultures that eat a lot of dairy (like some middle eastern countries) have acne to go along with it and I no longer doubt that.

    There are dairy substitutes for everything – in fact I actually like the taste of a good quality soy milk in my tea better than dairy milk. Just tastes better.

    My Whole Foods Market in So. CA. carries dairy substitutes for everything – cheeses, cream cheese, sour cream, ice cream, etc. There is even an all natural product called Mimic Creme that tastes exactly like heavy cream. It is amazing. It is really a tasty super rich nut milk with the thick consistency of heavy cream. Most of these products are geared toward vegans. I am definitely not a vegetarian, but make full use of these wonderful, versatile products.

    I think as time goes on it will be proven that dairy affects acne. Even the creators of Proactiv Solution mention in their product literature that dairy should be avoided when one has acne!

  • mike

    I believe if your using products on your face that is suppose to prevent the acne then you can eat anything you want, why deny yourself the pleasure of eating a great slice of pizza. I can understand not drinking the cow milk straight up, but to not eat cheese, or anything that has cheese in it or milk in it is just torture.

  • Amy

    For three weeks, I cut out all foods with milk as an ingredient on the pediatrician’s advice, when my 7 month old son was suspected of having a milk allergy (I’m breastfeeding). I didn’t even eat bread if there was milk in it. I did have butter, however, as the pediatrician said that was fine. My skin was exceptionally clear about a week after I started the milk restricted diet. I even ate a lot of sweets during that period. Since I started resuming foods with milk, my skin is acting up again, so I’m going to start another no-milk trial, to see if milk is the culprit. I’ve also tried testing with wheat/gluten, but there didn’t seem to be a connection for me. The timing couldn’t be worse, with the holidays coming, but after 30 years of trying everything, I need to know.

  • Amy

    Since my last post about two weeks ago, I have been avoiding all foods with milk or whey as an ingredient. I have been eating butter, wheat/gluten products, including a lot of whole wheat breads, and sweets. My skin is clear –occassional minor, non-scarring blackhead, but no cystic acne. For me, at least, milk is the culprit. I can’t even express how relieved and free (and happy) I’ve been feeling. My skin is also less oily and I don’t have the inflammation that I usually get around skin cuts.

  • Jamie

    I am 34 years old and two years ago I started having a reoccurence of huge acne cysts on my chin and cheek. Painful red, swollen welts that would last for weeks. I have two kids how could I have cystic acne! My doctor put me on antibiotics and topicals etc. but nothing worked. I was at my wits end thinking I was going to need to go on accutane. A friend suggested I see a naturopath. I went and he changed my life. He told me I was extremely intolerant to dairy. I was 32 mind you and a huge dairy junkie. I did not believe him but went on a strict dairy elimination diet. I went six weeks without dairy in any form. My skin healed and was gorgeous, no pain, no welts, nothing. When I went back on dairy everything came back. I was amazed. I told my doctor about my discovery and he was puzzled but didn’t question it too much. I live dairy free now, no dairy at all. No butter, whey, milk, or any milk derivatives. I am so sensitive that even lactose in my soup stock will set my skin off. When I accidentally eat dairy I get a terrible acne cyst everytime like clock work. It is amazing how something so simple can cause so much havoc. Go dairy free! Your skin will thank you!!

  • kirrk26

    i am embarkin on this interesting (but i guess torturing) journey today… will keep you guys posted after 2 weeks. Lotsaluck to moi…. yikerzzzz

  • ayyitstara

    I’ll do it! I was vegan for 2 years. I actually just started eating dairy again in September 2009 and that’s when I got acne (I’ve always had very clear skin). And I’ve always been curious if I got acne because my body wasn’t used to the dairy.

    (Accidentally sent the last under anonymous.)

  • Epi

    I’ve been fighting my cystic acne for the last few years, with antibiotics, regimens, creams and treatments both expensive and cheap, doctors, facials you name it!

    Then I got the flu, didn’t eat for three days, and my acne completely cleared up nearly overnight!

    Since then I’ve identified dairy as a DEFINITE culprit, and not just cows but sheeps and goats milk. It’s hard to cut out entirely because there’s butter in restaurant food and I eat out a lot, but since reducing my intake dramatically (I used to eat FF plain yogurt with salad almost every day!) my skin’s shown significant improvement, and when I manage to avoid it altogether my skin all but completely clears up!

    I could participate in your study. All it takes is a single serving of yogurt for my face to explode as a “before” picture, and a few days of eating at vegan restaurants to ensure I’m avoiding dairy to give you a CLEAR “after!

