The Connection Between Milk and Acne

If you read nothing more than this: please reduce your dairy intake if you have acne.


Most evidence-based studies agree that dairy can be a common trigger for acne. While the exact mechanism is unknown, researchers theorize that dairy’s role in acne is likely due to the artificial hormones dairy cows are treated with or the growth hormones that naturally exist in cow’s milk. These hormones may throw off our own hormonal balance and contribute to acne.

Others believe it is the common combination of refined foods and processed sugars with milk products in the Western diet that regularly disrupt insulin levels and cause hormonal breakouts in those that are prone. Despite the lack of consensus on the connection, many people with acne find that reducing or eliminating dairy helps them reduce acne and improve skin quality. If you’re regularly experiencing breakouts, it might be worth experimenting with the removal of dairy to assess its effects on your skin.


Get your hormones checked. If you’re an adult and experiencing acne for the first time along with other signs of excess androgen production, such as menstrual irregularities or infertility, unwanted hair growth, then you might have a hormonal imbalance.

Consider getting a hormone test to check your total androgen levels and serum testosterone. I recommend the Dutch Test by Precision Analytics.

Search providers on the Dutch Test website for someone local who provides this test and is skilled at reading the results + coming up with a protocol to address any imbalances!


Lastly, alternatives to cow’s milk like goat’s milk, oat milk (watch out for the ones containing hydrogenated vegetable oils), coconut milk, nut milks...