Can BCAAs Cause Acne?

Do BCAAs cause acne? This is a question that you may have been asking yourself. Well, the answer to this question is not straightforward. Many people believe it can, while others argue that it cannot. 

The truth is that some studies show evidence of an association between BCAA supplementation and acne. Still, more research needs to be done before determining if they genuinely do cause acne or not. 

In this article, we will discuss whether BCAAs Cause Acne by discussing what they are, how they work in your body and other important information about them, such as side effects and potential benefits.

What are BCAAs?

They are amino acids that your body can create naturally or get through the foods you eat. However, many people choose to take supplements instead, which contain more amino acids than what is found in natural food sources. 

There are three types of BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Leucine has been shown to have some potential side effects, including acne breakouts. At the same time, both iso-leucine and valine do not appear to be associated with any adverse side effects at all – they may even provide benefits!

Why would BCAAs cause acne?

There are two potential reasons for this. The first is that they can affect your hormones, which affect how oily or dry your skin gets, and the rate at which you produce sebum – a greasy substance made from lipids (fats) and oils produced by our body to protect our hair and skin. 

This excessive sebum production can lead to clogged pores on your face, blocking the normal oil flow out of your pore. If bacteria accumulate within these blocked pores, it can cause inflammation, leading to acne breakouts.

IGF-I Hormone

BCAAs may be associated with causing acne in their relationship with insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). IGF-I is a hormone shown to increase sebum production and stimulate the growth of acne-causing bacteria. 

Although more research needs to be done before saying whether or not BCAAs cause acne, you should know that other potential side effects are associated with BCAA supplementation, such as diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach, etc.

How to avoid acne from BCAAs

To avoid potential acne from BCAAs, you should take them with food. This will help reduce their effects on your hormones and any adverse side effects, such as diarrhea, etc. 

It may also be helpful to do a little research and determine which specific BCAA supplement is right for you by reading some reviews online or even talking directly to other people who have used it previously.


BCAAs may help you lose weight, but if not consumed in the right way, they can cause acne. In addition, there are some other side effects of BCAA supplementation, including diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach, etc. Additionally, be careful when consuming any time of supplement designed to improve athletic performance. Many types of protein powders and pre-workout supplements are loaded with sugar and frequently trigger acne breakouts.

To avoid potential acne from BCAAs, take them with food or research which specific BCAA supplement is right for you by reading reviews or talking directly to people who have used it previously.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Creatine give you acne?

No, Creatine does not cause acne. However, it is a very popular supplement that may even help you to reduce your risk of acne breakouts when combined with other supplements or medications in some cases. 

It’s important to note that there are many different types of creatine available, and each one has varying amounts of the three main ingredients, including magnesium chelate (creatine), dicalcium phosphate anhydrous, and crospovidone which can affect how effective they are at reducing inflammation in the body as well as boosting energy levels for workouts.

Can protein powder make you break out?

This is a question that many people ask; however, the answer to this is no. Protein powder does not cause acne; it can be beneficial for your skin if you are trying to lose weight or tone up since protein helps your body create muscle that burns more calories than fat does. 

You should always read reviews before purchasing any supplement online and ensure that they contain natural ingredients, instead of harmful chemicals, like parabens.

Originally Published: October 29, 2021

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood

Hi, I’m Sam Wood, the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach at GoodGlow, as well as a best-selling author for one of the top acne books on Amazon. I struggled with acne for over 10 years, and began studying the effects of diet on skin quality while pursuing a degree in Nutrition Sciences at the University of Missouri. After shifting from mainstream skincare trends to in-depth research in medical journals, I experienced significant personal success in managing my acne. This inspired me to start GoodGlow, where I simplify complex scientific findings into easy-to-understand advice. With over 10 years in the field, I’ve helped more than 2,500 people achieve clearer skin through natural, holistic methods, and I’m dedicated to personally assisting those seeking guidance on their acne journey.

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