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Here's what happens to your skin when you cut out dairy, according to dermatologists

INSIDER logoINSIDER 7/08/2018 (Maddy Sims)
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If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that skin issues can be a pain. While there are lots of topical products and laser treatments on the market, there’s also one change you can make at home that can help out your skin. Turns out, removing dairy from your diet can potentially clear up acne and give you a glow.

The biggest irritant of the dairy food group is skim milk.

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Getting rid of foods like milk, cheese, and ice cream is a great way to give your skin a boost, Sarika Snell, a dermatologist in Washington DC told INSIDER. "Cutting dairy improves skin texture, skin tone, and acne," she said.

The biggest irritant of the dairy food group, though, is skim milk, Snell said. "Whey protein, which is specifically found in skim milk, is pro-inflammatory and can lead to inflammation which can manifest as acne and rosacea," she said. Beyond the whey protein, Snell says that sometimes skim milk has problem-causing hormones that can upset your skin.

"Cow milk may contain hormones which also can contribute to acne and inflammation," she added.

Skim milk had added sugars that can cause acne flares. 

Dermatologist Avnee Shah told INSIDER that in addition to the protein and hormones found in skim milk, its sugar content can also cause skin problems. "Skim milk actually has much more sugar in it than whole milk," she said.

"The increased sugars lead to a higher glycemic index. Food with this property are known for flaring acne, so staying away from skim milk should help in part to control these flares," she added.

Even though skim milk is a big culprit when it comes to skin issues, both dermatologists agree that eliminating all dairy can really help your complexion.

In fact, one study found that people who frequently consumed added sugars had a 30% greater risk of developing acne, while those who regularly ate pastries and cakes had a 20% greater risk.

If you cut out dairy, it will take time to see results. 

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It’s important to keep in mind that you won’t see any major changes in your skin overnight if you decide to cut foods like milk and cheese from your diet, Snell said. "It takes approximately two to three weeks to see improvement in your skin once you remove dairy from your diet and allow your body to detox from it," she added. Patience is key when it comes to any new skin treatments, and cutting dairy is no exception.

There are plenty of vegan options to replace your favorite dairy foods and drinks.

It’s true that all of the delicious cheese pictures on Instagram may make giving up dairy particularly difficult, but the payoff might be worth it. Plus, the good news is that there are plenty of vegan cheese, vegan milk, and even vegan ice cream substitutes on the market.

Video: The best fast-food items for people on Weight Watchers (Courtesy: Buzz60) 



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