No Milk = No Spots. Coincidence?

Ruth Crilly A Model Recommends

Look, I just want to put this out there. There’s no risk-free way, at present, of me proving or disproving this little theory I’ve come up with, but I have convinced myself that it’s true and so I want to share. This isn’t intended to be a scaremongering session by any means, I’m just interested to hear your thoughts and own experiences.

You’ll know, if you’re a regular reader, that I suffered quite badly with breakouts on my jawline and then cheeks from about mid-August until mid-December last year. Various skin treatments did help to keep my skin clear at various points, and I will hold up La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Duo as one of my heros, but it was quite a dire situation. Model + Temperamental Skin = Disaster. Now, here’s where things get interesting. On the 22nd December, I had my last drink of milk. I think it may have been a hot chocolate (naughty!) but whatever it was, that was the last time that cow’s milk, in its milky, liquid form (ie not cheese or yoghurt) passed my lips. Do you know when I last had a spot? Can you guess?

Ten thousand points to all of those who guessed “22nd December” – you guessed correctly! The thing is, I’m not saying that my skin cleared up tremendously since then, I’m actually saying that IT IS PERFECTLY CLEAR. Better, I think, than it has ever been. I had some quite deep marking on my face, and have been working on that (post upcoming), but in terms of breakouts, spots, even tiny pimples: nothing. It’s nothing short of miraculous, is what it is, and the only thing I can think of that has changed is that I’m not drinking milk.

I worked it out when I was in America; I was looking at a menu in a diner and thinking about the breakfast video that I did (see here) and lamenting the absence of porridge. (I know it’s a weird thing to miss, but when you’ve done pancakes and eggs and all that kind of thing for over ten days you become a little homesick.) I realised that I hadn’t eaten porridge since before the 22nd – and that’s a whole half pint of milk a day that I hadn’t consumed. Add to that the fact that I hadn’t had any hot chocolate (my winter vice; I make it at home with Green & Blacks as a treat) and that my yoghurt consumption had probably more than halved, and you have something of a situation. (Read the next bit as though Carrie Bradshaw from SATC is saying it): Was Milk Breaking Me Out? Had my relationship with Milk come to an end?

It could, of course, all be psychosomatic. Perhaps I had looked so hard for a cause of my breakouts that I had invented one and the subsequent relief had made my skin clear up. Perhaps it was the sun (but skin is still clear), perhaps it was lack of stress (almost certain this is also a factor) or perhaps it was the daily dose of topical vitamin C that I’ve been applying (Skinceuticals Phloretin Gel). But I don’t think so – surely it’s too much of a coincidence to ignore? No milk, no spots.

The only way to really find out for sure is to start on the cow’s milk again. I’ll admit that I’m tempted – the sceptical part of my mind is asking me why I would all of a sudden be sensitive to milk, and I also miss my porridge – but I’m enjoying my clear, glowing skin far too much. I hope to high heaven that this post doesn’t tempt that evil sod, Fate. That would make me look incredibly silly, wouldn’t it?

Comments below, please: has anyone else noticed a link between a food allergy and breakouts? Anyone suddenly went all lactose-intolerant on themselves? Let me know!

You can find all of my acne-related posts here if you want to “follow my breakout journey”. (Ugh.)

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. February 2, 2013 / 6:43 am

    It’s the same here. I started living without cow milk (sheep and goat’s just fine!) about 9 months ago because my skin condition was a catastrophe for me and I didn’t know what else to day. Some people had claimed cow milk could be one of the causes and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to start a 2 week experiment. This experiment is now 9-10 months. It’s been fine so far my skin has never been better my whole life. – yes – sometimes there is a small blemish -but it disappears quite fast, it’s smaller and doesn’t bother as much as the spots before that never really seemed to heal in time for others to arrive…

    I’ve found I can eat goat and sheep products. I’ve been drinking soyamilk and am liking it more than milk itself in coffee. I’ve done a before/after post on my blog with some skin tips that have been working for me -but it’s in German so I don’t know if linking to it would be a help.

    But cow milk is known to have effect on skin. A while ago I read it somewhere in a beauty magazine even (though you never know what hype they’re pushing now, but for what it’s worth). My experience confirms the claim and some readers had left comments stating the same on my blog. I guess some are better off without cow milk products! And by the way my whole body reacted: skin on the whole body much gentler and I’ve been loosing weight as if the milk hat glued some pounds to me. Very strange.

    • SuYin Wong
      February 2, 2013 / 8:26 am

      I’ve read somewhere that in order to induce cow to lactate year round (for the milk), cows are injected with hormones which will be in the milk they produced.

  2. Indi
    February 2, 2013 / 6:52 am

    Yes! I have experienced the same skin problems and thought that milk was the culprit. When I stopped drinking milk it definitely helped the cause. I do however eat cheese and yogurt so I didn’t cut out all diary and it would be a shame for you to stop eating oats because they are so good for your skin (I don’t get into soy, so now breakfast is untoasted muesli with fruit and yoghurt). I also think holidays, sun and relaxation (plus less mirror squeezing time) also can help patch things up!

    I have two other theories thou. I am the same age (give or take 18months) as you so maybe it’s a hormonal thing as I never got spots on my cheeks, jaw line until I was 30. My second theory is that I have had more spots on my right cheek and left jaw line that I attribute to how I sleep on my pillow and hibernate under the doona, so maybe its to do with that (clothing detergent/ material on your skin?)

    Try not to worry, you always look beautiful anyway! I also think everyone thinks their own spots are much larger or more obvious than anyone else does. Ah, to be a perfectionist…

    • Indi
      February 2, 2013 / 7:01 am

      that was meant to be it’s, not its! I should proof read!

  3. February 2, 2013 / 6:52 am

    I’ve personally noticed a connection as well – not only with spots, but with my rosacea. Drinking regular American milk causes my rosacea to flare and I often get a few blemishes to boot. I HAVE tested it several times and the reaction happens the day of and is pretty easy to pinpoint.
    I’m not a doctor, but this reaction doesn’t happen when I drank organic milk (you know, the stuff that’s $15 a liter) or when I drank the delicious milk when I lived in Germany (where additives are regulated and added hormones are prohibited by the government). The only difference is the hormones with which the cows that produce regular milk in the US are treated – and I’ve found that if I avoid that kind of “industrially-produced” milk, the skin issues don’t happen. I usually drink soy milk now, which is cheaper than organic milk, at least in the US! So maybe you changed what kind of milk you buy, or you had a slight hormonal shift (as is normal over time) and developed a sensitivity? I don’t know anything about Britain’s regulation of such things, but it might be worth a bit of research.

    Also, skim milk especially has been found to have a connection to breakouts. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, but there’s definitely a connection between dairy consumption and skin health for those with sensitivities (even previously unknown ones).

  4. Julia McAdam
    February 2, 2013 / 7:11 am

    Yes – dairy makes me break out too. My love affair with Stilton, creamy puds & hot choc made with milk over Christmas was a bit of a toxic one. Suffice to say, my January complexion has been pretty vile so have had to make the switch – especially after re-reading the amazing Caroline Hirons’ acne cheat sheet!

    I usually have porridge every day Ruth, but with sugar free almond milk – have you tried this? It gives a really lovely creamy & slightly nutty flavour – I couldn’t stand to have porridge with just water!

  5. Diana
    February 2, 2013 / 8:09 am

    absolutely, i gave up dairy long ago and i feel and look much better because of it. who wants to be drinking an animal’s breast milk anyway? we can get all the calcium we need from vegetables, milk schmilk!

  6. Vera
    February 2, 2013 / 8:13 am

    Yes, it makes total sense. I break out with dairy too, like..nodulo-cystic, painful, crazy, strange. Everytime I’m tempted to try it again, specially because in some places it’s hard to fin soy yogurt, I break out badly again. With milk the reaction is quicker than with yogurt, yogurt than with cheese, etc. I guess it’s allergy to lactose. Found out in late 2010, accidentally, during a trip where I was “forced” to change milk for tea.

  7. Becky
    February 2, 2013 / 8:26 am

    Yes, definitely. As soon as I start (as I did this week ugh) eating too much dairy I break out plus it does not agree with my stomach, so I’ve been feeling kinda sorry for myself this week. My skin is in hell which is worse than anything right now, and I think this one on my cheek will scar, I stupidly used a too-harsh face scrub and scrubbed the top of it off and it’s made a blinking crater in my cheek! ;(

    Back to cutting it almost completely out for me (except for occasional cheese!) No more milk chocolate or hot chocolate or yogurts in particular which have been this week’s culprits. Off to the shop later for alternative yogurts and dark chocolate! I have porridge every morning with part water and part almond or hazelnut milk, so you don’t have to miss out on your porridge, because it’s sooo good.

    Oh and I love green and black’s hot chocolate too, but there’s no actual harmful amounts of dairy in it, it used to be classified as vegan, but they issued a statement a while back saying that new rules mean they have to put milk powder as an ingredient on the jar (and on their dark chocolate bars, but again they used to be labelled vegan which) because it’s made in the same factory as milk powder products blah blah blah for people with severe allergies to know etc. So it’s still good for general avoidance! A combo of soya milk and hazelnut milk with green and black’s hot chocolate is amazing!

  8. February 2, 2013 / 8:41 am

    Ruth, I know of another blogger who has tried this. she suffered with acne and decided to give up milk.. If you want to know how she got on I can you her details. I’ve mentioned before I am a beauty therapist, from the way you described where your breakouts have occurred it sounds more like a hormonal imbalance that had happened with you. You had been under stress when it first started, and stress is known to affect the body. I’m not saying that the milk theory is wrong.. as its known sugar can increase breakouts. But I know you have a good diet, and you take care of your skin, so I believe it is more likely a hormone imbalance that occurred with you. Spots in the chin area are generally hormonal with us women. If you get them on one side of your face.. check if thats where you put your phone, or where you rest your hand.

  9. February 2, 2013 / 8:49 am

    Hi Ruth, I’m exactly the same, I worked it out last year that it dairy was a HUGE contributor to my breakouts. For me cutting it out completely was the only option, no cheese, no yogurt and certainly no milk. I switched to dairy free everything for a few months and my skin was so clear!
    I even went to the GP about but they were quite dismissive.

    It’s unlikely it’s an allergy or intolerance though. That’s what I initially thought, as I had been weened on soya milk as a baby because milk made me sick. I thought maybe my intolerance had returned or something. There are a lot of articles though that state it’s the growth hormones the farmers pump into the cows to make them lactate all year round that’s the problem as it raises our testosterone levels.
    I allow myself little bits of cheese occasional because I love it & can’t find a decent alternative but no cream, milk, yogurt etc I switch to Alpro and skin has been much better. Stress was also a culprit for me though too x

  10. Helen
    February 2, 2013 / 8:54 am

    Definitely agree with this! I stopped having milk and dairy last year and I only get breakouts at that time of the month or if I’m feeling stressed. I switched to almond milk which I actually prefer and apparently its a even better for you! :)

  11. Lil
    February 2, 2013 / 9:09 am

    There are a few studies that claim there are links between dairy and acne, especially in teens who are encouraged to drink gallons of the stuff.

