9 lactose free alternatives for cow's milk

Does Milk Cause Acne?

Suffering from acne is no fun, especially when you’re a model or are over your 20’s. Good news: you might be helped by excluding milk from your diet! 

Milk and dairy products are consumed most in Western societies. Among these societies, 79-95 % of adolescents suffers from acne, 40-54 % of men and women above 25 years old suffers from some degree of facial acne and 12 % of women and 3 % of men suffers from persistent clinical facial acne up until their middle ages.
 
Interestingly, outside of Western societies acne is a very uncommon phenomena. An example of this can be found among Paraguayan hunter-gatherers and Kitavan islanders from Papua New Guinea, who live on a low-glycemic diet and do not consume dairy foods. None of these people show signs of acne. There is much more research available on this topic and it is not that we can draw conclusions from this example, but it illustrates the effect of milk and dairy products on acne.
 
Excluding milk and dairy from your diet
Epidemiologic observations point to the role of Western diet in acne. Studies show that acne is aggravated by consumption of (sufficient quantities of) milk and dairy products, as they stimulate insulin and IGF-1 (growth hormone) levels. In turn, increased insulin and IGF-1 levels stimulate sebaceous glands, which results in acne.
 
Do you suffer from acne? You might be helped by excluding milk and dairy products from your diet*. Start by slowly bringing down your milk and dairy intake until you have completely excluded milk and dairy from your diet. Make sure you also check food labels! Keep this up for at least 3 weeks to see if you notice any positive changes to your skin. Here’s a list of the most common milk and dairy foods:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Quark
  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Milkshake
  • Pudding

 

More detailed info about milk containing products and reading labels for hidden milk protein

More detailed info about milk containing products and reading labels for hidden milk protein

Contain Milk:

Butter [artificial butter, artificial butter flavor, butter, butter extract, butter fat, butter flavored oil, butter solids, dairy butter, natural butter, natural butter flavor, whipped butter]

Casein & caseinates [ammonium caseinate, calcium caseinate, magnesium caseinate, potassium caseinate, sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed casein, iron caseinate, zinc caseinate]

Cheese [cheese (all types), cheese flavor (artificial and natural), cheese food, cottage cheese, cream cheese, imitation cheese, vegetarian cheeses with casein]

Milk Cream, whipped cream

Curds

Custard

Dairy product solids

Galactose

Ghee

Half & Half

Hydrolysates [casein hydrolysate, milk protein hydrolysate, protein hydrolysate, whey hydrolysate, whey protein hydrolysate]

Ice cream, ice milk, sherbet

Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate

Lactate solids

Lactyc yeast

Lactitol monohydrate

Lactoglobulin

Lactose

Lactulose Milk [acidophilus milk, buttermilk, buttermilk blend, buttermilk solids, cultured milk, condensed milk, dried milk, dry milk solids (DMS), evaporated milk, fat‐free milk, fully cream milk powder, goat’s milk, Lactaid® milk, lactose-free milk, low‐fat milk, malted milk, milk derivative, milk powder, milk protein, milk solids, milk solid pastes, non‐fat dry milk, non‐fat milk, non‐fat milk solids, pasteurized milk, powdered milk, sheep’s milk, skim milk, skim milk powder, sour milk, sour milk solids, sweet cream buttermilk powder, sweetened condensed milk, sweetened condensed skim milk, whole milk, 1% milk, 2% milk]

Milk fat, anhydrous milk fat

Nisin preparation

Nougat

Recaldent

Rennet, rennet casein

Simplesse (fat replacer)

Sour cream, sour cream solids, imitation sour cream

Whey [acid whey, cured whey, delactosed whey, demineralized whey, hydrolyzed whey, powdered whey, reduced mineral whey, sweet dairy whey, whey, whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey powder, whey solids]

Yogurt (regular or frozen), yogurt powder

May Contain Milk: Natural flavoring Flavoring Caramel flavoring

High protein flour Lactic acid (usually not a problem)

Lactic acid starter culture

“Non-dairy” products may contain casein

Rice cheese

Soy cheese

Source: kidswithfoodallergies.org

Meanwhile, continue to make healthy choices regarding your diet. I will not go deeper into that now, but the bottom line is to incorporate enough calories, protein, healthy fats, slowly digestable, fiber-rich carbs, eat enough fruits and vegetables, limit sugars (especially those with a high glycemic load and glycemic value, such as honey) and exclude processed sugars. Also, take a calcium supplement (Orthica is a high quality brand or chose Pure Vegan cal/mag), as milk and dairy products contain lots of calcium, or consume more of the following foods:
 

