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Do Milk and Sugar Cause Acne?

Do Milk and Sugar Cause Acne?


As our sugar and dairy consumption has increased over the last 100 years so has the number of people with acne. We now have over 17 million acne sufferers, costing our health care system $1 billion a year. Eighty to ninety percent of teenagers suffer acne to varying degrees.

The pimply millions rely on infomercial products hawked by celebrities or over-the-counter lotions, cleansers, and topical remedies. Recent research suggests that it’s not what we slather on our skin that matters most but what we put in our mouth.

Many have suggested a diet-acne link, but until recently it has not been proven in large clinical studies. Instead dermatologists prescribe long-term antibiotics and Accutane, both of which may cause long-term harmful effects. In 2009, a systematic review of 21 observational studies and six clinical trials found clear links.

Two large controlled trials found that cow’s milk increased both the number of people who got acne and its severity. Other large randomized prospective controlled trials (the gold standard of medical research) found that people who had higher sugar intake and a high glycemic load diet (more bread, rice, cereal, pasta, sugar, and flour products of all kinds) had significantly more acne. The good news is that chocolate (dark chocolate that is) didn’t seem to cause acne.

The dietary pimple producing culprits – diary and sugar (in all its blood sugar raising forms) – both cause spikes in certain pimple producing hormones. Dairy boosts male sex hormones (various forms of testosterone or androgens),  increases insulin levels, just as foods that quickly raise blood sugar, (sugar and starchy carbs) and spikes insulin.

Androgens and insulin both stimulate your skin to make those nasty, embarrassing pimples. One patient recently told me he would give a million dollars for a pill to cure acne. He doesn’t need to. It seems that for many the cure to acne is at the end of their fork, not in a prescription pad.

While pimples are not as simple as too much milk or sugar in your diet, both have a significant impact. Nutritional deficiencies as well as excesses can worsen acne. Correcting common deficiencies including low levels of healthy omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats, low levels of antioxidants such as vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin A, and including an important anti-inflammatory omega-6 fat called evening primrose oil  may all be helpful in preventing and treating unwanted pimples.

I will explain how you can correct and incorporate all of these nutritional elements of your diet and outlines some supplements that will help you fight acne in a moment. But first it is worth taking a deeper look at milk and sugar.

It appears that anabolic or sex hormones in milk contribute to acne …

Stay Away from Dairy and Avoid Acne

One scientist referred to milk as a “complex aqueous, suspended fat, liposomal, suspended protein emulsion”. What we do know is that milk is designed to grow things – namely, babies – and in the case of cow’s milk, calves. It is naturally full of what we call anabolic hormones (the same ones that body builders and A Rod use to grow big muscles, and which cause bad acne).

These are mostly androgens (like testosterone) and growth hormones including insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). There is no such thing as hormone-free milk.

Here’s a short list of the 60-some hormones in your average glass of milk – even the organic, raw, and bovine growth hormone free milk:

  • 20α-dihydropregnenolone
  • progesterone (from pregnenolone)
  • 5α-pregnanedione
  • 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-one, 20α- and 20β-dihydroprogesterone (from progesterone)
  • 5α-androstene-3β17β-diol
  • 5α-androstanedione
  • 5α-androstan-3β-ol-17-one
  • androstenedione
  • testosterone
  • dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate acyl ester
  • insulin like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1 and IGF-2)
  • insulin

This is what our government suggests we drink in high doses—at least 3 glasses a day for me, a healthy adult male, according to the website. Those guidelines have been strongly criticized by many including leading nutrition scientists from Harvard such as Walter Willett and David Ludwig.

The famous Nurse’s Health Study examining health habits of 47,000 nurses found that those who drank more milk as teenagers had much higher rates of severe acne than those who had little or no milk as teenagers. If you think it is the fat in milk, think again.

It was actually the skim milk that had the strongest risk for acne. In other studies of over 10,000 boys and girls from 9 to 15 years old, there was a direct link between the amount of milk consumed and the severity of acne.

It appears that it is not just the anabolic or sex hormones in milk that causes problem but milk’s ability to stimulate insulin production. It actually may be the lactose or milk sugar in milk that acts more like a soft drink than an egg. Drinking a glass of milk can spike insulin levels 300 percent.

Not only does that cause pimples, but it also may contribute to prediabetes. This is true despite studies funded by the dairy council showing that milk helps with weight loss. The question is compared to WHAT diet – a diet of bagels and Coke, or a healthy phytonutrient, antioxidant-rich, plant-based diet with lean animal protein?