  12. Betty
    February 2, 2013 / 9:13 am

    I too have experienced horrible breakouts on my chin. Constant cystic acne, spots on top of spots, very painful and really not pleasant to look at. I tried new skincare (effaclar duo being a hero product), cutting out certain foods including the milk. It helped a little to start with but they soon came back with a vengeance. I even had blood tests to check my hormone levels. All normal. I then did a little research and realised it was my contraception pill. The manufactured hormones were just not agreeing with me. Along with the acne, I was experiencing worse than normal mood swings, loss of libido, unexplained weight gain. So I came off them. It took about 18 months for my body and hormones to get back to normal, and in that time my acne completely stopped. I was over the moon, my confidence had come back and I was feeling great. Two months ago, still off any contraception the acne started to come back. Not as bad as first time round, but still they were there. I’m now going to cut out all dairy products, as my theory is the extra hormones that are present in dairy are messing up my normal hormone levels. It’s incredibly annoying as I, like you, enjoy porridge in the morning. Someone in these comments suggested hazelnut or almond milk, so I’ll give that a try.

  13. February 2, 2013 / 9:15 am

    I drink a lot of soya milk instead of cow milk. I also get reactions on my skin when I drink a lot of milk. I try to avoid it as much as I can but it’s not easy, because they make a lot of things with it. I also try too eat not too much cheese or yogurt.

    Have you tried porridge with some soya milk?



    • Linda
      February 2, 2013 / 12:40 pm

      Katrien, I really wouldn’t recommend drinking a lot of soya milk, it is not a good substitute for milk health wise. Please Google it and you might find you’ll want to try almond, rice, oat or any other grain/nut milk instead. (I study nutrition and I used to be a soya milk drinker).

  14. ana_seijas
    February 2, 2013 / 9:32 am

    I use almond milk and it has made a big difference to my skin, digestion and general wellbeing. YOu can use it for porridge and you won’t notice the difference after a while.

  15. Gwen
    February 2, 2013 / 9:34 am

    I noticed that when I moved to England and started drinking milk in my tea that I started to break out badly. I had about a million cups a day And my skin was a. Mess! I only recently made the connection so I gave it up a week ago and already see a big difference. I’ve also stopped having painful, gassy stomach aches at night. It makes sense, milk is quite difficult to digest for some people.

  16. February 2, 2013 / 9:34 am

    I have the same problem with milk, since am already allergic to it… they say it has animal hormones that make our hormones out of control, it kinda makes sense !!!

  17. Olivia
    February 2, 2013 / 9:38 am

    I think about this alot too ruth! i will let you know my thoughts! So i gave up milk (in its liquid form, as you say!) a few years ago due to an article my mum read about milk causing acne due to the hormones it contains – makes sense: major cause of acne is hormone inbalance, and adding exogenous, forign hormones cant be good! I took up drinking soya (but i couldnt stay away from cheese, classic!) I cant say i noticed a huge difference at the time, but to be fair i did have serve acne that ended up having to be treated with Roaccutane (controversial!). 5 or so years later, and hear i am. I wouldnt say Roaccuatne completely cured me, as a year or so later i did start to get a few spots, but i guess if you’ve got oily, congested skin there isnt much you can do! I am now 21 and started a new job 6 months ago. You get the usual completmentaty coffee/tea etc, so i began drinking the usual cappuccino’s and latte’s – and you know what?! THe tell tale acne spots started on my cheeks! This contines for a good few weeks untill it hit me and im now on black coffee, and i have to admit it worked. Thats not to say i dont ever get spots, but my cheeks are clear which is where i seem to get my “acne” spots (as opposed to blemishes on my chin, forehead etc which i attribute to oily skin..)

    My aim would be to do a complete lactose-free month (no cheese!?), which would of course be fascinating A few points to think about though; Firstly, i replaced milk with soya, but there is some research that soya may be detrimental also due to containing “pseudo-estrogen” when digested. I havn’t read too much about this so can’t comment too much, but it is hormone related then perhaps using rice mike/almond/hazelnut milk as a replacement may be better. Secondly, after staving off milk for so long, i think i may of in a way induced lactose intolerance, i can get bad cramps when i do have a lot of dairy now and it makes sense – if your body doesn’t need to use lactase (the enzyme that digests lactose) then i assume it would stop producing it? Who knows!

    Apologies for the crazy long comment, i just harp on about this a lot to my non-caring friends so i would love this to help someone!
    Love the blog a lot ruth!

    • lisam
      May 16, 2013 / 6:32 pm

      Olivia do you know how much estrogen Soy has in it? It’s also a GMO food so I would be getting off it quick smart for your own health. It’s evil! Google the dangers of Soy.

      • Olivia
        June 2, 2013 / 11:02 am

        i have been avoiding the knowledge of it until now! You will be glad to know im starting switching it with rice/oat etc! thank you!

  18. Emma Jane
    February 2, 2013 / 9:39 am

    Hi Ruth, a friend of mine began to suffer with sudden break outs & her GP recommended she give up milk & the break outs stopped. The balance of your body chemicals constantly change throughout your life so you can grow into & out of allergies & tolerances. There’s tons of non dairy milks you can use so you don’t miss your porridge :) x

  19. Flynn
    February 2, 2013 / 9:44 am

    I have had the same experience with milk and I also like my morning porridge – try porridge made just with water and served with fruit compote e.g. apple puree made by slicing Bramley apples and microwaving with a dribble of water for 4 minutes so they smoosh up nicely, serve a big spoonful on top of your porridge with a few sliced berries if you have them or a little sprinkle of cinnamon if you don’t. Compote keeps in the fridge for several days.

  20. Katie
    February 2, 2013 / 9:46 am

    Your skin looks so flawless. Thank for this post, Ruth!

  21. Annie
    February 2, 2013 / 9:52 am

    I am lactose intolerant and while I can’t really enjoy ice creams, I can safely say I went through puberty and on without ever having more than one spot on my face.
    Intolerance is actually an extremely common thing that develops as we age and our intestines start producing less and less lactase. In fact, lactose intolerance is often ignored/unnoticed since the gradual decrease of lactase in the in the small intestines is so slow, and often occurs as we mature, that any discomfort or physical reactions are often solely attributed to other hormonal factors.

  22. February 2, 2013 / 9:55 am

    they should put that on a commercial “”Want PCOS & acne?Easy, have some milk !””

  23. AA
    February 2, 2013 / 10:16 am

    only if you were getting pus-filled spots would it be diary related otherwise it is simply not the case, also with lactose intolerance you would have stomach pain each time after consuming milk. The only way to really know is to get tested for the allergy however you didn’t mention any pus-filled spots whilst making your acne video a while back.

    • Alex L
      February 2, 2013 / 10:54 am

      I am lactose intolerant and eating dairy caused joint pain and acne rather than stomach pains. I think it can affect people in many different ways.

    • RuthCrilly
      February 6, 2013 / 11:30 am

      I’m not sure I’m intolerant, not at all, but there’s a definite link. Last week, after writing this, had a bit of a dairy “binge” in Paris – hey presto, huge cyst-like spot. I just can’t afford to ignore the link!

    • brian
      April 26, 2013 / 4:49 am

      AA seems to have all the answers…..except how to rid herself of spots! Also, it may not help every single person but if it helps some I say job well done.

  24. AA
    February 2, 2013 / 10:17 am

    cutting out diary will not help a lot of people, acne is quite a tad more complicated than that, i cut it out a few months ago and it did nothing for me.

  25. February 2, 2013 / 10:18 am

    I stopped drinking milk and dairy products several months ago and my skin is better than it never has been! I get the occasional spot but overall is much healthier and clearer. I read that cow’s milk used in dairy products is full of hormones and that’s what messes up your hormone balance causing breakouts.

  26. Phoebe Curtis
    February 2, 2013 / 10:38 am

    I went dairy free for a while before xmas to see if it helped my acne. In short, it didn’t (and I read somewhere online that it could take up to 6 months to take effect – I wasnt prepared to continue this fairly difficult diet on the offchance it had an effect somewhere down the line). I did notice a hormonal change though- zero PMS compared to usually fairly marked symptoms, which kinda makes sense considering all the hormones in milk that are meant for baby cows! maybe if acne is caused primarily by hormones then dairy-free is the way to go?

  27. Alex L
    February 2, 2013 / 10:52 am

    I found out when I was teenager that yoghurts gave me very severe acne. I ran out of yoghurt for a week and in that short time saw no new spots and the rest clearing up fast.

  28. Ria
    February 2, 2013 / 10:56 am

    You’re not wrong. There have been a few studies where it’s suggested that there may be a link between dairy and acne. Note the “may.” It’s not a causal link, i.e. A therefore B, dairy therefore acne. But it’s a possibility. So perhaps you are one of the people that fall under the banner. So, if you have noticed a huge change, I’d suggest staying away from cow’s milk, but make sure you get your vitamins and minerals from somewhere else.

  29. Linda
    February 2, 2013 / 11:00 am

    Hi Ruth, I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance in my early 20’s and it was really hard at first giving up milk but now I don’t even like the taste anymore. There are so many milk alternatives and you can even very easily make your own at home. I would stay away from soy milk though, Google it. No need to give up your porridge, I have it every morning! And it’s true what one commenter said, it was actually designed for baby cows so not a good food for humans to consume anyway. Oh and just make sure that when you buy a milk alternative you get the unsweetened kind, otherwise it’ll just add a load of extra sugar to your diet!

  30. Laura
    February 2, 2013 / 11:15 am

    I had horrific acne and always found that milk gave me tummy upset….since I cut milk (and consequently caffine) from my diet my skin has transformed! If you have an intolerance then I definitely think it causes spots. I couldn’t even stand the smell of the milk in my milk and honey handwash! Has changed my life, now I take a vit supp to make up for it and eat just cheese and yoghurt occasionally xx

  31. Fabienne
    February 2, 2013 / 11:20 am

    Funny. I had milk again for the past 2 days since months and i have 2 gigantic spots on my forehead. Coincidence…

  32. Allie
    February 2, 2013 / 11:28 am

    I gave up dairy in the summer and my skin was perfectly clear within two weeks… Unfortunately it hasn’t stayed that way but then I have gotten lax with the no-dairy rule. I’m thinking of cutting it out completely again and seeing if it makes a difference like it did before!

