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Can Oat Milk Cause Acne? We all know that the way we look has a lot to do with the foods we con­sume. A diet of processed junk food and sim­ple sug­ars is going to man­i­fest itself soon­er or lat­er in your phys­i­cal being. That’s why so many peo­ple today are turn­ing to organ­ic, whole prod­ucts – because what you eat quite lit­er­al­ly deter­mines how you look on the out­side and feel on the inside. Fur­ther­more, many peo­ple are turn­ing away from foods like red meat and dairy prod­ucts because they wor­ry about the plan­et and how these prod­ucts are pro­duced. Cows, for exam­ple, take enor­mous amounts of land, water and oth­er resources to main­tain. Con­sum­ing plant-based prod­ucts rather than tra­di­tion­al dairy prod­ucts make a huge con­tri­bu­tion to heal­ing the Earth. Cut­ting back on or entire­ly cut­ting out dairy prod­ucts is also a smart way to reduce calo­ries and deal with prob­lems like lac­tose intol­er­ance. But are dairy alter­na­tives like oat milk, for exam­ple, bet­ter for your body? And what about your com­plex­ion?

Does Oat Milk Exacerbate Acne?

Many con­ver­sa­tions on social media and else­where have late­ly insist­ed that oat milk can wors­en acne. Are the the­o­ries true? If it does make acne worse, is it the only thing caus­ing it, or do oth­er fac­tors come into play? We wish we could give you a sim­ple answer to this ques­tion! How­ev­er, like many health and beau­ty-relat­ed ques­tions, the real answer is not sim­ple or straight­for­ward. This arti­cle tells us what the sci­en­tists, doc­tors and nutri­tion­ists are say­ing about oat milk and acne. Once you have the infor­ma­tion, you can decide whether con­sum­ing oat milk is right for you.

Why Would Oat Milk Cause Acne Breakouts?

Oat milk is con­sid­ered a “high glycemic food,” which means, in sim­ple terms, that it makes your blood sug­ar lev­el rise. Tech­ni­cal­ly, a spike in blood sug­ar can cause break­outs. But acne occurs when oil is trapped in your pores, so it’s unlike­ly that a rise in blood sug­ar is sole­ly respon­si­ble for an acne break­out. Per­haps your pores are clogged by make­up.

What Other Factors Contribute To Acne?

If a spike in blood sug­ar isn’t sole­ly respon­si­ble for acne, what else is? Genet­ics are part of it. If one or both of your par­ents dealt with acne when they were teens, the chances increase that you will, too. Also, cer­tain cos­met­ics can block your pores, so if you skip a day of deep cleans­ing, you may expe­ri­ence a break­out. A twice-dai­ly skin clean­ing reg­i­men is cru­cial if you’re cop­ing with acne. And, of course, lots of oth­er foods can trig­ger an insulin response, so oat milk is prob­a­bly not the only “guilty par­ty” in your diet! And don’t for­get that stress can make acne worse, so it’s impor­tant that you deal with yours by get­ting lots of rest, fresh air, and exer­cise.

The Impact Of Hormones On Acne

can oat milk cause acne Before decid­ing that oat milk is at fault for your acne break­outs, talk to your doc­tor or der­ma­tol­o­gist about how hor­mones affect the skin. If you are in your teens or twen­ties, your body is being flood­ed with hor­mones like estro­gen (female) and testos­terone (male) hor­mones that aid in the body’s mat­u­ra­tion process. These hor­mones can con­tribute to skin prob­lems of all sorts, par­tic­u­lar­ly acne. How­ev­er, as the body matures, hor­mones sta­bi­lize, and acne tends to ease once phys­i­cal matu­ri­ty is reached.

If You Suspect Oat Milk Contributes To Acne, What Are Your Options?

If you love oat milk and are reluc­tant to give it up, con­sid­er try­ing a reduced-sug­ar brand. On aver­age, one cup of reg­u­lar oat milk con­tains about sev­en grams of added sug­ar. How­ev­er, even unsweet­ened oat milk con­tains nat­ur­al sug­ars, so this may not be the right choice either. And don’t for­get that oat milk con­tains the high­est num­ber of car­bo­hy­drates of any plant-based milk – approx­i­mate­ly 16 grams per cup. This is worth not­ing if you’re try­ing to cut back on nat­ur­al and added sug­ars in the foods you eat to lose weight and con­trol acne break­outs. Reduc­ing carbs and sug­ars is the most effi­cient way to shed pounds, cou­pled with lots of exer­cis­es.

How Can You Test Whether Oat Milk Is Contributing To Acne Breakouts?

