Changing My Diet and Dealing With Hormonal Acne

For the past couple of months I’ve been doing some trial and error with my diet. The reason for this initially was that I was always feeling heavy and bloated in the tummy, and my stomach would gurgle continuously. I knew there must be something in my diet that was causing this issue, as it hadn’t been happening forever, and I decided to start eliminating things one by one to work out what was happening.

About this same time, I started doing research into what could be the cause of my ever-present bad skin. I’ve never really had terrible skin, but for the past 6 or so months, my skin has been the worst it’s ever been…. and I had no idea what was causing it. This year in particular, I’ve made a real effort to eat healthy and treat my body right. I eat a healthy and balanced diet, have very little sugar and caffeine, my stress levels are low, and I hardly drink alcohol…. so what could be causing the issue? Surely a healthy lifestyle couldn’t be causing my skin issues?

Thanks to at lot of time spent with Dr Google, I determined it was hormonal acne. From what I’ve read, hormonal acne tends to be focused on the chin, jawline, and centre of the forehead, which was exactly where I was breaking out.  I had lots of little whiteheads and blackheads on my forehead and chin, and many of those annoying little bumps that sit under the skin (closed comedones). My skin just looked uneven and bumpy all the time. Now I know my skin wasn’t horrific compared to some peoples, but it was getting me down a lot. At 27, I didn’t want to be battling acne and I didn’t want to feel like I had to put on makeup to cover up the blemishes every time I left the house. Since I’m quite pale, I felt all the little red marks the blemishes left behind stood out so badly, and I even struggled to cover them with makeup sometimes.

Hormonal Acne and a Dairy Free Diet
I really didn’t want to post this, but this is actually a photo with makeup on and you can STILL see the blemishes even through the makeup. My chin has lots of little bumps under the skin (also called closed comedones) that are typical of hormonal acne. Higher up on my cheeks you can see small blemishes. This is actually better than it has been lately. I know my skin isn’t as bad as some others, but it’s bad for me, and I want to fix it!

I read so much information on the internet and I found a lot of blogs and YouTube videos really helpful. A lot of women said that when they eliminated dairy from their diet, they noticed a huge change in their skin, with some people saying it cleared the issue up completely and permanently.  It turns out the hormones in milk, can mess with our own hormones and throw off the balance. It makes sense if you think about it. Cow’s milk was made for baby cows, not humans! Many people also commented how much a dairy-free diet helped with digestion issues and bloating. If I sort two issues through one thing – I’d be thrilled!

When I think back on it, I don’t know how I didn’t realise that milk could be the issue sooner. I had really good skin up until about the New Year when I joined the gym. It was then I started upping my protein intake dramatically, through drinking lots of smoothies packed with yoghurt, whey protein, and milk. I went from having hardly any dairy in my diet, to consuming lots on a regular basis.

The Lilly Mint Blog: NZ lifestyle blog

I’m now at the end of my first completely dairy-free week and I’m feeling really good. In just one week, my stomach is settled and I don’t feel bloated. I also haven’t noticed any new blemishes or spots on my face, and my skin is already looking better. It’s actually been a lot easier that I thought it would be, with almond milk becoming my main milk of choice. I’ve also purchased a new rice based protein, and a dairy free cheese. Since vegan eating has become such a popular thing, it’s made dairy free eating really easy, as most places actually now cater for this food choice.

I’m really hoping that this will fix everything, and if it does, it will be such an easy diet choice to make. Cross your fingers for me – and watch this space! x




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  1. rosie365

    June 19, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    When I drink cow milk I get break outs in my skin. Sugar is other thing that like to the acne bacteria. Be patient and don’t let you be down. 🙂

    1. Sarah Lilly

      June 20, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      It seems to be a common thing, are you on a dairy free diet as a result? Thanks for your comment Rosie, it’s definitely hard being patient, but I hope it will come right soon! 🙂 x

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