  33. CharlieWarlie
    February 2, 2013 / 11:29 am

    I really recommend the Alpro Almond milk to replace cows milk in things like porridge, tea and custard, I think the taste is really subtle. The hazelnut one is very nice in hot chocolate, I think it tastes a bit like nutella.

    I would like to point out though, that for everyone concerned about cows being pumped full of growth hormones, that this does NOT happen in the EU, they produce milk because they calve regularly and are special high-milk-producing breeds. Sorry but it really bugs me when people assume that how the Americans farm is how we do it too! No growth hormones or antibiotics in feeds over here, for any animal.

  34. Beauty becky
    February 2, 2013 / 11:37 am

    If I have too much dairy, especially milk then I get spots and it only seems to have started recently. I can have milk with cereal but any more and I break out. Ie also had to cut out cheese! x

  35. Gaya
    February 2, 2013 / 11:56 am

    Hi Ruth! Actually I think it is scientifically proven that dairy have a negative impact on skin. It was the basic premise of a best-seller book “the Healthy skin diet” by Karen Fischer. The problem here being that you need the dairy for its calcium intake and thus stronger bones. However, in her book, Karen explains that you can give up dairy as long as you make certain that you eat other food that contain calcium (ie almonds, broccoli…). The thing is you’ll have to eat more of these other food in order to have the proper amount of calcium. If you want, I can dig up Karen’s book and tell you exactly the list of food with their exact calcium intake. XX

    • February 2, 2013 / 11:58 pm

      Gaya I would love to know this as I am in need of calcium but can’t drink milk!

      • Gaya
        February 3, 2013 / 4:39 pm

        Hey Felicity! Ok, so here is the list of non-dairy sources of calcium sources as seen in Karen’s book (in brackets she listed the calcium amount for each quantity):
        – 240 ml (8 fl oz) fortified soya milk (300 mg)
        – 255g pink salmon cooked (543 mg)
        – 37g tin sardines w/bones (111 mg)
        – 255g rainbow trout cooked (216 mg)
        -185g (7 oz) refried beans (155 mg)
        – 150 (5 1/2 oz) cjickpeas/garbanzo (210 mg)
        – 145g (5 oz) soya flour (180mg)
        – 115g (4oz) soyabeans (edamame) cooked (90mg)
        – 225g (8oz) yellow beans cooked (110mg)
        – 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds (80mg)
        – 85g baked snapper (34mg)
        – 220g (8oz) cooked kale (150mg)
        – 170g (6oz) haricot beans (130 mg)
        – 150g (5 1/2 oz) cooked broccoli (90 mg)
        – 3 teaspoojs tahini (192mg)
        – 150g canned kidney beans (138mg)
        – 2 tablespoons carob powder (56mg)

        Phew! That was a long one. Hope it helps you. :) Ah, and I’m going to add her warning “Note that calcium competes with skin-repairing nutrients such as zinc and copper, and too much calcium can cause iron deficiency so do not have calcium intake in excess of 1000mg per day until your skin condition improves.” For adults she advises 800mg of calcium per day.

        • RuthCrilly
          February 6, 2013 / 11:07 am

          Thanks Gaya, that’s brilliant! x

          • Ruth
            April 22, 2013 / 8:30 am

            Have you thought about taking a vitamin D supplement in the winter? In the uk we can only make vitamin D from April to September (due to the pathetic strength of the sun!) and you need vitamin D to absorb calcium. Also, SPF stops you making vitamin D, a bit worrying as I never leave the house without moisturiser of foundation which both contain SPF!

    • February 3, 2013 / 7:39 pm

      Yea you can get dairy in almonds, cheese substitutes if you so choose too. Nuts can do everything cow can do: turn to flour (meal), milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, offer protein etc.

    • Sarah
      February 4, 2013 / 3:09 pm

      Is the book any good? Would you recommend it? :)

      • Gaya
        February 4, 2013 / 3:21 pm

        Yes it’s good in the sense that it explains how your body works, how problems arise and how you can tackle various issues such as acne, cellulite, eczema… with a comprehensive approach which includes diet, skincare, exercise. However, I was unable to follow through with the diet in itself (at the end of the book, they are recipes), it’s too far from what I like. But I learned some good tips such as the use of chlorophyll supplements. XX

        • Sarah
          February 4, 2013 / 3:31 pm

          Ok thanks a million. I might check it out.. Would be worth look anyway! :)

  36. February 2, 2013 / 11:58 am

    I said this on Instagram but giving up milk was honestly the best move for my skin even though I had to stop for a different reason. The last time dairy was a proper part of my diet was almost 5 years ago and I now have almond milk (soya has it’s own problems and normally more sugar). My skin isn’t perfect but it definitely looks worse when I have dairy so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s what has cleared up your skin (as well as maybe having more eggs/omegas etc. if you’re not having porridge?).

    I have experimented a bit and the levels of lactose in cheese and yoghurt are much, much lower than in milk and ‘solid’ dairy is fine for me in small amounts – i’m a bit evangelical about natural yoghurt & probios. HOWEVER I tried the lactose free milk (they just add lactase which helps you digest milk…we aren’t designed to do that after a few months old anyway) and it caused breakouts so I feel like there is something else in moo juice in it’s purest form besides lactose that irritates the skin. Goat & sheep milk doesn’t have as much of an effect but is too rich to be having everyday imo.

    Anywho, feel free to grill me on dairy alternatives. I’ve tried ALL of them.

    • RuthCrilly
      February 6, 2013 / 11:01 am

      Thanks Meg, I think a lot of us will take you up on that offer!! x

  37. Caitlin
    February 2, 2013 / 12:02 pm

    do you not take milk in your coffee or tea? or do you just not drink it? – that would be my number one issue with giving up milk! xxx

    • Dana
      February 2, 2013 / 4:40 pm

      Caitlin, I use So Delicious coconut milk creamer in my coffee now…it isn’t sweet like coconut milk, but it is creamy and makes me not miss my half and half at all! :-)

  38. Karin
    February 2, 2013 / 12:38 pm

    Yes, the same here! Couple of years ago I have noticed that after I had milk or yoghurt my skin was greasier, spots appeared, pores were bigger, so I stopped and it cleared out. I was never a big dairy lover anyway, perhaps my body was telling me that dairy is not good for me. I have found out that there are many substitutes for getting your calcium intake e.g. almodns (yummy). But another thing came last year when I found out that spots appearing only on my jaw and neck were caused by oats. That is something I never expected but it is true. Basically if I don’t eat dairy, oats, bread (I eat only rye bread) and coffee (yes, I am sensitive to that as well) – my skin is really looking great. Well, everyone is sensitive to different things.

  39. nienkevanderpeet
    February 2, 2013 / 12:51 pm

    I think it does make a difference. I stopped drinking milk about 6 months ago, and my skin has definitely been better. I’m not too stricts with it though, I still consume products with milk in them, I just don’t use any milk on my cereals or hot chocolate anymore. I really like soya milk but my favorite is oat milk. And I’ve always made my porridge with water, never liked it with milk. xx

  40. susan
    February 2, 2013 / 1:07 pm

    There is a huge distinction (certainly in the scientific evidence) between cow’s milk and yoghurt other diary products (such as cheese and cream). There is some evidence of a link between lactose (which is basically sugar) in the former and acne but not, as I understand in other diary products, including full cream. Many physicians would be much more concerned about the long term consequences of giving up all diary for bone health in women (especially smokers) than acne, distressing though it is. Although other foods contain calcium, they are not as calcium rich.

    • Adrienne Angelos
      February 2, 2013 / 2:21 pm

      It is also worth mentioning that a lot of women on birth control (especially Depo Provera) are at risk of bone density loss and need more calcium in their diet, so take a supplement if you’re going to stop drinking milk and you’re not disciplined enough to eat pounds of kale every day!

  41. ajyoga
    February 2, 2013 / 1:20 pm

    Rather than physically drinking milk and putting yourseIf and your body through that, I would get a good food allergy test. It will pick up any minute sensitivity to food and then you will be sure of it! We can develop allergies at anytime in our lives for different reasons or even unknown reasons. I would ask a naturalpath, and or your GP.

    • brian
      April 26, 2013 / 4:57 am

      I’m not exactly sure as to what she’s putting herself through by eliminating milk products from her diet. Cows milk doesn’t assimilate in well in the human body passed a certain age. Also, from what I understand, cows milk leeches calcium from the body providing no real benefit in terms of helping to build strong bones and teeth.

  42. Jen
    February 2, 2013 / 1:23 pm

    As you say – it’s a complicated issue and holes can be picked in a lot of the studies that have been done. In my opinion nothing has been emphatically “proved” either way so far, so each to their own, we all just have to do what we think is best.

    Personally, I want to give up milk because I’m a vegetarian and I have major issues with the dairy industry. I won’t go into them, because then a lot of people will get all defensive and start having a go, I’l just say that they’re MY issues and they bother ME.

    Anyway, I quite often drink almond milk, and always find that I feel less dull/tired when I do. It’s nothing epic, I just feel a bit less meh. I just wish I liked it in Tea. Tea is the only thing that brings me back to cow milk. Everything else tastes rubbish in hot tea. I suppose I’ll have to go cold turkey on tea and end up with a two week headache. I’m already feeling sorry for myself ;)

    As you already noted in previous posts/videos, I do think that stress plays a major role in skin/skin health. Totally agree with you on that one. Maybe the stress and dairy coincided and created a “perfect storm” for your skin? Out of nowhere a year or so ago I got particularly bad skin for about 8 months. Now looking back, it’s really obvious it was due to stress and the altered diet etc that goes along with that. That sort of calm on the surface, but never really relaxed stress that I sort of brushed off at the time. I started getting facials (never have before/since) and they didn’t make a blind bit of difference. I think the stress affected my hormones and maybe dairy etc possibly exacerbates that if you’re a bit sensitive, but who knows?

    If you don’t want to drink dairy, and you don’t need to because there are so many alternatives, then don’t!

  43. Daisy P
    February 2, 2013 / 1:26 pm

    I too found dairy to be a trigger for jawline acne, i’ve had none now for over 6 months and my skin has never looked so clear! As for porridge, I like to eat it every morning without fail so I use Hemp milk or sometimes unsweetened almond milk and find it tastes better than ‘regular’ milk. I did use soya but found that left me with acne, a puffy face and mood swings. PMT in a carton!

    • Verave
      February 2, 2013 / 5:04 pm

      Exactly! jaw line! that’s exactly what I had while eating diary.

  44. Viktoria
    February 2, 2013 / 2:16 pm

    Ruth, didn’t you tell us that you were very stressed out and took a holiday (starting around Christmas) to relax? Maybe it was also stress that caused your acne and not just milj?

