A few months ago I finally came to terms with the fact that I would have to break up with something I loved in order to make myself happier. I knew this would be a change from the inside out, and I truly didn’t think that I’d be able to make it this far. I want to share with you my breakup with (dramatic pause) dairy.

I grew up with fairly normal skin, a pimple here or there but relatively nothing serious. I was never someone who really worried about pimples because I never really got them, that is until I hit 20. I am not sure what my body thought was happening when I turned 20, mentally I was already stressed trying to keep up with societal expectation and trying to “adult”. Apparently, my skin decided to take a turn and start breaking out. At first, it was just a few extra pimples I would blame on stress, which then slowly turned into constellations on my face; specifically my jawline, cheeks and chin. I decided to accept and live with these constant red angry clusters the best I could. I began wearing full coverage makeup in hopes my skin would just calm down eventually, it wasn’t until Holly did I have any hope that my skin could be permanently clear again.

If you’re an avid reader, you may remember that I briefly mentioned my friend Holly in my fall favourites post. She started working with me in the summertime after she moved from Chicago. She was eager and excited to help me out with my skin and introduced me to the world of facials and skincare. Every few months Holly would suggest that I cut out dairy – especially after I told her I would be following all the ‘other’ steps in the customized routine she gave me. It wasn’t until December did I really decide to start taking her seriously about ditching the dairy. I realized that I was turning 23 and was still struggling with the same acne breakouts that started three years prior. The only person who understood my skin and was helping me kept suggesting that I cut out dairy so I thought “What the heck, just do it Lisa.”

Did I think this would actually work? No. Also, pro tip: Don’t try and cut out a major food group like DAIRY during the holidays!!!! Is there milk in those potatoes? Can’t eat those. Is there butter in basically everything? Yeah, don’t touch that. Do I drink black tea with milk + sugar regularly? Not anymore!!!! Yeah, cutting out dairy at Christmas wasn’t my best idea, but it’s also March as I write this post and there have definitely been some real noticeable changes.

  1. My active breakouts have reduced significantly. Do I still get pimples? Yeah, I mean I’m human. And a lazy one at that, so if I start slacking on my skincare routine, or slip up and eat dairy, or if I am just more hormonal. Then I will see a pimple here and there, but I am no longer constantly getting big, angry bumps that could be a Dot to Dot worksheet on my face anymore.
  2. After a certain point, I stopped craving dairy. At first, I found cutting it out to be soooo difficult. I mean honestly, I went into this thinking that there was no way to cut out dairy because it’s literally everywhere. Which I still kind of think, there is dairy in things I don’t even understand it’s purpose for. And people LOVE to just coat things in cheese. After about a month and a half, when people actually started to take myself and this change seriously I started integrating dairy-free alternatives to my diet did I find my cravings slowly whittle away. Does that mean I miss anything? Heck ya, I dream about Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Icecream. But I also don’t feel the need to grab it every time I go to the grocery store, and I am finding it easier to ask if things have dairy in them before ordering or taking a bite out of my friends food. Which makes it easier for me to avoid it, but every now and then I find myself ordering something covered in butter and cheese, eating it, and promptly feeling guilty, or not eating it and feeling like I’ve wasted money.
  3. Dairy scents can be off-putting. It’s normal to dislike the smell of super stinky cheese. But since I’ve been cutting out dairy I feel like I can really smell it in a room where someone has been or is eating it. In addition, certain chocolates which I would usually be a huge fan of, leave a sour aftertaste in my mouth which I now know is milk. But since the shift, these tastes and scents really stick out and gross me out a bit.

So is my skin totally fixed? Heck no, because now I have three years worth of scars to start trying to diminish. I’ve been typing this post with my second TCA Peel on my face (thanks, Holly). Has my skin’s inflammation and breakouts reduced significantly enough to the point that I think Holly was right? Yeah. But ya live and ya learn I guess, and I know I’ll probably go buy some Half Baked ice cream next week and make my boyfriend share it with me. But life’s all about balance, right? Anyways, turns out this breakup wasn’t too bad after all.

Let me know if you have tried any other crazy diets, or regimens to fix your skin!

Drop a comment below if you have any questions for me,  and have a great day.



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