Why Dairy is sabotaging your skin and causing acne

Before you go throwing stones at me for inadvertently shaming your pizza habit, hear me out. I too, love dairy. As a Vermont girl raised on gallons upon gallons of cow's milk, I know it's a dietary habit that's not easy to kick. I have personally gone dairy-free and vegan at certain points of my life and it does tend to sneak it's way back in. I wouldn't say I'm extremely strict about it anymore, but I do try to avoid it whenever possible unless I'm feeling cheaty. I buy organic cheese and milk for my family so it's always in front of me, which is a real temptation. However, I know enough about dairy to know that the cons can outweigh the pros.

If you suspect something in your diet is causing your acne, eczema or other skin issue, dairy is one of the first food groups that comes to mind. Over the next few weeks, I'll be talking about the skin related pitfalls of Dairy, Sugar, Gluten and Soy.

dairy cows

Why Dairy is skin's enemy

It's originally for animals

First of all, milk is meant for baby animals. We are the only species that consume another species milk, and long after infancy. Even human breast milk isn't consumed past toddler-hood in most cultures. Cow's milk is made for baby cows, who need it's fat and protein to develop huge bones and grow into massive creatures. There's no real reason humans need such a powerful food when we have our own human food. In fact, by the time humans are 3-4 years old, we are no longer producing the enzymes that break down the lactose in milk, making it very hard to digest. The harder it is to digest, the harder our bodies have to work and the less time they can spend eliminating toxins which make our skin dull, congested and irritated. 

It contains Casein

Casein is the main protein in cows milk which helps cows grow so large. It's actually such a powerful binder that it's sometimes an ingredient in wood glue. Casein is very difficult for the human body to breakdown since we are lacking the proper enzymes; so it coagulates in the stomach and then produces peptides that cause a slightly euphoric effect in the brain. No wonder we all love cheese so much! It takes a tremendous amount of our body's energy to break down that casein, energy that could instead be used to purify our bodies and beautify our skin. Some of the scary health problems that can result from long term dairy consumption include doubling the risk of prostate cancer, promoting all cancer and the possibility that it can cause or aggravate autism - according to studies done in the 1990's.

It's acid and mucus forming

Dairy makes your body more acidic and an acidic body is more prone to weight gain and beauty depletion. Dairy creates mucus and an overproduction of mucus can lead to a buildup of sludge in our intestines and slowing down elimination that keeps us healthy and pretty. Our bodies also try to expel mucus in any way possible, resulting in pimples, congestion, and dullness. 

It's often packed with hormones

Unless you are buying organic, milk and dairy is almost always contaminated with antibiotics and the bovine growth hormone which have been given to dairy cows so that they can produce massive amounts of milk. We don't need any extra hormones, our bodies produce just the right amount, thank you! A hormonal imbalance can cause a wealth of problems, including hormonal acne, something I struggled with for years. 

What qualifies as Dairy

Milk(even sheep or goats milk, although it's not quite as harmful), butter, cream, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, whey powder(often in protein shakes), watch out for products that contain casein. 

dairy-free nice cream

Dairy alternatives

There are some great substitutions available for your favorite dairy treats. They're not going to taste exactly the same, but enjoy them for what they are. I'll tell you my favorites.

  • Milk - swap it for organic or non-gmo almond milk or pea milk. There's a pea milk called Ripple which is really high in protein and tastes great. I don't recommend soy milk and I'll get to why in a future article. 
  • Butter - swap it for olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or a vegetable spread. I'm quite fond of Earth Balance soy free spread when I need a really close alternative to butter. 
  • Cheese - vegan cheese like Dayia - one of the only brands of stretchy cheese that doesn't contain casein or soy. Nut cheese, sometimes found in wholefoods but you can make your own from cashews, almonds and nutritional yeast. I love to make nut cheese as a "cheese" dip. You can also use nutritional yeast, which is a high-B12 powder that has a light nutty or buttery taste. I love to add mine to broccoli or make vegan mac and cheeze with it!
  • Ice Cream - every try making Nice Cream? My favorite is banana, Freeze a bunch of bananas, stick them in your vitamix or food processor, blend until smooth, voila! Banana Nice Cream! Maybe add some nuts, a few dairy-free chocolate chips, coconut or whatever floats your banana boat! Try using other fruits, almond milk or cacao powder.
  • Yogurt - there are a few dairy-free yogurts available and I see new ones all the time. If you eat yogurt for the probiotics, take a supplement instead. 

manchego sheeps milk cheese

Healthier dairy options 

If you must eat dairy, go organic all the way. Don't put those harmful antibiotics and hormones into your body. If you love your cheese, try swapping cow's milk cheese for goat or sheep's milk cheese. I've found some goat's milk cheddar that is amazing(Trader Joe's makes one!) and sheep's milk manchego is delicious. Sheep's milk and Goat's milk contain less casein and their enzymes are closer to those in humans meaning we can digest their milk better. Try to find unpasteurized versions which are easier to digest. 

lacinato kale

Worried about calcium? Try these

Cow's milk does contain a lot of calcium, but its not easily used by the human body. The high content of phosphorus in dairy binds calcium making it hard to absorb. Try getting some calcium from these amazing veggies: 

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Cucumber, Sea Veggies, Spinach, sesame seeds, romaine lettuce.

Rememeber, you can phase foods out one at a time. Try going without milk, then cheese, or just eliminate what you can hen you can. Make the switch to organic and be mindful of what you eat

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References:

"The Beauty Detox Solution" by Kimberly Snyder

http://kimberlysnyder.com/

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Argan Republic cannot be held responsible for any actions made, implied or expressed by anyone as a result of this guidance.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are in no way intended to heal, prevent or treat any illness. Please consult your doctor if you are seeking medical advice.

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