    • Viktoria
      February 2, 2013 / 2:16 pm


    • RuthCrilly
      February 6, 2013 / 11:30 am

      Yes, I have thought that too, but have done a post update – up tomorrow, x

  45. February 2, 2013 / 2:46 pm

    Hi Ruth! Do you eat cheese and yogurt or not really?

  46. Leslie
    February 2, 2013 / 2:52 pm

    Ruth, I went through a phase of sudden, terrible breakouts in my mid-20s, so I started to follow “The Clear Skin Diet” (Dr. Alan Logan).
    I cut out all dairy. It cleared up the acne on my forehead and cheeks
    almost immediately, but I still struggle with the chin/mouth area no
    matter what I eat. Because I love cheese so much, I still eat it in
    moderation, but haven’t suffered the forehead/cheek acne again. I would
    recommend still eating your porridge, because it’s good for you, but
    replace the cow’s milk with soy, almond, or coconut milk.

  47. Siso
    February 2, 2013 / 3:48 pm

    Absolutely!!!! I started two years ago to drink coffe and milk everyday and i would keep,breaking out on my chin! I didnt put two and two together until I was fed up. I started researching chin acne and found that it is hormone related. (Google face mapping) and that it is mostly linked to dairy. Esp. Milk. Ever since i stopped the spotts stoped!! I do have cheese and that doesnt seem to affect me. And an occasional dessert with milk. Like once a week will not affect you either. Yay!!!

  48. Shel D.
    February 2, 2013 / 4:04 pm

    Love this post. I’ve really noticed an improvement in my skin since reducing dairy. I’m just having trouble cutting out cheese :)

  49. February 2, 2013 / 4:29 pm

    I think this may not be a coincidence…Unfortunately( I love milk and I don’t want to cut it out(

    Recently I read an interesting thing about modern production of milk. In short, industrialization resulted in that milk now may contain more hormones, than it should have. And of course, hormones have a serious effect on skin… I had doubts about that, but now I read your post and I’m thinking this may be true

    • February 3, 2013 / 7:40 pm

      Mass production of food – the culture of it – does seem to have a huge impact on the quality of food. :/

  50. Tobiah
    February 2, 2013 / 4:32 pm

    I cut out dairy about a year ago as a “last straw” attempt to help my skin when nothing else seemed to be working. I had read about the theory online and thought, heck, what do I have to lose?
    Needless to say, it’s been a year of flawless skin. Also, I no longer get those painful cystic pimples anymore, which I was getting ALL THE TIME.

  51. Dana
    February 2, 2013 / 4:35 pm

    Ruth, I totally agree with you! Twice in my life I gave up all dairy and my skin was perfectly clear. I sufffer from the same kind of breakouts that you had last year. Mostly when I slip up and have milk in my latte or eat cheese. I gave up yogurt awhile ago, sad day it was! Thanks so much for this post! :-)

  52. Ellis
    February 2, 2013 / 4:54 pm

    I used to drink a lot of milk and was suffering from breakouts very similar to what you have described. I stopped drinking milk and it definitely helped clear my skin. Almond milk in porridge is delicious! Or (being a poor student) I sometimes just use water X

  53. Victoria C.
    February 2, 2013 / 5:01 pm

    Dairy is certainly a factor in making me break out. I can’t speak to the dairy industry in the UK and elsewhere, but here in Canada health-conscious hippies like me worry about the hormones that factory farmers pump into our cows to make them grow faster and lactate more. I do notice that my skin is much better when I cut out cow’s milk altogether (yogurt and cheese and sour cream and butter, etc), which was difficult over the Christmas holiday but I’m more or less back on track now.

    That said, I’m 23 years old and of Chinese descent, and I have only recently noticed a gastro-sensitivity to milk (i.e. not quite lactose intolerant, but I never feel great after I have milk), and that’s when I started cutting it out of my diet. Better skin was but a consequence of that, but I am definitely not going back to dairy if I can help it. :)

  54. Noshin
    February 2, 2013 / 5:06 pm

    I actually hardly ever drink milk. I hate the smell of it, the way it looks and the way it tastes. Thanks for sharing Ruth, this was interesting. :)

  55. Vera Fonseca
    February 2, 2013 / 5:07 pm

    2nd comment on this:
    It might be lactose intolerance but also..remember, what kind of milk are you consuming? Is it organic? If not, the antibiotics and additives that regular milk has can affect your body. Imagine, the cow takes hormones, guess what you will be drinking with milk? :)

  56. Iga
    February 2, 2013 / 5:08 pm

    I don’t know if milk actually leads to bad skin because I’ve never noticed the pattern but I did switch over to Soy Milk. I like the taste better and it is much healthier.

  57. February 2, 2013 / 5:14 pm

    Ugh, I would LOVE to give up milk and see if it would help my perpetually broken out chin zone. But I love hot chocolate made with milk, the creamier the better, heck just add some cream in there too. I love cream. This makes me sad. I’ve tried almond and soy milks but they lack the creaminess I desire :( Damn milk!

    • Sunita
      February 2, 2013 / 5:50 pm

      Have you tried Hazelnut drink as a substitute? I have to say it was lovely, can’t go wrong with hazelnut hot choc. Plus its creamy like milk when heated and it forms a frothyness on top when I added one or two marshmallows. I got the Alpro one from Asda its a new one. : )

    • jamie
      February 3, 2013 / 9:14 pm

      hazelnut milk is definitely a good one to try. coconut milk as well is creamier than almond milk. i’ve even see coconut-based cream for coffee, etc.

  58. DanielleGallegos
    February 2, 2013 / 5:16 pm

    I have heard that as we get older humans become lactose intolerant. Now I’m not sure exactly how true that really is. I personally haven’t noticed an effect of dairy on my skin, but I know others who swear by a non-dairy diet=clear skin.

  59. eyelinr
    February 2, 2013 / 5:29 pm

    Ruth, I’m with you on this one, for I too noticed a massive clear up in my skin since ditching the cow juice; I was starting to get the same type of break outs along my jaw line as I had done with the pill a few years earlier and it was creeping me out so i cut out milk. hey presto, the spots went away. If I *do* have a cup of tea with milk these days I notice that the problem isn’t as bad if I use organic milk, so that might be worth experimenting with for your porridge? (although, i have mine with water and honestly can’t tell the difference between that and when I was using milk) x

  60. Jean
    February 2, 2013 / 5:49 pm

    I highly doubt it’s a coincidence! Dairy is a very well known trigger for acne. I went vegan 6months ago and within a week of doing so my skin was almost completely clear. I believe that was mostly due to the absence of all dairy products.

  61. February 2, 2013 / 6:04 pm

    I haven’t had milk in about 9 yrs and I still break out on jaw line and I’m 44.

  62. Kelli
    February 2, 2013 / 6:15 pm

    I’ve heard this before, and I can say that my skin (though not perfect) is much better than it was when I was having milk regularly. It’s quite easy to find milk alternatives- i tend to buy almond, oat, or chestnut- without going the soy route. Like Meg said, soy has it’s own issues. I do drink it, but not everyday. For an alternative yogurt, I like sheep’s yogurt with a little bit of honey or fresh berries.

  63. Makeuplover13
    February 2, 2013 / 6:16 pm

    It really doesn’t surprise me that you have had this positive reaction! I’ve been reading up on the benefits of giving up dairy too recently and it is so laden full of hormones etc that its not surprising it has such a negative effect on our skin. I too haven’t had milk on cereal for over 2 weeks and am reaping the benefits of less bloating, better skin and I feel more awake! X

  64. Jacqueline
    February 2, 2013 / 8:38 pm

    I noticed a difference in my skin and that I felt better/had more energy when I cut out cow’s milk. I originally started on soy, but when I read about all the estrogen, we moved on to almond milk. Haven’t looked back! So yummy, actually much creamier for use in baking and I think it absolutely affects my skin for the better. I like the brand Almond Breeze:) If you miss the milk in your porridge maybe try almond milk? My only qualm is when I order at Starbucks I know they’ll use soy not almond. I still love dairy- cheese, yogurt, cream cheese, etc. Best of luck! xx

  65. Selma Gabela
    February 2, 2013 / 8:50 pm

    Gosh, I love dairy and dairy products and I have clear skin so sheeesh, thank goodness that it doesn’t affect me. I have no idea how I’d live without some fine fromage which with red wine makes a heavenly combo :)) I’m a passionate foodie and I love anything creamy and delicious. I can only say “thanks mom” for my genes but we’ll see how they’ll serve me in the future. Glad you figured out what does/doesn’t do good to you though.

  66. sunnygirlnova
    February 2, 2013 / 9:01 pm

    Hi Ruth! I liked your post about milk. I wonder about milk influence on my skin and tummy as well. I didn’t try not to drink milk like you did…I need to have my morning late. I remember that when I was single I used to start my mornings with tea and I didn’t eat milk products often at all and my skin looked better and my stomach felt better as well. When I got married I adopted my husband’s tradition to drink a cup of coffee in the morning and I drink it with whole milk. I did make a change recently. I decided not to eat much cheese and I also make my morning oatmeal with almond milk which is very delicious. So, I minimized my milk consumption. I think you should experiment and see how your body will response to milk when you introduce it back in to your diet. I came to the conclusion that my body knows it best – if I don’t want something then I don’t need it. So, if you feel better and your skin is better without milk then maybe you can stop drinking it. If you do research about frozen treats without yogurt please let us know. I really like those in the spring and summer and not sure how to substitute them. Thanks!

  67. February 2, 2013 / 9:03 pm

    it’s definitely not a coincidence! i used to suffer from acne and have always had problems with spots. i was diagnosed with lactose intolerance about a year ago and therefore gave up (most) dairy products – my skin has improved SO much since then, i get the occasional small spot every few weeks but haven’t had any major breakouts at all, it was like a miracle haha! at that point i didn’t know that it had anything to do with milk though, it was only after i’ve came across so many articles and blog posts about milk causing breakouts, when i realised that giving up dairy products was the reason for my skin to clear up so much! :)
    (i now even prefer the taste of soya milk to normal cows milk, and it has just as much calcium and vitamins in it. hazelnut and almond milk are great too and make porridge taste amazing!)
    mona xx

  68. Boncica Tam
    February 2, 2013 / 9:29 pm

    milk has a lot of hormone in it – they are injected into cows for them to produce more milk and it all ends back to the milk itself. Extra hormone-> hormonal imbalance-> breakout!

