If anyone here has read my skincare related posts before then you will know that I have always struggled with bad, oily, hormonal and spot prone skin. Ever since I was around 13/14 (basically when I hit puberty) I have always dealt with spots. I wouldn't necessarily say that I had acne, I just suffered with incredibly bad breakouts around my chin and mouth, especially when it came to that time of the month.
For years and years and years I would get down, avoid going out, feel anxious and upset over these bloody spots, some days it would get to the point where I wouldn't leave my room. I have tried all sorts of skin care products, ranging from drugstore products like Simple and Garnier to high end products like Clinique (which made my skin ten times worse). I have had countless doctors appointments, gone on all sorts of antibiotics and I found that literally nothing worked long-term. They would all clear my skin up for a little while and then I found myself back at square one again with the break outs.
I guess you are all reading this post because you all want to know what I have been doing differently with my skin to keep it clear. Well it is down to very simple, cheap and harmless thing - cutting out/down on dairy products. I always heard mutters that dairy products could flare up acne but I never really took the time out to further research it. I used to ask my doctor 'could my diet have anything to do with the bad skin' and I would always get the same answer back 'diet has very little to do with acne and hormones, it is all genetic...' Thinking about it now, it is so bizarre to think that the things you put in your body wouldn't have any effect on your skin, of course it does!?
So after a talk at work (where I was recommended to steer away from dairy products), I researched it a little and I was blown away by the amount of articles that were posted on the web relating to dairy free diets and acne. Just google it - you'll see for yourself.
I finally decided to take the plunge and just go for it, after all I had nothing to lose - so around 8 weeks ago, I cut down on dairy products by a considerable amount, baring in mind I used to have milk with my cereal for breakfast every morning, a yoghurt or two a day, ice cream every now and then, chocolate basically every day (I just can't live without it), I would also dabble in cheese quite a lot and would have butter whenever I had bread.
As you can see my diet contained a rather high amount of dairy, at first I didn't really notice any difference in my skin, it was still flaring up and the redness around my chin was still pretty prominent. It then got to about 2-3 weeks after when I noticed my spots started to disappear and no new ones were appearing. I thought I might just be having a few good skin days and my skin would flare back up after a week but to my astonishment my skin just kept improving. Now 8 weeks after cutting down on dairy, this is the clearest my skin has ever been. Don't get me wrong - I still get the odd spot because frankly over Easter I couldn't resist the chocolate (which is my own fault I know) but my skin is no one near as bad as it was. I would say that my skin has cleared up about 90%, which is amazing considering all I have done is cut down on dairy products. After all these years of trying different products to make my skin clear and beautiful, it was down to this simple trick?!
The reason that dairy products are meant to cause havoc with your skin is because of the cow's hormones that milk contains in it (it is a gross thought I know) but when you actually put some thought into it, putting unnecessary amounts of hormones in your body isn't a wise idea - especially when you suffer with bad skin.
I am so pleased with the way my skin is looking at the moment, I still have red scars on my face, but it's nothing that a little make up doesn't cover and they will eventually fade with time! My dairy diet now just consists of the odd spread of butter on my bread/jacket potatoes and a few bits of chocolate a week.
I have shared this because I want to help everyone that is in/has ever been in the same position as me and has come to the end of the tether with their skin, I can not recommend you bite the bullet and cut out dairy enough. Even just try cutting it out for a month, try almond milk in your tea or dark chocolate instead of milk, just to see what your skin will look like after. I promise you won't be disappointed.