As our sugar and dairy consumption has increased, so have the number of people suffering with acne.

Today 80-90% of people will experience acne in varying degrees at some stage in their lives and it’s important to know how sugar and dairy can contribute.

Sugar and dairy stimulate 3 things in your skin…

  • Increase in pimple causing hormones that put your oil glands into overdrive.
  • Increase in skin cell turnover.
  • Inflammation.

A combination of increased oil and dead skin cells, together with inflammation is the ideal recipe for pimples. 

Sugar largely impacts our hormones, which in turn affects our skin. As you consume excess sugar your insulin (one of the most powerful hormones in the body) spikes leading to an excess production of unusable testosterone. Your skin cells have androgen receptors, which are like little magnets for testosterone. The excess testosterone binds to the androgen receptors and remain in the skin cells until they’re purged out of the body – usually in the form of pimples.

But that’s not all, most people don’t realise that there is a direct correlation between your gut and your skin. Consuming excess sugar causes a serious increase in inflammation at a cellular level, which can cause acne to become worse.

Sugar can weaken the immune system, and a suppressed immune system is bad at fighting off acne causing bacteria.

Sugar is dehydrating, therefore can contribute to puffy-looking skin and dark circles under the eye.

There are many hidden hormones in the foods that we consume each day - dairy being the obvious one. All dairy products are derived from cows and therefore contain cows hormones, so even organic and varieties without 'added hormones' will still contain the cows own hormones. It's these hormones and the whey proteins found in dairy products that can increase inflammation in the skin and contribute to your acne. 


If you want to try cutting dairy out of your diet to see if it's a contributor to your acne, you need to commit to the process for about 3 weeks to see if it makes a difference. Make sure you keep an eye on your calcium levels and use good dairy alternatives like Oat milk with added calcium. Avoid soy. 

“I’m not saying all people with acne need to cut out dairy and sugar, but it is worth trying to see if it's a trigger for your skin.” – Ebony, Founder, real-u Skincare.

The ugly truth is that sugar and dairy can trigger your skin into breakout mode.

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