Is Your Protein Powder Causing Your Acne?
Researchers have linked taking whey protein with causing acne flares.
Supplementing with protein powder helps you lose weight. But if you're suffering from acne, supplementing with whey protein can cause flare-ups. Researchers found that male teen participants who started supplementing with whey protein powder developed acne. The acne didn't go away or lessen significantly with medications, including topical creams. But after they stopped taking whey protein powder, all participants, except for one, stopped getting acne. The one that continued having acne had restarted supplementing with whey protein powder. From this overwhelming evidence, researchers concluded that supplementing with whey protein powder can cause or worsen acne.
If you're trying to build muscle or lose weight by supplementing with protein powders, choose vegetable-based protein powders like soy, pea, hemp, or rice protein powders. These even help lower your cholesterol and glucose levels better than whey protein. Obviously they won't be as effective at helping you build muscle, but you can help offset that by taking more servings. More importantly, these vegetable-based protein powders have not been found to cause acne – so they won't harm your skin like whey protein powder!
If you're also battling acne, don't fall prey to commercial products that use artificial chemicals. These companies usually boast that their products clear acne within hours, but user feedback tells a different story. Instead, you should try evidence-based acne remedies that doctors and scientists have proven helps relieve acne.
Here are a few things you can do to help relieve your acne:
Stop smoking. Researchers have found that smoking worsens acne. If you're currently a smoker, stop smoking. Smoking is also linked with causing lung cancer – which is even worse than acne.
Refrain from chocolate. Although there's a continuing debate on whether your diet causes or worsens acne, researchers did find that eating chocolate can make your acne worse. They studied participants with a history of acne after they started eating chocolate. They found that the participants' acne worsened after they started eating chocolate and kept getting worse as they continued to eat chocolate regularly.
De-stress. Researchers have linked acne with stress. They didn't find that stress causes acne, but found that all acne sufferers are about 6 percent more stressed than non-sufferers. Chronic stress can cause long-term diseases, like hypertension. If you have acne, it's important to lower your stress by meditating and doing other daily stress-relieving activities to protect your health.
Eat yogurt. Researchers also found that acne sufferers are more likely to develop gastrointestinal distress, like stomach aches, constipation, bad breath, and bloating. They also found that acne sufferers are 10 times more likely to have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which is when there's an imbalance in your gut bacteria that leads to stomach problems and decreased absorption of nutrients. Yogurt and other probiotic-rich foods are recognized treatments for SIBO and other gastrointestinal symptoms. They may have also found a link between better skin health and better gut microbiota balance. If you have acne, yogurt should be one of your top daily foods – you might beat the odds and have a perfectly healthy gut, but adding more good bacteria may help boost your skin health.
If you're trying to lose weight and have acne, choose vegetable-based protein powders over whey protein powder because it can make your acne worse. Stay away from commercial acne products too because their claims may be inflated. Try these research-backed tips instead.