health

Wheat and dairy and the impact on my skin

Image of a woman's face

I have often talked on my blog of my issues with my skin. I started having acne when I was 13 or 14, and I have never had clear skin since then. I used to blame it on my adolescent state, and then on my young adult state. Then I got older, the acne remained, and I realized there were other factors at work here.

I have very healthy skin care habits. My products are all natural, pure, I use products with no butters or comedogenic oils, I cleanse twice a day, use a mask once a week, use a exfoliant sparingly. I make my own hydrating lotion using aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin and tea tree essential oil. Even if it has been an issue in the past, I am fairly certain that my skin care habits are NOT what is causing my acne issues.

When I got pregnant with my son two years ago, my skin cleared up a little. It remained clearer than my usual spotty self throughout my 4 months of breastfeeding. This told me that a part of my struggle was hormones. But it can’t be all of it, or else I would have had beautiful, glowing skin during pregnancy, not slightly improved skin.

After reading up quite a bit on the subject, I realized that my problem was probably caused by my diet. I found a lot of literature that linked the consumption of wheat (and gluten) and dairy to acne breakouts. Considering that I also have a history of digestive health issues, this kind of set off an alarm bell for me. Could this be the answer to my recurring skin problems?

I don’t plan on cutting wheat and dairy completely from my diet. I love both too much and don’t have the self-control for it. But I do want to limit my intake. My action plan to do that is this:

Free of dairy:

  • Replace milk with almond milk when cooking milk-based meals;
  • Replace milk with almond milk in my coffee (less fattening too!);
  • Replace cheddar with goat milk-based cheddar, whenever possible;
  • Limit my intake of cow dairy products to 1 serving per day.

Free of wheat:

  • Use my homemade all-purpose gluten-free flour mix in place of wheat all-purpose flour in all my cooking (brown rice, tapioca starch, almond meal);
  • Breakfast on cereal that have no or very little wheat, or on gluten-free products;
  • Limit my intake of wheat based products to 1 serving per day, maximum.

Other skin-loving resolutions:

  • Drink my 2L of water per day, as I’m supposed to!
  • Limit caffeinated products to 1 per day on the weekend (and none during the week).
  • More green veggies!
  • Keep active!

We’ll see how that goes, and how much of an improvement that makes. Any tips or recommendations?

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