As a teenager who struggles with acne, I'm constantly trying to find the latest product or fad that claims to give you clear skin. After hearing about the positive effects removing dairy from your diet has on your skin, I decided to give it a try. Besides improving my skin, I was interested to see how cutting out dairy would affect my stomach, and if made me less bloated. I was ready to go dairy free. 

Milk has a hormone called IGF-1, that causes inflammation to the skin. Because of this, many celebrities and people who have struggled with acne have cut dairy out of their diet, so the production of that hormone is limited. Celebs like Kourtney Kardashian, Tom Brady and Gwyneth Paltrow are all strong believers of the dairy-free diet.  

Going Dairy Free

Day 1

I was ready to cut out dairy, and hopeful for results quickly. I started out my day with scrambled eggs and a big bowl of fruit. For lunch, I had a salad, and, for dinner, I had chicken with broccoli, sweet potato, and farro. The first day was easy; it was not until later on that it was hard to maintain the diet. As someone with a big sweet tooth, I usually crave something sweet after dinner. Since most desserts including cookies, cake, and ice cream have dairy in them, I had to cut out some of my favorite foods. The dessert was definitely the hardest part for day one, but eating less dessert was a healthy lifestyle change I needed to make. Maybe going dairy free would help enforce it. 

Day 3

Hannah Freiberg

I'm starting to get the hang of things! For breakfast, I ate oatmeal with fresh berries, turkey and cucumber for lunch, and chicken Francese with string beans for dinner. I also had so graham cracker sticks that were dairy free. I haven't been craving dessert as much and I feel healthy. My stomach isn't bothering me at all and I feel a lot less bloated. I've been eating lots of fruits and veggies, and protein. I haven't seen a huge impact on my skin yet, but it is still early in the game. 

Day 6

Hannah Freiberg

I'm feeling good as the weekend is ending. I was tempted by lots of dairy-filled foods this weekend, but didn't eat any! I don't have any huge pimples, just my usual redness and small pimples here and there. For my skin, it was good. I ate eggs for breakfast, turkey for lunch, and wings for dinner. It has been almost a week and cutting out dairy has been easier than expected. At least I've lasted longer than my family thought!

Day 9

Day 9 and feelin' fine. I had oatmeal and berries for breakfast, arugula salad for lunch, and balsamic chicken for dinner. I ended the night with an apple sauce. For the first time in a while, I really wasn't craving a dessert after dinner. My skin doesn't look terrible, but I really haven't seen any drastic changes. At least it doesn't look any worse than it normally does. On a positive note, I feel more energized and am sleeping better, most likely because I am eating so much less sugar. 

Day 12

Hannah Freiberg

It's day 12 and as of now, I plan on only going dairy free for two weeks, but consider extending after not seeing many changes in my skin yet. I've talked to some people who are dairy free who suggested I continue so I can see more results. I started my day with oatmeal, had some turkey and fruit for lunch, and had a variety of different Asian foods for dinner. I'm very tempted by the dessert on the table, but don't eat it. My skin doesn't have any big breakouts which is good. 

Day 15

I've decided to go dairy free for another week. I had the my usual oatmeal, then turkey and for dinner and had salmon. Despite not eating any dairy in over two weeks, I'm not craving it. My skin looks better than usual, but no huge changes. 

Day 18

Hannah Freiberg

Throughout this process I've been really eating much healthier, and I can feel those positive effects. I have had no trouble falling asleep, my stomach has felt better than ever, and I'm making healthy snack choices. I had eggs for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and Spanish tapas for dinner. 

Day 21

Today is the last day of my dairy free experience! I start my day with cereal with almond milk, for lunch I have a salad, and for dinner I eat grilled chicken with veggies. My skin doesn't look worse but no huge improvements. I'm ready to start incorporating dairy back into my diet but have learned a lot from this experience. I learned that not snacking on sweets late at night will make it easier for you to fall asleep. I also learned  that it takes a lot of determination to completely cut a food group out of your diet. 

Final Thoughts 

Although I didn't see huge improvements in my skin, my acne did not worsen over this process. In addition, I felt healthier throughout this process as I was eating much healthier. My stomach felt better, and I was more energized. Although I am not going to complete limit dairy from my diet, I would like to start limiting my dairy intake. But for now, I'm going to celebrate with a bowl of ice cream!