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Does soy cause acne outbreaks?

From reactions on forums we can see that soy causes acne outbreaks for some people while improving the conditions of other acne patients.

But what do scientific studies tell us? Not much! There is only one scientific study that mentions a link between soy and acne. A study at The Chinese University of Hong Kong found that "the intake of dairy and soy products was significantly associated with a lower incidence of acne" [1]. In other words, soy reduces acne outbreaks! Another study confirmed that the intake of dairy milk increases acne [2]. They hypothesized that the association of acne with dairy milk may be because of the presence of hormones and bioactive molecules in milk.

While the arguments against soy sound realistic they are actually based on poor evidence. Maybe those who develop acne outbreaks after eating soy belong to the small group of persons (1% of the population) that is allergic to soy. They do not develop real acne outbreaks but conditions that look like acne.

References

[1] An investigation of the association between diet and occurrence of acne: a rational approach from a traditional Chinese medicine perspective. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2010 Jan;35(1):31-5.

[2] High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Feb;52(2):207-14.

Comments

Soy and acne

I have been eating and drinking soya for the last 3 months, I thought it was doing me some good but then my already acne prone skin has got so much worse. I always try and eat anything that I think is good for my skin and I thought soya would be a safe bet. After reading the item from GUEST I completely agree, soya makes acne worse. i have spent years trying all sorts of things to help and I also agree that what you eat does have an effect on your skin. I am going to stop eating/drinking soya as of now and just hope that my ugly acne face clears up, it has such an effect on every day living I feel that I do not want to face the world until I can see an improvement. Going on past flare up experiences this could take a while. Thank you so much GUEST for saying exactly what I feel.
Have you found anything that helps?
Author Message Another g - 01/08/2007

Soy and acne

i too have bad acne, mostly large whiteheads around my mouth area but i have other acne on other parts of my face as well. At first i recognized that my skin was prone to breakouts whenever i ate chocolate so i stopped eating them, looked at all of my favourite chocolate bars and realized they all contain soy lecithin or some soybean product. i researched futher and found out that many heavily processed foods contain soy lecithin or oil or other soy derivitives. my acne is so bad that i hate going outside. i dont know what to do. everything from the frozen pizzas (excluding "Crazy or Super Plates, from CAnada") in the supermarket to twinkies to bugels contains soy products. i drink at least 8 bottles of water per day, try and eat fresh fruits and veggies and wash my face with just warm water. is there anything else that helped you guys cuz im desperate.
Guest - 01/08/2007

Soy and acne

Try to cut dairy. We do not use dairy products at home and our teenagers do not have acne! However when they are on holiday with friends or on school trips, and eat dairy products, they start to develop acne! Dairy products contain hormones intended to help the calf grow but might trigger off spots. This is the conclusion of a scientific study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2005 Feb): "We found a positive association with acne for intake of total milk and skim milk. We hypothesize that the association with milk may be because of the presence of hormones and bioactive molecules in milk."
FD - 04/08/2007

Soy and acne

How funny. When I get pimples (a few spots on my cheeks), I drink soy milk to clear the acne. It works for me! Two glasses a day for 3 days clears up the spots. I drink "no sugar added" by the way. I don't know what's up with you guys. Soy causing your acne? I think you're all just blaming your breakouts on soy. Diet DOES cause acne, but I don't see how soy could cause acne. It's funny how somebody said they had sudden breakouts, read the label of a newly introduced food product, and found soy derived ingredients in it. HELLO?! Almost everything in your pantry contains soy! Soy is even used as emulsifiers! You think you're avoiding it, but you really aren't. Sometimes, it ain't even listed in the ingredients because it was used during processing. Enough said.
Guest - 13/08/2007

Soy and acne

Your lack of scientific justification one way or the other is disgusting. Evidence is required for any claims one way or the other.
Guest - 09/09/2007

Soy and acne

I agree; drop the cow's milk and products. Dairy is full of hormones etc and when I was drinking a lot of soy milk daily, my skin was better than it is now. However, acne is a very personal thing I'm finding (I'm 28 and still suffering). It is genetic. My mother has always had great skin; my father didn't. My sister and I both have acne. I do try for more purer foods and to lessen dairy. I eat soy cheese, soy milk and am impatiently waiting for soy yogurt to get into my city.
Guest - 09/09/2007

Soy and acne

I started drinking soy milk each morning in July, mostly because I'm lactose intolerate to cow milk. Previously, I was drinking lactrose free milk and I was pretty happy with the results. But, I heard that soy milk is better for your health, so I thought I'd give it a try. In about a month, I started getting really bad acne on the sides of my cheeks. I didn't immediately blame the soy milk. But, I began to take a closer look at my diet and my overall skin care. I've always had pretty good looking skin, with minor acne every blue moon. But, now after months of drinking soy milk every morning, my face is covered with large pus-filled acne breakouts. Every few days, I get another huge painful pimple somewhere on my face. I'm 37, and I've never had acne this bad in my life!!! I'm pretty sure it's the soy milk. So, today I'm discontinuing my use of soy milk. I'm aware that it may take several weeks before I notice a difference in my skin. So, I'm marking my calender and I'll let you know in two months whether or not I have the same acne problem. I know many would disagree with me suspecting soy milk as the cause of my now very serious acne problem. They would mention countless studies and their own personal experiences with soy milk. I'm not saying that soy milk is bad for everyone. I'm just saying that soy milk maybe bad for me. EVERYTHING ISNT' FOR EVERYONE !!!! See you guys in two months.
LivingGood - 15/11/2007

ihatesoy

I stopped drinking cow's milk after a heard the hormones and Iodine contributed to acne. I drank Rice milk instead of cows milk and my acne went away. I started craving hot chocolate during this could winter season and I started to go to Starbucks for a hot chocolate made with soy milk (alternate to dairy). Wouldn't you know I got the worst, most disgusting cystic nodules on my cheeks and jaw line. They were HUGE, painfull and embarresing. I had no idea where it was coming from till I went away on vacation for a month, and all the acne went away. I came back and started drinking the soy and chocolate again. I don't konw if it is just the soy, or the chocolate, but all the acne came back! I stopped drinking the soy chocolates and it was gone!!!!! People say it is the hormones it the soy, and some people say it is the iodine. Some people say it was the chocolate. I don't know. All I know is I 86'd the hot soy chocolates for good! oh, and I don't trust any positive feedback on this forum because i am sure it is written by Soya employees.
Ihatesoy - 28/01/2008

ilovesoy

To be honest... It's probably not the soy that's causing you guys to break out like mad. It might be because you're wasting so much time and staying up very late to type out hateful ESSAYS blaming your ugly acne on soy. Give it up. If you have acne, you have acne. And you're ugly.
ilovesoy - 01/02/2008

A little over a week, no soy milk, no zits.

