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Does Whey Protein Cause Acne? – Blackhead Breakout

Does Whey Protein Cause Acne? - Blackhead Breakout

Protein’s Pimply Mess

As one of the most common medical conditions affected by more than 50 million people in the United States alone, acne is troublesome. Influenced by many adolescents and teens, acne is troubling to the population that forms beneath the surface to show its ugly face. Many things go into causing acne in your body, even some things that you cannot control, like genetics, but does whey protein cause acne?

However, one thing that is a common causer of acne within our diets is dairy. Mammal milk is a primary cause of acne within most people.

But how is that?

As a matter of fact, how does acne even develop on your skin? It’s a question several want to answer and treat, no one finds acne attractive. In a society where looks account for a lot of what people look for, it’s nice to have a clear face. As a person who has suffered from acne, and that has finally cleared up, I want to fill you in on the effect of whey on your skin.

What Is Acne?

To put it, acne is a red, tender bump filled will white puss due to a buildup of oil and bacteria in your pore. Acne comes in all different looks, whether they are blackheads, whiteheads, or just pimples. Although teens get bombarded by acne the most, people of all ages can be affected by it.

Does Whey Protein Cause Acne? - Blackhead Breakout

Areas on your body that have more pores tend to be where acne grows on you the most. This is because oil and bacteria can build up more due to the vulnerability of your pores to clog and fill with white pus. Depending on how often you wash, exfoliate, and moisturize your skin effects, how much acne you may produce. However, with many people, having the perfect skincare routine may still lead to having acne. Here are some other factors to look out for when dealing with acne.

Hormones
The fluctuation of hormones can cause acne on your body. This is the main reason why teens get tons of acne, during puberty, your hormones tend to fluctuate like a rollercoaster. The hormonal changes cause sebum to produce, oil coming from your pores, from which acne can occur.

Stress
Anxiety and stress can also cause pimples to arise on your skin due to the emotional and psychological effects it has on your hormones. Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, prompt your pores to produce oil that may, in fact, clog them. So, take a chill pill once in a while to lower your stress hormones.

Does Whey Protein Cause Acne? - Blackhead Breakout

Pimple Popping
This is an important one, squeezing the pus out of a pimple may make the red dot look a little less graphic, but it comes with its consequences. Once the white pus releases, the bacteria spreads to even more pores, leading to even MORE acne.

No one wants that.

Resist the urge to squeeze those suckers as much as possible. It’ll take about a week or so for the pimple to shrink and go away on its own. It takes a lot of discipline not to touch your face. If you pop it, it could potentially leave an acne scar. Which, in some cases, never go away.

Genetics
A lot of studies have shown a strong influence parental heredity has on acne if a child will most likely be afflicted by it or not. Since your parents won’t be going through puberty when they give birth to you, hopefully not, it’s hard to know if they have had acne unless you asked them. If your mom or dad had acne growing up, then more times than not, you could experience the same mess they went through.
Does Whey Protein Cause Acne? - Blackhead Breakout

What We Put In, Surfaces Out

A primary contributor to acne emerging from our skin is our diet, probably the number one cause of it. Not to say the other factors aren’t necessary, but your diet is something you cannot run away from.

You either have it in check, or you don’t.


By this, I mean, you have a balanced diet that fills your plate with tons of different colors. Portions for your greens, your fruits, your carbs, fats, dairy, and my favorite, the protein. Different foods cause different effects on your skin, some being good and others not so good. There are generally two particular types of foods that cause acne to arise from beneath your surface. Carbohydrates and dairy products.

Sugary Foods Boost Energy and Acne

Diets that are high in refined carbohydrates are heavily correlated to causing acne to not only teens, but even adults passed puberty. The glucose in the carbohydrates spikes the heck out of your insulin and blood glucose levels. This gives you a new spurt of energy. This sudden spark in energy also causes acne development due to rapid growth in skin cells.