  • Dried fruits (like figs)
  • Oils
  • Fatty fish (like sardine, shellfish like crab and shrimps)
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables (mainly leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbages like broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts)
  • Seaweed
  • Nuts (like almonds and cashew nuts)
  • (certified) tofu and soy products

 

After three weeks, decide for yourself if excluding milk and dairy works for you, meaning that your acne has calmed down. Note that if you make any other dietary, skin care or cosmetic changes at the same time, it will be hard to determine if an improvement of your skin will be due to your milk and dairy exclusion and if it is wise to continue a dairy free diet. It is therefore best to make one lifestyle change (another cleanser for your skin, another make-up product, one dietary change etc.) at the time. Also, an increase of stress will negatively affect your skin condition, so keep your stress low!
 
My own experiences with going milk and dairy free
I have tried excluding milk and dairy products myself two and a half years ago, which wasn’t without results: after about a month or so, my skin really started to show a lot less inflammation and after 2 months it was completely spot-free. Up till now, I am happy to see my skin looks smooth and, except for a single once-a-month-occurrence, is spot free. I do eat dairy or milk products once in a while though, but this is extremely limited. I would say I consume goat yogurt once a month or so, and once every 2 months a good old 1 liter Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cups ice cream. The latter absolutely negatively affects my skin (and intestines), but hey, that’s a concession I do not mind to making 😉

Substitute your milk
Hard to not drink milk? Used to drinking a nice cappuccino, café latte or a nice breakkie with milk, like your fav porridge? You can substitute your milk with organic almond milk (give my DIY almond date milk a try), rice milk, oat milk, soy milk or DIY cashew milk.

 

DIY Home Made Cashewnut milk


Refrences

Refrences

>Melnik, B. (2009). Milk consumption: aggravating factor of acne and promoter of chronic diseases of Western societies. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges., 7(4):364-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2009.07019.x

> Cordain, L., Lindeberg, S., Hurtado, M., Hill, K., Eaton, S. B., Brand-Miller, J. (2002). Acne vulgaris. A disease of Western civilization. Arch Dermatol, 138:1584–90.

 

* Consult your doctor before excluding dairy and milk products from your diet.

About Angela

Angela
Hoi! Ik ben Angela; meisje-van-30-en-nog-iets, vrouw van, mama van een dreumesjongen en een nu ECHTE #fitchick. Model, diginerd, foto- & filmhobbyist. Van origine MSc in Communicatie gespecialiseerd in gezondheidsvoorlichting. 'Great' staat niet voor schoonheidsidealen, maar voor alles waartoe ons oprecht prachtige lijf en mind in staat zijn. Op deze blog schrijf ik over alles wat ik het delen waard vind. Ga je gang en kijk lekker rond. Aarzel niet om jouw mening of reactie te delen onder mijn blogs; vind ik alleen maar leuk!

8 reacties

  1. Is it true? Dairy products do affects our skin and lead to acne? I always use dairy products on my skin.

  2. Hi,

    I always avoid dairy products because it causes my acne to breakout. I just wat fruits and veggies instead.

  3. Hi Angela,
    Your post actually makes a lot of sense. I don’t usually get a pimple, not unless I’m too stressed out or I forgot to take off my makeup before going to bed (which is usually the case) but I don’t think I do a lot of things to avoid acne or breakouts. Can’t say that I’ve good genes since some of my sibs actually have adult acne but I am lactose-intolerant (I’m the only one allergic to dairy products) as a child and I stay away from anything dairy as much as I can and just take calcium supplements instead. Will share to them your blog. Thanks!

  4. Awesome post, Angela, I really have a great time to read this one worth it.
    Michelle Messick recently posted…Why Do You Have Acne?My Profile

  5. GREAT article!! I was suffering sever acne for years. I’m now 25 and I’ve gone through Accutane , several topical, anti-biotics, etc… I recently changed my diet to vegan with a lot of raw foods. My Acne cleared up fairly quickly and now I’m dealing with healing and preventing scars. Thanks so much for posting!

  6. Angela Willemse
    Angela Willemse

    Thanks for the feedback Belinda & Tammi!

    @Belinda: tell me more about that! Are you a practitioner in the field of skin care or nutrition?

  7. Oh this is such great information! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Some really great tips here thanks. Yes, I totally agree about the Dairy. I see so many skin issues as a result of dairy.

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