  • alex

    I have cut out dairy (except plain organic yogurt) and wheat from my diet as well as omega-6 laden oils (sunflower safflower etc) and the results have been amazing I am 9 days in and i only have 3 or 4 spots on my face. I also have cut alcohol as well and so far so good I am also taking omega 3s and a green drink that helps nourish the skin from the inside out. I swear its almost to good to be true.

  • Jono

    Whats going on with this trial?

    Haven’t heard anything for ages….Please keep us updated!

  • lucifix

    its not dairy but gluten that is the problem for acne.
    please put an end to your misery and try a gluten free diet for acne. if you are like me you will be clear in about 2 weeks. i am 37 and had acne all my adult life, tried everything: accutane (only helped while i was on it), B5 (which helped a lot), the pill (yasmin/yaz which helped a lot)

    but thing that has really lifted my skin to a new level of clearness has been a gluten free diet.

    No wheat no oats no barley no hops (no beer!! or whiskey!! but other alcohol is ok), no rye. you can eat rice and buckwheat and corn and millet.

    the problem is not dairy or chocolate or fatty food like chips (i can eat as much of these as i like with no problems). in my opinion many people who suffer acne have a gluten intolerance. i have been gluten free and acne free for a year now. the only times i broke out was when i accidently ate gluten.

    for the record B5 also helps (have been on that for some years) and the pill esp yaz helps too if you are a girl. but gluten free diet seems to have finally done the trick completely.

    i still get the odd small pimple but it does not become inflamed or cystic like the ones i used to have. only problem is that gluten free is a restrictive diet and its difficult and one looks fussy in restaurants. but in my opinion its worth it! to think gluten was causing problems for me all my life and i had no idea. there is a study somewhere of a certain tribe who ate no grains (gluten is found in many but not all grains) and they do not have any acne.

  • Maria

    A gluten free diet will only cure your acne if you are allergic to gluten, so it won’t work for everyone. Dairy on the other hand, if u r lactose intolerant then even the slightest bit of Dairy will set u off. But for those who aren’t allergic, your body probably can’t handle the huge amounts of animal hormones found in Dairy products, so u need to cut down on dairy dramatically. But maybe don’t need to be as strict as say a person with lactose intolerance. It’s mainly the really fresh stuff, I saw one person wrote I’ve cut out dairy except organic plain yogurt – something as fresh as that is going to have so many hormones in it. You’d probably be better off with processed crappy milk. I’ve been dairy free for two weeks and I’m a bit better, I’ve also cut out red meat because of the hormones it contains, I know it worked for MJ and Brad Pitt so worth trying it for a month.

  • Mary

    My 16 year old daughter has been struggling terribly with acne for over a year now. We have literally tried every pill, gel, cream, that a dermatologist can prescribe and nothing has worked. Next step was accutane, and we decided against that so we are going at it naturally. I have purchased all organic/natural face cleansers for her to use. It’s only been a couple weeks, but haven’t seen much improvement. Hoping we will…My heart breaks for my daughter everyday. I am going to try the no dairy diet and praying it works. This site is very helpful, thanks! I’ll let you know how we make out.

  • Samantha says

    I am trying soya milk instead of cows milk, as I wanted to see if milk caused my acne, skin irritation and I.B.S. After a matter of days, my acne has cleared up, my pores seem much smaller, my skin seems much smother and is at calm for a change. My I.B.S. hasn’t improved but it has only been a few days. Maybe this is coincidental, I shall have to wait and see. I am amazed so far and I only ever drank milk in hot drinks.

  • Katherine

    I’m cutting out dairy too! I just had a terrible flare up of destructive, cystic acne after being pretty clear for over 2 years on Differin and Orthotricyclen birth control. I just moved to LA for two months from NY for work, was switched by gyno to Loestrin and also been a bit stressed. So climate change, stress, and different levels of hormones may all be contributing but I was put on a androgen-blocker because the derm thought it might be hormonal because the acne is in my “beard” area of cheeks and jawline. However my friend mentioned that she had the same diagnosis from her doctor but instead of going on the androgen blocker she cut out dairy and it’s worked for her for several months – she’s now just waiting/focussing on cycling out the remnant scarring.

    Long story short, I decided to also cut out the dairy pretty cold turkey – a week so far and I’m seeing a definite reduction in number of new lesions, their inflammation and their duration. Obviously I can’t swear that it’s not just the androgen-blocker kicking in but cutting out dairy has at least coincided with an improvement. I’ll also get an allergy test to determine the legitimacy of my theory for myself.

