What many DON’T mention about going Dairy Free

Dairy free to some sounds terrible, to others it sounds like less stomach aches, but more money spent on groceries. We are the latter. At first, I was the first – dairy free sounded AWEFUL when thinking of dinners and making food for our little family. However, dairy also didn’t sit well with Armando and he frequently ended up with a stomach ache and a few trips to the bathroom (sorry for the TMI, but it’s natural so ya know).

At first, dairy-free sounded like the worst thing in the world to a 24 year old new wife who was already trying to find her way around the kitchen. Until it didn’t. Thankfully I have a friend who is vegan that shares a lot about her journey on instagram and I am SO grateful for her. I reached out to her about the best cheese substitutes, butter, milk, cooking substitutes. You name it, I probably asked her and/or spent hours researching it online. It was mostly trial and error for the cooking and baking side of things. We were already living a gluten free lifestyle for a little under a year when we decided to try diary free too. I had JUST finally gotten the hang of checking labels for added gluten and finding the tastiest and not so tasty gluten free options. Now it was time to do the same for dairy.

Among the substitutes of dairy and out bodies reacting really well the first few weeks, there are also some ugly side effects that most don’t talk about. I’m truly glad that my vegan friend on instagram did and opened up about it right at the time I was starting to notice it in myself and Armando.

Acne.

Yep. Lovely, right?

I am middle-eastern so I already have oily olive colored skin that can be hard to keep clean and free of excess oil. Well dairy threw a wrench in that real quick. Armando started noticing he was breaking out a lot in the first 1-3 months we made the switch. I didn’t notice too much starting out (hi oily skin thanks for that), but about the time his face really started to clear up and glow I noticed mine was not. My face was not clearly up and it was getting worse than I ever remembered. During this time, my friend on instagram posted her before and after of a side profile of her face when she cutting dairy out of her life to 6-12months later and the difference was incredible! Her skin was glowing, completely clear, and healthy looking. She caught my attention – once again – and I reached out with a “Hey this may be TMI, but since we started being dairy free I am having horrible acne breakouts.” One, vulnerability is hard. Two, I knew she had just gone through something similar and had posted about it. Her input and advice that day helped me understand WHY these breakouts were more happening, how to help alleviate it, and lastly what more I can expect. Talk about a life(skin)-saver.

A few helpful tips and tricks she gave me were:
1. Try a fruit detox for 3 days.
2. Stay hydrated.
3. Keep away from oily products.
4. Try and keep your face dry, but slightly hydrated with a facial mist.
5. Vitamin B5, a lot of it! (Your body excretes what it doesn’t need, which is why if you take any B vitamins you may notice your pee being extra yellow – that’s just extra that your body didn’t need – no need for alarm!)

Lastly, she recommended I research more online and some other ideas because everyone is different. So I did and ya know what… I’m still working on clearing my skin up, but this is something I feel like most people don’t tell you about when you adopt a dairy-free way of living.

This isn’t me telling you “here is a fix all”. This is me being vulnerable and sharing a struggle I’ve been going through for the last 6-8 months since adding a new “-free” to our lifestyle. Dairy-free, we are here to stay so this acne can just clear the heck up at any time. Thanks in advance.

Love,
Sarcastic and Over-It Rissa ❤

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