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Adult acne is on the rise so we explore the link between dairy products and breakouts. 

Acne is one of the most common skin disease known, affecting more than 85% of teens as well as a significant number of adults. Acne greatly affects a persons quality of life with many suffering both physical and emotional side effects. Tackling acne requires addressing skin concerns from the outside with treatments and products, but also consider how diet may be adversely affecting skin health.

The association between diet and acne was once dismissed by many medical professionals, but the link between consuming dairy products and acne flare-ups is now supported by many studies.

In 2009, a study showed that cow’s milk intake increased the prevalence and severity of acne, and the researchers (Ferdowsian and Levin) concluded, “There exists convincing data supporting the role of dairy products in influencing hormonal and inflammatory factors, which can increase acne prevalence and severity”. Sounds technical but its basically found that breakouts and spots worsened with cows milk intake. 

Hormones play their part...

The researchers suggested that milk may have triggered acne not due to its fat content, but because of the hormones and bioactive molecules naturally present within milk and other dairy products. Acne is impacted by diets that increase insulin and insulin-like growth factors. 

Milk consumption significantly increases levels of hormones insulin and growth factors. 

How to make a change...
A process of elimination with your diet is the simplest and most effective way to identify whether dairy is triggering your acne breakouts. If you suffer with acne try completely avoiding dairy for a minimum of four weeks to monitor if it improves. 

Dairy ingredients are hidden in many foods you wouldn’t expect too, so read labels carefully. The Food Standards Agency states that dairy must be emphasised on the ingredients list, so it is often highlighted in bold font.

Unless you already know the trigger for your acne, it is always worth trying to minimise consumption of high glyceamic foods and to trial a dairy elimination diet. Dietary changes can be a long-term solution to reducing and even eliminating acne breakouts. 

But what if you normally have a lot of dairy in your diet?

There are lots of alternative products to try these days to replace popular dairy products:

Swap butter for coconut oil - super tasty and great for your skin. 

Swap milk for unsweetened nut milk (such as almond) or coconut milk

Swap yoghurt for coconut milk yoghurt

Swap cheese for vegan cheese or other natural savoury foods with equally strong flavours like olives

Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate (ideally minimum 70% cocoa solids)

Once you know your triggers its a lot easier to contain and treat acne. We have a number of products that can help to keep it under control such as our Glycolic Wash. We also offer in clinic treatments to help treat scars that have been left from acne and spots, call our concept clinic in Harvey Nichols Manchester to book a consultation on 0161 828 8856. 

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