Want to avoid breakouts? Cut dairy from your diet
Gelato. Grated parmesan on a plate of spaghetti. Pizza with extra mozzarella. Essentially, all cheese. Your flat white. That healthy smoothie packed with Greek yoghurt. Could your favourite food group be contributing to your breakouts? Please don’t shoot the messenger - but yes.
Before you start marching with blocks of gouda flags in protest, hear us out! There’s no consensus in the scientific community if dairy actually causes acne. Some studies show it does. Other studies show it doesn’t. But, there are tons of people out there who, after eliminating dairy from their diet, have seen a dramatic improvement in their skin. The number of breakouts go down, skin is less red, and sometimes skin clears up completely!
If the path to clear and glowy skin isn’t more expensive cleansers, moisturizers and appointments with yet another dermatologist but a cheddar-less burger? Isn’t it worth to at least try?
Here’s how you can do it!
Start with a sane cleanse
To give your digestive system a break, and get your body ready for this new beginning, start with a cleanse. It’s always safer to follow a nutritionist's or doctor’s plan rather than going at it alone. In fact, Jennifer Ventrelle, R.D., a nutrition counselor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, created a three-day cleanse for Women’s Health, that is safe to use for as long as you want. Try it for a week before you begin your dairy-free existence. #sad
Find your dairy-free alternatives
Don’t eliminate, alternate. That’s just a punchy line we came up with to remind you that before you begin cutting out dairy, you have to find alternatives that’ll work for you. Make a list and it’ll be so much easier! Some suggestions to inspire you:
- Replace cow’s milk or yogurt with soy, almond or coconut alternative. Make sure you don’t fall into the sugar trap. Many dairy-free milks are packed with the sweet stuff and that can also contribute to breakouts and acne.
- Replace cheese with avocado. It can be used both as a spread and as a topping for your tacos and sammies.
- Hummus is a great alternative. Eat with veggies or toast, when all you really want is a cheesy snack.
- Use coconut oil instead of butter.
- Top your pizzas and pastas with more veggies.
- Make your own “ice-cream” by blending frozen bananas. (Yes, it’s not the same but eye on the prize! Eye on the prize!
Take baby steps
Once you’ve found how you’ll replace your fave dairy foods with non-dairy alternatives, you can begin the elimination. You can go cold-turkey. Or you can start small. Take out one dairy product out of your diet every week. And then remove one more the following week.For example, start with using coconut milk in your coffee in week one and then stop eating cheese in week two.
This progressive elimination makes it easier to both make the change and keep it longer-term.
Don’t forget your calcium
As you start cutting out dairy from your diet, especially if you remove everything at once, you shouldn’t forget to keep eating other foods rich in calcium like, nuts and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, soya, lentils and beans.
Remember your “why”
If you accidentally stuff your face with ice-cream, don’t beat yourself up. Consider it a blip and keep going. To get those cheese-cravings out of your system (Pizza, give me all of the pizza!), it can be helpful to remind yourself of the reason you’re doing this. For the clear, glowy skin!
Most dermatologist will tell you that to see a notable change in your skin, you may have to cut dairy for three months. Buuuut, a lot of women see a difference in a month. Google “cutting out dairy for clear skin” and you’ll see some remarkable before and after pics. So, if you think you can go without milk, cheese and ice-cream for 30 days. Do it. Eliminate dairy.
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