Dairy: A Small Thing That Makes A Huge Difference

If you’ve tried everything from new products to pills to combat your acne, there’s one last trick you might want to consider: eliminating dairy from your diet. Aside from the hormones often found in dairy products (which yes, can cause pimples), dairy can actually increase the amount of sebum your skin’s producing. “Our skin is covered with microbes, including yeast which is found in the sebaceous glands,” says Dr. Susan Blum, founder of the Blum Center for Health in New York. “Dairy works by increasing the yeast growth, causing inflammation and thus more sebum.”

Dr. Blum often suggests her clients cut it out all dairy for a month, including sheep, goat, and cow products, just to see what happens. “Often it’s dramatic,” she says of the results. “Once they see the effects for themselves, they can see if they can go back to eating dairy sometimes. Some people can eat cheese once a week, for example, but absolutely no milk.”

During that month, we suggest experimenting with your local grocery store’s increasing collection of dairy alternatives including soy milk, almond, and coconut. We (very successfully) undertook this experiment and haven’t looked back since Brit Marling introduced us to Cashewtopia Ice Cream.