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No milk/No Dairy Dairy Free Diet
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No milk/No Dairy Dairy Free Diet


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No milk/No Dairy Dairy Free Diet

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Reviewed on May 17, 2016

I actually quit dairy for reasons unrelated to acne (I don't believe a cow's hormones are compatible with the human body), but was thrilled to notice an amazing skin improvement.

My acne used to be more severe in my teen years and started to clear up in my early 20's. However I've had moderate back acne and little white bumps that are under the skin on my face for as long as I can remember. The ones on my face were mostly only noticeable up close, but we all know we're perfectionists when it comes to our own appearances. They bothered me quite a bit as I thought my skin was an unpleasant texture and would avoid looking at myself in certain lighting.

As soon as I quit dairy (three weeks ago) I've noticed a drastic improvement on my back, chest and face. I can only attribute it to the cutting of dairy as it's the only lifestyle alteration I've made, and a problem I've had for 7 years has pretty much disappeared.

My back and chest are completely clear and the white bumps on my face are almost completely gone (there are a couple here and there which I'm convinced will clear up too given time).

A side bonus note unrelated to acne, I've noticed significantly more stable moods and a massive dulling of my ADHD symptoms since quitting it too. So glad I did it and can't recommend it enough.

by essiemarie on 08/29/2016 00:36
How long did it take for you to start seeing your skin clear up! I have just eliminated dairy from my diet and my skin is looking terrible! Not sure how long I should wait until I should be panicking!
It helped with my back acne
Reviewed on May 5, 2016

Going completely dairy free has helped me with back acne. But you cannot just cut out milk, you have to cut out all dairy products/products with some kind of dairy in it. This is kind of a struggle in the beginning as you have to read a lot of labels, and A LOT of food that you wouldn't think had milk in it does (like some potato chips), but after a while you would know more of what is safe. And also, going dairy free helped me with weight loss. I think it is mostly because nearly every chocolate contains milk, so I stay away from it, and dark chocolate without milk satisfies cravings faster because of the amount of cocoa. Anyway, this is my experience - but if you haven't tried going dairy free yet I recommend trying it at least :-)

by jessie_c738 on 05/13/2016 19:52
Might seem like a silly question, but did you cut out eggs/egg whites as well? I am a little desperate to find a solution at this point, and have decided to cut out dairy, ie. cheese, milk, butter, etc but am wondering if eggs should be also. Thanks.
by jcjcjc90 on 05/21/2016 11:29
Hi! No, I haven't cut out eggs, only everything containing dairy :-)
Dairy Free Didn't Help Me
Reviewed on May 5, 2016

I've been lurking for 3 years on but just joined up today.

Back story: 34 year old female, 2 kids, moderate acne (not cystic) for 3+ years. Never been overweight, no obvious lactose intolerance GI Issues. I can tolerate dairy just fine but I know it's not meant for regular human consumption. I had bad pregnancy nausea and constipation while pregnant and have always felt that pregnancy damaged my gut. My problems started afterward.

Acne began at 31 years of age, 3 weeks after I weaned my 2nd baby. No previous struggles with acne and it came so out of the blue I thought it was a yeast rash. I have tried almost every topical available and have had 6 appointments, 3 of them with a dermatologist. Neither dr ever mentioned that diet could play a part in my acne. All said it was "hormonal". I absolutely cannot tolerate birth control pills so that's not an option. I tried them and was miserable.

2 months ago I decided to drop most dairy from my diet to just SEE what would happen. I used to eat yogurt and cheese sticks every day and would sometimes eat cereal but not regularly. Mostly it was cheese and chobani yogurt.

Admittedly I did not go hardcore on the dairy free but I definitely reduced my dairy intake about 75%. Maybe 3 times in 2 months I had pizza and twice some feta in a salad. In these last 2 months my acne has gotten worse. The worst it's ever been. So I'm going to say that dairy is not my problem.