Stay Away from Sugar, Refined Carbs, and Pimples

If a glass of milk causes pimples, that may drive you back to your Pepsi. But not so fast. Recent studies also show that sugar and refined carbs (a high-glycemic diet) cause acne. More importantly, taking kids off sugar and putting them on a healthy, whole foods, low-glycemic load diet resulted in significant improvements in acne compared to a control group eating a regular, high-sugar American diet.

In addition to less pimples, the participants lost weight, became more sensitive to the effects of insulin (resulting in less pimple-producing insulin circulating around the blood). They also had less of the sex hormones floating around their blood that drive pimples. We know that women who have too much sugar and insulin resistance get acne, hair growth on their face, hair loss on the head, and infertility. This is caused by high levels of circulating male hormones and is called polycystic ovarian syndrome but is a nutritional, not gynecologic disease.

But the dietary influences don’t stop there. It is not just sugar, but the bad fats we eat that may also contribute to acne.

Get an Oil Change

Our typical Western diet is full of inflammatory fats – saturated fats, trans fats, too many omega-6, inflammatory, processed vegetable oils like soy and corn oils. These increase IGF-1 and stimulate pimple follicles. Inflammation has been linked to acne, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats (from fish oil) may help improve acne and help with many skin disorders.

Balance the Hormones that Cause Skin Problems

The link is clear – hormonal imbalances caused by our diet trigger acne. Our diet influences sex hormones like testosterone, IGF-1, and insulin, which promote acne. The biggest factors affecting your hormones is the glycemic load of your diet (which is determined by how quickly the food you eat increases your blood sugar and insulin levels), and the amount of dairy products you eat. The good news is that eating a healthy diet and taking a few supplements can balance those hormones. Exercise also helps improve insulin function.

How to Prevent and Treat Acne

Eight simple steps to help most overcome their acne problems:

  1. Stay away from milk. It is nature’s perfect food – but only if you are a calf.
  2. Eat a low glycemic load, low sugar diet. Sugar, liquid calories, and flour products all drive up insulin and cause pimples.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. People who eat more veggies (containing more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds) have less acne. Make sure you get your 5–9 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables every day.
  4. Get more healthy anti-inflammatory fats. Make sure to get omega-3 fats (fish oil) and anti-inflammatory omega-6 fats (evening primrose oil). You will need supplements to get adequate amounts (more on that in a moment).
  5. Include foods that correct acne problems. Certain foods have been linked to improvements in many of the underlying causes of acne and can help correct it. These include fish oil, turmeric, ginger, green tea, nuts, dark purple and red foods such as berries, green foods like dark green leafy vegetables, and omega 3-eggs.
  6. Take acne-fighting supplements.Some supplements are critical for skin health. Antioxidant levels have been shown to be low in acne sufferers. And healthy fats can make a big difference. Here are the supplements I recommend:
  7. Try probiotics. Probiotics also help reduce inflammation in the gut that may be linked to acne. Taking probiotics (lactobacillus, etc.) can improve acne.
  8. Avoid foods you are sensitive to. Delayed food allergies are among the most common causes of acne—foods like gluten, dairy, yeast, and eggs are common culprits and can be a problem if you have a leaky gut.

Following these simple tips will help you eliminate acne and have that glowing skin you have always dreamed of. And it’s much cheaper (and safer) than expensive medications and dermatologist visits. Improve your diet and take acne-fighting supplements and you will watch your pimples disappear.

For more information on how to optimize your nutrition and improve your skin, see

Now I’d like to hear from you.

Have you struggled with an acne or skin problem? Have you noticed any link between your skin? What seems to be a problem for you?

Why do you think we are encouraged to consume so much dairy when the risks to our health (and our skin) are so high?