THANK YOU ALL FOR SHARING, I would have never figured out that the soy milk I added to my diet in order to eat cereal instead of cookies and other junk was causing my acne. I knew that there was something that happened around when I started losing weight that had to be connected to the acne that appeared after having fairly blemish free skin my whole life, save for that huge one on prom night or before vacation, UGH! I lost 25 lbs but spent about 250$ trying to get rid of the acne, from tea tree oil to proactiv, I lugged it to my mirror and prayed for results. In the proactiv solution brochure it mentioned soy allergies causing breakouts and advised avoidance of the trigger foods since the program would not help with these types of breakouts. I found this website and read about the TYPE of acne people were getting from what they thought was a problem with soy, and they were exactly like mine! The big puss filled painful irritating embarrassing ones that stay forever and are just gross.
Since I had already purchased the proactiv I did use it in conjunction with stopping soy, so that may have sped up the clearing of my skin, but after a little over a week with no soy milk, a few spots are still clearing out, and of course I picked at them so now I have scars and red spots, but at least my face doesn't feel like a big land mine ready to blow. Man those things hurt SOOOO bad icon_cry.gif My kids would hug me and brush against my face and it was excruciating.
I can finally explain to all those people what was up with my face, being 31 and breaking out like crazy is no fun, you get those sweet "aren't you too old for that" comments we all would like to ignore. I don't think that all soy makes me break out, since soy is in just about everything we eat. I think eating a ton of a certain type of chocolate causes eruptions, but like one or two, the soy milk was causing like 6 or more at a time. I love soy sauce and edamame, and I am a little nervous about the edamame, but don't think soy sauce is gonna be too bad.
I am almost at the point of trying water on cereal ... cows milk is gross and that soy vanilla was so good! Good luck to everyone else clearing up (I also tried to drink a ton of water to flush out my system and drank a shot of detox tea).
Soy Milk and Acne - 28/02/2008

hormones

Soybeans contain phyto-estrogens which some scientists and nutritionists believe may have effects similar to the hormones naturally produced within the body. And, like all chemicals all people react differently to different chemicals. Estrogen, like testosterone is a sterol that starts out as a lipid a fat. Thus the oils of the soybean probably contain concentrated amounts of phytoestrogen which may cause certain sensitive people to react in different ways. Acne is more common in people whose hormone levels are elevated, so it stands to reason that, soybean oils and oil derivatives may cause acne. Cow's milk, especially non-organic milk, tends to have elevated levels of hormones due to injections given to the cattle to increase milk production. Soybeans, in their natural state, are relatively low in phytoestrogen however, when they are concentrated at the levels required to produce significant amounts of oil the phytoestrogens are concentrated too. You would have to eat nothing but soybeans to even come close to ingesting the amount of phytoestrogen that's contained in even a small amount of soybean oil. So some people can handle fresh soybeans and soymilk/tofu but have side effects from soybean oil, and some can't eat soy products at all. As a rule, anytime you process a natural product or a component of that natural product to concentrate it, that food looses its natural benefits and usually gains some side effects. Try organic coconut milk (make sure it's free of emulsifiers and preservatives) if dairy and nut-milks are not allowed by your diet. It's a very natural product - just coconut meat that's been pressed. As a side note, hormones also have effects on the brain and the body's physical performance, if you arre trying to gain muscle or loose fat, soy hormones may make it more difficult - as estrogen is a female hormone which is a partial cause of women having higher fat reserves than men (which in turn helps with pregnancy) it may make it harder to reach your athletic goals.
Guest - 08/03/2008

ilovesoy

To people like "ilovesoy", I'd just like to say that what you wrote is of no value, is completely unwarranted, and childish at best. People who suffer from acne are not trying to look for something to blame. They are looking for answers. And the truth is that there are many answers and causes that make each individual break out. It'd be wonderful if simply washing your face like most people would clear acne, but everyone is different. Instead of your rude comments you should offer understanding and support. You may consider those with acne ugly, but you have just shown that you're even more ugly on the inside and that is what matters in life.
me - 24/10/2008

Acne

In my case I have had beautiful skin my whole life always have eaten chocolate, cookies,treats ,meat and dairy and fruits and vegetables. I'm 25 and about 8 months ago I went vegetarian and no problem there about 3 months ago I went Vegan, I stop using dairy products and started eating things like tofu and silk soy milk. I am really into health and glorifying God through what I eat. I noticed when I completely stop cow's milk and switch to soy I too have broken out in my cheek area and forehead and jawline area. I have read alot of materials on soy products and its side effects.I read the good things about it and the bad thins about it. Personally I tend to swing towards soy or soy milk to cause acne in certain people I'm one of them. It truly does matter what you eat because your skin will automatically go into fight mode and start showing your blemishes when you have eaten or drunken any thing that the body does not agree with it will tell you, our body is a amazing machine. I know that they have been messing with the way things grow to make better food and better meat and even better dairy. So just know that what ever you eat has been altered unless you grow it your self from scratch were all dependent on the FDA and the USDA what ever they push better believe you should check it out read the ingredients to find out whats in your food. If you started eating or Drinking soy milk And you Broke out Its really simple Its the product. People can say your trippin but your not!! I have always eaten some soy products growing up But I kid you not when I started using silk milk here the pimples came its the milk or whatever there using or putting in the soy bean plant itself to cause a reaction in some people. I'm still vegan and will eradicate soy milk from my diet. Somethin wrong with it. If it hasn't caused you to break out good for you as me DARN!! I just started getting use to soy milk and its gotta go. I will try other nut milk. Good luck People eat more veggies and oats and grains.
Nikky - 07/04/2009

