Your Cart

Extra $5 off any 2 items or $15 off 3 items, code: 5on2 or 15on3 + Free US Shipping +$50

Need help choosing the right kit?

Our Skin Profile Quiz can help recommend a kit that best addresses your skin’s unique concerns


Want to order by phone or have questions about our products?

Our skincare experts are here to help 7am-3pm PT Monday - Friday



Sign into your account to track & manage orders or update your account info below.


Facial Cleanser

Ultimate clean, no over-drying

Clearing Tonic

Instant skin rebalancing

Acne Treatment Serum

All-day Protection

Clear Pore Serum

All night pore clearing

Derm-X Cloth

Skin renewing exfoliation

Moisture Complex

Weightless oil-free moisture

Microderm Scrub

Instantly Smoother Skin

Clarifying Mask

Deep down skin detox

Probiotic Complex

Clearer skin from the inside


Does Pea Protein Cause Acne? (Everything You Need to Know)

In recent years, the popularity of plant-based diets and supplements, such as pea protein, has soared. But along with its rise in popularity comes the question: does pea protein cause acne?

This blog post delves into the intricate relationship between pea protein, diet, and acne, exploring various aspects, from protein sources to hormonal influences, and how they might impact skin health.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Pea protein, a plant-based protein, is less likely to cause acne than animal-derived proteins like whey.
  • Individual responses to different protein sources vary, highlighting the need for personalized dietary choices.
  • A balanced diet, including carefully selecting protein sources, plays a crucial role in managing skin health and preventing acne.
  • Exposed Skin Care effectively complements dietary approaches to acne management by targeting key factors like oil balance, inflammation, and hormonal influences.

Off camera person holding pea pod open

Understanding Acne and Protein

Before addressing the core question – does pea protein cause acne – it's essential to understand the basics of acne and the role of protein in our diet.

What is Acne?

Acne is a common skin condition characterized by the appearance of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It primarily occurs due to the clogging of pores on the skin's surface.

The Role of Protein in the Body

Protein is a crucial macronutrient vital for building and repairing tissues, including the skin. It's made up of essential amino acids, some of which must be obtained through diet.

Protein and Skin Health

The relationship between dietary protein and skin health is complex. Protein is essential for skin repair and regeneration, but certain types of protein might exacerbate skin conditions like acne.

Happy woman looking at her face skin

Does Pea Protein Cause Acne?

Understanding Pea Protein

Pea protein is a plant-based protein derived primarily from yellow peas. It's a popular choice among vegans and those with dairy intolerances. Pea protein is considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.

Pea Protein vs. Whey Protein

Whey protein, derived from dairy, has been more frequently linked to acne. This connection is often attributed to dairy's hormonal content and its potential to stimulate insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which can lead to acne. In contrast, pea protein, being plant-based, lacks these dairy-derived hormones.

Protein Powders and Acne

Protein powders, regardless of their source, may contribute to acne in several ways:

  • Hormonal Influence: Some proteins can influence hormone levels, potentially leading to increased acne.
  • Inflammation: Certain proteins may trigger inflammatory responses, exacerbating acne.

The Debate: Pea Protein and Acne

The scientific evidence linking pea protein to acne is limited. While some individuals report breakouts after consuming pea protein, others find it a safer alternative to whey protein.

Woman worrying about her face acne

Factors to Consider

Hormonal Impact

Hormones play a significant role in the development of acne. Proteins that affect hormone levels, like insulin-like growth factor 1, can contribute to acne. Plant-based proteins are generally less likely to impact hormones compared to animal-based proteins.

Inflammation and Acne

Inflammation is a crucial factor in acne development. Some proteins, particularly those found in dairy products, can increase inflammation, whereas plant-based proteins like pea protein are often considered anti-inflammatory.

Digestive Health

Digestive health is crucial in managing acne. Pea protein, being plant-based, may be easier to digest for some individuals compared to dairy-based proteins like whey.

Allergies and Sensitivities

Individual allergies and sensitivities play a role in acne. Those allergic to peas or legumes may find pea protein exacerbates their skin condition.

