The Link Between Ice Cream and Acne
26th May 2015
It doesn’t seem fair. Summer is on its way, and you've been looking forward to having a great day at the beach, finished off with a scoop or two of your favourite ice cream. However, if you’re troubled with acne, then ice cream is definitely something you should avoid. There are plenty of studies that show dairy products are a well-known trigger for outbreaks of acne, but what is it about cow’s milk that means it’s off the menu if you want to avoid spots?
Growth hormone in milk
Milk contains a growth hormone, insulin growth factor 1 (abbreviated to IGF-1) that occurs naturally, and is some of the good stuff the cow feeds her calf to make it grow up big and strong. Great for a calf, but IGF-1 is not so good for adult humans, as it is known to boost the growth of skin cells in the pore lining. This in turn can lead to the neck of the pores becoming clogged up with acne bacteria, which the body’s immune system tries to clear. The result? An outbreak of zits, spots, pimples, acne – call it what you like, but IGF-1 is great at producing the unwelcome visitors, which tend to be concentrated on the face, neck, and torso in teenagers and adults.
As well as containing IGF-1, the consumption of ice cream also stimulates your body to produce more insulin itself, and insulin is known to encourage a surge in the production of skin cells, adding to the acne problems already mentioned. The simple answer for all acne sufferers is to avoid ice cream and any sugar – sweetened desserts, even non-dairy ones like sorbet and sherbets. You don’t have to deprive yourself altogether in summer, however, as a single ice cream is unlikely to prompt an acne attack. Just go easy. Frozen yoghurt is a good alternative, as IGF-1 is largely broken down in the production process.