  69. February 2, 2013 / 9:55 pm

    Hi Ruth, this is really interesting as I think I just figured out that cheese was giving me spots (big sad face). But I’m still having milk, although i only have literally a couple of tea spoons on my cereal so perhaps that small amount would not make a difference either way…

    Also I have been trying alpro soya milk in my porridge (have been loving dorset cereals raspberry porridge!) and I honestly can’t tell the difference, if anything it tastes more creamy? So that may be worth a try if you are desperate for your porridge :) How often do you eat cheese/yoghurt now? I am wondering why there would be a difference between them all but perhaps milk was just what was tipping your consumption over the edge, like cheese was mine? X

  70. Natalie
    February 2, 2013 / 9:59 pm

    Hey Ruth,

    I’ve been following your blog for the last year or so (maybe a year and a half), but within the last I don’t know six months maybe more like eight my skin has gone freaking haywire. It seemed to happen start, slowly, going bananas right after I turned nineteen. Being extra gentle with my face has pretty much cleared everything up, but I have still been getting pesky little spots on my back, neck, chest and shoulder area. They’re not bad, but theres always a few that never seem to really go away. I have realized from selectively cutting out different products that shampoos and conditioners seem to be the culprits. I’ve switch to a natural baby shampoo, unfortunately, it has made my hair quite dry and tangled! Head & Shoulders Classic Clean works okay as well. Is there anything you could recommend that might work better than the ones I’m currently using? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  71. Inoon
    February 2, 2013 / 10:07 pm

    hi ! I’ve stopped dairy products for almost 4 years now, after giving birth, I had some huge breackout were my skin is naturally nice (poor me) My dermatologist told me that I might have some lactose intolerance, so I decide to stop dairy products for a week and then after that, for much more. My skin is much better but as you can find a lot of milk in everything you eat (very hard to change those long habits) I still got some irritations on part of my skin that only diseapear when I eat zero dairy products, but it’s really hard !

  72. Mariella
    February 2, 2013 / 11:20 pm

    I can assure you that lactose intolerance does not cause skin issues, only digestion problems. What can cause skin issues is milk allergy, but then cheese and yoghurt would trigger them too. So scientifically speaking, I am afraid this is a coincidence… But the most important is you are spot free!!

  73. Sylvie
    February 2, 2013 / 11:43 pm

    Everyone is sensitive to different foods! For me, it’s dairy and caffeine. The difference in my skin is enooormous! I say, do what works for you :) Oh, and I make my porridge with rice milk, almond milk, or water. Very delicious with cardamom and peaches, or berries and cocoa and honey, too!

  74. February 3, 2013 / 12:11 am

    Ruth, I hope you found your acne culprit!! I remember reading on Caroline Hirons’s blog that milk is a big no-no for her. I wonder if all the hormones they pump into cows (at least in the US, not sure if this is done to the same extent in England) plays a big role in messing with your skin. I’ve read recently lots of different foods can trigger acne: dairy, gluten, sugar. The site I read suggested to eliminate it from your diet for two weeks and see how your skin reacts and slowly bring it back in. I rarely drink milk anymore, mostly cause my husband doesn’t like it so I switched to almond milk. It might take a week or two to get used to it, but it’s great!

    I’m still trying to find out what is causing my acne. Around September or October, I started to break out horribly along my chin and jaw line. Huge, angry red spots. I just had some blood taken to have my hormones tested. I’m a little older than you (35), so I’m wondering if my hormones are starting to change and their out of whack. Also have an appointment to see a dermatologist. Hopefully they’ll be able to help!

  75. Charlotte11
    February 3, 2013 / 12:43 am

    I’m very glad that taking a break from milk/going on vacation/change of your diet may have cleared up your skin but I really get irritated at the endless comments from people who are supposedly beyond convinced without a doubt of the evil that is in milk/dairy. I just think there are so many factors that may be involved and certainly, many people do have legitimate intolerances but blanket “dairy is evil/why would I drink an animal’s milk” type of comments just aren’t very productive or helpful. Especially when there’s a very palpable undercurrent of judgment that accompanies those comments towards people who don’t believe dairy is the source of all evil.

    • jamie
      February 3, 2013 / 9:55 pm

      i think alot of people who experience significant hormonal breakouts are often desperate to find a solution and dairy is an easy thing to point to because it naturally contains hormones and some people do experience improvement after cutting out dairy. that said, it’s certainly true that while many people are sensitive, many people are not sensitive to dairy at all.

      • RuthCrilly
        February 6, 2013 / 11:28 am

        Absolutely. I wasn’t, until last year! I’ve done a post update, it comes out tomorrow. x

  76. Robin
    February 3, 2013 / 1:25 am

    Hi Ruth,

    A good friend of mine visited a dermatologist to get rid of acne once. She did some fancy pimple popping and ended the appointment with “Oh, and your acne will dissapear if you just cut out dairy products and drink lots of water”. So he did, and I did too, and it worked like a charm. We are bot still teenagers, which means spots appear every once in a while. But the difference it made was so extreme that I recommend it to anyone that will listen.

    On another note, if you start missing your porridge, I make it without milk. I boil some water and throw in a diced peeled apple. Boil it till the apple gets soft, add some rolled oats and soms powdered cinnamon. Sweeten with some stevia and it’s something quite flavourfull that fills you up nicely. Also, you can skip the apple and cinnamon and just slice in a banana. It’s different, but still quite nice, certainly not as bland as you’d think. And the idea that you’re pretty much eating pure fibers, with some added vitamins en minerals somehow realy helps the taste. If that makes sense.


  77. Liz
    February 3, 2013 / 5:56 am

    Hi Ruth,
    We went dairy free three years ago at our house and collectively, our skin has changed for the better. My teenager had terrible acne on his face, chest and back. It’s mostly all gone now, he gets an occasional breakout (he’s 21 now) but his skin glows overall.

    At 45, my skin has less dry patches and blotchiness and I also get less sinus infections. I have been advised by more than one physician to avoid dairy.

    For calcium in my diet, I eat more kale, chard and drink almond milk. I use it in smoothies, or in my oatmeal and plain almond milk makes a great cream of broccoli soup.

  78. Maggie
    February 3, 2013 / 8:57 am

    Ruth, I feel like I have written this post. Your experience is exactly like mine. I get stress related breakouts. I thought that the reason my skin was better on holiday was due to less stress and the sun. I’m sure that helped but mainly it was the break in routine of having my daily latte. I read about the link between milk and acne on Beautymouth so I stopped having milky drinks. I still have small pots of yoghurt and plenty of cheese plus small amounts of milk in cereal and that seems fine. It was the half a pint of milk in the latte that did it. I’m certain! If I have a milky drink, the spot arrives within 24 hours like clockwork. I still get the odd spot but they are a totally different species and much rarer. For me, this is the answer and the diet isn’t extreme. Just tweaked. (Tried soya but that has other effects on hormones.)
    I also get less time-of-the-month side effects. So glad you have posted on this. It will help a lot of people. Mxox

  79. Moll
    February 3, 2013 / 9:28 am

    I had to give up milk for other reasons about 5 years ago. I had also always suffered from bad skin ( to the extent that I went on Roaccutane for it). Guess what, my skin cleared up after a couple of months off milk. Stupidly, i didn’t realise the connection and a couple of years ago, started having cow’s milk on my cereal again. Hello spots! If you google milk+acne there’s a lot out there, supposedly caused by the hormones in the milk in these industrial-farming days. All I know is that without a shadow of a doubt, it gives me spots. Rice milk or soya milk are great alternatives.

  80. Beth
    February 3, 2013 / 12:03 pm

    Hi Ruth!
    I was an avid milk drinker (probably drinking far too much!) but after trying all the spot creams and even antibiotics, which had no great improvement i did a bit of research and decided to go milk free for a month. My skin went from being pretty bad, to only having a few small spots! (milk can also make skin irritations such as eczema worse which i have found also). I now only drink soya milk and eat yogurts made with soya milk, which can make things abit tricky and annoying sometimes but its worth it! I have tried slowly going back on milk, but each time found my skin and eczema flares up… coincidence I think not!

  81. Mli
    February 3, 2013 / 12:39 pm

    Love the post! I think I gave up the liquid stuff at roughly the same time as you and as you say have noticed a marked improvement in my skin, particularly in the area around my chin. My normally ruddy cheeks are also considerably less pink!

    As I am rather partial to my morning porridge I’ve been trying out a few bits to see what I can replace the milk with. I found water too dry, and did not enjoy soya, but I am a fan of almond milk. It is quite sweet to drink normally, and I don’t like it in a cup of tea (I should be cutting down on this anyway) but I do find I can make a good porridge with it. It isn’t identical but it does introduce a nice subtle nutty flavour. If it isn’t sweet enough then I just add a touch of honey.

  82. Louise-Lesley Johnston
    February 3, 2013 / 1:11 pm

    About 3 years ago I became allergic to milk – absolutely no change in my skin once I cut dairy out of my diet! it might irritate some people but makes no different to others, me included.

  83. Lynda
    February 3, 2013 / 1:21 pm

    Aside from lactose which causes issues for some people, milk has lots of additional hormones and antibiotics that the cow that produced it was given, hence the effect on humans who consume it.

    Also there’s no need to miss porridge use the milk alternatives. I’ve tried pretty much all! Hemp milk is great in Porridge and Hazlenut is delish in hot choc.

  84. nathalie
    February 3, 2013 / 2:10 pm

    You may want to try almond milk in your porridge. That’s what I use and it’s very good.

  85. Madii
    February 3, 2013 / 2:15 pm

    I don’t drink milk and I get pimples very often. Alsi, Effaclar Duo did nothing for me in terms of helping my skin. I’m 29.. Everyine’s skin is different so what works for you I ser doesn’t work for me.

  86. Emma
    February 3, 2013 / 3:05 pm

    Hey an alternative is non-dairy milk, almond, soya, rice milk.

  87. February 3, 2013 / 4:17 pm

    Ruth, I also came to this conclusion recently, although with me it is all rich in dairy products. Over the Christmas period, over indulging in cheese and chocolates is a given which resulted in major deep spots on my cheeks.

  88. Hazel
    February 3, 2013 / 5:20 pm

    I have quit all diary out of my diet, and I am just drinking almond milk. But when I was on diary my skin was like an erupting volcano. But now, nope not a spot, just scarring that is healing away. But like you, I’m afraid to try out diary again and see if it is the culprit. I’ve been diary free for 4 months now.

