Netflix’s hit The Game Changers has put the spotlight back onto plant-based eating. The super informative film focuses on the benefits the lifestyle has on the body and mind, but removing animal-based products from your diet—namely dairy—can also have a huge difference on your skin, a conversation nonprofit PlantPure Communities, in collaboration with the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, is hoping to facilitate with their latest campaign: Ditch Dairy for Clearer Skin.
As to be expected, derms are on board.
“Dairy can definitely aggravate acne because dairy cows are treated with hormones that affect their milk supply,” explains New York dermatologist Sapna Palep, MD. “Researchers suggest that those hormones may throw your hormones off balance, thus triggering acne.”
Another side effect of these hormones, according to New York dermatologist Roy Seidenberg, MD: increased insulin, which can stimulate acne. Dr. Palep agrees: “Milk is also known to increase insulin levels, independent of its effects on blood sugar, which may worsen acne severity. If my patients are flaring, I do advise them to limit their dairy until I can clear them.”
However, Dr. Seidenberg notes that food will always affect different people differently. “Dairy only affects a minority of patients,” he says. “I switched to almond ‘milk’ years ago. It doesn’t affect my skin, but it’s half the calories, better for the planet and better for the animals.”