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Does Creatine Cause Acne — Separating Fact from Fiction

Creatine is a popular supplement for athletes and bodybuilders because of its ability to boost performance. But does creatine cause acne?

Many people worry that taking the supplement could lead to breakouts, but the truth is much more complex. In this article, we’ll explore how creatine affects your skin and what you need to know before you decide whether or not it's right for you.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • No direct scientific evidence links creatine and acne, but creatine may increase sebum production, potentially contributing to breakouts.

  • Acne triggers vary among individuals, so personal response to creatine supplementation will differ.

  • Diet and lifestyle habits, such as eating processed foods high in sugar or consuming dairy products, could impact acne while using creatine supplements.

  • Exposed Skin Care provides a tailored, twice-daily skincare routine for combating acne, with high-quality ingredients, suitable for both teens and adults, delivered to your doorstep.

Man drinking creatine drink

What Is Creatine?

Creatine is a popular performance-enhancing supplement used by athletes and bodybuilders alike. It has become an indispensable tool in the arsenal of those looking to gain muscle mass and increase their overall strength.

Creatine is a distinct molecule with its own unique structure and functions and is naturally produced in the body from amino acids such as glycine and arginine. To put it simply, creatine supplementation helps fuel your muscles so you can take your workouts to the next level.

Creatine monohydrate is the most common form taken, as it’s been proven to be one of the most effective for building muscle when taken regularly.

When taken correctly, there are real benefits associated with creatine supplementation; however, some people have reported that they experience acne breakouts after starting on a regimen - but why?

The answer lies in what causes acne breakouts and how this could be related to taking creatine...

What Causes Acne Breakouts?

Acne breakouts can be caused by a variety of factors, but fundamentally four mechanisms are in play:

  • Over-production of sebum

  • Overgrowth of p.acnes bacteria

  • Inflammation

  • Clogged pores

Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by poor hygiene.

The only cause of acne that creatine can potentially influence directly is the overproduction of sebeum, which is the natural oil formed on your skin by glands in your pores.

Man worried because of acne on his face

It's well-known that hormonal fluctuations can increase sebum production in the skin, and creatine has been linked to hormonal changes. more on that later.

Because creatine boosts the production of oil on the skin, dead skin cells are not efficiently washed away through normal cleansing routines. This can further contribute to clogged pores and eventual acne formation. Sweat also deposits on the skin causing more opportunity for the pores to clog. As such, it's really important to follow a regular skin care routine with high-quality ingredients to prevent acne breakouts.

Despite these assumptions about how creatine supplements might lead to greater chances of developing acne, there is no direct scientific evidence connecting its use with increased incidents of pimples or other blemishes on the face or elsewhere on the body.

The next section will explore if there is any definitive proof linking creatine supplementation with acne development.

Is There Direct Scientific Evidence Connecting Creatine Supplementation With Acne?

It is widely known that taking creatine supplementation can help athletes improve physical performance. However, many people still wonder if there is a connection between creatine supplements and acne breakouts.

The 2017 American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) sports nutrition position stand confirms the use of creatine to be safe in healthy individuals; however, they also state it may cause adverse effects such as skin issues including acne.

As mentioned previously, acne can occur when the body produces too much sebum. This overproduction causes bacterial buildup which leads to inflammation and infection resulting in red bumps or pimples.

Taking high doses of creatine has been associated with increased levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone known to increase the production of sebum, sometimes leading to more frequent breakouts.

Young man wearing hoody mixing creatine and water

In addition, some studies have indicated that anabolic steroids used by athletes increase their risk of developing severe forms of acne because these substances stimulate the production of oils from sebaceous glands on our skin.

Therefore, although research does not provide direct scientific evidence connecting creatine supplementation with acne, it appears likely that this supplement may lead to an increase in hormonal imbalance causing various skin problems like excessive oiliness and subsequent breakouts.

With this knowledge in mind, we must consider how hormones are related to creatine supplements before making any conclusions about whether or not there is a link between them and acne development.

Anecdotal Connection Between Acne Breakouts And Creatine Supplementation

Creatine supplements have become popular among athletes and bodybuilders looking to build muscle mass. Taking creatine supplements can help stimulate muscle growth, leading to increased strength and endurance.

But does taking these supplements also lead to acne breakouts? There is some anecdotal evidence that suggests a connection between the two.

Many people who take creatine supplements report noticing an increase in their acne after beginning supplementation.

Some believe this could be due to changes in hormones or other bodily processes caused by the supplement, while others claim it's simply part of the body adapting to the new substance entering its system.

It's important to note that even if there isn't any clinical proof linking taking creatine with getting acne, diet habits around creatine intake likely play a role in causing breakouts. Possibly more so than creatine itself.

Food Habits Related To Creatine Supplementation That May Cause Acne

The dietary choices of an individual who chooses to take creatine supplements should be taken into consideration when attempting to avoid potential breakouts.

Eating processed foods high in sugar while using creatine as part of one's fitness regimen could lead to increased sebum production -– which often results in clogged pores -- leading to acne outbreaks.

It’s also worth noting that consuming large amounts of dairy products alongside regular use of creatine supplements may contribute toward acne development over time as well.

Different types of dairy on table

This is because cheese and other milk-based products contain hormones like insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) — believed by many experts to cause an increase in oil production from the sebaceous glands — resulting in blocked pores and possible pimple formation.

Whey protein powder is a milk product! It is derived from the liquid portion of milk that separates during cheese production, and often taken together with a creatine supplement.

