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Dairy Alternatives for Acne-Free Skin

September 01, 2013

Dairy Alternatives for Acne-Free Skin

Hello Skin Warriors! Today I am excited to talk to you about some dairy alternatives that reduce inflammation, breakouts, and redness in the skin. Reducing dairy doesn’t just benefit acne sufferers, it improves symptoms in rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and hives skin too.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that I have uncovered quite a bit of research that has linked dairy to breakouts and inflammation of the skin. It’s not just research that I have unearthed. My own experience has brought me to understand the strong affects that dairy can have on the appearance of our skin. Having practiced mindfulness and nutritional tracking over the years, I have personally seen a direct correlation to a cheese or milk binge and that new cystic pimple on my skin. It never took long for a painful lesion to show up just a day or two after helping myself to a huge cheese quesadilla – no bueno!

As a former dairy/cheese addict, it’s been a long road to finding my sweet spot with dairy replacements. Here are some of the foods I recommend in place of dairy. These are not 100% “optimal health foods”, but they lessen the negative affect dairy has on our body and skin than dairy products. Here’s to taking a step in a healthier direction!


Coconut milk creamer. Think that little bit of half and half isn’t fueling your pimples? Think again. Cow’s milk contains over 60+ different hormones, even organic, raw cow’s milk. Switch it out for this delicious, creamy coconut milk creamer and you may find yourself happier to wake up in the morning!


Daiya Cheese. Ok, finding an alternative to cheese is pretty tough. But Daiya is a dairy-free, casein-free alternative that melts like a charm! No need to give up this favorite food, you can have your… er… grilled cheese and eat it too! And guess what, no pimples or redness afterwards. Hallelujah! 

Coconut or cashew milk yogurt. This one is tough because there is a huge campaign spreading about how healthy yogurt is for you. Unfortunately I here to say, it certainly is not. The main healthy component of yogurt is probiotics, which you can get in other forms that don’t come loaded with a bunch of cow hormones. It’s likely best to drop grocery store and greek yogurts all together, but if you absolutely love the taste, coconut milk yogurts are a better alternative. Just be careful, they tend to come loaded with added sugar. So maybe just think of it as a once in a while treat!

Earth Balance. This is a great, dairy-free substitute that spreads and melts just like butter! Cook with it, spread it on gluten-free bread, use it in baking. A super versatile butter alternative that tastes great without pissing off your face. 

Coconut milk ice cream. This is definitely something I consider a huge treat. Ice cream is no health food, but if you’re going to eat it why not get a healthier version? Skipping the dairy means you just deal with added sugar. And while that’s no friend to acne or inflammation either, this substitute is a better option than regular ol’ Haagen Daas. Keep it to a small helping and you’ll have a better chance at avoiding those pesky breakouts!

Sorbet. While regular ice cream and sherbets both contain cow's milk, sorbet is a dairy-free! It still has a lot of sugar, so just be careful about your portion size and how many other sweets you had in the same day. But enjoy, this one is dairy-free!


Elise May, CN + LE, is the owner and practitioner behind SKINutritious. She has helped over 1,000 clients clear acne with detoxing treatments, clear skin coaching, and holistic skincare. 

Work with Elise. Book online here.