Ever notice how you end up with a few new bumps on your skin a day after housing a pint of Ben & Jerry's? You're not alone. As it turns out, a certain hormone in milk (and by proxy, cheese and any other dairy products) is the culprit behind your junk food-induced breakouts, not to mention, clogged pores and an oily appearance. "There is a growth hormone in milk called IGF01, which is not good for humans," explains bioengineer and founder of Nerd skincare Evelyn Chen. "The inflammation that it causes eventually leads to the redness and swellng of acne. Additionally, diary and milk products cause your insulin levels to spike, leading to your liver producing more IGF-1."
Of course, the obvious answer would be to cut out dairy from your diet, but if prying the ice cream from your hands isn't even an option, you'll want to seek out acne-fighting products to address the problem before it has time to take shape. A serum like Nerd's Acne Treatment ($85; nerdskincare.com) delivers a lightweight veil of protection all over, but for those individual soul-crushing, under-the-skin pimples, reach for something infused with lactic acid, like Renee Rouleau's Anti-Cyst treatment ($43; reneerouleau.com). The hero ingredient is potent enough to penetrate the deeper layers of skin where the infection lies, meaning no picking is required on your end to get it to surface.