  • Floydeth

    Hi all,
    I am 28 and I have cut out ALL dairy for nearly 5 years now. At the start it was tricky but now I instinctively check labels when buying any food as ‘milk/lactose’ is hidden in everything from crisps to wine gums (yes wine gums?!)
    Even the slightest trace sets off my acne which is annoying when eating out as using the pots and pans that aren’t cleaned properly affects me. My girlfriend doesn’t mind as I make sure everything is washed up properly at home, lol.
    Dose anyone know if there is anything that can be done which will help me have dairy again I have tried slowly introducing it into my diet before but the acne just comes back. I spoke to my GP but I was just told to keep trying to introduce every so often but 5 years has been a long time and I would love to be able to eat out normally again…
    Thanks for your help guys! :)

  • Floydeth

    Also I was thinking you should add a function so you can reply to other peoples comments…

  • Jess

    I’ve been suffering from acne around my mouth and chin area for about 16 years (I’m 30 now) and have been using Dan’s products for about a decade. His BP gel and wash had decreased my acne but it was really persistent and I was rarely clear for more than a single day. I went vegan about 4 months ago (after being vegetarian for a long time) and within 2 weeks, I noticed my skin just basically stopped breaking out. This has never happened before and it’s all since I gave up all dairy products (I’m a crazy label reader). It totally makes sense now because when I remember eating ice cream, I would have a huge flair up, but I thought it was the sugar or some other additive. Anyway, long story short, I really wish I had given up dairy years ago. It would have saved a lot of sadness I’ve had because of my acne.

  • selcukrodi

    Hi all

    I am 35 yrs.old male adult .Been having acne for a long time and recently I started have gluten-free diet and result is amazing.What i am doing is that; eating Genius gluten free bread, gluten-wheat free pasta,rice , fresh meat(all sort of),vegs,fruits(just a few),also no sugar,no nuts.Believe me I am now acne-free.Just give a try.Good Luck

  • Renea

    My 15 yr old daughter went off dairy 6 days ago and she has a 60-70 percent reduction in her acne and no new cysts. Amazing! After 2 years of antibiotics, peels, hormone control , tons of money and tears. We can’t believe it and we are thrilled. Over the next few months I will be slowly weaning the whole family off of dairy.

  • Amanda

    I’ve been off dairy for a month now and at one point had my worst break out ever. It’s totally not worth it and I don’t think research will yield any significant results; it hasn’t so far from the research I’ve looked at on my college research data base.

  • Tina

    I’ve had cystic acne on my chin for the past 15 years. At times my entire chin would look red, inflamed and just awful. Two months ago I cut down on my dairy intake significantly. No milk, cream, yogurt and only a small amount of cheese if it happened to be in the meal I was eating. The result – my skin is clear, smooth and healthy looking. It is truly amazing. I’m now using the acne.org facial wash and the AHA+ cream to lessen the acne scaring. The acne I had was hormone related and I am convinced that the natural hormones found in dairy caused my acne. I only wish I had figured this out YEARS ago!

  • Justina

    I’ve struggled with acne since puberty and wish I would have known so long ago that the culprit was simply dairy. For some people dairy can effect your hormones more than others. When you think about it- it does make sense. We are drinking milk from a breast feeding cow! Of course  we are ingesting all sorts of hormones from the  cow and that along with our own hormones just dont mix well for some people. I’ve had amazingly clear skin, no breakouts since cutting dairy and it only took Weeks. I wish I would have figured this out before! At least try cutting dairy for a few weeks and see how your skin reacts. It’s so worth the sacrifice.

  • Jean

    For our family, it’s wheat and gluten. My teenage son, daughter, and myself went gluten free and within 2 weeks we noticed that none of us were getting cystic acne anymore. After several months my son gave up dairy, too, and the rest of his acne completely cleared up. Being a teenager, he misses the fun foods, so he now eats gluten and dairy products on occasion, but it is noticeable when he’s cheating. My daughter and I are still gluten free. I have recently given up dairy, too and am already noticing clearer skin. In my opinion, the cysts are from gluten, but the whiteheads are from dairy. But, key point, without the whiteheads, you shouldn’t get the cysts in the first place. So I tend to think that dairy is the real culprit. But to clear up the hype about gluten, let me share what I have learned… You don’t have to be celiac to be sensitive to gluten. Gluten sensitivity is inherited, if you got if from one parent, you’re sensitive, if your got it from both parents, you’re celiac. It is mostly passed down through North European cuacasain ancestry. For these people, gluten is abrasive to the intestinal tract, causing inflammation. Inflammation in the the gut equals inflammation on the face. If you’re gut is already messed up, dairy isn’t going to sooth it, just the opposite, but mainly dairy is a problem because of the added hormones, we don’t need extra hormones during our fertile years. Small children and old people have soft smooth skin, maybe when we’re older we can tolerate cheese and ice cream again.