Reduced dairy showed zero improvement. In the midst of the worst breakout I ate 3 bowls of cereal to feel better. :)

Now I'm onto dropping grains too. As of 3 days ago I have gone full paleo. It sucks but the struggle is real. After 30 days I will post if I notice any improvement so look for that in the forums. I'm really trying to go hardcore with this since I'm more and more aggravated, hopeless and depressed looking like an inflamed bumpy mess.

cheap and effective. get to the root cause instead of treating the symtpoms.
Reviewed on March 23, 2016

Wanted to share my story here about the dairy-acne connection. I tried everything for my acne. Retin-A, antibiotics, birth control, and even Accutane. Most worked for a while and Accutane kept me mostly clear for 9 years but my acne started coming back slowly. The last few weeks, I was getting new breakouts everyday and starting to feel the skin stress of the pre-Accutane days. I was mostly getting acne around my mouth and chin. I decided last week to cut out all dairy from my diet. Since that day, I have not gotten one single new pimple and my skin is less oily as well. It is only after Accutane that I became interested in natural remedies and I've been doing a lot research over the years. I really believe that acne is an internal problem. Often caused by diet and stress. I wish I had known this 10 years ago prior to going on Accutane. It's sad that something as simple as diet change could be saving people from years of insecurity with regards to their skin and a lot of money. To anyone who suffers from stress, anxiety or depression when it comes to their skin (like I did), I would highly recommend eliminating dairy from your diet to determine if this may be the culprit for you. I would also consider testing for other food intolerances that could be affecting your skin (gluten, nuts, etc).

This is it.
Reviewed on February 23, 2016

I’ve been dealing with acne since I was 15 and I’m turning 25 this year. My acne was most definitely at its worst in high school (full on pizza face with lots of oil, cysts, whiteheads, blackheads, etc.) and has slowly become better in my early 20’s (now it’s more just small whiteheads, occasional “bigger” zits, tiny bumps on forehead, scarring, and some oil in T-Zone area). I know hormones and genetics played a role specifically in high school but I’ve long suspected dairy as a culprit as well. I stopped drinking milk right after high school which I think helped a lot but as mentioned above, I still get some mild acne. Ten years of dealing with acne and the low self-esteem that comes with it has not been fun… I hope that the below story helps others dealing with it too. Dairy really could be the key for a lot of us.

About three weeks ago I finally decided that I needed to stop eating all dairy. Eliminating just milk was not enough. Every year after high school I’d say to myself “My acne will go away this year”. And every year it didn’t. With me turning 25 and getting married in less than three months I FINALLY told myself enough is enough. I FINALLY buckled down and quit dairy cold turkey (all dairy, even dairy ingredients in processed foods). It’s actually been surprisingly easy to do…. Mostly because of the results I’m now seeing!! I’m only three weeks in and already I can say “WOW”. I’ve literally not developed a single new zit during that entire time period. My oil production has almost become non-existent at this point… Any acne I did have before starting the diet has disappeared. I would say my face is 99% smooth right now…(still have scarring but that will be a whole other battle). I just honestly cannot believe it. A solution that was so easily in my grasp all these years and even though I strongly suspected it would help, I just never gave it enough of a chance to try it… As much as it sucks, I strongly believe in the thought that what we consume can have a major impact on our skin. Most doctors will tell you this is a myth, particularly the dairy-acne link. They unfortunately aren’t trained to believe food allergies/intolerances cause or irritate acne. To them, acne is always caused by hormones/bacteria and can simply be treated by taking antibiotics or slathering a medicated cream on your face. All I can say is, from my personal experience, that does nothing or if it does, it’s a temporary solution. I strongly encourage those of you who have been suffering from acne for a very long time, (especially those of you who are now dealing with adult acne) to give this a try. Dairy is considered to be the number one food that can irritate/cause acne. You may not experience any other symptoms to alert you that you have an allergy to dairy other than just acne itself. An interesting fact I like to consider is this: We are the only mammals on the planet to consume the milk of another mammal. This fact alone makes me really consider just how many of us may be dealing with dairy related acne due to our bodies not tolerating it well.

