Does Milk Cause Acne?

There’s nothing I love more than a snuggly cup of coffee loaded with heavy cream first thing in the morning. I wake up every morning to write and drink my coffee in blessed silence as the rest of the house is sleeping. It’s therapeutic, but could my morning habit be contributing to my skin breakouts?

The other morning, I decided to research the link between diet and acne. Hoping to figure out the next piece of the acne puzzle.

I believe that there is an internal and external component to acne. In a recent post, I offered advice for the external piece. Now it’s time to focus on the internal piece.

In my research, dairy came up over and over again as causing acne. I looked at my cup and thought, “oh no! not my coffee!” I decided to dive deeper into dairy and acne.

According to the medical community, there is a definite link between acne and milk. Milk in this instance refers to milk from cows.

There have been many studies conducted to prove the link between milk and acne. They all have proved that there is a definite link. Meaning if you have acne, you would benefit from removing dairy from your diet.

Why Does Milk Cause Acne?

Milk comes from pregnant cows. It contains hormones which helps the baby cows grow. These hormones are ingested by us when we drink milk or eat dairy products.

How does this cause acne? The hormones passed through the cow’s milk contains androgens or male sex hormones specifically testosterone. It’s a small amount of hormones, but most people with acne seem to react to the extra hormones.

How does our skin react? By producing more oil. The increased oil production promotes clogged pores which in turn become inflamed pimples.

Here is a link from the study if you are interested.

Ok, so dairy is out. Now what?

More importantly, am I ever going to enjoy another cup of coffee again!?

I decided to remove all dairy from my diet to see if there is a difference. It’s been about a week and I haven’t had any new pimples pop up, so I’m thinking that there may be something to the dairy causing acne thing.

Could your acne be caused by dairy? The easiest way to test this theory yourself, is to remove dairy for a month and see how it goes.

How do you do this? Replace milk with a milk alternative like almond milk. I don’t recommend soy milk because there is a hormone component there too that may cause breakouts.

In the interest of full disclosure (and so I don’t feel like a hypocrite) I will admit, I didn’t remove dairy creamer from my daily cup of joy. I tried almond milk and it just didn’t do it for me.

After some research, I decided to try goat milk. Goat milk contains less hormones than cow milk. It is much tangier which I actually enjoy. If I notice that my acne gets worse I will stop using it.

Have you tried removing dairy from your diet? Did it help? I’d love to hear your experience! Please leave your comments and thoughts below. As always you can email me at and I’ll be sure to respond and help you out anyway I can!

Thanks for reading!

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