Does Whey Protein Cause Acne? - Blackhead Breakout

Through this fast rate in skin cells forming, sebum, oil coming from your pores, is produced much more on your skin. This new high rise in sebum leads to a higher probability of your pores getting clogged, leading to acne.

Dairy Disaster

We finally have come full circle with our original question. I’ll discuss it in the dairy section since whey protein comes from milk from cows. I will finally answer the pending question I have in this article, does whey protein cause acne? The answer is,

Yes, through consistent consumption.

Although it has not been conclusive of the reason why dairy causes acne, there have been some ideas to explain the effects. Much like what carbs do to your insulin, dairy raises insulin levels, which also raises blood sugar, once again producing sebum. The more sebum you provide, the more oil can be clogged into your pores. You can tell if a little more sebum has been created on your body if you look a little shinier when your skin feels dry.

After a lot of consumption of whey protein, acne can, in fact, get worse, not very ideal. How would you combat this? Instead of going for dairy, have a crack at a vegan protein powder, which is dairy-free. The vegan protein is much less likely to give you acne. I have a review here on this site on a great vegan protein powder that is completely dairy-free, link to here.

Conclusion

In conclusion, whey protein powder can cause acne when consumed heavily. Consistent drinking of whey may mean daily drinking, protein every single day. Although it may be tasty, you should lay off the powder here and there. If you can’t get enough, try out a vegan protein powder, that likelihood of getting acne is way lower. If you’d like to know even more about the evil acne vulgaris, click here for more information.

Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any comments you’d like to share.

8 Comments

  1. Nimrodngy

    Thank you very much for this informative article. I go to the gym for about 6 years and have used protein supplements a lot. I had problems with acne when I used proteins that had a higher carbohydrate content (a gainer). Because I was on a bulking period, I needed a lot of carbs and the workouts were very intense and heavy.
    For several months I went to a protein supplement that does not contain sugar and has 98% protein. I also use a vegan protein powder which is an extract of soy and other plants. Problems with acne have disappeared and I mean that the performance in the gym is better and the increase in muscle mass is much more qualitative. 

    Regards

    • Jose Gallegos

      Hey Nimrodngy:

      The properties in protein supplements are known to cause acne among common gym goers, including myself. I suffered from tons of facial acne until I went to the dermatologist and it solved my issue. Including lots of carbs and protein definitely will cause some acne.

  2. Shanta Rahman

    Many thanks to you for giving us such a beautiful article .I had a lot of acne on my face when I was in puberty and when I went to the doctor, the doctor told me it was due to age and it would be okay and he gave me some drugs. You have mentioned the causes of acne And you mentioned how we can cure it .I think that this problem has been rampant in Bangladesh at present and many people will know about it after reading your article and they can be very helpful in solving this problem.

    • Jose Gallegos

      Hey Shanta:

      Puberty was definitely the cause of your acne when you were a teen. It can be treated through topical creams and medication, much like how I got rid of mine.

  3. MrBiizy

    Acne is one thing I have been struggling with for some years now; especially white heads and pimples. I never had an idea that carbohydrates can cause acne. All I have always thought about is fatty foods. As a matter of fact, I consume carbohydrates in high quantities every single day. I do take whey protein once in a while. So I guess I need to work seriously on my diets.

    • Jose Gallegos

      Hey MrBizzy:

      Yeah man, I too suffered from acne before consulting a dermatologist. Carbs definitely cause acne, sugars have major effects on your skin through acne cause. 

  4. rjkennedy

    Reading your article struck home with me. I too struggled with bad skin, acne and pimples. This was back in grammar school that I had bad skin issues. Later years I started thinking, “why does it hit younger people and not older folks?” But like your site did state, older people can have a bad case of pimples as well. Popping them is the worst thing a person can do. Infection is something the man or woman should think about before commencing to do so.

    • Jose Gallegos

      Hey Rjkennedy:

      Yes, acne affects tons of people around the world, some more severe than others. Teens are attacked by it, but older folks can also be affected by acne. Stay away from popping pimples, only negative things can happen.

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