To wrap up I will say this: please have patience and try to be open minded. You could be like me and make up excuses for many years, telling yourself things like “Oh man I don’t want to try going dairy free for a month knowing that there is a chance this may not be the cure for my acne”. But you honestly never know until you try. It’s as simple as that. I’d say a good solid month is what is needed to really get an idea. For someone like me with now mild adult acne, it’s only taken a little over half a month to see amazing results and I’m going to report back in mid-March to let you all know if it’s still working/improving. If you’ve already tried everything and nothing has worked, give this a shot. Good luck!!

*Oh, and just in case it’s important I thought I’d mention I’m not on any medication or birth control and haven’t been for at least 5 years. I’m also not using any topical cleansers/treatments. The only topical treatment that worked decently for me in the past was organic Apple Cider Vinegar but I stopped using it a while ago due to me simply being lazy.

by parrot on my face on 03/09/2016 21:58
Due to my moderate acne for almost 7 years and the reason no other medicine helping me either (I have used oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics & gels, changed my face care routine, tried various birth control pills for 2 years to get only mild results; I just haven't tried Accutane due to the side effects and risks) the doctor suggested me to try the dairy free diet, to see if anything changes. I'm now avoiding dairy by all means and read ingredients while doing grocery to see any hidden dairy. I have noticed "lactic acid" in some products and wanted to know if I should avoid products with it in them. Does lactic acid contain any cow growth hormones that could affect my skin? Thanks.
by PicNic83 on 03/12/2016 04:18
Hi "parrot on my face" you may want to do some research on this to confirm but from what I read it sounds like lactic acid most often does not contain dairy in it.
by PicNic83 on 03/12/2016 04:25
**Update** As promised I have an update for you all. I've just hit the 1 month and 2 weeks mark of my no dairy (at all) diet and here is what I have to report: No new acne during that time at all. Still amazed! A couple days ago I decided it's been long enough to perform the final test. I was at a restaurant and ordered a pasta dish made with a lot of cheese. A couple days later, painful cysts grew on my jawline. I still have them right now as they obviously take a while to heal but needless to say I think that's some solid confirmation that dairy has a very strong link to my acne or could even be the single cause of it. Incredible... And I will say again, it's been surprisingly easy to stick to the diet. So many alternatives out there and I've found it's actually made me enjoy cooking more (I was never a fan of it before) because I feel like I'm "caring" more for what I eat if that makes sense? Vegan cookbooks are really helpful with dairy free and you can always add meat to the recipes if you want. :) I'm going to be sticking with this diet and I think in a few months I will come back with a final update. I'm really curious to see if my face continues to improve even further or not! Stay strong everyone and give it a go if you can!!
by essiemarie on 08/29/2016 00:44
Im so happyyyy to hear you have gotten clear!!! I just eliminated dairy & gluten.. along with a ton of different holistic health remedies ( taking all sorts of vitamins & drinking lots of water, and using homemade oils/ soaps/charcoal on my face) I am seeing tons of breakouts almost cystic like that I have never seen before! Did you ever see your skin get worse before it got better? I am not even a week in but I have faith it will clear up continuing this diet! However I am unsure if I should stop using the other remedies and just focus on the diet for now???
One month aaaaaand...
Reviewed on February 10, 2016

My acne has all but disappeared. I'm left with scars on my cheeks, but oh my god. The improvement.

I have been taking lymecycline and using differin gel since I've been about 13/14. At first I had really good results, but it hit a plateau and then worsened again. I've since tried so much, from vinegar to the regimen (which made my acne 1000 times worse!). I had considered giving up dairy before, but I was a cheese, milk and ice cream addict. However, coming across this page made me reconsider trying it.

