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How Your Diet Affects Your Skin: Dairy

cheese platter


I really can’t think of a single person who doesn’t love cheese, including me… and I’m lactose intolerant. 

And it’s not just cheese. It’s milk, ice cream, whipped cream, alfredo sauce, butter. If it’s creamy, I love it. But did you know that humans weren’t built to consume milk after childhood? Think about it. In all mammals, milk is a food produced for the young. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of adults are lactose intolerant.



I know. In some cases, lactose intolerance is obvious. Minutes after taking a bite of dairy, the suffering begins. In other cases, lactose intolerance is sneaky. The onset of indigestion and bloating can happen hours after the consumption of dairy! If you’re a dedicated Tums-popper, check out this list of side effects to see if eliminating dairy could help: 

  • Bloating
  • Pain or cramps
  • Gas
  • Nausea & Vomiting

Unfortunately, just like gluten intolerance the symptoms of lactose intolerance could indicate a number of different digestive problems. If you think the problem might be dairy, cut it out of your diet immediately and speak with your doctor.

So what does this have to do with your skin?

Here’s the scoop. Over the past 10 years, more and more research has linked the intake of dairy with bloating, eczema, and breakouts in adults. Although there is no definitive connection, leading researchers believe that the hormones present in cow’s milk may be a leading cause of adult-onset acne. 

vintage bride

The Takeaway

If you have a big day coming up (your wedding, an important meeting at work, etc.) and you’ve been breaking out, it might be worth it to cut dairy out of your diet for a few days. Best case scenario: your skin clears up and you lose some water weight. Worst case scenario: your skin stays the same and you gave up mac n cheese for three days. 

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