  • Adam

    Just wanted to leave another positive comment about giving up dairy. I’m a 26 year old male who’s struggled with moderate acne for almost ten years. I’ll spare the details, but I’ve tried virtually every medication except Accutane, and of course, none of them worked. The best results with minimal side effects/expense/hassle were from the acne.org regimen. But even BP only got me about 60-70% clear. I still had obviously bad skin and almost daily breakouts. I ALWAYS suspected something internal. I’ve never had any breakouts anywhere besides my face, and my acne was never severe, just persistent whiteheads. I am also an extremely health-conscious person. It just didn’t make sense. Dermatologists of course were no help.

    Recently I’d been consuming less dairy products. Not for any particular reason – I just stopped drinking milk for awhile and haven’t bought any cheese or yogurt. I noticed my face was looking much better. I didn’t get too excited, because that usually meant that a huge new breakout was right around the corner. However, one day I was running errands, got hungry, and randomly purchased a milk smoothie. I chugged the whole thing in one sitting. The next morning I woke up and had like 6 new whiteheads. I don’t know what clicked in my head, but I guess I was just fortunate in that I realized the connection to the dairy.

    I immediately began eating no dairy whatsoever. No milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, or any sort of creams. I cook my own meals 95% of the time and when I eat out I’ve made sure not to ingest any dairy products. Let me just say the results have been shocking. For 3 weeks now I have not had a single blemish of any kind. Furthermore, my skin is no longer greasy. I have literally never experienced having non-greasy skin. Also, this transformation happened literally overnight after the first day I gave up dairy. This really made me think I was onto something – every acne product in the world always tells you to wait 2-400 weeks before any improvement is to be seen. But literally overnight my skin cleared up.

    I am currently weening myself off of BP. I’m down to one pump, once per day and still no breakouts. I still can’t believe it. It’s only been a short time, but I think I am finally cured once and for all.

  • Elica

    I tried this and it seems to be working!

    Have struggled with constant acne (not cystic, but very persistent and sometimes very angry) for the past fourteen years or so (am 32 years old). I have despaired at times and not wanted to go to work or see people and have dreaded waking up in the morning to see what damage the night had done. At times certain spots have deformed my face (between the eyebrows or on the side of the nose…yuck!) and I seemed to have little power to do anything about them, despite following the regimen and trying all sorts of solutions including antibiotics and Retin A liquid…all except accutane, which I was beginning to get tempted by, despite the side effects.

    I started becoming interested in macrobiotics after a heavy Christmas and Easter of eating and still holding onto 12 kilos of pregnancy fat. I read a bit but decided to do a ‘light’ version mainly eating whole grains and vegetables and fish and cutting out meat and dairy. The impact on my skin has been almost immediate. Am still using BP and sometimes use witch hazel gel after showering as a toner. I suffered a lot of jawline acne and for the first time in years I have none… and even feel comfortable with no makeup – something that I haven’t felt for a very long time.

    I’m certain it’s the dairy – I had been drinking a lot of milk and eating a lot of dairy products before. I also felt that my acne was partly hormonal and maybe what one of the previous comments says is right – that women especially can’t tolerate the hormones in dairy. I am feeling very suspicious in general of dairy lately and am even trying to reduce the quantities my 14 month old has, whilst making sure that he gets a healthy intake of calcium and vitamins from other sources.

    I’d say TRY IT! Cut it out and see what happens… it’s taken a weight off my shoulders and spots off my back and face… I feel a bit more human now and have a bit more time to live (that was my pet hate about acne – that we have to spend so much time stressing about it, treating it and covering it up…it steals our lives away). Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t… we are all different, but at least give it a try for a while.
    Good luck!

  • Chris

    Awesome!!!… I’m a 32yrs old male with moderate/severe acne. I discovered Acne.org products 2 yrs ago and my face cleared up completely while following the regimen religiously!! I got comfortable and began slacking with the regimen so I still have occasional breakouts.

    A couple months ago I recalled hearing something about milk being a possible cause for acne. I LOVE MILK!!!!! But I hunkered down and just cut milk completely out of my diet. I still have cream in my coffee and meals containing dairy. After weeks without one drop of milk I realized that I hadn’t gotten any new pimples!!!

    Its been two months now and I’ve only had two glasses of milk and my face remains clear!

    Next step is cutting dairy all together. Maybe my back will clear up for good!

    Cheers

  • Laeticia

    How can you be a part of the study when you dont have any acne lesions snce the regimen works 100% on you?!

  • karcher

    I cut out dairy and my whole skin cleared up. I used to get breakouts on my chin and jaw every 2 weeks.

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