Does Plant-Based Protein Cause Acne? 5 Things To Avoid


In the quest for a healthier lifestyle, many of us turn to plant-based proteins, but a nagging question often lingers Does plant-based protein cause acne?

No, plant-based protein does not typically cause acne and is often considered a healthier alternative to animal-based proteins.

This concern is like a pebble in a shoe for fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals alike, constantly irking those who strive for both a fit body and clear skin.

Our article explores this perplexing topic, unraveling the myths and facts with everyday language and relatable analogies.

Why Plant-Based Protein is Unlikely to Trigger Acne?

  • No Animal Hormones

Plant-based proteins lack animal hormones that are often implicated in acne development.

  • Lower Saturated Fats

They typically have lower levels of saturated fats, which are linked to increased sebum production and acne.

  • Anti-inflammatory Properties

Many plant-based proteins contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can be beneficial for skin health.

  • Easier Digestion 

Generally easier to digest, reducing the likelihood of gut-related skin issues.

Understanding The Main Reasons That Can Cause Acne

1. Hormonal Factors

According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, hormones such as androgens, estrogens, progesterone, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor-1 can play a role in acne development. 

2. Diet

Some research has found that a higher intake of high-fat, high-sugar foods was associated with a higher incidence of current acne.

3. Genetics

A family history of acne may increase the likelihood of developing acne.

4. Stress

According to research done by Webmd while emotional stress doesn’t directly cause acne, it may worsen existing acne.

5. Medications 

Certain drugs, including corticosteroids, testosterone, and lithium, are known to cause or worsen acne.

5 Things To Avoid To Prevent Acne

1. Keep your face clean 

Wash your face twice daily with a mild facial cleanser to remove impurities, dead skin cells, and extra oil from your skin’s surface. Avoid using harsh soaps or scrubbing your skin too vigorously.

2. Exercise daily

Regular exercise is good for your whole body, including your skin. However, when you exercise, avoid wearing clothing or using exercise equipment that rubs your skin and may cause irritation. Shower or bathe promptly after exercising.

3. Avoid certain skincare habits

Some skin care habits can worsen acne, such as using makeup, skincare, or hair care products like Petroleum, Silicone, and Alcohol that can cause acne, scrubbing your skin too vigorously, and trying a new acne treatment too frequently. 

4. Moisturize

Use a noncomedogenic moisturizer to minimize dryness and skin peeling, especially if you are using acne products that may dry the skin.

5. Maintain Cleanliness of Phone Screens and Pillowcases

Regularly cleaning these items can help prevent the accumulation of bacteria and oils that may lead to facial acne.

Things To Avoid While Having Acne

  • Using Hot Water: Hot water can irritate the skin. Use lukewarm water instead.
  • Heavy Foundation: It can clog pores; consider lighter, breathable makeup options.
  • Aggressive Treatments: Overusing topical treatments can irritate and dry out the skin.
  • Over-exfoliating: This can strip the skin of essential oils and increase irritation.
  • Stressful Activities: Try to manage stress through relaxation techniques and regular exercise.
  • Ignoring Product Labels: Avoid products with oils, silicones, and alcohol if they exacerbate your acne.
  • Neglecting Diet: A balanced diet with reduced sugar and dairy might help improve acne.


Is Plant Based Protein Good For Acne?

Plant-based proteins, such as pea protein, are generally considered a better choice for individuals with acne-prone skin. These proteins are often less processed and contain fewer hormones and potential allergens than animal-based proteins like whey protein. 

Can Plant-Based Protein Powders Cause Acne?

Plant-based protein powders, including vegan protein powder, are not typically known to cause acne. They are often considered a healthier and more nutritious alternative to animal-based proteins.

Does Vegan Protein Cause Acne?

No, vegan protein does not typically cause acne. It is generally considered a healthier alternative to animal-based proteins and does not contain hormones that might contribute to acne. However, individual reactions can vary based on personal sensitivities.

Does Why Protein Cause Acne?

Whey protein, a dairy-based protein, has been more commonly associated with acne due to its potential to increase insulin levels and sebum production, which can also contribute to acne.


The concern that plant-based protein might cause acne is largely unfounded. Unlike certain animal-based proteins, particularly dairy-derived ones like whey, plant-based proteins do not contain hormones often linked to acne development. 

They are generally easier to digest and lower in saturated fats, factors that are beneficial for skin health.  

While individual sensitivities can vary, and diet is just one piece of the acne puzzle, incorporating plant-based proteins into one’s diet is unlikely to be a direct cause of acne and can be a part of a balanced, skin-friendly nutritional plan.

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