i hate soy

For that dumb idioit icon_wink.gif ilovesoy YOUR UGLY! first of all google, 'does soy cause acne' and see how many links say it does. I used to drink soy and it broke me out bad under my chin and on my jawlines. A lot of people don't know it but a mild case of an allergy from soy can cause mild to severe acne. Meaning that you may not know it but you could be allergic to soy or even a little sensitive to soy which can cause acne. My skin was doing real good with my skin care regime and then i went to the store and bought soy milk and cereal sine i hadn't had any and a long time. BAM JUST LIKE DAT MY CLEAR SKIN WAS FULL OF IRRITATION. Now after two weeks soy-free my face is beautiful and acne free and glowing. Also try eating salmon! That's what J-LO eats and she always has glowing skin. They even named her PERFUME GLOW!
Beautiful - 15/11/2009

soy acne

I am 25 & I had clear skin my whole life until about 6 months ago. I had no idea what caused it and just figured I developed what they call "adult acne" and that I would have to just live with it. I just saw this site today and never thought that it was the soy causing my acne. I figured it must have had something to do with my change in lifestyle since I moved out to California from Boston. People in Cali. are much more health conscious and so I began to eat differently. I started drinking soy milk, eating tofu, etc. and cut-out meat almost completely from my diet and I also lost almost 20 lbs. Well, I developed the big ugly acne all over my chin and jaw line areas (just like everyone else described) and it just won't go away. Just as some start to clear up, more develop and it is a never-ending battle. I had to buy and wear cover-up for the 1st time in my life and have spent a fortune on all types of acne treatment that didn't work. Anyways, I'm gonna test this out. Starting today, I'm gonna cut-out soy and see if the acne goes away in a few weeks. But is it Ok to drink almond milk and/or skim milk? I'm gonna due more research into this also and let you know if I find anything helpful.
Melissa - 28/09/2010

Soy made my acne worse

Actually, it made my acne worse--so be on the aware of this. If your skin gets worse within a few days or several days, stop the soy. It made hideous pus-filled acne pop up out of nowhere on the sides of my mouth. I have never had acne like that in my entire life. Once I stopped, I haven't gotten those hideous ones until I used a Greek Vinaigrette that had soy in the ingredients. This also connected why the chocolate powder I used to drink chocolate milk were causing those types of hideous acne because it has soy lecithin. It's a different acne--much more hideous. I haven't had them since I stopped drinking it.
PinkBracelet - 10/09/2013

Sugar causes acne

Sugar in the diet causes acne. Go on a sugar-free diet that is also free of white flour, white rice and any refined products and your skin will be clear as a baby's. It's not the soy that's causing the acne. Be sure also to drink soy milk without any sugar in it.
Annie - 23/10/2013

Hormones in milk

I have read some of the comments regarding dairy and soy. One of the reason why dairy is bad to consume is because the cows are fed soy and not their natural diet of grass. It is true that the hormones in the milk don't help. I don't pay attention to what doctors or research says regarding foods in general...only what my own body says. And by the way, for me, it takes about 5 days for the food(soy) to get out of my system and the symptoms, (spots, bumps, on skin or other symptoms), to go away...not just 48 hours.
shanapatten - 24/10/2013

Day 1 of no soy

I will have to agree on soy causing acne. It took me TEN YEARS to figure this out. Every meal I ate contained some kind of soy. Smoothies were made with soy milk, lunches were made with whole grain bagels and soy meat analogues, dinners were made with salad and tofu... now this week I went crazy and purchased all sorts of soy meats include veggie burgers, veggie sausages, soy bologne, soy ham slices, veggie meatballs, veggie chicken strips, etc. Reason being is I am a fitness instructor and do a lot of exercise so I remember thinking that these foods are amazing as they are high in protein and so low in fat and calories. But in one meal I ate a veggie sausage, a whole package of deli slices and tofu all at once and it was from that I realized I was overdoing it with the soy. I have broken out horribly because of it, on my face (the side cheek area) and chest. I am 100% convinced that dairy, refined sugar, and soy ALL CAUSE acne. When I used to eat dairy I used to get bigger cystic acne on my face, chest and back, and when I over ate the refined sugar and carbohydrates (too much bread/wheat gluten) I broke out on my back. Strangely enough soy does not seem to have affected the acne on my back (or maybe it takes longer to develop there because my back is in great condition so far), but it clearly and quickly affects the acne on my face/chest. Today is day 1 of not eating soy (atleast not intentionally as the salad dressing I used contained soybean oil), however, I am hoping to see clear ups this week. I will be replacing my soymilk with oat or almond/brown rice/coconut milk, and will replace my tofu with lentils (you can make a great veggie burger using lentils and chickpeas!). I am just glad I have found all the causes of my acne and working to eliminate them. I am gladly giving up soy if it means the happiness and health of my skin. I'll be back in a few days to update!
also-avoiding-soy - 06/11/2013

Acne outbreaks

I am amazed at what I am hearing! I love my silk chocolate soy milk! But I love my skin more! Wow I have been drinking soy milk on a daily basis until here recently Walmart ran out for 2 weeks straight. I believe it was a blessing in descise...Only because I notice my face had cleared up when I wasnt drinking the soy milk. Well Walmart got a new shipment in so I had to get my soy milk. Big mistake! Here comes the breakouts! So I decided to look it up. Does soy cause acne? It seems that it does and I'm not the only one who believes so. Also I noticed when I wash my face only in the evening time my breakouts aren't as bad. I still rinse in the mornings but I don't wash my face in the mornings. So I don't strip my natural oils. I believe that a toner & moisturizer is a must. Oh and I like to use a little tea tree oil in my toner. It does help with acne breakouts! Yes I also believe that you can be allergic to soy and not even know it.
jenniferd777 - 06/11/2013

Seems to be helping

So it has been about a month since my last post. I have not been eating any raw soy products: soy milk, tofu etc....all the red bumps on my neck/under my chin have disappeared. My breakouts on my cheeks and chin have gotten a little better, but are still there. I have still been eating foods that may contain traces of soy. I am going to get a food allergy test on Feb. 29th, so hopefully that will give me some answers. It may be something completely different that is causing the acne & the soy could just be aggrivating it even more. Also it has only been a month, so I am thinking it may take longer for my skin to heal & get back to normal.
Nina - 06/11/2013