I have given up everything (so any product containing milk; well, up until the point where it says 'may contain milk' and then I'm not that much of a masochist). It's been really tough, and going to other people's houses is a nightmare of constantly checking food packaging and appearing so, so difficult that sometimes I've considered being like 'nope, it's fine, I will eat the pasta and cheese sauce you have just cooked.' However, that said, it has been completely worth it.

For someone who has put themselves through everything and hasn't left the house without make up in a good eight years, this has been life changing, pretty much. I'm focusing on the scars, and I'm well aware that this is acne and it might decide in a week's time that nope, this isn't the cure, but for now, I'm feeling pretty positive about my skin for the first time in years.

Really, give it a go. And do it properly, for at least a month, before you give up. It won't work for everyone because nothing does (to refer back to my regimen experience), but it's apparently (hopefully this won't curse it!) worked for me.

by parrot on my face on 03/09/2016 22:00
Should I watch out of 'may contain milk' or it won't do any harm?
by PicNic83 on 03/12/2016 04:35
Hi "parrot on my face"! I ignore "may contain milk" notes as that really just means the product has probably been made in a factory that also produces products with milk ingredients in it. It would be extremely unlikely for the product saying "may contain milk" to actually be contaminated with milk that is used to produce another product. I think companies add that note in order to avoid being sued during a rare case of someone actually getting an allergic reaction from it. Hope that makes sense!
by PicNic83 on 03/12/2016 04:35
Hi "parrot on my face"! I ignore "may contain milk" notes as that really just means the product has probably been made in a factory that also produces products with milk ingredients in it. It would be extremely unlikely for the product saying "may contain milk" to actually be contaminated with milk that is used to produce another product. I think companies add that note in order to avoid being sued during a rare case of someone actually getting an allergic reaction from it. Hope that makes sense!
by Ozziebear on 03/13/2016 21:48
'parrot on my face'- I eat everything with 'may contain milk' too. It looks like it was only dairy products giving me acne. Like PicNic83, I tried eating dairy when my skin had completely cleared to test it (it was a homemade coffee and carrot cake with frosted cream- almost worth the spots!) and my jaw broke out so I know that for me, if it lists dairy as an ingredient I have to stay away, but 'may contain milk' appears to be fine :)
Changing my diet did WoNdErS!
Reviewed on November 12, 2015

I struggled with acne for a really long time.

Just as I hit puberty I went from having a few spots that just got worse. It was to the point where strangers would offer suggestions and point it out without my asking for their input. Just like the many others on this site, my confidence was shot. I learned not to look at myself in the mirror (glance at eyes only or hair basically), which I realized recently I still do! (Scars)

Dermatologists loaded me with creams and antibiotics, which looking back I realized how F*cked up it was to be on antibiotics for as long as I was. it wasn't curing anything it was masking whatever it was that was causing the inflammation. The more I started reading up on health and wellness the more I started getting into holistics and nutrition.

I used to AlWAYS refer to this website. I love that its still around because it was so helpful to read on a community dealing with the same shizznitt I was.

ANYWHO... Whenever I did a cleanse my friends and I would notice how clear my face would get... (Hormone check ups always came back normal.. it had to be food related) I simplified my diet.... did another fast/ cleanse... and tried a few foods...

MY goodness, as soon as my inside was "cleaned up" it was so much easier to see what triggered my acne.

I found out I have an intolerance toward: DAIRY, SOY, GLUTEN

I would break out and feel crummy so fast!

Now at 27 I have a very simple diet: primarily gluten free vegan/ no soy and my acne has not been an issue since having figure out what diet worked best for me.

People ask me if Im miserable and feel like Im missing out, I feel great and to be frank having a "cheat" with a trigger-food just isn't pleasant for me. Not only do I get nauseous but having do deal with a breakout for 2 weeks is even worse.

SO I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. i love the foods I can eat and feel great!