Specifically, whey protein is the protein that remains after milk has been curdled and strained. The whey protein is then processed and concentrated into a powder form for use as a dietary supplement or ingredient in various food products.

Ultimately, if someone intends on integrating a healthy diet and exercise routine including creatine supplementation into their daily life, they must pay close attention to food habits related to their new program if they wish to avoid any unwanted blemishes along the way.

Lifestyle Habits Related To Creatine Supplements That May Cause Acne

When it comes to lifestyle habits related to taking creatine supplements that may cause acne, there are several things you should consider:

Eating Habits:

  • Avoiding fried foods, processed sugars, dairy products, and other potential allergens.

  • Incorporating more whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Exercise Routine:

  • Maintaining proper hydration during exercise or physical activity.

  • Limiting contact sports or activities where skin friction is likely.

It’s also important to be aware of any skincare products containing harsh agents such as alcohol or retinoid creams which can further irritate already sensitive skin.

Taking proactive steps like adjusting daily eating habits and exercising regularly will help protect skin from unwanted breakouts while utilizing creatine supplements safely and effectively.

Don't Want To Change Your Diet And Lifestyle Habits? Focus On A Daily Skin Care Routine With Exposed

Dietary and lifestyle changes as a sole solution for acne can be impractical and potentially dangerous due to their lack of specificity and potential to promote unhealthy habits.

Relying on these changes can lead to extreme diets, stress, and even eating disorders, as individuals may feel pressured to restrict or eliminate specific food groups in the hopes of clearing their skin.

Additionally, the relationship between diet and acne is still not well-understood, and each person's triggers may vary, making it difficult to create a one-size-fits-all dietary solution.

Focusing on a daily skincare routine, on the other hand, allows for a more targeted and consistent approach to acne prevention and treatment.

A well-designed routine emphasizes cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing with appropriate products tailored to individual skin types and needs. This approach is not only more sustainable but also promotes overall skin health without risking physical or mental harm.

For over two decades, Exposed Skin Care has given 400,000+ individuals radiant skin with these key advantages:

  • High-quality, safe ingredients made in the USA and Canada.

  • A proprietary blend of the finest natural and scientific components for a luxurious, at-home treatment.

  • Prescription-strength acne treatment without dermatologist visits.

  • Suitable for men and women, providing all-around skin care.

  • Effective for both teens and adults.

  • No need to alter your diet or routine for clear skin.

  • Budget-friendly and more cost-effective than a dermatologist.

  • Delivered to your doorstep, with an easy twice-daily regimen.


What Are The Benefits Of Taking Creatine Supplements?

It is estimated that 95% of professional athletes use creatine supplements to improve their performance. Creatine can be a powerful tool for anyone looking to gain an edge in athletic performance or bodybuilding.

It works by increasing the production of ATP (anaerobic adenosine triphosphate), which provides energy for muscle contractions during high-intensity exercises like weight training.

Creatine not only benefits physical performance but also offers mental advantages too.

Studies show that taking supplemental creatine can increase cognitive function and help protect against age-related memory decline.

Additionally, some research suggests it may reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety while improving overall well-being.

Is It Safe To Supplement With Creatine?

Liquid creatine does allow for easy absorption by the body but can also increase the risk of dehydration if not balanced out with proper hydration techniques and doses. Additionally, people taking liquid creatine should stick to small amounts over time rather than large single doses.

It's important that those considering using creatine understand the potential side effects before starting supplementation. When used responsibly and monitored closely, however, it may provide benefits to athletes looking to gain an edge in their sport or build more muscle mass quickly without any lasting issues related to skin health.


The final verdict on creatine consumption and acne is still out. Creatine supplementation can have a positive effect on lean muscle mass, but it may also trigger an increase in the production of skin cells that can lead to breakouts.

However, there are other factors such as diet, hormones, and stress levels that could be at play here. While we don't know for sure if creatine causes acne, we do know that it can increase the level of the hormone dihydrotestosterone, which in many individuals causes an increase in skin oil production. This is a definite risk factor for acne.

So where does this leave us? Well, it's important to note that more research needs to be done into exactly how creatine affects our bodies before any definitive answers can be reached. Ultimately, each person should listen to their body’s own individual response while they experiment with different supplements like creatine.


Are There Any Natural Sources Of Creatine That Are Less Likely To Cause Acne?

As an athlete, you may be wondering if there are any natural sources of creatine that are less likely to cause acne. Fortunately, the answer is yes! There are several natural sources of creatine available today, and if taken properly they can help you achieve your fitness goals without having to worry about breakouts or other skin issues.

Creatine is found naturally in many foods such as red meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and legumes, so these can all be a good source of it for athletes looking to supplement their diet with this substance. Additionally, some plant-based proteins like soybeans and quinoa are also high in creatine content.

Different types of food on a table

Is Creatine More Likely To Cause Acne In Men Or Women?

Creatine has long been thought to give men an edge when it comes to building muscle mass and enhancing physical performance, but what about its effects on skin?

Some research indicates that certain hormones released from using Creatine could increase the risk for developing acne in male users. These hormones are linked with increased sebum production, which leads to clogged pores and inflammation – two of the main culprits behind breakouts.

On the other hand, female users may also experience side effects associated with Creatine use, such as hormone imbalances or changes in body composition.

However, studies suggest that this doesn’t necessarily translate into an elevated risk for acne development compared to males. In fact, there’s evidence pointing towards testosterone being an important factor in determining how prone someone might be to experiencing breakouts due to supplementing with Creatine.