What other steps have you taken to fight acne? What has worked? What hasn’t?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD


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  7. Spencer EH, Ferdowsian HR, Barnard ND. Diet and acne: a review of the evidence. Int J Dermatol 48(4):339-47 (2009 Apr).
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  9. Adebamowo CA, Spiegelman D, Danby FW, et al. High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne. J Am Acad Dermatol 52(2):207-14 (2005 Feb).
  10. Adebamowo CA, Spiegelman D, Berkey CS, et al. Milk consumption and acne in adolescent girls. Dermatol Online J 12(4):1 (2006).
  11. Adebamowo CA, Spiegelman D, Berkey CS, et al. Milk consumption and acne in teenaged boys. J Am Acad Dermatol 58(5):787-93 (2008 May).
  12. Hoyt G, Hickey MS, Cordain L. Dissociation of the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses to whole and skimmed milk. Br J Nutr 93(2):175-7 (2005 Feb).
  13. Kaymak Y, Adisen E, Ilter N, et al. Dietary glycemic index and glucose, insulin, insulin-like growth factor-I, insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3, and leptin levels in patients with acne. J Am Acad atol 57(5):819-23 (2007 Nov). Cordain L, Lindeberg S, Hurtado M, et al. Acne vulgaris: a disease of Western civilization. Arch Dermatol 138(12):1584-90 (2002 Dec).
  14. Smith RN, Mann NJ, Braue A, et al. A low-glycemic-load diet improves symptoms in acne vulgaris patients: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 86(1):107-15 (2007 Jul).
  15. Smith RN, Mann NJ, Braue A, et al. The effect of a high- protein, low glycemic-load diet versus a conventional, high glycemic-load diet on biochemical parameters associated with acne vulgaris: a randomized, investigator-masked, controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol 57(2):247-56 (2007 Aug).
  16. Smith RN, Braue A, Varigos GA, et al. The effect of a low glycemic load diet on acne vulgaris and the fatty acid composition of skin surface triglycerides. J Dermatol Sci 50(1):41-52 (2008 Apr).
  17. Zouboulis CC. Is acne vulgaris a genuine inflammatory disease? Dermatology 203(4):277-9 (2001).
  18. James MJ, Gibson RA, Cleland LG. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory mediator production. Am J Clin Nutr 71(1 Suppl):343S-8S (2000 Jan).
  19. Simopoulos AP. Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease. Am J Clin Nutr 70(3 Suppl):560S-9S (1999 Sep). 26. Kaaks R, Bellati C, Venturelli E, et al. Effects of dietary intervention on IGF-I and IGF-binding proteins, and related alterations in sex steroid metabolism: the Diet and Androgens (DIANA) Randomised Trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 57(9):1079-88 (2003 Sep).
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Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (40)

  • I put myself on a low glycemic index diet because I was having severe acne problems. My acne did clear up a lot, but not enough. So, I went back to the dermatologist. He thought I had an ovarian cyst. I did, and the gynecologist said my acne would clear up when the cyst went away. The cyst is getting smaller. But I had blood tests done for hormone levels. All my hormone levels are fine. And so is my glucose tolerance. So, I went off the diet. I’ve been off for about a week, and I’m breaking out. I don’t get what is causing my acne!!

  • I invested my personal thirty minutes to see this specific net site content each day furthermore a mug of tea. Wonderful report.

  • Thank you so much for this article. I’m currently looking for a solution for my son’s cystic acne. His Dr. is talking about possibly putting him on accutane and I don’t want that to happen. When you ask these Dr’s if acne is related to food of course they tell you no.

    I just had a feeling that it was related to something he was eating. I need to get him started on supplements, but not sure how much to give him he is 15.

  • About two years ago I started having really bad breakouts. Both my face and head became really oily and always felt warm. They were the deep kind of acne that would swell easily. I was 38 and hadn’t had a pimple since mid 20’s. I feel that the breakouts coincided with constant nasal infections and a metallic taste in my mouth. Tried antibiotics and lotions with little success. I don’t understand how this could happen so suddenly and this late in life with such unusual symptoms. Dermatologist prescribed 40mg of accutane for 6 months. I took it and it stopped the breakouts. That was 13 months ago and my skin is starting to have those unusual sensetions again. Appreciate any information on possible causes and possible solutions. I will definately watch my diet. Thank you

    • Hi Charlie,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Evening Primrose Oil seriously messed my female hormones, cycle, and actually gave me horrible breakouts if I took it without being on some sort of birth control pill. Usually I have perfect skin and it took several weeks of avoiding it for my skin to stop breaking out and for my hormones, etc. to get back to normal.

  • Hi,

    I have adult acne and have tried many medications and diets but nothing has helped. I am very keen on trying no milk, no sugar diet. I have a question about this though when you say no sugar – do you mean omitting even fruits that have natural sugars or only omitting foods with processed sugar?

    • Hi Sim,

      For the most part, low glycemic fruits like berries and apples should be fine in moderation. You may find you respond well to a low glycemic diet so avoiding sugary fruits like mango or dried fruit might be worth the effort.