  89. Katie
    February 3, 2013 / 5:48 pm

    Have also stopped milk to help with my adult acne, especially after reading that cows are fed soy (which is massively misunderstood and key to upsetting the hormonal balance) and also fed hormones themselves to keep them lactating… I have replaced milk with hemp milk which is full of omega 3, Acne is much better, I have also supported this with acupuncture, salcura antiac, and pai organics skin care range for sensitive skin, and cut out wheat, gluten and sugar from my diet for six months and have a green smoothie every morning. Skin has never been better and I feel really healthy! :)

  90. Cara McLaughlin
    February 3, 2013 / 5:50 pm

    Hi Ruth, based on my own anecdotal evidence, I completely agree with you. I’ve never suffered from spots on my face but always had very bad spots on my back as a teenager… Thought I would grow out of it but never did and still had them when, at 18, I did a dairy-free detox for lent and they completely and utterly disappeared for the first time ever. I stayed off dairy for about a year afterwards and had absolutely no spots whatsoever during this time. In the last few years, I’ve started dairy again (mainly hard cheese and milk chocolate) and they have come back. I really cannot think of any other explanation or link. For me, the link with dairy was remarkable. xx

  91. Karolina
    February 3, 2013 / 6:10 pm

    If you have spots on cheeks and jawline I storngly recommed drinking a class of warm water with one spoon of honey. Because spots in these area means that there is sth wrong with a stomach and drinking these nice mixture will help. It has worked on me in 100%!!! After just two weeks I noticed huge difference and I got many complements on that. You should definietly try this ;).

  92. Karolina
    February 3, 2013 / 6:18 pm

    Oh and you should drink it in the morning before breakfast ;)

  93. February 3, 2013 / 7:37 pm

    I’m thinking of giving up animal milk – I’ve had to go pesco-vegetarian (as I still eat shrimp, and smoked salmon once or twice a month), and I’ve still had some issues when I have a lot of animal milk. And It’s issues I’ve not had to contend with when I have almond milk or any other nut based milk…You might have not noticed the impact having cow milk has on you too; because your symptoms allegedly lead to spotty skin – that’s not something serious enough to go to the doctor for. But when you avoid it you find your skin is clearer…it’s something to think about.

  94. Zizi
    February 3, 2013 / 9:24 pm

    You can have almond milk instead with porridge, very yummy x

  95. Andrea
    February 3, 2013 / 9:29 pm

    Hey Ruth!

    I don’t think that you are crazy to believe that milk was the cause of your breakouts. I have been through a similar situation as yourself. I used to drink a lot of chocolate milk (yum) and yogurt in the morning. For a few months I had decided that I wanted to incorporate more fruit and water in my diet, therefore replacing the milk and yogurt. I didn’t go completely without, but it was a drastic cut. During that time my skin did clear up, an effect I didn’t expect. Then when I reverted to my old, nasty habits, my skin went back to its usual self. I hadn’t changed my foundation or skin routine during that time and that is the only thing I can think of that benefited my skin!

    I have also read that milk can have negative effects on the skin… I believe it is due to the hormones given to the cows or something to that effect.

  96. jamie
    February 3, 2013 / 9:44 pm

    i completely agree with the comments that there’s something to this… specifically considering the natural hormone content of dairy products. not sure how much lactose might be to blame in terms of causing breakouts, but if you are sensitive to lactose (and so many people are, even if only a little), it seems likely that it would have an effect. it is definitely possible to have lactose intolerance come about as an adult — i’ve always been lactose intolerant, but the severity has varied over the years. i would add that if it is a lactose issue and not just the hormones in dairy, then all dairy products containing lactose (milk, yogurt, soft cheeses, etc.) could possibly contribute to breakouts. theoretically, hard cheeses are naturally lactose free because they don’t contain whey (which is where lactose is present), but depending on how sensitive you are and to which aspect of dairy you are sensitive, they might still be troublesome.

  97. Holly
    February 3, 2013 / 10:22 pm

    Hello Ruth!

    If you miss your porridge, just make it with water. Not as tasty as normal, but it will still be porridge x

  98. February 4, 2013 / 12:55 am

    I too have noticed this, whenever I steer clear of dairy my skin miraculously stops breaking out. My acne is mainly hormonal and my diet definitely has something to do with it, and I think milk and my huge love for cheese is one of the things causing my breakouts. If anyone’s breaking out I’d really stress the importance of not trying dairy for a few weeks, if it’s the dairy causing your spots then you’ll notice a HUGE difference!

  99. Jane
    February 4, 2013 / 5:10 am

    Milk contains androgen hormones – and they basically increase your testosterone levels. And thus make your skin oilier and more prone to problems.

  100. Maggie
    February 4, 2013 / 6:42 am

    I feel like I wrote this post, Ruth. I have exactly the same problem as you i.e. stress related acne, I too noticed that it was much improved on holiday and thought it was due to less stress and sunshine. Then I read on Beautymouth about the effect of dairy on hormones. I haven’t made drastic changes but like with you and porridge, I have stopped having my daily latte which had a large amount of milk and as if by magic, my skin has cleared up and stayed that way! I still have cheese, small pots of yoghurt and small amounts of milk on cereal and that seems fine. It was the milky drinks. I did do a test and had a latte one Sunday. Within 24 hours I had a vicious spot. It is the milk. I am certain! In fact I commented on one of your posts last year asking readers if they had also found this connection. I still get the occasional spot but they are a totally different species. Thanks for writing this post, Ruth. You will have helped a lot of people. Mxox

  101. Amal
    February 4, 2013 / 8:35 am

    I believe so and have switched to unsweetened soy milk myself. I recommend the book Feed Your Face by Dr. Jessica Wu. I found out from the book that sugar and cow’s milk were the culprits of my breakouts. It’s about trial and error sometimes.

  102. February 4, 2013 / 12:17 pm

    Dairy is supposedly responsible for gut problems, dandruff, allergies, bad skin and cellulite. At least in some individuals. It certainly doesn’t hurt to eliminate certain foods for a time to see if there’s an improvement in whatever issue you have. And there are dairy substitutes out there so you can still enjoy that lovely bowl of porridge Ruth.

    Ali x

  103. Nadia LipstickandGlitter
    February 4, 2013 / 3:06 pm

    I am with you on the love for oatmeal (aka porridge). However, make your oatmeal with plain almond milk instead. It tastes just as delicious and you’d never notice the difference but your skin might! Just make sure you get your calcium from other sources. PS I wouldn’t recommend soy milk…I’m not a fan of soy products.

  104. Sarah
    February 4, 2013 / 3:07 pm

    Thanks for the post Ruth,
    I just read like all the comments! I’m definitely giving up dairy.. I realise I don’t drink too much milk (maybe once a day in tea) but I love cheese and yogurt. Would doing a natural yogurt face mask need to be cut out too? Also, could anyone tell me if getting your bloods tested would show any of this up? I got mine done this morning, I think my hormones are off balance. My ongoing fight with chin and jawline acne continues :/

  105. Ann
    February 4, 2013 / 5:27 pm

    Ruuuuth! your skin looks so amazing in this picture :D what foundation are you wearing?

  106. February 4, 2013 / 6:38 pm

    I love milk and growing up I probably had the only mom who considered milk to be damaging – she was a health food nut before they were even around. However, if she happened to get unpastuerized, unhomogenized milk from a known clean source, we were allowed it. As a grown up (ahem) I’ve noticed that I do become lactose intolerant if I don’t drink milk for a month or two. But if I drink “organic” milk, no problem. Just something to think about. I never break out from milk, however…I freak out when I do get a zit as I’m not equipped to deal w/ it.
    But your porridge comment has put me into a porridge kick since I read this post: steel cut oats w/ milk and tiniest bit of jam. Plan to substitute banana in the last cooking stage thus pitching the jam. And thanks to your readers will try almond milk instead. Sorry to have gone on so long but this post appears to have been a hot button issue. Thanks! Many great ideas.

  107. Rachel
    February 4, 2013 / 6:51 pm

    I’d be interested to hear the results of your ‘experiment’ (I only put that in inverted commas because it will be a sample size of one!) and whether you find out that milk/dairy is causing your breakouts – I’ve heard lots of people say something similar.
    However, be careful if you do decide to cut out all dairy products from your diet. Whilst other foods like nuts and veggies contain calcium, it’s more easily absorbed from dairy. A dairy-free diet needs careful planning to make sure you get all the nutrients you need! Milk alternatives contain lots of calcium but as Meg says, often also contain lots of sugar unfortunately.

  108. Cat
    February 4, 2013 / 7:05 pm

    I had such skin trouble I went to a nutritionist who told me I was eating too much dairy and too much sugar (common problem for vegetarians). She put me on a low-yeast diet for a month, gave me probiotics and although now I’m not as strict as I was, (thanks Paris!) my skin is WAY better. I still have milk in my porridge but thats the only milk i have that day. I did also find that all the skincare products I were using were too harsh for my skin, thus worsening the problem (didnt get on well with Effaclar at alll!) and finally found Avene range, which works well. I get the ocasxional blemish but they heal quicker than they used to.

  109. thisiskatie
    February 4, 2013 / 9:53 pm

    have you porridge with almond milk like me! i can’t tell the difference at all and my skin has been much better since swapping to almond!xx

  110. Anita
    February 4, 2013 / 9:56 pm

    Oh dear I hope the milk is not a culprit. I have been in Florida for a week and have started to miss my porridge. And tea. The American breakfast is great but I get so full that I can only have my dinner. But I would miss diner food when I get back to scotland.

  111. Monoray
    February 4, 2013 / 11:31 pm

    Before I came to America, my skin was very clear. After consume milk in America for 2 weeks, my skin starts to break out. I didn’t realize the relation between milk and my acne, however, after I turned to soy milk , my skin is much better! (Sometimes also breakout for hormone imbalance but way better than before!)

  112. Andrea
    February 4, 2013 / 11:35 pm

    Porridge with almond milk is de-li-cious (much better than with water) as well as healthy. These days I add a few frozen raspberries, and it’s just morning bliss…!

  113. Chrissy
    February 5, 2013 / 11:02 am

    Cow milk is for calfs. Could it be that simple? YES. You’ve second thoughts? Try it out. Just one month without dairy products. You’ll see the difference, and you’ll feel it. Congratulations Ruth that you direct your attention on that.

  114. mandarina
    February 5, 2013 / 12:59 pm

    It greatly depends on where you live! People don’t assume that this applies to all countries- in Eastern Europe you can easily get good milk without hormones etc!!!
    Also, I wonder if all of the commenters suffer from candida as well- since this is the prime reason for cutting dairy out.

  115. February 5, 2013 / 2:05 pm

    No milk, no cristal sugar you should ad – I have skipped milk products totally due to a genetic intolerance and see – 80% of the spots are gone, only left the hormonal ones. The same if I stop eating white sugar and sweetend products (better to cook yourself, or to bake yourself with cane sugar) – a bit is fine, but as soon as I get myself more often something from the bakery I turn to a spot-monster.

    So I totally agree – skip milk / just try it out!

