It has been of huge debate whether ingesting milk actually does trigger acne to appear or become worse. It has been stated before that you are what you eat and what you take into your body will show through to your skin. We constantly recommend a diet high in organic fruits and vegetables, a moderate amount of lean proteins like chicken and fish, and a healthy amount of whole grains and nuts. But what do we recommend when it comes to dairy, especially milk? Well that is where it gets a bit tricky. There has been much proof that using milk as a topical treatment on your face, like in a face mask for example, is beneficial for your skin but what about when it comes to regularly drinking a big glass of cold milk?
What Research Shows
Scientists have found a link between milk drinkers and acne – One specific study written about in the May 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that boys in the teenage years that drank milk regularly had the worst cases of acne. Other studies that include females have found the same results. Dairy products like cottage cheese and chocolate milk also triggered acne but regular cheeses and yogurts were not horrible triggers like milk.
What in Milk Causes Acne?
Vitamin D was eliminated from the equation since those who spend time outdoors don’t get acne from enjoying the sun (from which Vitamin D is emitted) in moderation. Nor do those who take Vitamin D supplements have breakouts. Studies have shown that skim milk can often cause worse breakouts than whole milk or reduced-fat milk so the fat content within milk is not a trigger. Research suggests that the cause of breakouts for milk drinkers seems to be the hormones that are in milk. The specific hormone in milk that seems to trigger acne breakouts is androgen hormones.
A certain type of androgen hormones we are familiar with is testosterone. Testosterone is heavily linked to causing acne. Men and women both have testosterone in their bodies, but women at a much smaller scale. DHT (di-hydrotestosterone) is created from testosterone through a complex chain of events. DHT has been found to awaken the sebaceous glands, causing more oil to be released to the surface of the skin, causing pores to be clogged with this excess oil and acne-causing bacteria, thus creating acne.
Many dairy farmers have also been found to inject added hormones to the cows to get them produce more milk for them to sell. These hormones cause the milk to become more potent to acne formation. This high level of hormone in milk is known as IGF-1, which is a growth hormone that can react negatively in teenagers since their IGF-1 climaxes during these adolescent years.
Others believe that all of this is a myth. The Dairy Council said the findings were “skewed” while some doctors don’t think there is enough evidence to prove this theory.
What Can You Do?
Regardless if you drink milk in moderation or in excess, the best milk to drink is organic milk. Organic milk is free of added hormones, chemicals, and pesticides so you will be healthier overall and will more than likely have clearer skin due to being healthier. Luckily, organic prices have gone down since there is a higher demand for organic food and drink in general. You should not have a difficult time finding organic milk for just a slightly higher price than regular milk and even if you have to spend $2 more, the benefits to your health are worth it. It’s important to follow a healthy diet in general to feel and look your best. Remember, start with taking care of your body from within and it will exude out.