      Check out Dr Hyman’s book, The Blood Sugar Solution for a complete guide to eating a low glycemic diet which control hormones and clears up skin!

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • About 10 years ago in my late 20’s I developed cystic acne. I’d always had breakouts on and off, mostly in response to sugar, alcohol, stress, menstrual cycle.. so all the time really. But the cystic acne just destroyed me. My face developed painful swellings which were deep and permanent, they tingled, itched and were hot, I’d scratch them in my sleep and wake up in agony and often bleeding as they ruptured, it was a nightmare and affected every aspect of my life. Who are we without our faces? Unlike regular zits they never went away, simply swelled and shrank depending on what I’d been eating, time of the month etc. My sister, a naturopath told me for god’s sake stop consuming milk products. I did and was not cured completedly of acne but at least the cystic problem went away and I have a firmer control over it than I used to. Sugar still murders my skin, I really can’t touch it, and dairy is the complexion anti-christ! More disturbingly, before I had children the consumption of dairy (and alcohol) lead to large cysts in both breasts, which were concurrent with the breakouts on my face. Who knows what the long term implications of that are. Watching people chow down on dairy actually really worries me, as nutritionally valuable as it can be when the diet is lacking I really don’t think we need it with all the other high quality foods available to us.

  • Hi,
    I have suffered on and off from acne since I was a teenager. I have had terrible adult acne the past few years, but it’s been worse than ever for the past year because I developed PCOS. It was so bad, I didn’t want to leave my apartment, look in the mirror, or meet new people. I recently went on birth control, which did not help, although I have only been on it for a month and a half so I do not expect to see results yet. HOWEVER, what made INCREDIBLE improvements in my skin was 1. Cutting out dairy, meat, and eggs 2. Increasing my vegetable and fruit intake 3. Putting lemon in my water every day and using it as an astringent every night 4. Taking zinc and turmeric supplements. My skin is now almost completely clear! It is a night and day difference and I can’t even believe it myself, having tried every product on the market.

    • hi, wondering how your progress is now. I would like to know more about your daily cleansing and such. trying to fight this battle

  • Milk was absolutely the trigger for me. After 9 years of struggling with cystic acne and even suffering from chemical burns as a result of my treatments, it all boiled down to dairy.

  • I definitely had a connection with dairy and acne. It seems like any dairy will cause it, including yogurt, and full-fat is worse for me than low-fat. The other link I noticed was sugar, but the sugar can come from fruit and cause problems, too. If I eat too much sugar, I’ll see that my skin looks like garbage, just rough and inflamed, a day or two later. Same goes for eating too many nuts. Two days later and my skin looks like trash, but then a few days later the inflammation will go down.

    I know all of this is tied to my hormones. I had cystic acne ever since I hit puberty and tried over-the-counter and prescription medications, including antibiotics (which not only didn’t work, but I went off of them quickly because I was not down with creating super-strains of bacteria when I was 16!) and eventually Accutane. One round of Accutane did the trick and I could manage it with diet and birth control, but I stopped taking birth control a year ago and so far have no cycles! Yikes! And I’m breaking out again.

    I just keep focusing on those hormone-balancing foods, and I guess given the sensitivity to dairy and sugar, I should try cutting out eggs, too. Sad, they’re one of my favorite foods!

  • There is nothing wrong with dairy, its just the sugar in it if you have too much. Everyone is different, but I drink 5-6 glasses of milk everyday on top of low sugar healthy foods and don’t get pimples, but the minute or few minutes I start eating chocolate or sugar loaded foods like that they just pop up. I also don’t see how high glycemic foods can cause pimples, there’s not even much wrong with them – low gives you energy for longer and high gets used up faster. That’s like saying white potatoes will give you pimples, even though they are healthy. Sugar is definitely a cause, but I’m defending dairy/milk (despite how much it has been processed from real milk).

    • Anyone reading the above post, everybody differs from each other if milk doesnt give you pimples thats good if it does then stop drinking milk, but to say like above poster, that milk doesnt give people acne, what are you a doctor, a professor, no, you are just a somebody who drinks 6 glasses of milk and dont get acne from it. but you are in no position to play doctor anywhere in youre life after that silly post

  • I am in my 30’s and have been dealing with hormonal acne for almost 10 years now. Nothing seems to work and I have crappy insurance, so I can’t get help. I knew that sugar was a trigger for me and I TRY very hard to stay away. It’s definitely limited….. I eat dinner at my parent’s house once a week, so I often can’t control what I eat on those days. People think I’m crazy when I say I can’t eat sugar because it breaks me out.

