Can Milk Cause Hormonal Acne?

| Food

Acne is a skin condition that really plagues your skin and your life. It’s hard to be confident when you can't stop thinking about the several zits on your face. Acne can be caused by genetics, periods, stress, hormones, and even milk. Wait, what? It turns out that milk may be the cause of a hormonal imbalance, leading to acne. (via American Academy of Dermatology)


Milk contains the insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which is a growth hormone used in baby cows to ensure that they grow to their largest potential. Unfortunately, it ensures that your acne grows to its largest potential as well. IGF-1 is one of several factors that cause inflammation in humans, and which eventually lead to acne (and the ugly redness and swelling that makes acne so annoying).

>> Read more: Is Milk Healthy?

study that focused on adults revealed that when individuals consumed at least three servings of milk per day for two months, it increased their IGF-1 levels by at least 10 percent. The IGF-1 levels in milk produces sebum, which is an oily substance in charge of keeping your face moisturized. If you have too much sebum, it can clog your pores, which yields more acne. The more sebum makes you have, the more visible your pores become.

Not only does milk increase IGF-1 levels, but believe it or not, there are 60 hormones in one glass of milk — even organic, raw, hormone-free milk. Just think about it; you’re drinking hormones. It creates a hormone imbalance, which causes hormonal acne. (via Clear Skin Forever and Dr. Hyman)

>> Read more: Acne Advice: Myth or Fact?


Milk and dairy in general are big problems when it comes to hormonal acne. While you may be tempted to turn to treatments like doxycycline and Accutane to treat acne, why not first see if cutting milk out of your diet helps?

Please keep in mind everyone is different. Some people can drink milk and consume dairy without breaking out. But for many people, milk causes hormonal acne. If you really want to know, try going dairy-free — that means removing all dairy products from your diet. Try it out for a month or two and if you find that your skin is clearer, you know that milk was the main cause of your hormonal acne. (via Progressive Health)