Soy milk causes acne

Please do not drink soymilk if you face especially on the cheek starts to get pimples alike. It is not that you are allergy. It is unhealthy illy prepared soymilk. If you drink further you may develop pigmenation which is something hard to get rid of. You get acne is because soymilk is poorly prepared. Its the toxin in the soya milk bind with metals in your body which casue your body not able to take it. And pop up on your cheek. I advise you to stop drink that brand or shop you buy from. I invented my own cooking method of making healthy soymilk with cosmetic effect in Singapore. I discovered the same problem like you had in Singapore as well. I try to warn the public about the side effects can cause face damge but many laughed at me. Even the victims themselves do not think so. This problem is same like those people in country side of thailand where they usually eat raw uncook vegetable. Most of their face has pigmentation. Soymilk is healthy only if it is produced healthily. From my research and observation, pressure cooker type of soyamilk machine can cause the side effects. Ronald Lee
Healthy Bean (Singapore)
Ronald - 07/11/2013

My experience with soy

Thanks for all the posts which give support to my own observations. I went on the paleo diet in November last year for about 2 months to try to determine acne triggers. It was a reasonably strict version. I didn't really want to do it properly but thought it won't hurt me to try. Within a week my acne was pretty much gone. In the second week I had a coffee with milk with milk, and had a pimple by the afternoon. Surely not I thought and waited till they cleared. I tried again the next week with the same result. So dairy's bad for my acne. I tried other foods but nothing was as bad as the dairy; high sugar content was second and grains third. I'd always thought the sugar was worst but my experiment showed otherwise. I started having soy milk only in coffee as it was all that is normally available. I developed the cyst like pimples that others have described on my jaw and neck predominantly and then also on sides of my cheeks and mouth. I had never experienced this presentation of acne. I have just spent three weeks traveling for work in an area where there was very little access to soy milk. The cysts subsided within 1-2 weeks, and took longer to subside to than my dairy induced acne (~3 days). I experienced once again my "normal" type of acne due to high dairy content in my diet in the absence of dairy alternatives (and the abundance of delicious cheese I found hard to resist!). I echo the sentiment that it seems to be a cumulative effect, that is it gets worse if you have more in a short period but may not present with simply one drink. I never did this in a controlled manner though. I encourage anyone reading this to try a diet rich in unprocessed foods and add in possible triggers to validate the observations you've had of your skin. The more controlled you are (only one addition at a time with time for acne to develop) and repeatable (do it more than once), the better the results. The ultimate result for me is that I have greater willpower when making daily food decisions as I know what I'm in for.
Elle - 07/11/2013

Soy and acne

I am a vegetarian and have struggled with cystic on my back for years. I stopped taking soy of any kind and my back clear. Also, I had tofu two days in row about a month back, and a cystic zit formed on my back. I immediately stopped eating soy and I'm back to clear skin. I can't tell how happy I am to have made the connection. Now to find the cause of my psoriasis.
Guest - 07/11/2013

Acne

yeah im 14 and have been vegan for like 4 weeks after being vegetarian for 4 months and having been drinking tons of soy like twice a day (wanted to get strong) i started getting acne on my face, armpits BELLY button and wanted to know if i should start drinking coconut milk instead?or almond milk but i heard to much can be bad, i wan't to be able to drink something consistently like i did with normal milk without acne
help is appreciated
josias - 09/11/2013

Soy allergy

My daughter has tested POSITIVE for soy allergies (and many others) in extensive testing. AND YES, soy causes immediate pimples for her, sometimes painful. We always know if soy has accidently slipped in somewhere, as she will suddenly have pimples showing up on her body, usually face & butt/thighs. She is only 2 years old too. Be careful, soy is in most things, you really have to check things out, it's easily ingested accidentally.
sweetsommertime - 09/11/2013

It does

whenever i have soy milk or soy sauce i get owned, but soy lecithin and soybean oil dont do anything to me. i used to get giant ones on my nose then i stopped drinking the soy milk and i was fine (dairy doesnt affect me). in september and october i got giant zits on my nose and i ddint know why and i just one recently so i checked ingredients in the rice and it said soy sauce. no doubt soy messes with my hormones.
Guest - 11/11/2013

Soy consume and skin problems

How strange... but it was very helpful reading all these experiences from you guys with acne and taking soy products. as for myself, i ve never had skin problems and all of a sudden my hair, face and shoulders started to be extremely greesy and some pimples broke out, but not like yours, not big nor painful. nor even Retin A is helping - so today i decided to test it and avoid soy protein, at least in the form of isolated protein and 'soy meat' - and see what happens!


brazilian - 11/11/2013

Allergic to soy

People who's acne gets worst after consuming soy products must be allergic to soy. It does not apply to everyone. We all know the health benefits of consuming soybeans. They are one of the most nutritious food item of all times!
Ammedge - 20/11/2013

I totally Agree

Every since I went Vegan about 4 months ago I've been breaking out with acne on my forehead and jawline area, I'm 25 and have had good skin all of my life. I drink Silk Milk and eat soy food. I never thought that soy was the acne bug. I'm never doing soy milk maybe even soy foods and tofu. Thanks Guys I was going crazy over this, because I eat alot of fruits And vegetables I didn't know what was going on with me. My husband told me I'm becoming more of an adult woman and no need to worry. I Knew that was bunk even his face has been breaking out. I'm so glad I came across this website. As a vegan are there other veggie meat besides soy. I will now switch to Almond Milk. I love almonds so it should taste good.
Nikky - 23/11/2013

I totally Agree

Soy is not known as general cause of acne, but individuals may develop an adverse reaction to any type of food. Have you been tested for soy allergy, because this can cause skin rash that resembles acne? It would be interesting to see what happens to your acne after stopping with soy. So please keep us informed! Have you tried to eat fermented soy products, such as tempeh? Almonds are also very healthy and it is easy to make your own almond milk.
Rob - 23/11/2013

Soy and acne

I was putting tofu in my smoothies for breakfast almost every day for a month and a half. I do have acne prone skin, but nothing serious or dramatic as it is now, thanks to the soy! What some women don't know is that soy is estrogenic, which means it affects levels of estrogen in the body. Whenever you break out around your jawline/lower part of your face, it is usually hormonal (this is why many of us tend to break out in these areas around the time of our periods). Anyway, a few weeks to months + of consistent soy ingestions is enough to change your estrogen levels, hence breaking out. I have since eliminated soy from my diet and hopefully my skin will go back to normal!
Guest - 01/12/2013

