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Does Dairy Cause Acne?

October 12, 2022

Does Dairy Cause Acne?

One of the first things you’ll hear for dealing with acne is to cut out milk, cheese and all other sources of dairy.  Is the solution for clearer skin really as clear cut as that? 

Today, we’re going to deep dive into the age old question - does dairy cause acne and how skincare can help with relieving congestion and blemishes, no matter the cause.


The Relationship between Dairy and Acne

There have been plenty of studies into this subject, but the findings are mixed with some finding that a relationshipexists and others concluding that it depends on the type of dairyconsumed

One common theory is that certain proteins in dairy (whey and casein) can contribute to acne inflammation. It’s also possible that dairy can hormones which can elevate the sebum production that can cause pimples and acne.

On the other hand, certain types of acne have a stronger relation to dairy consumption. Hormonal cystic acne may be aggravated by dairy, and this form of acne is usually identifiable as larger, painful breakouts along the lower half of the face or jawline.

Does Dairy Cause Acne?

Diet notwithstanding, it’s important to remember that what you eat is just one of many factors that can impact your skin.  Other things that have an effect on skin quality include:

  • Stress
  • Pollution
  • Genetics
  • Weather


Treating Acne Caused by Dairy

Despite all these studies, the one thing we can say for sure is that as with so much in skincare, different skin types can experience different results. If you notice more congestion when you’re consuming dairy products, it could be worth reducing them and seeing whether your skin clears up.

Having the right skincare may not be an acne cure-all, but can certainly soothe and protect your skin to reduce the likelihood or severity of acne.

Let’s have a look at a few skincare products that can help deal with acne, pimples and blemishes!


Subi Perfect Pimple Patch

These hydrocolloid patches work to draw oil, sebum and impurities out of whitehead pimples, providing visible pimple relief overnight! A massive upgrade on everyday patches, Subi’s Perfect Pimple Patch is the lightest, most invisible and stickiest pimple solution we’ve used. As a 100% vegan, alcohol and cruelty free solution, these patches a great option for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.



Mary & May Vegan Cica Toner

This toner gently melts and removes oil from the surface of the skin. Formulated with pore clearing AHAs and PHA, this toner helps to reduce breakouts. In addition, it can gently promote the appearance of brighter, smoother skin.

Furthermore, this toner is 100% vegan and cruelty free.

Dr Jart Cicapair Serum

This serum is a cult beauty hit, with a liquid-gel texture that feels great on oily skin. Made on a base of skincare hero ingredientcentella asiatica, Cicapair serum refreshes and helps to calm the appearance of blemishes, as well as relieve red skin and uneven skin tone.

With a formula that’s free of parabens, sulfates and other chemical additives, Cicapair Serum is perfect for sensitized skin.


K-Beauty Acne Skincare Set

For a full acne skincare routine, we’ve curated our favourite gentle and natural products to soothe and relieve irritated skin. This set has got you covered with skincare products formulated with brightening and soothing ingredients like Vitamin C, centella asiatica, tea tree oil and more for smoother, less irritated and clearer skin.

What are your favourite products for acne relief?  Let us know in the comments!


For more acne tips, tune into the Korean Beauty Show podcast.

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Is there really a link between dairy and acne? For some people yes, for others no.


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