Woman experiencing allergic reaction

Pea Protein in a Balanced Diet

The Role of a Balanced Diet in Skin Health

A balanced diet, rich in various nutrients, is essential for skin health. Excessively high protein diets, regardless of the protein source, can lead to imbalances and potentially worsen skin conditions.

Integrating Pea Protein into Your Diet

If you consume pea protein, consider integrating it into a balanced diet. Avoid excessively high protein intake and pair it with various other nutrient-rich foods.

Alternatives to Pea Protein

If pea protein doesn't suit you, other plant-based protein options like brown rice protein or hemp protein exist. Each has its unique profile and potential impact on skin health.

Benefits of Exposed Skin Care in Managing Acne

Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive approach to acne treatment, effectively addressing various factors contributing to acne breakouts.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Here are some key benefits:

  • Targeted Acne Treatment: Exposed Skin Care products are specifically formulated to tackle the root causes of acne, providing a targeted approach to skin care.
  • Balancing Skin's Natural Oils: The treatment serums and cleansers balance the skin's natural oils, reducing the likelihood of clogged pores and subsequent acne.
  • Natural and Scientific Ingredients: Exposed combines advanced scientific ingredients with natural extracts, creating an effective and gentle formula on the skin.
  • Reducing Inflammation: Key components in the Exposed Skin Care range are designed to reduce inflammation, a significant factor in the development of acne.
  • Hormonal Balance: While dietary factors like vegan protein, plant protein, and plant-based protein powders are known to influence hormones like insulin-like growth factor 1, which can increase the production of oils leading to acne, Exposed Skin Care products help to mitigate these effects by maintaining hormonal balance in the skin.
  • Complementing Dietary Choices: For those consuming vegan protein powder or plant protein derived from sources less likely to aggravate acne, Exposed Skin Care can be an excellent complement to support skin health and prevent acne breakouts.

Exposed Skin Care's unique blend of ingredients provides an effective solution for those seeking to manage acne, complementing a healthy diet, including plant-based protein sources, to achieve clearer, healthier skin.


The intricate relationship between dietary protein and acne is a topic of much debate. While some sources, like whey protein powder, have been associated with exacerbating acne, others, particularly plant-based proteins, are considered less likely to cause such issues.

The rise in popularity of pea protein, derived from yellow peas, highlights a shift towards alternatives less prone to causing acne flare-ups. There are concerns that high grams of protein per serving in supplements like protein shakes and bars may contribute to acne.

However, evidence suggests that pea protein does not directly cause acne. Its lower likelihood of clogging pores makes it a preferred source of protein for many, especially those on a vegan diet.

However, it's essential to acknowledge that individual responses vary. For some, even the best protein powders, including pea protein, might trigger unintended acne breakouts.

This variability underscores the importance of personalizing dietary choices and protein content to suit specific skin needs. Those prone to acne should consider the potential impact of different protein supplements on their skin, choosing products less likely to worsen acne.

In skincare, products like Exposed Skin Care play a crucial role. They offer a complementary approach to managing acne, especially for those adjusting their daily protein intake through diet or supplements. 

Exposed Skin Care targets the root causes of acne, including clogged pores and hormonal imbalances, which dietary factors, including protein intake, can influence.


Does Pea Protein Cause Acne?

No conclusive evidence suggests that pea protein directly causes acne. However, individual responses may vary.

Can Whey Protein Cause Acne?

Yes, whey protein can cause acne in some individuals, possibly due to its impact on hormones and insulin-like growth factors.

Is Vegan Protein Better for Acne-Prone Skin?

Vegan proteins, including pea protein, are generally considered better for acne-prone skin as they are less likely to affect hormones that can lead to acne.

Does Protein Content in Diet Affect Acne?

Yes, the type and amount of protein in your diet can affect acne, especially if the protein source leads to hormonal imbalances or inflammation.

How Can Exposed Skin Care Help Manage Acne?

Exposed Skin Care offers targeted acne treatment by balancing skin oils, reducing inflammation, and managing hormonal factors contributing to acne, complementing a well-balanced diet.