Soy and acne

I logged on today to look up why I have been breaking out after starting to drink soy. Someone had told me that soy milk had estrogen in it which caused the break outs.? So I went to Ask.com and came up to this site. (I did find out that there is no estrogen in soy). I too believe that soy is the cause of my recent breakouts. My daughter switched to soy and begin to break out too. We started buying soy latte's from Starbucks and really did not want it to be the soy but I am convinced it is the soy that is causing the breakouts since our diets have not changed otherwise. BUMMER!! icon_sad.gif I really liked my soy latte's! Bye, bye soy for me and my daughter.
Guest - 06/12/2013

can soya cause acne

I'm 26 and for past year have been suffering from ugly acne on my jawline, cheeks and forehead. Previously my skin was very clean even though I would never put much effort. However for past year it has been horrible. Was developing huge painful whiteheads. When one cleared another one was created. It was endless battle I tired eating only healthy foods and drinking lots of water. After endless visits at the doctors trying antibiotics and hormonal pills with no result I decided to take a closer look at my diet. As an long term vegetarian I was always a big soya enthusiast. However after trying to exclude diary and sweets from my diet my eyes were finally directed on soy products with a special attention to soy milk.
I still can't believe it but it's been four months now soy free and my skin is clearer that ever! It's not getting very oily and get no more acne even before my periods.
This Forum was a huge eye opener for me. Perhaps soya is a healthy alternative however I'm never planning to introduce it to my diet again. Everyone is different, but if you tried to exclude foods from your diet with no result it's worth getting closer look at the soya products...Hopefully someone will be as lucky as me.
SophiaFox - 10/12/2013

can soya cause acne

I have a different experience. I am in my mid 40's & never rid of acne since my younger days. There are some very stubborn ones near my chin & at times very painful. Over the last 6 months, I have been making my own soy bean drink (twice weekly). I realise my acne has gone mild & manageable. Those painful acne has not poped up even though I eat chocolate & spicy food which I had to refrain before. I am not 100% sure if it is the benefit of soy bean drink but it is the only additonal drink over the last 6 months. There are other factors cause acne like stress, not getting enough sleep, pore clog due to oily face & dust etc. I am happy with the result, even though I am not getting baby soft type of skin.
yaucl - 10/12/2013

Soy and acne

Around the beginning of January, I started to switch to soy milk from cow's milk because I wanted to avoid hormones from cows. In about a month, I developed horrible monster acne around the sides of my mouth like I never had in my ENTIRE life. They were all pus-filled and real ugly and embarrassing. Well, I stopped taking it altogether and my skin returned to almost like it was before. I never suspected that soy was in many products including dairy. Last week, I made this greek salad with greek vinaigrette, and in a few days I got the same acne and I am still recovering from it right now, that I got when I was drinking soy milk. I looked in the ingredients and sure enough it was soybeans oil. I suspected that it is from soy because that was the only new food change I had made. Now, I understand why the chocolate powder to make chocolate milk was causing this same type of ugly acne on my cheeks because it has soy lecithin. I couldn't understand what in the chocolate ingredient was causing these ugly acne. I haven't had those acne since I stopped drinking those milk a few months ago. They are hideous. I did cheat last month as I was craving something sweet, but I didn't get them. I suspect highly that it develops overtime. Either within a few days or weeks. Now, I hate soy of any kind. I hate that they are suggested as a good alternatives. My only other last choice is goat's milk. No rice or almond milk.
For those who says that acne is not aggravated by food, you are completely wrong. I don't need anyone or a scientist or doctor to tell me anything otherwise. I am sick of them saying that food doesn't cause acne while all I do is suffer for years trying to stop it, trying to research all on my own and take matters into my own hands to research the cause which is not easy. Retin-A was a failure. These acne hurt physically, mentally and emotionally.
My mother is of minimal support. My brother who is 25 is of zero support whatsoever. He is a picky eater his entire life, so my mother's always cooked around whatever he will eat. He's living for 6 months for internship, but he might come some weekends, so that's annoying. She always cook for him and want to make sure he eats and cooks what he wants which could be tater tots. I am human and tempted to eat things that may be aggravating my acne. My mother may believe things from me, but may not support me fully unless she hears it from a factual source like a doctor or testing results. I am also at a loss for what to eat if I can't have refined sugars (breads, rice, pasta, pancakes, cereals, crackers), milk or soy milk or dairy. My entire life revolved around these so-called good for you hearty foods that I am at al loss where to begin, so I don't end up losing several pounds and having so little to eat. I HATE soy milk.
Guest - 22/04/2014

Soy and acne

I am having the same problem - how long does it take for the soy to get our of your system? I have been "off" soy for almost 48 hours now.
Guest - 22/04/2014

Acne and soy

I have suffered from tiny little red bumps since the 8th grade. I just know that as soon as I starting eating as many organic vegetables as possible, cut out dairy, soy, all breads, lowering my nut intake( as I was compensating from all of my restrictions with eating a lot of nuts), and started drinking filtered water constantly, I'm almost completely acne free. If you go to societies where dairy, grains, soy, and animals aren't fed corn and soy and live off the land, acne does not exist. I had to just learn to eat the way humans are supposed to eat and not the way some food pyramid or ages of lobbying in our food system has led us to eat.
Guest - 24/05/2014

developed cystic type acne on my back and cheeks

I've been on a low carb, low sugar diet for quite some time now without any problems. I do not eat processed foods. I had been using whey protein powder and recently switched to a soy protein powder in the past few days. I've developed cystic type acne on my back and cheeks. The same thing happened 2 years ago when I made the switch to soy milk for a few months.
Guest - 31/05/2014

Soya

I can no longer have Soya, my skin immediately flares up into spots once i have soya. even if i don't know I've had soya, i can I've mistakenly eaten it due to my skin. my completion looks terrible and have spots on my forehead (mainly) but mainly on face. i have to avoid this soya. also changes my menstrual cycle, thats how terrible this stuff is.
emma - 13/08/2014