  116. eleni
    February 5, 2013 / 3:37 pm

    i completely agree. i had horrendous acne on my cheeks, and it was due to dairy…i couldn’t believe it, but now my acne has gone since giving it all up. x

  117. mina
    February 5, 2013 / 6:38 pm

    This is entirely plausible. Milk hormones (both the natural hormones from the cow and growth hormones) affect hormone levels in our bodies, which in turn affects androgens (the fluctuation of which can cause hormonal acne spots).

    Other foods that affect our hormone levels (particularly in women) are: soy based foods, foods high in refined sugars (including simple and refined carbohydrates), most dairy produce and some green/mint teas.

    Since cutting these out of my diet, my face is completely flawless.

  118. Keet
    February 5, 2013 / 7:56 pm

    I have had the same experience. I stopped drinking milk due to my stomach, I suffer from IBS. It worked miracles on my skin too! Also, cutting down on sugar (fructose) will help as well!

  119. Halla
    February 5, 2013 / 10:17 pm

    Yes, breaks me out every time I have it in any way. I’ll do without it though to avoid aggravated skin. I have the same issue with soy as well….

  120. February 6, 2013 / 3:32 pm

    okay then. but what do u guys put in your coffee? i can try anything for my skin. but coffee is my life :(

  121. Manya
    February 6, 2013 / 5:08 pm

    I’m not sure if you’ve throught about organic dairy? I read a lot on the hormones in milk being the cause of the problem and switched to organic which has far fewer hormones added, and it’s made a massive difference to my skin without having to cut out all the calcium benefits. (organic yogurt too, though usually not cheese…)

  122. Ann
    February 7, 2013 / 12:46 am

    what foundation are you wearing in this picture, Ruth?
    Looks sooo pretty!

  123. whispyr
    February 7, 2013 / 7:41 pm

    oh i have PCOS, my acne is at its worse state EVER. in teenage i had some issues, but mostly in T zone. now all my cheeks and forehead are in big red blemishes. but i dont drink as much milk… very little to be honest. but when i was young girl my endocrynologist insisted on not eating chicken meat cause its full of hormones. sadly i didnt stop. i will give up milk for good and see how it goes.

  124. Amy
    February 7, 2013 / 7:52 pm

    I’m undecided on milk. I was vegan for three years for both ethical and health reasons – I have a mild dairy allergy, and I thought giving up would make my skin (I have eczema and some pimples) much better. It did for a little while, but then I was back to normal. I recently started dairy again in January, and my skin has stayed pretty much the same, but in myself I feel much better. I don’t think processed soy milk was agreeing with me. I buy organic local milk now FYI. So… it’s all a bit of a mystery, really!

  125. lip
    February 8, 2013 / 2:59 am

    then how about coffee? do you still have coffee (with milk)?

  126. Vicky
    February 8, 2013 / 9:38 am

    I commented on one of your ‘break out’ posts about milk being the cause of my sports – I found exactly the same thing. I’m an athlete so was drinking a lot of milk, 500ml in a recovery drink after training and then porridge, cereal as a snack, when I started adding it up I realised I was consuming a lot of dairy (I consume a lot in general so it’s easy to consume too much of something). In the summer when I am racing rather than training I was having fewer recovery drinks with milk and more with water and wasn’t getting spots/was generally feeling better. Finally realised it was the milk making me feel rubbish when I looked it up and found that studies have shown that milk/cottage cheese cause more acne due to hormones in milk and white blood cells in milk. I also think I have a milk protein intolerance, but now I use Oat milk in my porridge, soya in my tea and have virtually cut dairy out of my diet and feel much better.

  127. Liz
    February 8, 2013 / 12:12 pm

    I found out i was lactose intolerant back in Aug, since then i decided to cut out all dairy and felt great. The plus was seeing a different in my skin.
    you could try almond or cocount milk for your brekkie. Blue almond do a great lighter version and Hazlenut milk is super tasty in a hot chocolate. If you didn’t fancy a nut based milk, oat milk is much tastier than ricke milk in my opinion!

  128. Hannah
    February 9, 2013 / 12:55 am

    Hi Ruth, just though I’d add what I’ve experienced with this too. I’ve always suffered from acne in varying degrees since I was about 14. I’m now 22, and my skin is looking the best it has in years. My skin has always gone through periods of looking great and then breaking out, and I could never pinpoint what was causing my breakouts. I’ve been on the pill but had acne, been off the pill and had clearer skin, tried many different skincare products with none having the effect of clearing up my skin.

    Recently, and I’d say its been in the past month or so, I’ve been taking a bit more of a relaxed approach to my skincare. I make sure I take off all my make up etc but I’ve kept things really simple, and make sure I am nourishing my skin instead of stripping it. I have always made sure not to use harsh products, just been much more careful in the past month. I have also pretty much stopped drinking milk. I have porridge every morning, and couldn’t go without so I have switched to soya milk instead. As soya milk is naturally sweeter you don’t need to add anything to the porridge to make it sweeter, and it makes it taste so much creamier than cows milk ever did. I have a cup of tea every few days, and have a splash of milk in that. I used to eat a lot of cheese too, but I barely eat any nowadays. My skin is almost clear now, and its been clear for most of the past month too, so much so that I’m noticing my scarring is beginning to fade. I’ve never before attempted to give up dairy, or any food group for that matter (apart from a few years as a veggie) so I can’t see how this is just a coincidence for me either. I’m going to make sure I carry on having less dairy, and maybe try and cut it out altogether,as the effect on my skin has been amazing and I feel confident enough to go out without foundation on now, which is such an achievement!

    So happy for you that you seem to have found the cause of your acne, I know how debilitating it is!

    Hannah xx

  129. Barbara Diaz
    February 9, 2013 / 8:25 pm

    Oh no…I love having milk and cereals for breakfast (actually, I’d have it on every meal if it wasn’t unhealthy :p)! But if milk has hormones then it makes sense it could interfere with skin.

    Although I think there might be a difference between the effect of milk on people with acne, perse, and the effect of milk on people who get some breakouts every once in a while. Acne is caused mainly by a bacteria, that’s why it’s so hard to get rid of it and why some people start on antibiotics to treat severe cases. Of course hormones only make it worse, increasing oil production and whatnot. However, I think that ocassional breakouts are just the product of hormones going crazy…not only because of the menstrual cycle but I read that it could also be a genetical thing, being fine hormone-wise, and then having some sort of imbalance.

  130. Julie
    February 11, 2013 / 2:27 pm

    Hey Ruth, try almond milk in your porridge! It’s how I have mine, especially since they come in different flavoured versions now–vanilla, chocolate, unsweetened…

  131. Olivia
    February 12, 2013 / 5:11 am

    I suggest Kimberly Schnieders (sp?) website about glowing green smoothies and whatnot. She has many posts on the flaws and pitfalls of the dairy industry. I’m glad that a seemingly influential blog like this has caught on to the negative side effects of dairy consumption, be them on the body or the environment. One thing I will always be sure of is that dairy does the body far more harm than good and the sooner we start realizing it the better

  132. Lelly
    February 22, 2013 / 4:18 pm

    Now 25 years old, I have suffered from bad skin and acne since I was 10. I have tried every single drug and topical lotion under the sun. After 3 round of roaccutane ( the last being when I was 23. 4 days after coming off it I broke into the worst cystic acne I have ever had) i decided enough was enough. Since I was 18 I’d been unable to eat eggs in their, era, ‘egg’ form (fried, boiled etc- but in cakes and as a binder in savoury dishes was fine). Then, slowly but surely, I began to become intolerant to milk, eggs, cheese: in fact all dairy in any form. Chocolate, cakes, milk, quiche, every single thing was giving me terrible stomach problems. In January last year I cut out dairy and eggs completely. Being a veggie this meant I became vegan by default. Within 1 month my skin had completely cleared up. I can’t even remember having a single spot in the last year. Obviously, in my case, my body was having a reaction to dairy so the acne could quite possibly be my bodies way of purging what it deemed to be a threat. I’d definitely recommended anyone who is really suffering from acne to cut out dairy for at least one month just to see. I can’t even tell you how much I wish I had done this before embarking on roaccutane and other drugs. It may work, it may not, but it’s got to be worth giving it a go rather than pumping your body with drugs. But be strict. No chocolate, no sneaky spoons of ice cream. Give it a proper chance. Acne is such a horrendously underestimated condition that plagues people through their life and gives you such confidence issues. Cutting out dairy is one small sacrifice. And if you can’t bare the thought of being without ice cream: try swedish glacé. Trust me, one spoon and you’ll be singing ABBA and dancing round the aisles of Ikea. xXx

  133. EWB
    February 23, 2013 / 2:26 pm

    I completely agree with the fact that milk and dairy rich products can cause acne! I did some research and its thought that its the hormones from the pregnant cow that produces the milk that contributes to an increased level of hormones as we ingest them. Since switching to alpro soya my skin is alot clearer! :)

  134. Tatyana Atanasova
    February 24, 2013 / 8:42 pm

    Now that I think about it…

    I never liked milk, never would drink it just the taste does not suit me. And I always had great skin even as a teen. I do not want to brag, just being honest.

    All my classmates were like tell us your secret and I always was like there is nothing to tell, but now as I think about it it might have been. I do not drink milk!

    This might just be one of the greatest tips ever! Thank you!

  135. Lena
    March 17, 2013 / 9:34 pm

    I had a similar problem. I’ve never been able to drink plain milk (can’t digest it… nasty stuff), but I LOVE thick yoghurt. Unfortunately, any dairy has been causing me to break out massively. Went on a trip where I had no yoghurt or cheese, and what do you know – my face cleared up instantly. I couldn’t believe it! And here I had been blaming chocolate and other “traditional” culprits, when it had been dairy all along. Now for the the first time I am spot-free in my 30s :)

  136. Gina
    April 11, 2013 / 10:47 am

    I am almost 50 and still have oily problem skin. Ive tried no wheat every skincare range available, herbs, vegetarian diet, naturopaths, eating nothhing but wholefoods. Im at my wits end. The thousands and thousands spent is so depressing. My last resort

  137. Bea
    April 19, 2013 / 4:59 pm

    you are not intolerant or alergic. I’m biologist and talking to my older colleagues about it (milk also gives my acne) they explain to me something that makes perfect sense. for a cow to give milk she has to be breastfeeding and obviously her hormos levels are high, same as in breastfeeding women. those hormons are in the milk you drink and interfeere with yours, specially one called interferon gamma (i think is gamma). the extra hormos cause more acne, since in most women acne is cause by hormons anyways…so yeah, it isnt lactose itself but the own hormones from the cow…processed milk products give less problems because for whatever biological reason, hormone levels reduce in those products during the making. hope it help you! =)

  138. Teresa
    April 19, 2013 / 7:02 pm

    i stopped drinking milk and eating yogurt like 3 or 4 weeks ago, and since then my skin got so much better. it’s not perfect, but i have really bad acne, so obviously it can’t be perfect by just leaving out milk. also, i often felt sick after drinking milk, so i think, i have a lactose-intolerance. but since i don’t drink milk anymore, i feel so much better.

