Skin Update – Photos 1 Month Dairy Free to Cure Acne

cheese dairy

Going Dairy Free

I have mentioned this on Twitter and Facebook already, but about a month ago I decided to cut all dairy (even hidden dairy that is in the sneakiest places) out of my diet in an effort to get rid of my acne and improve my skin once and for all (Also, it apparently helps keep migraines away too! I also suffer from those). I’ve done everything I can think of, used all sorts of acne treatments (which would either make it worse, do nothing, or would help at first but then it would get bad again), drank tons of water, etc. and nothing has taken care of it. So after reading about the link between dairy and acne, I decided to give it a go. I am not a good resource yet for a diary free lifestyle, so I suggest doing a web search if this is something you are interested in pursuing.

So far it hasn’t been as hard to give up dairy as I thought. I do miss things like cheese and butter, but it hasn’t been too bad. I have had a few set backs, because there are things I didn’t realize would have dairy in it. Some vitamin supplements I had been taking needed to be replaced, and there were a few other things that surprised me to learn had dairy in them. At this point I have myself well trained to check the label of anything I ingest into my body, so I think/hope next month will show even more progress. I did choose to eat dairy for a friend’s wedding, and while I was headachey for the next few days and noticed a tiny spot or two, it was nothing major.

So, onto my before. My acne history goes back to when I was about 15 years old. I am almost 35 (will be March 3), so I have been dealing with acne for a LONG time. The only times my skin was clear was when I was on birth control. I get everything from blackheads to whiteheads to cystic acne. This before is very typical of a breakout for me. When I say I get breakouts, I get BREAKOUTS.

skin acne dairy free

Ugh. I hope you know how much I HATE showing you that photo, but if you and I are to gauge my progress at all it needed to be done. My skin breakouts come and go, and it is clearer than this at times. Occasionally worse, but that is rare (thank goodness).

Now onto my 1 month progress …

skin acne dairy free

Not bad, eh? And this is even with a few bumps in the road regarding sneaky dairy and a choice to consume dairy. At this point I am focusing on fading the acne marks and am using a glycolic acid I buy at the drugstore (if you are interested, I can review it). When I wash my face I can no longer feel bumps under the surface waiting to erupt. My skin isn’t painful. So much redness has gone away. When I asked on Facebook about how often to do updates, the response I got was monthly. So until my skin is totally clear and I no longer have marks I will do monthly updates, and maybe talk more about my diet and what I used to fade the marks if you are interested in hearing about it.

So, so far so good. I have had nothing but improvement in my skin. While I had hoped after a month you wouldn’t be able to tell I ever had acne, I am a realist and know that skin needs time to heal. And don’t worry, I will share my acne and dairy pictures with you all along this journey.

Are you on your own acne journey? What has been working for you?

  • diana

    wow, that is remarkable! I cant wait to see your 2 month reveal. And also reviews on what you have been using that has helped get you here :)

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      Thank you! :) I am thinking at maybe the 6 month mark I can do an update on what I’m using.

  • Melissa

    That’s great!! Also check out the Wheat Belly blog. Wheat has been shown to have a connection to acne. Here’s a post that discusses that and more:

    Best of luck to you!

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      I was thinking about the wheat/gluten connection too. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

  • Sarah P

    Wow! That is very impressive. I am glad that this is working out for you!

    On a purely selfish note, I would love to hear how the change has impacted your migraines. I also experience migraines, and I’ve never tried an avoidance diet to deal with them.

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      I can keep you updated with each progress photo. I do believe it is helping.

      • Sarah P


  • Kath TheFabZilla

    I have been dealing with acne too. Truth is, just when we thought they’re over, they come back like a ghost from the past in our adult life. I admire your courage to show your bare naked face. While I am not a poster child for flawless skin as I still experience occasional acne (with open pores at that), my skin improved when I added retinol in my skincare. I see the improvement in your skin so there must be a direct correlation between a dairy- free diet and acne-free face. Interesting!!!

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      I tried retinol for over a year, but it didn’t help. :(

  • Toya

    Wow. Good on you, Leticia – for showing us the photos, and for taking up such a huge dietary challenge! I’m glad you haven’t found it too difficult overall. And the results…. ! So worth it, you can definitely see the difference. Good for you, girl!

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      Thank you! :)

  • Beauty 101

    I have been thinking of doing the same thing because I’m in the exact same boat! My skin is AWFUL and nothing I do helps – not even dermatologist recommendations/treatments. I think it’s time to do this!

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      I tried so many products that I felt like I had to look at my diet.

  • Judy

    Oh honey your progress is remarkable! I don’t know you but I am so happy for you and very proud!

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      Thank you!! :D

  • red7apples

    As a nutrition student I have to say I have read 2 peer reviewed studies that have linked prolonged acne to dietary dairy. I doubted what I had read (scientifically, 2 studies is not enough to confirm or deny any information) until I saw this article. It seems like the dairy-free diet is helping this case although, staying well hydrated by drinking more water than milk could also have improved the acne. I must stress that people going dairy-free, especially women, should find a way to eat adequate amounts of calcium through other food sources (veggies!) or supplements. Talk to your doctor or find a registered dietitian to adjust your diet to your unique needs! This is a great article.

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      I have always drank a lot of water, and even when I had dairy in my diet didn’t drink a lot of milk. I have heard the water thing a lot, and my water intake does not effect my acne. Just my personal feelings about it, but I think people put way too much significance on the water acne connection. IMO there really isn’t one.

  • Van

    I’m starting this now. Only my third week in. I haven’t seen a whole difference. But it’s needs time. My skin has never been clear where in fact I did accutane twice and my acne came back just has bad before the accutane. What else do you suggested in doing?

    • Leticia

      Cutting out sugar would also be beneficial, as well as eating lots of leafy greens. I get the majority of my greens from green smoothies.