When Margot Robbie talks, Costhetics listens.

“If I eat or drink heaps of dairy, my skin breaks out,” she told Elle UK for a story on her beauty regimen. “I love dairy, and I have it all the time, but if I’m filming or if my skin is really shit, then I try to cut down and just drink lots of water.” Margot is beautiful and a smart cookie, too. A substantial amount of research shows that eliminating milk and dairy products from your diet can work wonders for skin health and beauty.

It’s Not the Dairy, It’s the Hormones

Dairy milk, intended to increase the growth of calves, contains growth hormones and anabolic steroids. When humans ingest those growth hormones, the body reacts to their presence by triggering excess oil production. This, in turn, clogs pores and causes acne flare-ups.

The problem is exacerbated in some countries where it’s customary to add growth hormones to a cow’s diet to increase milk production. Costhetics is proud to report that oestrogen drugs were banned from being used in milking cows by the Australian dairy industry in 2008.

Don’t Blame Dairy Fat for Acne

The number one rule for many acne sufferers is to stay away from high-fat foods and beverages. Understandably, they turn to skim milk, hoping the reduced fat content will be helpful in controlling flare-ups. Surprisingly, they’re wrong.

Skim milk may actually be more detrimental to skin health than whole milk. In removing the fat, Vitamins A and D are also removed. They are put back but may not be as bio-absorbable without the fat. Without these essential nutrients, the skin is not prepared to stave off acne and stay clear.

Does Dairy Whey Cause Acne?

Whey protein is another reason milk and dairy products can cause acne to show its unsightly spots. Whey accelerates the production of an insulin-like growth factor which has been linked to the production of increased levels of sebum (oil). Excess sebum is strongly associated with the development of acne.

Skin Challenge: 2 Weeks without Dairy

A dairy-free diet may ‘cure’ your acne, or it may not. A talk-over with your dermatologist or a skin care expert can help you determine whether or not eliminating dairy from your diet will help you:

  • Improve skin tone
  • Restore skin texture
  • Ease rosacea
  • Lessen acne flare-ups

If you decide to give it a go, there are a dazzling number of non-dairy products for you to feast upon:

  • Oat milk
  • Soy milk
  • Almond milk ice cream
  • Cashew cheese
  • Tapioca-based cheese
  • Hemp yogurt

While you’re focused on food, remember your skin loves healthy proteins and dark greens. To really super-charge a radiant complexion, kick up the probiotics in your diet, too. In as little as two to three weeks, you are likely to see a change for the better in your skin.

Costhetics isn’t advocating that dairy products be taken from the shelves. We love a Golden Gaytime (or 2) as much as the next person. If your complexion isn’t all that you want it to be, however, you may want to rethink dairy’s place in your overall diet.

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