Bad skin reaction

I too have developed an allergy to soy. It is only a mild one so it was really difficult to determine what was causing my break outs. I finally figured out why the dark dairy free chocolate was causing my skin to become red, irritated and oily when I ate it. It is the soya lecithin!! I never drink soya milk anyway, however, last month I decided to give it a go and boom, terrible skin. I thought I would give ti the benefit of the doubt and just write it off as something else that could be the cause of the time being. Then I decided to try the vita soy rice milk, it states on the product label that this product may contain soy. Sure enough -my skin never breaks out to other brands of rice milk, I dink it every day- my skin broke out again. I have to say, although I have just recently developed this allergy, I do think my endometriosis has something to do with it. although nothing has been proven, it has been suggested by health care professionals to avoid this product as it is known to produce oestrogen. Up until my 25th birthday I have always been able to consume these types of products. This is my experience with Soy.
Sami - 28/08/2014

important to know what kind of soy is taken

I read somewhere that the soy milk in the supermarkets may make acne worse, and that's because of the way it's processed. People in Asia eat a lot of soy, and i see them to have less breakouts as in the U.S. Also worth considering is that the soy you buy in the U.S. are mostly GMO. GMO foods are found to cause leaky gut which can cause breakouts. Could that be a reason too?
cmou - 04/10/2014

[Almost] Impossible to Avoid

Every time I eat anything with the smallest bit of soy or corn in it I develop huge, painful pus-filled acne on my face. It is horrible. I can't drink anything besides water, and I can't eat cooked food from any restaurant, or even my own mother. : (
Jom Lonh - 01/12/2014

Day 1 of no soy

I will have to agree on soy causing acne. It took me TEN YEARS to figure this out. Every meal I ate contained some kind of soy. Smoothies were made with soy milk, lunches were made with whole grain bagels and soy meat analogues, dinners were made with salad and tofu... now this week I went crazy and purchased all sorts of soy meats include veggie burgers, veggie sausages, soy bologne, soy ham slices, veggie meatballs, veggie chicken strips, etc. Reason being is I am a fitness instructor and do a lot of exercise so I remember thinking that these foods are amazing as they are high in protein and so low in fat and calories. But in one meal I ate a veggie sausage, a whole package of deli slices and tofu all at once and it was from that I realized I was overdoing it with the soy. I have broken out horribly because of it, on my face (the side cheek area) and chest. I am 100% convinced that dairy, refined sugar, and soy ALL CAUSE acne. When I used to eat dairy I used to get bigger cystic acne on my face, chest and back, and when I over ate the refined sugar and carbohydrates (too much bread/wheat gluten) I broke out on my back. Strangely enough soy does not seem to have affected the acne on my back (or maybe it takes longer to develop there because my back is in great condition so far), but it clearly and quickly affects the acne on my face/chest. Today is day 1 of not eating soy (atleast not intentionally as the salad dressing I used contained soybean oil), however, I am hoping to see clear ups this week. I will be replacing my soymilk with oat or almond/brown rice/coconut milk, and will replace my tofu with lentils (you can make a great veggie burger using lentils and chickpeas!). I am just glad I have found all the causes of my acne and working to eliminate them. I am gladly giving up soy if it means the happiness and health of my skin. I'll be back in a few days to update!
also-avoiding-soy - 04/01/2015

Soy milk and acne

I've been on a low GI diet for some time (that means no sugar, complex carbs, potatoes or processed food) and for the most part my skin was a dream. It became so clear that I was able to go to work without makeup. I wanted to go super-healthy and swap out dairy. I started drinking organic soy milk about a month and a half ago and that is when my acne started. It consists of large, painful cysts on my chin and has now moved to my forehead. Every day I wake up with a new cyst. I'm so glad that I discovered this site (and other sites!) that were able to explain the connection. I believe it also has to do with effecting one's ability to eliminate excessive hormones. There are some people that have top notch organs and glands that are able to discard these hormones with ease. But then there are those of us that don't (like me; I've already been diagnosed with PCOS). I am hoping that once I ditch the soy milk, my skin will clear up. I'll keep you posted. PS I hope that no one took some of the 'ilovesoy' comments to heart. I laughed out loud when I read them. Ignorance is bliss, and for some it turns them into useless a**holes.
N R S - 20/01/2015

Soy milk and acne- Update

After switching back to organic cows milk, my skin has cleared up completely. I actually visited a friend today without feeling the need to wear any makeup. It didn't take long at all for things to get back to normal. In fact, the 2nd day off soy milk, I didn't get any more cystic zits and the ones I already had reduced in size and stopped throbbing. Since quitting, I've had one zit and it went away within a few days. Thank goodness! I'll never drink soy milk again.
NRS - 08/02/2015

soya milk and acne

im 27 years old. I have always suffer of acne but always under control i avoid drinking regular milk becouse of th hormones but now i undertand a litle more i started drinking soy milk in replace of the regular milk bigest mistake in my life now i get at least three newzits every day and im a waiter on a very famous hotel its embarrassing that people look at you like you are from another planet. good luck >>>>>>>>
pitote - 25/02/2015

Soya and acne

Im 22, never had acne maybe only once or twice a year. I went vegan so decided to replace normal cows milk with soya milk and i had it with my morning coffee ( between 2 to 4 cups a day) so had almost 2 litres of soya milk a week. After a few weeks I started to get weird bumps under the skin on my forehead, nothing on my cheeks or chin. I started to question if it was the makeup I was using, the acne gradually got worse and it was not until 4 months that i realised it was from the soya milk that I was drinking. Not only was a drinking soya milk but most of the things that I ate had "soya protein" in it. I quit eating anything that had soya for almost 4 months and my skin just started clearing up. It was a nightmare, even the face moisturiser that I was using had "soya protein". I did an allergy test and found out that I've got a borderline reaction to soya beans. If you are struggling with this and never had acne before I would recommend you to eliminate anything that has soya in it, try avoiding dairy products too because cows are fed soya. I stopped using any products, no makeup, moisturisers, I even avoided using cleansers. Your skin will eventually heal itself, I use manuka honey to wash my face with and thats all i do. I will try to update this another month.
NAK - 03/03/2015

Soya and acne

I concur with one of the commentators that it's extremely important nowadays to describe exactly what kind of milk, dairy or soy, you are talking about. ALL soy milk sold in markets have tons of chemicals in there and are most likely from GMO soybeans. Check the ingredients to see exactly what you're having in that soy milk. Same thing with cow milk. Are you drinking processed, pasteurized/homogenized aka "filthy" milk, or are you drinking grass-fed RAW milk? These distinctions make a huge difference. Nowadays it is simply not enough to try cow milk or soy milk, you must go for organic and clean ingredients/sources.
AA - 17/04/2015