Even if I have a flare up(soy oil , for example, can be pretty sneaky when it comes to restaurant ingredients). ,But I'll take GAIA liver health caps (basically anti-inflammatory herbs, with multiple benefits) and it helps things calm down quickly.

My dad made fun of me wondering how a child of his could be so sensitive to food. but later we found out that the GI problems he was having was a similar intolerance's. I got him back saying I got it from HIM!

So yes I recommend cutting out dairy!

Looking into dietary changes takes time, but its worth it!

by Serenity86 on 02/09/2016 16:24
Hi, you mention you did a cleanse to then be able to see what triggered the issues, how did you do this? Was it a simple elimination diet? Thanks
Threw off vitamins
Reviewed on October 30, 2015

Overrated. Didnt do anything. Tbh, i found introducing it back actually balanced my vitamins a bit more and made me break out less. Im happy for those that swear by this though.

Dairy free cleared my skin
Reviewed on September 23, 2015

Let me just start this review by saying that I have NEVER wrote a review for anything in my life. But I promised myself that if this worked I would tell people about it in hopes that it might help someone else.

So here it goes, my skin was really good until my last year of college. For whatever reason (most likely hormones) I began breaking out terribly, like 5-7 massive zits each day. I went on birth control, which actually just made things worse so I got off of it. I went on a ton of prescription meds that didn't work either. I even got a handful of strong chemical peels, which helped for a week and then everything came back. I did eventually go on the regimen, and this helped a lot. I went from 7 zits a day to 1 a day...but the thing is that I have olive skin and every time I have a pimple it leaves a mark that will last for a couple months. Needless to say that 1 zit a day adds up to a huge amount of ugly purple marks I had on my face. I just wasn't fully satisfied.

Fast forward to a year later, I'm engaged at this point and I was determined to have clear skin for my wedding day. My last resort was to get rid of dairy. Now for anyone who knows me, they would think this would be impossible because I love cheese and I love ice cream. But I pulled through. I didn't cheat, and you know what? A month later I was getting married and my face was the clearest it's ever been.

We've been married for 5 months now and I can honestly say the only times I ever get a pimple is when I'm on my period (I'll get one or two on my chin, not a big deal) or when I cheat and eat dairy. I've cheated three times and every single time my face broke out in 3-5 massive zits the very next day. Now I know for a fact that it is the dairy that I was sensitive to.

I'm a nurse and I can say that medically, this does make sense. Just like in the hospital when a patient has an allergic reaction to a medication, a completely different patient may have an allergic reaction to the same medication but have a different reaction, like one might break out in a rash, while the other has an irritated throat. So just because we don't have a typical lactose intolerant reaction, like stomach problems, doesn't mean our bodies aren't trying to tell us that dairy doesn't agree with us. It just comes out in different ways for different people.

Anyways, just wanted to put my story out there. going dairy free really did clear me up, I'm even planning on slowly getting off using BP this month. I just don't really need it anymore. I hope this helps someone. one piece of advice if you do decide to try this out is to do it the right way. No cheating, no butter or milk or anything. You can't tell if it will work unless you fully commit. And it's not as hard if you research the substitutes. Earth Balance makes an amazing dairy free butter and So Delicious brand makes incredible dairy free ice cream. If you do the research it is definitely feasible. Hope this helps!

by madethisforacv on 05/17/2016 00:58
I'm so happy for you that you were able to find this solution just in time for your wedding day. I had great results too. What amazing timing for you!!! :)
by essiemarie on 08/29/2016 00:48
When you first eliminated diary did you break out before you got better? I have just recently eliminated dairy, gluten & have been taking probiotics and drinking a lot of water! My face looks worse than it ever has! I have faith it will run its course but Im not sure if I should be concerned about the amounts of breakouts or if this is the "cleansing" process that I have read in other comments! I would love some feedback, because I feel like our stories / skin is possibily similar
Dairy free and drinking lots of tea = clearer skin
Reviewed on August 30, 2015

So i'm 22, not the type to write reviews but I said to myself, if i ever find something that works for my acne then im going to write about it because i know how sh*tty acne makes you feel and so if i can help even a single person then thats good!

