Some practitioners may notice the appearance of acne on the face and body after consuming food supplements and mainly skin whey. However, we do not all react the same and everyone has their own sensitivity and reaction to taking whey. To try to understand this phenomenon, we are going to focus on the causes that can cause this acne on some people.
The relationship between milk and whey
Whey is a protein powder made from milk. Some scientific studies have already linked acne to the consumption of dairy products such as milk or cheese in sensitive people (1). Milk and whey are therefore closely related as they both contain lactose, a sugar that is difficult for the body to digest. This lactose is easily digested at birth through breast milk because it is an essential nutrient in infant nutrition, but when we grow older our body no longer has lactase to digest it. Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down lactose in the body so that it can be easily digested without difficulty.
Consuming whey may increase the production of anabolic hormones like testosterone, thereby increasing the fat production of the sebaceous glands responsible for oily skin. Biochemical and epidemiological data support the effects of milk and dairy products as activators of insulin signaling / insulin-like growth factor 1 and worsening acne.
If you are sensitive, consuming dairy products, and therefore whey protein, can cause intestinal discomfort leading to acne or other reactions. It can therefore be comedogenic because it clogs the pores of the skin in people sensitive to this nutrient.
Other factors that can cause acne
Lactose may not be the only cause of acne and there are other substances found in cow’s milk which are: IGF-1 and bovine insulin. IGF-1 is a growth promoter very similar to that of humans and is high in people who regularly drink milk. It can stimulate the reproduction of certain cells such as the growth of sebocytes, glands that produce sebum, causing acne to develop.
Bovine insulin is a substance that can cause an autoimmune reaction that causes pimples to appear. As the name suggests, this substance causes an insulin spike in the human body. In fact, foods high in carbohydrates with a rapid glycemic index can also cause acne in the most sensitive people.
How to avoid acne caused by whey?
If you are certain that your acne is caused by consuming whey, then it is recommended that you stop consuming it or switch to other sources of protein. Indeed, there is for example the whey isolate which does not contain lactose or the protein powder made from albumin, soybeans and other vegetable sources. On our site, we offer a wide range of whey and have a special lactose-free or vegan category.