I Gave Up Dairy & Here’s What Happened

Confession: I have had acne since I was about 13. I have visited more dermatologists than I would like to admit. I’ve tried every cream, been on antibiotics and different birth control pills, had cortisone shots put into pimples, bought Proactiv (which was a waste) and some things worked…for a while.

Ever since the wedding, my skin has been fairly clear. I was eating healthy and was taking an antibiotic to ensure the best skin possible for the most important day of my life. Afterwards, I weaned myself off of the antibiotics because I don’t like being a medication like that for too long. I just don’t love the way I feel when I take it and know that my body starts to reject it/become immune to it after a while. I still took birth control and that helped keep the pimples at bay.

But then, we moved to Germany. I had to get on a different birth control pill because my pill from the States isn’t offered here and the house we rent doesn’t have a water softer, I’m convinced. My face broke out on my chin so badly that I didn’t want to leave the house. I lost confidence and couldn’t believe I was still dealing with the same “condition” as I was when I was 13 years old.

I started digging into online research like it was a part-time job. If you looked at my Google search history, you would find, “causes of chin acne,” “acne in late 20’s,” “getting rid of acne,” and everything else related to acne, age and how diet affects your skin. The results were varied, but one common find was to give up dairy. Chin acne is a sign of hormones and sometimes the hormones from milk and cheese, especially skim milk, doesn’t agree with your system.

After reading the same thing so many times, I figured, hey, I have nothing to lose. I might as well try giving up dairy just to see what happens. So, for the past two weeks, I have gone dairy free.

dairy free for two weeks

The thought of not having cheese, milk or yogurt for two weeks sounded incredibly daunting at first. No pizza. No cheese with wine. No cheese on tacos. No yogurt with berries. No sour cream. No chocolate candy because it’s made from milk. What in the world would I eat? How would I feel? Would all of this be worth it?

Well, let me tell you. It was worth it! Of course there were some cons, but the pros certainly outweighed them. Here are my takeaways from no dairy for two weeks.

I ate more carbs than usual, but less sugar. I’ve been trying to limit the amount of carbs I eat for a while, especially at night. I’ll have a taco salad and no tortilla or cheese. And you know what, I don’t miss either to be honest. But once this no dairy thing started, I found myself eating a lot of pasta, just no cheese. Or bread with peanut butter. I’ve been eating less sweets, which is positive. I have had some dark chocolate chips because they are lactose-free and I would go insane without that!

My skin looks better!! I don’t have the confidence to take a picture for a before/after, but trust me, my skin looks brighter and I only got one pimple during the whole two weeks. AND it was during my cycle, when I’m most likely to get a breakout. I still have some small, leftover pimples on my chin and some red marks, but they are easily covered with makeup. I’m really happy with the way my skin currently looks.

I drank more water. So weird, but I found myself drinking more water. I have never been one to drink just a cup of milk, but I find it really interesting that no dairy means more water. I think I wanted water so I wouldn’t be hungry or notice that I wasn’t putting any parmesan on my pasta. Weird mind trick? Maybe. But this also helped my skin look brighter.

Almond milk is delicious. I have tried almond milk in the past, but it was always vanilla flavored. Luckily, the Saturday before I decided to go dairy-free, I found plain almond milk at the grocery store! I put it in my coffee, with my smoothies and cereal. I love it! And without this, I would have to give up coffee all together, which I am not ready to do.

I didn’t really miss it. Surprisingly, I don’t really miss dairy. Of course, I see a candy bar and want it, but then I remember it’s made with milk! And I don’t need the chocolate bar anyway. It’s easy to then say, “No.” I’m surprised I don’t miss it, though. Vinn and I would have a cheese plate like once a week. I thought for sure I would crave it. But I don’t. I would love ice cream, but dark chocolate chips with raspberries are my new go-to.

Overall, I am very happy with the results of not eating dairy. I will continue to limit as much as possible, but every once in a while, I’m going to have some gelato or cake with whipped cream. But, as a general “rule,” I will not eat dairy. Now, I need to focus on getting rid of dark spots on my face and limiting the amount of carbs I eat. I bet the combination of everything will do wonders for my skin and my body in general.


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