So i have been using for just under a year to try to get rid of my acne! I used to get big sore spots on my chin and cheeks and some little ones all over my forehead.

I have really tried everything - lymecycline for 8 months - worked really well i had clear skin but then went off it and straight away my skin was worse than before and also reading all the bad things about antibiotics online how they affect your gut etc I didn't want to be on them anymore. I tried being on the pill (dianette) and again my skin was perfect but it was making me have mood swings often where i'd just feel sad and I thought that it wasn't worth it! I also tried benzoyl peroxide for a bit and although it did work a bit (it got rid of bumps on my forehead but didnt do much to chin spots) - it made my skin so dry and horrible that it actually almost looked worse - it made my makeup sit horribly on my face and i felt like it made me face look wrinkly! not good!

So I started thinking I wanted to take a more natural approach to my acne.

Firstly I gave up dairy (still have the odd bit now and then - cant completely give up chocolate haha!) but dramatically cut down.

Next I went on in the natural/holistic section to see what was recommended. I wanted to go in this section because although some other treatments may work, i started not trusting any of the reviews because I started thinking that a lot of them sounded fake as though maybe the company had written them - i figured that in the natural section who would write a fake review?

So anyway, i started with ACV - i think this worked quite well, at least for my chin and cheek spots (this is where i used to get a lot of big sore ones), however i started getting loooads of bumps all over my nose and forehead and so had to stop that.

Next i tried potato - i think this worked quite well for acne scars but because it was so messy i stopped doing that so much in the end and now will only do it every now and then when i feel like it haha

Next i tried epsom salt - i put it in a bath every night and also used the salt to wash my face along with a face wash - i really do think this worked for the big spots but it irritated my skin unfortunately and i got little bumps on my arms and forehead so gave it up!

Next i tried green tea and rooibos tea (redbush) - amazing! So i now drink about 4-5 cups of green tea or red bush tea a day, and also wipe the tea bag on my face if i am not wearing makeup when i drink the tea (usually morning and night). I have a chemistry background and have read a lot of scientific papers about green tea and acne and have found that there is a lot of science behind why it works - basically the antioxidant reduces the inflammation and therefore because green tea and red bush tea have such high antioxidants, this means that your acne becomes less inflamed! Also there have been studies that prove that green tea makes your skin less oily - definitely a plus!

I also bought an antioxidant face moisturiser, i just typed antioxidant cream into amazon and looked at the first one that came up and it looked good so i got it and it really is good! my face is always hydrated and lovely! so nice to finally not have dry or oily skin! its kinda expensive the one i got but im sure there are others that would work just as well that are cheaper!

So yeah thats all i do now - gave up dairy and drink a lotttt of tea! My skin is not flawless i still have some acne scars and i get little spots every now and then but i have not got a big spot in like 3 months so it is definitely working and i'd recommend anyone to try it!

Oh and by the way i wash my face with Dr. Bronners tea tree soap stuff - i dont really know if this is any good but it hasn't seemed to make my skin worse, takes makeup off well and makes me feel clean afterwards haha

Another thing i'll say is that I don't really know which helped my skin more: no dairy or green/red bush tea - but my skin is so much clearer and i don't want to give either up and get bad skin again haha.

Ask me any questions you have and i'll try to help! As i said before I know how horrible having bad skin is, it used to make me feel so sh*tty when i woke up in the morning, but honestly i think little changes make a big difference!

by carter28 on 08/30/2015 20:54
What brand of tea do you drink? Also how long after cutting dairy did you notice a difference? I just started cutting dairy out!
by vasqueza34 on 02/07/2016 02:26
What brand of green tea do you drink?