October 6, 2021

Wait—Does Whey Protein Powder Cause Breakouts?

Like all dairy products, whey protein has a reputation of causing breakouts. But is there any truth to this claim? Beverly Hills dermatologist, Dr. Harold Lancer (who also services Victoria Beckham and JLo), was kind enough to answer our questions about whether they can increase the incidence of acne.

There are few foods that have a bad reputation for triggering acne, especially when it comes to diet-related breakouts. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, women who consume two glasses of skimmilk daily are 44 percent more likely than those who do not. Additionally, a rise in acne risk among many demographics has been linked to cow’s milk. It makes perfect sense that milk has a bad reputation for skin, just like whey protein. FEATURED VIDEO BUT, there is more. According to a dermatologist, here’s everything you need about the connection between whey protein, breakouts and whey protein.

What Is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is one type of protein found in dairy milk. The other is casein protein. The fresh milk protein content is broken down into approximately 20 percent whey and 80 percent of casein. Both types of protein can be made into protein powders. However, whey protein is the most popular. It is more efficient than casein in providing quick fuel for exercise, since it digests faster than casein. Both casein and whey are rich in BCAAs (branched chain amino acid) which aid muscle growth. They are the main source of many protein blends that focus on workouts.

Does Whey Protein Cause Breakouts?

Whey protein is an effective way to build muscle. However, it can also cause breakouts. Dr. Lancer answered my question about whether whey proteins can cause breakouts. It’s because whey proteins “influence testosterone spike production, which can cause blemishes.”

What does “testosterone-spike production” refer to? They can increase your body’s testosterone production, which is one of the hormones that our endocrine system produces. Although testosterone has many great functions such as strengthening our bones, too much will cause an increase in sebum production. Sebum, the waxy oil produced in our sebaceous glands by our skin, can cause clogged pores and even acne.

Who Is Susceptible to Breakouts?

Although you may think that only those who are sensitive to milk can get whey protein, this is not true. Dr. Lancer states that anyone who consumes whey proteins can experience testosterone spikes that can cause blemishes. This can happen to any age, as well as people of all ancestries. If it causes you to break out, then it is likely that casein protein will.

Stop consuming them if you find that you get acne more frequently than you do when you don’t consume it. Dr Lancer recommends that you limit your dairy intake to reduce the testosterone spikes that can lead to breakouts. However, it’s important to note that not all dairy products can cause acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “while cow’s milk may increase your risk of developing acne,” but no studies have shown that dairy products such as yogurt and cheese cause more breakouts.

Alternatives to Whey Protein

If you notice that whey protein makes you break out, it is best to switch to a different protein powder. There are many options when it comes to protein powders. These are the top options.

Bone Broth Protein

Bone broth protein is not the same as bone broth, but it tastes just like it. It provides the health benefits of bone soup, including collagen and amino acids in a convenient format. It is available in regular flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate, and does not have the smell or taste of bone broth.

Egg White Protein

Egg white protein ranks second to whey-in leucine, a branched chain amino acids that plays an important part in muscle building. They may be either neutral in taste or eggy depending on which brand it is.

Pea Protein

Pea protein is a common ingredient in vegan snacks and drinks that are high in protein. It is a popular plant-based protein. It has a smooth texture and milder taste. Pea protein is not a pea protein. It’s made from yellow peas and not green.

Brown Rice Protein

Pea protein was not a popular choice before. Most protein-fortified plant-based snacks, drinks and beverages were made from brown rice protein powder. It is neutral in taste and free of allergens. Also, it can be sprouted, which increases nutrient bioavailability.

You can also find plant-based proteins from hemp, sunflower and chia. However, they may have a less appealing texture and taste. Mixes of plant-based proteins are also available.

The Takeaway

It is not true that dairy can cause breakouts. Cow’s milk may increase testosterone production which can lead to acne-causing excess production by your skin. Two types of protein are found in milk: casein and whey. Both can cause breakouts the same as milk.

Try a different protein powder if you have skin breakouts after you consume whey proteins. There are many options, including bone broth, egg and pea. You can also find protein powder mixes. While whey protein is beneficial for building muscles, there are many other options that have comparable nutritional quality and will help your skin stay clearer.