    I am lactose intolerant so I eat limited dairy as well. A little doesn’t usually bother me and I love yogurt, but after reading this I’m going to try to stay away from it indefinitely. Luckily, it’s much easier to stay away from dairy than it is to stay away from sugar.

    Thanks so much for the info!

  • I have had mild/moderate acne for 6 years (since I was 11), I believed my diet was the cause so last year I gave up milk and this year all dairy products and my skin is no better at all. I gave up on washes and topical treatments long ago and now only wash with water. I eat lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, leafy greens and oily fish. I avoid high fructose fruits, fruit drinks and any sugary/high carb foods. I supplement with iron bisglicinate and B12 and agnus castus. All I drink is water and herbal teas. I have done everything I can to optimise my diet and my skin is no better I just dont know what else I can do for my skin.

    • It might be the b12. HIgh doses are apparently associated with acne. I’ve personally found that to be true as well.

  • Hi Dr. Hyman:

    I had quite a lot of redness due to rosacea, and primrose oil reduced it significantly in as little as 2 weeks. I had stopped drinking milk but still had redness until I began using primrose. Now I take goat milk and redness is still under control thanks to primrose oil. Thanks a lot¡

  • Hello, I would like to share my experience with acne and nutrition. It started when I was 22 years old and now I’m 30. I tried everything but nothing worked. Only the last 6 months that I totally gave up sugar – although I loved it and used to eat every day – and with a combination of vitamin E,A, folic acid and selenium saw a tremendous difference on my face. But I eat a teaspoon of natural honey every morning. Acne has almost totally dissapeared. I try not to eat dairy food especially from cow milk. Sometimes I may eat goat cheese. But thats all. I also noticed that every time I eat pasta or bread my skin starts to react. I reccomend people to search more about the food you’re eating and don’t just eat everybody else eats.

  • I was never a milk fan, but I had bad acne problems in high school. It cleared up, but I have always had a flush to my skin, but it wasn’t rosacea; I attributed it to my Irish hertiage, a lot of us have ruddy skin. A lot of us are gluten-intolerant as well, and within a week of going grain free, the flush was gone.

  • I have noticed a connection to my recent case of severe acne with the new diet I’ve taken on with university catered food. My skin has been the worst it’s ever been this year and now that I’ve been off the meal plan for almost a month it seems to be less severe. The food definitely consisted of a lot of dairy, flour, and sugar.

  • My skin used to be terrible, then I started Kimberly Snyder’s beauty detox diet and that helped my skin a lot since I increased my produce intake. Only eat a serving or two of complex carbs. Eliminated dairy and refined sugar, and minimize gluten.
    But my skin still isn’t where I want it to be. I get small red acne around my ear, neck and jawline. I’m going to start taking the primrose, and up my omega 3. I already take a multivitamin with A, E and zinc. I’m also on the pill, would that hinder my process?

    • Hi Shelby,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Please let me know if it is OK to use Flaxseed oil instead of Fish oil? Thanks so much! Antje

  • Thank you so much for this enlightening and informative work you share. All my life I have been drinking milk. It was my comfort food. I was in heaven if I had chocolate chip cookies and a big glass of cold milk. However, 6 months ago at age 45 I started getting very painful cystic acne on my chin, jawline, and hairline. Then on Dr. Oz he identified this pattern on an audience member. I immediately cut myself off of milk, my skin cleared up!! Its really hard to have a dairy free diet though. Milk seems to be an ingredient in so many dishes. I have to be meticulous about checking ingredients lists. My most difficult challenge though will be taking milk away from my teeenagers. Thank you again for your website, books, and your research.

  • Hi!

    I just wanted to say thank you for publishing this article and thanks for all the people who replied with their personal stories. I have battled with acne for way too many years and just recently I read this article I and tried going off dairy and eggs. It’s been about three weeks off dairy and one week off eggs and my skin looks amazing. I am also using the Clinique skin care line and changing my pillow case 2x a week. I hope that more people can stop suffering from acne and stop spending so much money on pills and other harmful things and just focus on their diet. Thank you again everyone for posting! Cheers.

  • I have been told to drink lots of milk (for calcium) in order to prevent osteoporosis which runs in our family… Now, I want to follow any and all health tips to fix my skin… and to do this, I have to avoid milk… What now? Any advice will be so great.
    If I drink calcium supplements and avoid milk, will this be a good solution?

