Whether you're lactose intolerant or simply looking for a tasty new beverage, almond milk can be a nutritious alternative to regular milk, offering abundant flavor with few calories. Along with supplying your body with healthy monounsaturated fats, almond milk contains compounds that may boost your overall skin health and protect against skin damage. Although almond milk itself doesn't cure acne, some research suggests that swapping cow milk for dairy replacements like almond milk may help relieve breakouts in acne-prone individuals.
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Almond milk contains a number of skin-nourishing compounds that can potentially improve your complexion. The flavonoids catechin, kaempferol and epicatechin found in almonds help prevent skin cells from oxidizing and dying, and the monounsaturated fats in almonds can help nourish your skin. In addition, almonds and almond milk are rich in vitamin E, which may play a specific role in acne. According to a study published in the May 2006 issue of "Clinical and Experimental Dermatology," low levels of vitamin E are associated with severe acne. Consuming more of this nutrient through almond milk may have positive effects for your skin's condition.
Although there is no evidence that almond milk itself reduces acne, some studies suggest that eliminating cow's milk from your diet can help combat your breakouts -- and using almond milk in place of regular milk may thus bring clearer skin. According to a study published in the February 2005 issue of the "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology," consumption of milk during high school, especially skim milk, is linked to significantly higher rates of acne in teenagers. The researchers speculated that the bioactive compounds and hormones present in dairy products may contribute to acne.
Not all brands of almond milk are created equal, and some may contain additional ingredients that can aggravate acne -- particularly sweetened or flavored almond milk products. According to a study published in the July 2007 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," diets rich in fast-digesting carbohydrates like sugar may increase skin lesions and worsen acne. When buying almond milk or other non-dairy milks, dietitian Monica Reinagel of Nutrition Diva recommends choosing brands that have under 12 g sugar per serving.
Because almond milk is made from nuts, its nutritional profile differs from regular milk and it may be lower in some key nutrients. To avoid deficiencies and maintain good bone health, look for almond milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D, which ingredients labels may list as "calciferol" or "cholicalciferol." If you have a tree nut allergy, avoid consuming almond milk and other almond products.
- OptiDerma: Benefits of Almonds: One of the Best Skin Nutrients?
- "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; A Low-Glycemic-Load Diet Improves Symptoms in Acne Vulgaris Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial; Robyn N. Smith, et al.; July 2007
- Nutrition Diva; Which Non-Dairy Milk is Best?; Monical Reinagel; April 2010
- "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology"; High School Dietary Dairy Intake and Teenage Acne; Clement A. Adebamowo, et al.; February 2005
- "Clinical and Experimental Dermatology"; Does the Plasma Level of Vitamins A and E Affect Acne Condition?; Z. El-akawi, et al.; May 2006