  139. Julia
    April 20, 2013 / 2:58 pm

    I am going to try this out too (cutting milk from my diet). It can’t do any harm, can it? Thank you Ruth for the post.

  140. Emma
    April 20, 2013 / 8:59 pm

    I’m currently experimenting to see if dairy products are breaking me out on my jaw and back. I haven’t had milk or other dairy products in a month now and I cannot tell the difference yet. I’m planning on continuing this experiment for 3 months. This was suggested by my cosmetologist, and I did a little research on the net and I’ve found (from articles not from official studies or papers) that milk derives from pregnant cows and therefore contains a mix of hormones which can interact with your own hormones thus causing breakouts. But time will tell and I am a persistent person!

  141. Lena
    April 21, 2013 / 8:06 am

    Hi Ruth. I suddently went all lactose-intolerant myself. I don’t know why, it makes no sense whatsoever. All my life milk was perfectly fine and now boom. Now after reading this I feel a bit cheated on. My skin didn’t clear up! Where is my perfect skin for giving up diary productes? I’m kidding. Not getting these nasty symptoms
    from milk anymore is a great upside too.

    I’ve recentely discovered you on youtube and I just wanted to say I really enjoy your videos and you a very nice and funny person. :)

  142. Nikki0246
    April 24, 2013 / 11:17 pm

    It is a food related acne problem. What I always try to do whenever i get spot, is back track on the last thing i ate. If its more then one thing, i experiment on each food a different day to figure out which one broke me out and then i cut it out of my diet to see if it improves. Acne isn’t ALWAYS food related of course but its easier to figure out if the problem is food related before heaping on products that waste your money. I actually get spots on my chest whenever I eat pizza. Everyone is different, a friend of mine gets acne on her forehead whenever she eats sausage. Hope this helps!

  143. Lauren
    April 30, 2013 / 12:24 pm

    Most cows are injected with a synthetic chemical called ‘Bovine Growth Hormone’ aimed to increase dairy production. Definitely something to look into – not only is it thought to be carcinogenic but it’s also thought to alter our hormones. For those who can’t part with cow’s milk, it may be worth purchasing Organic.

  144. Milly
    May 2, 2013 / 7:27 pm

    Hey Ruth, firstly, I absolutely love your videos and posts! You seem so down to earth and lovely! I’m 19 and suffer from acne, mainly just under my cheekbones and a bit on my forehead. My dermatologist has prescribed me so many different creams, antibiotics, etc over the past few years but even if they have worked at first none of them have really been much good. Six weeks ago I discovered Clinique’s anti-blemish solution system. All of the products contain salicylic acid and my skin has FINALLY responded to something. Literally a godsend! My skin isn’t 100% clear but there has been such an improvement I’m really pleased. At the minute I have almond milk with my porridge but I drink cows milk in tea and eat yoghurts. I’m going to cut them out for a month or so to see if there is any further improvement in my skin, fingers crossed! xx

  145. Özgü Öksüz
    May 27, 2013 / 1:48 pm

    Dear Ruth,

    I couldn’t agree more. I am Turkish and our cousine is full of dairy products. I have been a fan of milk and yoghurt since childhood although I hate chees. Anyway, after I moved to Japan, I started having some acne, even if it was not severe it was something I had never experienced before, luckily. Some friend had made a diet change, by swapping yoghurt with tofu. Since I believe in eating local, I did the same thing, by giving up milk and yoghurt and swapping them with soymilk and tofu. Result: No acne… at all! So it might not be coincidence… In my case, I believe the brands of those dairy products were causing the problem since in Japan they might use jelly or artificial stuff unlike the natural stuff I could eat in Turkey.

  146. Tijgerlelie
    June 2, 2013 / 4:13 pm

    Ruth, thank you sooooo much for sharing this,my skin looks better then ever! Since I’m a teenager, not having to deal with acne anymore is the greatest thing! X

  147. Staci
    June 12, 2013 / 3:01 pm

    I have the same problem with dairy and soy products :(

  148. Isabel
    June 25, 2013 / 9:10 pm

    Hi guys
    I have an acne problem and using skin care and eating clean but I still have cappuncinos every morning ( lactose free milk) I really don’t want to cut this out , but I think if I do, my skin may improve . What else can I put in my coffee ? I don’t take sugar either
    Thanks :-)

  149. Holly
    September 2, 2013 / 8:16 pm

    I developed adult acne in my early 20s, having had none as a teen. it took me 10 years to work out it was a food reaction. A friend suggested i come off dairy, and within a week it was completely gone!! I had other symptoms too – bloating, mucus in my sinuses, thrush. all are triggered by dairy and only come back now when I ave some in a moment of weakness (or when there is no other food option). REcent research from Harvard confirms the link to acne – it’s the natural hormones in the milk, not lactose, that are the problem. I don’t seem to have as much of a problem with goat, sheep or buffalo cheese, but the reaction to cows milk hasn’t abated even after 2 years of basically not having any.

  150. Felissa T
    September 10, 2013 / 3:44 am

    It isn’t lactose causing acne, it is your body reacting to the protein in cow milk, so drinking lactose free milk won’t help your skin. Both myself and my daughter have cow milk protein allergies, when we have cow milk we get pimples (and my daughter is an infant). Our doctor said one of the signs of the allergy is acne, or acne like rash, usually on the face.

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  152. Ashley
    October 5, 2013 / 11:41 pm

    After trying everything to clear up my cystic acne (including accutane) I finally went dairy free (at 38 years old). I tried dairy again after about a year. Within two weeks I had three cysts on my face. I can’t say how disappointing it is that my many dermatologist never suggested this as a solution.

  153. Mila
    October 22, 2013 / 4:06 pm

    I’ve recently opted out cow milk and dairy too and started seeing an unexpected good impact in my skin! So on a weekend stay at my parents’house I asked my mother to buy almond milk as I wasn’t drinking cow milk and she asked why. I explained and mentioned that I was starting to believe I might be allergic to it or something as my acne was mysteriously gone…!
    She answered: “Oh yes that’s probably the case because when you were younger a paediatrician actually diagnosed that and we would go crazy with trying different milk formulas and medicines!” o.O
    Why wouldn’t my parent’s mention that earlier!!! How weird is it that they preferred to fill me up on meds instead of the natural option of just letting it go :/
    Traditional nutrition believes are really heavy in Portugal!

  154. Marta
    October 24, 2013 / 11:53 pm

    I have exactly the same problem! Have you tried organic milk, though? For some reason, organic milk does not give me acne. Only the processed one does!

  155. Hannah
    November 2, 2013 / 9:28 pm

    Hi, I regularly drink a lot of milk and find my skin is ok, not perfect. However I came across this post because I am convinced that drinking powdered hot chocolate brings me out in small spots on my forehead, checks and chin. I can literally map a break out to drinking the stuff 2 days previously. More worryingly, I’ve just had my first child and figured that as I’m not seeing anyone for work, I’d enjoy a nice drink and not care about the spots, they don’t stay long. However my baby has come out with baby acne this week and it seems to be clearing up now that I’ve stopped drinking the hot chocolate! Not touching it now.

  156. Sofia
    November 10, 2013 / 3:40 am

    Hi Ruth! I thought I would give your post a read because I have heard about this connection between milk and acne too, and my mother had told me this as I would have cereal and milk almost every morning. It’s not that I have a particular fondness for milk, but I feel that because growing up I would always have cereal for breakfast because it was all I had time for, I grew accustomed to ingesting this drink and now I want to stop but am having a hard time, because like you and your porridge, I have become too attached to my cereal. I was thinking while I ease out of this consumption, I would try almond milk, do you think that is a suitable alternative?

    Thanks! xx

  157. Lula-B
    December 9, 2013 / 3:42 pm

    Just come across this blog and have to say I totally agree; my skin is actually very good for its 31 yrs, however I was struck with cursed “adult acne”, large painful lumps under the skin, not even a spot you could do anything with. They hurt! It wasn’t till a colleague said rather casually that I had “milk spots” that I decided to cut lactose and see if it helped. It did help, in fact my acne has gone. Occasionally I get the odd hormonal/special occasion spot, but NOTHING like before. I swapped my milk for almond milk unsweetened and have never looked back. Now we just need to set up a petition for Starbucks to start doing almond milk lattes as opposed to the controversial soy stuff.

  158. zephyr
    December 21, 2013 / 5:39 pm

    me and my older brother have both had quite severe acne since we were about 17, he’s 25 now and I’m 22. I won’t bore you with my story but i will tell you that milk IS without a doubt the major cause of our acne. After making the link between milk and acne, we both went on a strict milk-free diet (I’m talking literally no chocolate, cheese, coffee etc..) and within a month our skin was clear, and i don’t mean improved, i mean CLEAR. This wasn’t a coincidence. After being milk free for about a year with no spots, i needed to prove to myself that this was not something i made up in my head so about a week ago, i drank a carton of milk, literally woke up the next day with 4 big red spots on my cheeks and very oily feeling skin. Im not saying milk is the cause for everyones spots, but i know for sure that it is the main factor that contributes to my acne.

  159. Agnes
    January 13, 2014 / 9:03 pm

    Hi Ruth, Have you tried goat’s milk yet? Tastes quite similar but supposed to be less allergenic than cow’s milk.

  160. Robyn Diamantis
    September 19, 2014 / 8:35 am

    I am so thankful I came across this website post.
    I have never been a huge milk drinker and for as long as I could remember always stuck to Almond or Oat milk. Then about two months ago my personal trainer said I needed to be getting more calcium into my diet so I started to drink milk in my protein shakes instead of almond and also about half pint if I had porriage. For about 7 weeks I started to get horrible breakouts on my chin and big cysts on my neck and cheeks. I have tried everything to get rid of them and am even on acne medication but nothing is working. I was driving to work this morning and suddenely thought about all the milk I had been drinking and wondered if that could be having an effect. Put it into Google and this popped up! Unfortunately I had milk again this morning but will as of that I am going milk free again and I will report back with my results.

  161. January 22, 2016 / 12:42 am

    Piper ready Longum — is a state of improved health.

  162. Sophia
    May 26, 2016 / 3:52 pm

    Did you give up butter and yoghurt a too? Do you find if you drink milk now it still happens? I’m going to give it a try and see if it wold for me. Is it quite normal to get an intolerance later in life after being ok with milk previously?

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