In my The Acne Struggles post I mentioned that I was giving up dairy to try and clear up my spots. I’d done a lot of research on it but results were quite mixed. Some say dairy is a huge acne trigger (it’s to do with the hormones) and avoiding it is the way to spot free skin. Others say what you eat doesn’t make a difference and acne can only be cleared up using medication or products. I decided to give it a go anyway so for the month of August I went completely dairy free.
Probably the most difficult part was recognising which foods had dairy. I obviously couldn’t have milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream but I also had to avoid chocolate, pizza, most crisps (cheese powder), pastries and cakes. There’s a lot of random things that have milk or cheese powder that you wouldn’t even think about too. For one thing it pretty much forced me to be healthy anyway!
Even though chocolate is my favourite food and I do love pizza and yoghurt, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I drank almond or coconut milk, ate dark chocolate and became a bit more inventive when making lunch. Even though I’ve always sworn I could never be vegan, I think I proved to myself that I could give up dairy products, just meat and eggs to go!
Of course you’re probably wondering, well did it work?? The answer is… no. It didn’t affect my acne at all. I actually went to a dermatologist at the end of the month and I’m on pretty strong medication for it now so hopefully I’ll see results in the next few months. She said that giving up dairy, gluten etc wouldn’t make any difference. She was right but at the same time I don’t see my dairy free month as a fail. I proved that I can actually be strong willed and I felt healthier without dairy. I would have liked to stay dairy free but she said that it’s not very good for young girls to give up dairy (though I know a few vegans my age!) and to be honest it’s more convenient for everyone else if I’m not dairy free anyway! I still drink almond milk but maybe in the future when I’m in charge of all my own meals, I’ll go back to the diet. The dermatologist seemed really hopeful about the medication so fingers crossed my skin is finally cleared up.
I still wouldn’t say not to bother with dairy free if you have a few spots. Everybody’s skin is different so just cause it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t for you. My dermatologist says I have quite severe acne, I just don’t have that much of it (it’s mainly on my chin). So maybe if you have milder acne dairy free could be the choice for you. Or not. I don’t really know to be honest, I just have personal experience to go by!
And so the acne battles continue but I still think my dairy free month was a positive experience!