Milk Might Be Causing Your Spots


I've been dealing with a bit of a breakout over the past month. At first I attributed it to having briefly run out of my beloved Stridex pads, and things definitely calmed down to some extent after my new pot arrived, but I still had a spot or two popping up every few days. Until all this started, my skin had been reasonably clear for a couple of months and I'd been keeping a fairly consistent skincare and make-up routine, so I couldn't figure out what was causing it.

This morning, I think I finally pinpointed the culprit: dairy products. I've long suspected that milk and cheese don't do my skin much good, but I've always really wanted to believe that it's fine to keep eating them because... cheese. Sadly, after indulging in a few chunks of Camembert and some sort of delicious crumbly cranberry cheese at my son's birthday party last night and then waking up with three brand new big red spots this morning, I don't think I can ignore the connection any more.

I've been trying to ease into a vegan diet for a few months and I managed to avoid animal products throughout August and most of July, but I've recently found myself slipping back into drinking regular milk in my tea and coffee and eating the odd bit of cheese. September was a hectic month and I have a son who isn't vegan so it's been a lot easier to just eat whatever I'm buying or cooking for him, and to pick up a pint of semi-skimmed at the corner shop rather than having to trek to somewhere that sells Alpro. It's only now dawned on me that my skin problems started at almost exactly the time I got lax about my diet.

There's a bit of a debate around whether food really has an impact on skin conditions, and while the NHS says there's no evidence that acne is caused by what you eat, a lot of research suggests otherwise. One of the main factors studies point to as a diet-related cause of inflammation and problem skin is insulin, which is affected by the IGF-1 hormone in milk.

For a lot of people, of course, fixing your skin is never going to be as simple as just quitting dairy (and plenty of people who drink loads of milk still have lovely skin!) but I think in my case there seems to be a clear link, and there's enough evidence to back up my theory so I'm going to stop being lazy and make sure I stay stocked up in dairy-free foods and drinks.

If anyone else is thinking about giving up dairy - whether it's for skin benefits, health reasons or ethical/environmental concerns - these are some of the milk-free food substitutes that I rely on:




Alpro Soya Milk
There are tons of dairy-free milks around now. Almond, hazelnut, rice, oat, coconut, hemp - people seem to be finding ways to make milk out of everything, but personally I like the taste of soya (the OG of vegan milks). Nowadays you don't have to venture to a health-food shop to find them, most supermarkets and a lot of smaller shops have a few different types at reasonable prices so just try a few out until you find one you like. Most milk alternatives contain added vitamins too, and have just as much calcium and vitamin D as cow's milk.




Madécasse 99% Cocoa Chocolate
Dark chocolate is generally low in sugar and doesn't contain milk, making it way better than normal chocolate in terms of insulin response. This one has just three ingredients - a bit of cocoa butter, a little vanilla and a massive amount of cocoa. I love dark chocolate and I think this stuff is amazing, but it might be a bit full-on for anyone used to milk chocolate so perhaps start with 70% cocoa solids and work up!





Cheezly White Cheddar Style Dairy-Free Cheese
I've tried a few vegan cheeses, some better than others, and while I can't honestly say I think any of them properly compare to real cheese when eaten alone, a few come pretty close. This is a good basic one that's almost indistinguishable from medium cheddar if you're just sprinkling it on pasta dishes or using it as a cooking ingredient.
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9 comments:

  1. Totally agree, milk without a doubt caused so much problems for me! Best decision I ever made to eliminate it! X

    Vegan eats in a day on-
    hailandharmony.blogspot.ie
    // BLOGLOVIN

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    1. I don't understand why people still think it's a healthy thing to have in your diet - there are so many better alternatives!
      (Just having a look around your blog by the way, finding inspiration to get back into plant-based eating in your What I Eat in a Day posts :) )

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  2. I read once about Milk causing acne and it scared me. But I've only been drinking it with my cereal. But the facts you listed below is making me think twice about that now.

    http://perfectshadeofmauve.blogspot.com/

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    1. I think some people don't have a problem with it, and some people are just sensitive to it! I think unless you're getting skin problems and have ruled out everything else then it's probably fine :) x

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  3. I've just read it here that milk are caused skin problem. Thanks for your info, maybe I should try to start eating free dairy product as well.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely worth testing out if you're having problems :)

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  4. All the products you et influence on your skin very much. That's why you have to eat properly.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely. Good skin starts from within ;)

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