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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can switching to organic dairy products help prevent adult acne?

    I suffer from acne only around my mouth and have all through my 20's, I am now 29 year of age. I find it is hormonal for me, but if I limit dairy and wheat it seems to settle down. Could switching to organic milk prevent adult acne over regular dairy?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Suzanne Edwards

    HealthShare Member

    Organic products generally contain less chemical addidtives, if you are trying to improve the quality of your food to counteract poor digestion, then in this sence it may help a little. The issue here is indigestion causing toxins, or ‘ama’ as it is known in Ayurveda that block the bodies micro channels preventing absorbtion of nutrients, wastes from the tissues escaping and hormones reaching their target cells. The solution to chronic longterm acne, hormonal imbalance and diary sensitivity will be to correct the underlying imbalance and strengthen your digestion.
    Good digestion is the corner stone of good health.
    Maharishi Ayurveda offers authentic, unique and specific knowledge to strengthen digestion. Seeking out professional tailored advice will be very worth while. See for a National listing of practitioners, or get a phone/video link up if you are in a remote area.
    Meanwhile here are my 3 top tips.
    Sip hot water frequently thru out the day to cleanse ama from the body and keep those micro channels open.
    Get to bed by 10pm giving your body the opportunity to clean and repair during the vital 10pm to 2am timeslot.
    Eat your main meal and heavier foods at lunchtime allowing you to take a lighter early evening meal when digestion is weaker at the end of the day.

  • 1


    Joanna Sochan

    Naturopath, Nutritionist, Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner

    Joanna is a Natural Medicine Practitioner (Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritionist) who offers an integrative and holistic approach to health and wellbeing. She applies a number … View Profile

    Recurring acne at any age is always a combination of factors that need to be considered in order to identify the most likely cause. However, nutrition is always a major component and needs to be looked at very closely. The skin is one of the elimination organs and its health indicates if the body’s other major detoxification systems are working well (i.e. the gut, kidneys and lungs). In my experience, the vast majority of acne problems are related to one or more of the following imbalances:

    • The gut not working well – resulting in poor digestion, elimination and toxic gut leading to food intolerances, among others. Some considerations - do a gentle gut cleanse, increase good bacteria by taking probiotics, start eating quality foods and balanced meals containing protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates, increase fibre, eat organic foods to eliminate chemicals, pesticides and hormones - this seems to be important for you judging by your reactions to certain foods.
    • The liver not detoxifying efficiently – liver detoxifies all substances we eat and drink including chemicals, pesticides and hormones. It needs to be supported and cared for to work well. Supplement considerations - B complex vitamins, MSM plus zinc which is s cofactor to MSM may help. Specific nutrients are very important here.
    • Blood sugar imbalances (a major factor) often manifest as sugar/carbohydrate cravings, low moods and irritation or afternoon ‘lows’. Eliminating sugar (refined carbohydrates and grains, alcohol, processed foods etc), eating low GI diet rich in fibre and good quality protein is vital. Supplementation is very useful to help during the transition to better eating. For example chromium is known to help with cravings.
    • Stress – emotional, physical, environmental (pollution) is a major factor. One of the factors of stress in acne is stimulation of histamine release at the end of the nerve endings in the skin causing swelling and clogged pores. Make sure you take time daily to relax, going for even a walk helps!
    • Exercise – consistent exercise, preferably outdoors, will move the lymph and enhance detoxification through the skin. Lymph stagnation is a very common problem in acne especially when it is on the neck and shoulders. Supplementation and herbs can also help here.
    • Low vitamin D - make sure your vitamin D level is high (90-120nmol/L), do a blood test to find out your current levels. Get it from the sun by exposing your skin to sunshine (sensibly and safely of course) for 15-20 minutes per day (without the sunscreen) as well as supplements.
    The above list is not exhaustive by any means and the suggestions were given to help you consider a few treatment options. Everyone is different and requires tailored solutions and I strongly recommend you seek a knowledgeable practitioner to guide you to better health!
    Good health and blessings

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    At you age I wouldn't recommend that you eliminate dairy and wheat from your diet (especially dairy) as it is a good source of calcium. You may not have any symptoms now but you will run the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life if you do not get your daily intake of calcium (1000-1200mg). Yes other foods do contain calcium, but you would have to eat large amounts to get adequate calcium and this is not possible for most people in my experience.

    Cutting out foods containing gluten such as wholegrain bread and cereals (an important food group) means that you will probably be lacking in dietary fibre (in particular insoluble fibre and resistant starch). Studies have shown that we need a mixture of all three types of fibre (soluble, insolube and resistant starch) to ensure good health. 

    Many scientific studies have looked at milk and dairy foods and their association with acne, but not have found any strong evidence. In fact the American Academy of Dermatology and Australasian College of Dermatology state that acne is not caused by diet. Other factors such as genetics, skin type, hormones and exposure to evironmental pollutants are more likely to be the cause.

    Eating a well-balanced diet incorporating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats and poultry, whole-grain low GI, high fibre breads and cereals and low fat dairy foods will ensure that you're getting enough nutrients that your skin needs.

    I suffer from the occasional break out every now and then and I find that drinking plenty of water, eating fresh fruit and vegetables, a balanced diet and daily face cleansing works best for me to help clear up break outs. 

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