  • I truly believe that sugar and dairy cause acne. I have been getting acne from childhood, I am 27 now. It was only a year back that I found this relation. After that I have cut down heavily on dairy and Sugar and my acne has reduced drastically.

  • Here is my history with cystic acne. When I was about 18-19 I started to drink milk, up to that point, I never had an interest in it. I started to for the first time in my life develop acne on my neck. Cystic acne. Then, when I was around 22-23 I started to develop it on my face. Slowly, one or two cysts so the dermatologist put me on different antibotics that did not work. So then he put me on Accutane. It worked for about 10 years. Then, I started getting the acne cysts again. A friend at work said, cut out dairy. I get them too and when I cut dairy out of my diet I don’t get them. So I cut dairy out of my diet. And yep. Cleared up. Fast forward to 10 years later in my 40’s and started to get them again. This time I ate a whole box of Little Debbies chocolate roll upsin one setting and guess what? I had the hugest acne cyst in my groin region. I mean this was HUGE!! So I put warm compresses on it and it broke open and healed. So, any time I consume large amounts of dairy or sugar I get them. Now, I will try to avoid them completely as I really don’t know just how much is too much and quite frankly, the pain of cyst’s just isn’t work the short moment of pleasure that milk and sugar provide. Any dr. who tells you that food doesn’t play a part in acne, well, I would find a new doctor.

  • I have battled with acne for the past ten years, during which time I have taken a cocktail of lotions and potions (including roaccutance). With every new product followed a failed attempt and so I decided to embark on my own research into nutrition and diet. Having done so, I know that dairy causes flare-ups on my skin and I make every attempt to avoid eating it. Even something such as a small yogurt or ice-cream will cause breakouts. Although avoiding dairy reduces my acne, I am still not clear of pimples and now think that sugar may also be a culprit. For the past 2 years I’ve been studying to become a nutritionist, so I am certain through my knowledge and research that what we eat plays an integral role in the development of many health conditions. Although I maintain a healthy diet, like many I have the occasional ice-cream and chocolate, which effects my skin by the next day. I’m currently in the process of following the recommendations of Dr. Hyman and hoping that I can clear my acne once and for all.

  • I’m 30 years old & 10 yrs ago I stopped drinking milk, eating copious amounts of dairy, gluten and lowered my sugar intake. The catalyst was a strange rash on the inside of my leg. I had a gut instinct it was my diet. Within the month my skin was better and I didn’t retain nearly as much water in my waist.

    To this day if I binge on sugar/ice cream etc the next day my face is an oil slick and I balloon out. I try to keep in mind that our bodies are one large chemistry experiment, not one of us is identical. We are daily experiments. We just have to continuously fine tune ourselves as we go along.

  • I’ve struggled with severe acne and anxiety since childhood. I developed an alcohol addiction as a self medication for anxiety. I went to rehab last year and noticed that my acne got much worse there. I believe now that it was because of the diet there, which included lots of milk (at every meal), processed and white flour based food. I’ve since switched my addiction for alcohol with decaf coffee with cream and the acne has persisted. I stopped using dairy cream two days ago and my skin is already better.

  • Just sharing my experience:

    I am 29 year old female and have suffered with acne since I hit puberty at 13. Needless to say, I had tried almost everything to help clear it up (within the realm of my financial capacity): store bought facial cleansers, OTC facial cleansers, topical retinoid lotion, rounds of antibiotics… It was getting to the point where I was considering asking my doctor about accutane (which, as a big believer in our bodies innate healing capacity, I did NOT want to do). I was desperate. I finally decided to see a naturopathic doctor instead of my “normal” doctor.

    She put me on a antiinflammatory liver cleanse for 7 days, and since then, I’ve been following a hypoallergenic diet (no gluten, no dairy, no peanuts, avoid caffeine/alcohol,; non-GMO and organic foods whenever possible, and only grass-fed, hormone-free meats or deep-sea fish) along with some supplements (milk thistle, B complex, zinc, vitamin D, multivit) and my skin has never been more clear!! I am amazed at the results and would encourage everyone to have a look at their diet and review what you are putting in your body.

    We will slowly be reintroducing certain foods into my diet to also test for any sensitivities or allergies as the culprit for my acne, but I suspect it was related to insulin. (I ‘cheated’ one of the days and gave in to having some milk chocolate at the office due to a stressful day… a day and half later, I had a few pimples on my otherwise clear skin.)