Soy milk caused acne

I had never any acne or skin problem throughout my life. Soyabean as i read has estrogen which may react differently to different people. Thanks to this forum. As only thing i included in my diet was soyabean milk and some of its product. As i think it takes 120 hrs to recover or leave soy hormone to leave your body. Waiting for that, after 24 hrs they have increased while they should decrease.
Gaurav - 04/06/2015

incorrect info

Your information is incorrect when you say only 1% of people are allergic to soy. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates soy is among the nine most common food allergens for pediatric and adult food allergy patients. So please Stop Lying about Soy!
Dave J - 14/06/2015

soy milk and pimples

There may not be any scientific evidence for this but I broke out in gross large pimples around my chin after starting to drink soy milk on a regular basis. I've never had pimples like it before and it was the only thing that changed in my diet. Makes sense after reading other people's comments
char - 16/07/2015

terrible acne :(

I have had terrible acne or the last two months. Before that I have had an occasional acne problem but otherwise blemish free skin. I was told that dairy products increase acne to i switched to soy milk. My acne was getting a little better with antibiotics treatment but after having soy milk, within a day now i got 6 new pimples. I dont know i there is a correlation but I would think so. I am getting married in a month and I am terribly depressed about my skin condition. I am having horrible cystic acne on my cheeks and jawline. I have been on birth control pills for three years now and I have never had an acne problem. I am still on birth control and I have not changed anything, but still my skin is breaking out. I am on birth control, antibiotics and i eat fresh fruits veggies.. i dont know what to do. Please help.
Depressed - 01/08/2015

terrible acne :(

I cannot give you medical advice; you have to see your doctor for that. Maybe you are allergic to soy, which could adversely affect your immune system. I would suggest not using soy for a while and see the result. The acne bacteria could also have developed resistance against the antibiotics. For the rest, I can only hope that your acne will soon disappear. Have a wonderful and memorable wedding day!
Rob - 01/08/2015

Soy

Last year, I started to really love soy sauce. I will always go for rice and soy sauce and egg to eat. Any food that I take highly contain soy. After abt 1 week, i started to have acne, it is so so painful and disgusting to even look at myself. But idk what it cause i thought its because of my hormone changes so i just keep taking food with soy.made the biggest mistake ever
Gurl - 02/08/2015

4 year old with pimples

My 4 year old daughter had to switch to soy milk for development reasons. She has been on soy milk for about 2 months now. 2-3 weeks into starting drinking soy milk she has breaking out with pimples all over her nose, cheeks and chin. Just reciently I was wondering if it was the soy. Im going to try to switch to another non dairy milk and see if it clears her up. It's not normal for a child to break out like this.
carkar69 - 04/09/2015

Soy and Acne

Maybe it's not a "soy causes acne" or "soy clears up skin", it's just probably related to how one's body reacts to soy, hormones, allergies, etc. It works for some and it doesn't for others. I've never had soy milk, but some years ago I started drinking soy based juices and my skin got significantly better, but I stopped drinking it. For the past year decided to make a comeback, but since I'm allergic to the treatments the dermatologist prescripted I decided to start drinking soy juices again and my skin is a lot better now, I even had the courage to go out make up free today. Since there's no right answer regarding soy and acne I think that if you have acne problems you can give it a try and just stop drinking it if it causes more acne.
Vanessa - 25/10/2015

ilovesoy but ihateacne

i just love the taste of soya milk, esp when it is incorporated in a tea. my sister brought a few sachet, and i drink all of it until none left. i thought im no allergic to soya, but 1 day after 3 days of straight drinking, 3 cystic acne and 1 inflamed pore appeared. I felt so bad, i have 2 of them along the right side of my nose and the other 2 in my left cheek. and i dont usually breakout on these areas:( Its healing now though, i treated them asap. Verdict: ones body reacts with soya in different chemistry. If its beneficial to you, stick on it, if not, try not to have them as long as possible.:)
Diane,Reg.Med.Tech. - 01/11/2015

for me soy causes acne

I am allergic to soy and I do get acne every time I eat the slightest bit of soy, even trace amounts. So maybe we are only 1% of the population, but we do exist. I had terrible acne from puberty to age 27. Over 2 years I slowly eliminated all soy. Now at age 29, my mom ask's me how I finally kicked the acne and I told her - a strict soy free diet - no cheating, it's just not worth it. The soy allergy runs in my family, mother's side.
SoyAllergic - 02/11/2015

Soy is great

When I was in Barcelona last year I had really bad acne before I went for the week away I spent the whole time drinking soy milk. (I meant to buy normal milk but bought soy instead). Then amazingly by the time I came back home my acne had almost completely cleared up. I happened to come across an article on my phone that said soy milk was good for skin and I thought that must be what did it. I continued to drink soy milk and I have got almost no acne. All my friends have bad acne its fun to watch them struggle.
Tom Woodley - 09/11/2015

PERFECT! Remedy to Soy acne!!!

I found out that I had an allergy to soy after a couple months of my face blistering up with acne on top of acne! My face looked as if you took a cheese shredder to the surface with all the pockets of blemishes opening up, scabbing over, sometimes bleeding. I tried everything, muds, masks, asprin, cortisone creams, lemon, antibiotics, the latest scrubs, two dermatologists and a plastic surgeon friend...in those couple months I must had spent a thousand dollars trying to get rid of it but nothing and I mean nothing nothing worked! I found out simply by freak accident one day after I learned that soy was the culprit. I was soaking dishes one day and I had a small blemish that i knew was from soy. I looked at the bottle "cuts grease and oils" hmmm, this gooey substance in these soy rooted pimples is oily? It's non-toxic, yu can clean your dishes that you eat off of with it? I smeared a dab onto my face. It was the Ajax citrus bright orange liquid dish soap, the mind you can get at the dollar store! In a day the small little blemishes were gone!!! Whenever I get any kind of pimples, this is what I use!
Maria - 10/12/2015

idontknow

Ive read this in 2016. I have acne problems and i don't know where it come from. I've stopped using products that are bad for my skin. I use a product that claim could help in acne. It does helped but i my face started to have small pimple start to growing up. My mum bought me bottles of soy lecithin supplies. It was claimed that it is good for brain and help me in study. I think that soy does effect my face. There is a saying that we should tale non GMO soy lecithin. Idk if it is non GMO but it was made in USA so i guess it is GMO. Im now in dilemma to consume it or not. I have supplies of it like for the whole year. What should i do now? :(
smster - 19/01/2016

