Amber LifeStyle is a skin care blog by AmberNoon founder, Dr. Ilyas. 

Practical skin care tips to help navigate your skin health!

Acne: how to choose the right cleanser

Milk and Your Skin

The Rumor:

Milk and dairy in general can cause acne.

The Facts:

Milk has been on the radar for years as a possible trigger for moderate to severe acne or worsening acne.

Milk has been thought to play a role by triggering inflammation that can in turn result in acne and/or possibly exposing people to hormones from cows that enter into the milk that we consume.

Skim milk in particular is the type of milk most commonly implicated in these studies. The reason is thought to be that during the process of making skim milk, proteins such as whey and casein are added to thicken it a bit. Whey and casein may trigger the release of a growth factor called IGF that is similar to insulin.

The studies are difficult to assess because many of the studies rely on people self reporting how bad their acne is or was and recalling if they had dairy or not.

Bottom line:

We do know that milk provides many health benefits that cannot be overlooked. It is an important source of calcium and vitamin D that are important for bone health, especially in children.

I would much rather my patients obtain the nutrients they need from milk than to restrict their intake based on acne alone.

If you are having trouble controlling your acne in spite of treatment, consider switching to whole milk over skim milk. This will reduce your exposure to added whey and casein. If your acne is still difficult to control, see your dermatologist to consider your treatment options.

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