One way is to care­ful­ly track your food and liq­uid intake for one or two weeks, con­sum­ing your usu­al foods and drinks. Note how many break­outs you had dur­ing that peri­od. Then, exper­i­ment! Try cut­ting out all oat milk for one week.
  • Did it make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the appear­ance of your complexion? 
  • Are the areas where acne usu­al­ly appears clear­ing up, or do you notice no difference?
  • Has your chin cleared up, but you then had a break­out on your back?
Take note of all these details, and a pat­tern should emerge. Either oat milk (and oth­er things) are indeed con­tribut­ing to your acne, or elim­i­nat­ing it from your diet makes lit­tle or no dif­fer­ence. If it does seem that your acne has less­ened, but you don’t want to con­sume cow’s milk, con­sid­er anoth­er plant-based milk. Research shows that you should try three alter­na­tives to oat milk: almond milk, macadamia milk, or coconut milk. So far, none of these has been found to wors­en acne, though research is still lim­it­ed. How­ev­er, some stud­ies sug­gest that soy or hemp milk may wors­en acne because of what each con­tains. Soy milk con­tains phy­toe­stro­gens, which can inter­fere with hor­mone bal­ance and make acne worse. Hemp milk con­tains omega‑6 fat­ty acids, which can trig­ger inflam­ma­tion that wors­ens acne.

What Else Triggers Acne Outbreaks, and How Can You Determine That?

Even if your acne marked­ly improves when you give up oat milk, it is not sole­ly respon­si­ble for it. How else can you dis­cov­er what else caus­es it, apart from exper­i­ment­ing with your diet and flu­id intake? One way is to make an appoint­ment with your der­ma­tol­o­gist or G.P. These doc­tors learn a lot about your spe­cif­ic case sim­ply by exam­in­ing the loca­tion of your break­outs. For exam­ple, if you’re hav­ing break­outs on your fore­head, that often speaks to a hor­mone imbal­ance. These spe­cial­ists exam­ine you, and their exper­tise lends insight into what may be at the root of it. Hor­mones? Blood sug­ar spikes? Poor nutri­tion? A less than rig­or­ous skin cleans­ing rou­tine? It would help if you also con­sid­ered hav­ing a sen­si­tiv­i­ty test done by an aller­gist, which will reveal what foods and sub­stances you’re react­ing to. Med­ical spe­cial­ists usu­al­ly per­form these tests, although you can get home test­ing kits. (How­ev­er, they may not give as reli­able results as the doc­tor’s.)

In Summary

Acne is a trou­bling skin con­di­tion that can plague you well into your twen­ties and beyond. It’s impor­tant that you fig­ure out what’s caus­ing your out­breaks and whether oat milk is, at least part­ly, respon­si­ble. Keep in mind that research into this top­ic is lim­it­ed at the moment. Plant­ed-based dairy alter­na­tives have not been around for cen­turies, the way tra­di­tion­al dairy prod­ucts from cows have been. Much remains to be learned about how they affect the body. Also, keep in mind that even if you’re sure oat milk is mak­ing your out­breaks worse, you need­n’t give it up entire­ly. Try unsweet­ened oat milk before elim­i­nat­ing it from your diet, or cut down on your intake of it. After all, a table­spoon or two in your morn­ing cup of tea isn’t like­ly to trig­ger a blood sug­ar spike. In the long run, while a lot of research remains to be under­tak­en on oat milk and its effects on acne and oth­er skin con­di­tions, sci­en­tists agree that oat milk does not cause acne. It can, for some peo­ple, make it worse, but to what degree is still some­thing of a mys­tery. Your body is unique to you, and so are its respons­es to nutri­ents. That’s why it is so impor­tant you don’t go over­board read­ing oth­er peo­ple’s thoughts on acne and oat milk. Scour­ing posts on social media about oat milk and acne isn’t the only way you should be learn­ing about this issue. Those are sim­ply anec­dotes based on some peo­ple’s expe­ri­ences, which may not be accu­rate. It may not even be oat milk con­tribut­ing to some­one’s acne, yet they blame this whole­some prod­uct mis­tak­en­ly. Do some research into acne and oat milk on sci­en­tif­ic web­sites and nutri­tion­ists’ blogs writ­ten by cred­i­ble sources. Ask friends and fam­i­ly what their expe­ri­ences reveal about the rela­tion­ship between the two. Most impor­tant­ly, exper­i­ment with cut­ting back on oat milk, and then you’ll see if there is any cause for wor­ry in your own case. Every indi­vid­ual is dif­fer­ent, and every per­son reacts dif­fer­ent­ly to even the most nutri­tious prod­uct. The more you learn about your own body’s reac­tions to foods and organ­ic prod­ucts like oat milk, the better!

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