Many new vegans report great improvements in their skin tone. With conditions like acne often clearing up after quitting the milk, it’s no surprise we get the question: “Is dairy ruining my skin?” quite regularly. Well, is it? Is there a problem with dairy which the industry doesn’t want to talk about?
Is Dairy Ruining My Skin?Yes, it’s likely dairy is ruining your skin especially if you consume a lot of it. It’s widely accepted that dairy increases hormone levels in the body and it’s very common for this to manifest in acne breakouts. Cutting out dairy products often cures this embarrassing condition permanently.
Watch: Dr. Eric Berg DC on why dairy causes acne:
( Dr Berg breaks it down in very simple terms in this short video )
But They Told Me Dairy Is Healthy
So, first up, let’s get one thing out of the way …
It’s not your fault!
We’ve all been encouraged to consume the stuff like it’s the elixir of life. We’ve been scared into thinking if we don’t drink up our milk then we’ll suffer with weak bones and all the rest of it.
We’ll get to the calcium thing later but there’s now increasing evidence coming through to support the idea that dairy is actually not as optimal for health as we once thought.
Just one example is this study from 2013 which found a strong link between dairy and acne. To quote the paper directly:
“The risk of acne occurrence is significantly higher for people with the highest milk and dairy product consumption”
Another study from 2006 concluded there is a statistically significant, positive association with milk consumption and acne occurrence in adolescent girls.
Then another 2018 meta-analysis of observational studies showed strong “evidence of a positive association between milk consumption and acne risk”.
I could go on … the evidence is all out there in the public domain.
Do The Hormones In Milk Cause Acne?
We now have proven, well established links between dairy and acne. We’re fairly certain it’s down to the hormones in milk, of which there are many.
Again, this stuff is designed to grow a calf at breakneck speed.
Most acne conditions are the result of a hormonal imbalance in our body and skin. When cow’s milk increases our androgen hormones excessively, it signals our skin to over-produce oil. It is this which clogs the pores and causes acne breakouts.
This is not an opinion. It is observable fact.
This is why it’s very common for acne to disappear when dairy is removed from the diet.
Here’s yet another comprehensive study from 2010 showing a positive association between dairy intake and acne prevalence among teenage boys.
In fact, if you search Google Scholar on the subject the sheer volume of results is quite staggering.
Yet, even though we seem to be well aware of the problems with dairy, the product continues to be pushed heavily, especially towards children.
Most people still think it’s a healthy and necessary part of the diet.
Is It Possible We’ve Been Lied To?
If you’re anything like 99% of the rest of the population you grew up believing dairy milk was really good for you. Rich in protein, vitamins and the all important calcium.
Comprehensive milk marketing schemes have been operational in the UK since the early 1930’s and they have reached deep into the national psyche. So much so that no-one questions it.
… and it’s the same in many other developed nations. Milk has been touted as this wonder food stuff to make you healthy and strong.
But have you ever stopped and asked yourself why we humans are the only species to regularly consume the milk of another species?
Or why do we continue to drink that cow’s milk past the weaning stage and throughout our adult lives? Again, no other species on the planet does this.
Because we can, I guess is the obvious answer to both questions. Albeit through exploiting cows in the process … at least in modern agricultural systems.
Modern humans have been around for 250 thousand years or so yet we have only been drinking cow’s milk for roughly 8000 of those years. Also, for a decent chunk of those 8000 years we couldn’t even digest milk properly.
In fact, to this day, ~95% of East Asians are lactose intolerant.
I mean, the red flags really should be going up all over the place by now!
Could it really be possible that humans were not meant to drink cow’s milk?
Well … we’re not baby cows are we?
Cow’s Milk Is Designed For Cows
Look, I’m not going to claim cow’s milk isn’t nutritionally dense, because it is. It’s high in protein and several vitamins along with good levels of bioavailable calcium.
Just as human milk is tailored to human babies, cow’s milk is tailored to cow babies. It doesn’t take a nutritional scientist to work that one out.
A recent study showed humans have grown in stature and girth since the consumption of cow’s milk became common.
… and there’s a very good reason for that:
This hormone laden liquid is designed to take a newborn calf from around 70lbs to over 500lbs in a matter of 9 months or so!
I wonder what it does to human beings?
Where Will I Get My Calcium Without Milk?
What I’m driving at here is just because we’re able to drink cow’s milk, it doesn’t mean that’s a good idea. In fact, I’d argue for many people it’s a bad idea.
So if we remove dairy from our diet, as vegans do, then how do you replace that nutrition?
Well, plants that are high in calcium include green leafy vegetables and legumes or “greens and beans”. Broccoli is one of the most rich plant sources of calcium along with kale and Brussels sprouts.
Soy products like tofu and tempeh are also very high in calcium with one cup of tofu potentially providing you with your daily requirement. Enriched products like oat and soy milk are also good sources.
Last but by no means least, you are probably getting quite a dose of calcium from your drinking water. It’s pretty well accepted that we absorb calcium from water in much the same way as we do from milk.
If you live in a hard water area then you’re probably getting close to your daily requirement from 2 litres of tap water. A volume I consume easily in a day.
The point of all this is to suggest that maybe cow’s milk isn’t the essential foodstuff we’ve all been led to believe it is by the massive marketing machine behind dairy.
We do seem to have survived the vast majority of the last 6 million years or so without it.
Conclusion: Dairy Probably Messes Up Your Skin!
I think we’ve managed to show fairly conclusively that dairy and acne tend to go hand in hand.
If you’re suffering with acne, especially as a teenager growing up, why not try removing it from your diet? Just see what happens and remember to compensate, nutritionally.
You may be pleasantly surprised at the results, as thousands of others before you have been.
Vegans obviously remove dairy from their diet because of the inherent cruelty embedded in the product. Many new vegans report improvements in skin tone having made the switch.
Considering what we now know, this is unsurprising. Seems it’s not gone unnoticed by others either because a common question we get asked is: why do vegans look younger? You’ll find my answer by following that link.
If you want more information on why vegans reject milk then have a read of my article: “Why Are Vegans Against Milk?”. Just a word of warning though, the video on that page does include some very graphic content.
So I hope this article has helped you answer your question today and I encourage you to leave your experiences below for the benefit of others. Serving the greater good, if you will. Please also share this far and wide … let’s get the message out!
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Thanks for reading and have a dairy-free day!