Hey people from the past

It is crazy to read all of these comments and think "me too!". 26 year old here, I have always been athletic and a clean eater. I haven't had dairy products in a decade, only refined sugar treats once and awhile. I am very active, martial arts, mudruns, triathlons,you name it. October, 2015 I changed my diet to vegan. Although I have always drank almond milk, I began implementing meatless meat products, many of which had soy protein isolate. All of a sudden, huge cystic pimples began emerging from back and neck. I had no idea what it could be. Finally, last week, I spoke with a friend who said she had the same thing, and to cut soy. I stopped eating soy two days ago, hopefully this is the solution!
2016soyhater - 10/03/2016

Hello people, goodbye soy!

wow, after reading some of the stories here I'm sure soy is causing my breakouts. I am 25 yr old female and a new vegan! I've never really had bad skin, a spot here and there. My face has NEVER looked this bad. Big cyst on my chin and loads of small clusters of spots on my jaw and cheeks, also my forehead is greasy looking and spotty (I was in tears earlier) I've spent the last couple of months trying all sorts of potions and creams. I became vegan in January and for the first month I as eating nothing but pure whole foods, veg, fruit, salads, beans & lentils. My skin was glowing and smooth. Then I started adding in vegan faux meats... Burgers, sausages, tofu, I didn't even think about it until today, but they are all made from soy... I was eating them maybe twice a day because they were pretty high in protein. so I'm thinking this could be my problem. I am going to quit all the soy products as of now and check back in a month or so here to see if my awful skin clears up & share if it was the soy or not. Thank you everyone here who has shared their story, I hope I've found my answer. Good luck everyone x
Bye soy - 17/04/2016

Understanding soy

Everyone is different. Since acne is caused by a hormone imbalance, soy can be both the cure or the source of acne. Soy is not a hormone in itself, but simulates the hormone estrogen in women. Therefore, if your hormone balance is perfectly normal, taking soy could cause an imbalance and thus result in acne. On the otherhand, women who already suffer from acne, probably already have an hormone imbalance, therefore, taking soy products could actually cause the body to reduce its estrogen production as the body "thinks" that it already has too much from the soy. This can prove to be a remedy for acne. So soy, is good only if you have previous problems with hormones, otherwise avoid it.
Wizz - 08/05/2016

Soy Caused My Acne

I'm 69, and about three months ago just started getting horrible breakouts -- big pus filled hard spots under my skin that took forever to heal (well, none of them have completely as all remain red). I just made the connection: the bumps started appearing a couple of weeks after I went on a soy-based diet, in which I lost 15 pounds very quickly. After achieving my weight goal, I lowered my soy intake from 5 servings per day to 1-2 servings a day. But last week, when I ate no soy, my skin started looking like it would clear up. I ate soy again, and bingo. Three more giant bumps. Until I started the diet, I was often complimented on my beautiful skin! Yesterday I noticed my breasts were sore for the first time in maybe 15 years. The soy connection hit, and I googled "acne and soy" to find your posts. Thanks to all of you for reporting this problem so I could learn from your experiences.
Guest69 - 03/01/2017

Soya Milk Ill-effects

Yes it is possible to get pimples or even pigmentation. I suspect it is due to phytic acid in the soya bean.In Singapore, Freshly made soya milk like Mr Bean, Jollibean , Soyfresh or those soya milk cooked using pressure cooker type has this ill-effect. But the problem is the victims themselves knows nothing about it and kept drinking soya milk, mistakenly misunderstood that soya milk is 'HEALTHY'.Soya milk is healthy only when it is prepared correctly.
Guest - 04/01/2017

soy lecithin and acne

i am having the same problems with acne and am pretty sure it is because of the soy. i am trying to cut out everything with soy in it however i am noticing that almost everything contains soy lecithin in it.. even gum! does this cause acne as will or should i only cut out soy milk and soybean oil?????
ad1243 - 30/04/2017

soy lecithin and acne

I don't know how much soy protein is present in soy lecithin, but I have experienced acne in almost every single case where soy lecithin is in the ingredient list. There has been a recent surge in the food industry to utilize soy lecithin, and I have had to retreat from many of my favorite prepared foods in order to preserve my complexion.
foxvic - 30/04/2017

Soy intolerance

I have been Vegan 10 years, and have consumed soy for at least that amount of time- in large quantities. I went on the pill for clear skin, but had to stop taking it and ended up with terrible skin. As the pill changes hormones- thought I would see if giving up soy made my skin better due to the hormones in soy. And my skin cleared up straight away- amazingly- I'm clearly allergic to soy and haven't known it for years. I still have low quantities of organic soy, but now drink almond and coconut milk mixed together, and am going to try other milks. Soy definitely badly affects the skin for some of us. For some it's healthy- look at Asia and the good health from a large soy diet, but not all of us are the same.
Sarah - 05/06/2017

Works for me...

I'm a 40 something male, and without reading anything about the benefits of soy milk I started drinking 5 cups of chocolate soy milk per day about 6 months ago. Nowadays I can definitely tell how much it has helped to smooth my facial skin, and also prevents acne. I'm truly amazed. Another side benefit is that it prevents that bloated feeling I was getting from regular milk, and keeps my weight under control (below 160). Out of curiosity I searched for "soy milk and skin" which brought me here. I'm not a paid reviewer by any means, just sharing my own personal experiences with the not so sexy but amazing soy milk. ;)
Bill A. - 08/07/2017

Definitely agree

I have never had a skin problem... And broke out in the worst acne 1 week after starting to consume soy milk and tofu (have recently gone vegan). It was the only thing I changed at that time (had come off meat /dairy over a long period before then). On top of that I had the worst breast pain ever. Seems it's from some I estrogen Like hormone in soy. Took about three days for my body to start normalising after stopping the soy. Now I'm perfectly fine.. Clear skin etc. This is definitely a common effect for some. But doesn't seem to be the case for a lot of others.
Andrea - 02/10/2017

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