Dairy and Acne – Will Cutting it Out Really Clear Your Skin?

Dairy and acne – is it actually a thing? For some people it really can make a difference…

Dairy and acne products on a white background

This page has the details on how to figure out if there is a link between dairy and acne for you – and what to do about it!

Dairy can be a significant acne cause for some people – and there is an easy way to find out if it’s the missing link in clearing up your acne condition.

Then you are one step closer to eliminating the problem.

At the very least – it can have an improvement on the severity of breakouts and cysts. Ready?!

(This article is a guide only – please be sure to consult your health care professional before attempting any diet change).

What is the Link Between Dairy and Acne?

The common theory is that hormones in dairy products can cause over-production of our own hormones.

But… whether it’s been scientifically proven or not isn’t our focus – cutting out dairy has helped numerous people and it could help you – that’s our focus!

Because if it does clear your skin… who really cares if the studies concur or not?

The Possibility Of Lactose Intolerance

One reason why cutting out dairy may work for some and not others is the presence of a slight lactose intolerance.


Especially if you also experience indigestion after eating dairy products this could be you.

Your doctor who can do an allergy test.


Is it a Contributor to Adult Acne?

Cutting out dairy products can make a major difference to adult acne in particular…

Because a slight lactose intolerance/sensitivity can become more common as you get older (source WebMD – includes symptoms).

Adult acne is more often attributed to outside factors such as diet, stress etc, rather than your body’s natural reaction to the inevitable influx of hormones at puberty.

The Simple Way To Determine Whether Dairy Is Causing YourAcne!

Completely eliminate it from your diet for a short period of time and monitor the results.

If your skin clears up, you know it contributes. Simple right?

And it is important to completely eliminate dairy – even small amounts can affect some people.

(Completely eliminating all dairy long term is often not necessary – but for clear, quality results during your test it is!)


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For a period of at least 7days cut out all dairy/lactose, this includes:

  • milk, cheese, yoghurt, cream
  • creamy/cheesy soups, butter
  • chocolate, salad dressings, mayonaise
  • anything containing milk products/lactose (including baked goods like muffins etc)
  • read labels – sticking to a simple but mostly natural, nutritious diet is easiest
  • more info on a lactose free diet see here

Try not to change anything else in your routine during this time.

It is important to follow an otherwise healthy diet (almonds, sardines, broccoli are good sources of calcium).

What Next? Results Or Not…

After 7 days did you notice – 

  • did your skin clear up entirely?
  • did your breakouts reduce in severity or number?
  • is your skin less red/inflamed/irritated?
  • have you noticed an improvement at all?

Then experiment by reintroducing dairy – this is when the results become really clear!

Have some of your dairy favorites – a glass of milk or a cheese platter…


Keep an eye on your skin for the next 24hours.


If dairy plays a big role in your acne, it will happen very quickly and noticeably.
Then – you choose whether to permanently eliminate this item from your diet or not (it may be worth it!)

You Don’t Have To Permanently Delete Everything!

Slowly reintroduce items to your diet and keep monitoring your skin.

It may just be milk that you need to steer away from (or ice cream like me…).

And don’t forget – there are great milk replacements like almond, coconut etc.

Do your research and talk to your doctor. If you’ve found your skin really clears up when eliminating dairy products, do all you can to incorporate this into your lifestyle!

Important Points To Remember:

  • While dairy and acne haven’t been shown to be absolutely linked, a large number of people do see great results with eliminating or reducing
  • The only way to know if it’s right for you is to try!
  • Cut out all dairy for 7 days (maintain a healthy diet otherwise)
  • Monitor your skin – you might like to keep a food journal and take before and after photos to help
  • At the end of 7 days – whether you see improvement or not – eat some of your favorite dairy foods and monitor your skins reaction for 24hours
  • If acne gets worse – that’s a food your body doesn’t agree with!
  • Re-introduce foods this way and continue to monitor the results. Consider incorporating this into your lifestyle

Remember – curing acne is often a case of trial and error. Unfortunately.

But follow the tips on this page to find out if dairy is a culprit for you, and you will be one step closer to clearing up acne!

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3 thoughts on “Dairy and Acne – Will Cutting it Out Really Clear Your Skin?”

  1. Mayonnaise does not actually contain any dairy products; it’s made from eggs and oil. Same is likely true of most salad dressings.

  2. Hi, this information helps me a lot to get rid of this skin problem and I have been very thankful to you for providing this solution. Keep updating thankyou.

  3. Hi, I have serious acne problems what seafood causes acne? I eat seafood and my face pops up acne problem?

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