Can Probiotics Cause Acne?

If you suffer from acne, then there is a good chance that your diet could be the culprit. Probiotics are found in many fermented foods, like yogurt and kombucha. While they can offer many health benefits when consumed, it has been shown in recent studies that these same probiotics can cause acne breakouts in some people

While this is a rare occurrence, it has been known to happen. So if you find that after eating food with these probiotics, your face becomes red and irritated, then chances are this could be the cause of your acne breakouts. 

If you suspect that probiotics are triggering your acne, consult your dermatologist for further advice on what foods should be avoided to help reduce or prevent future breakouts. 

Also, remember not to change too many things at once, as otherwise, it will become challenging to determine the exact reason behind any new changes in skin condition! This article will explore this topic more closely to see if probiotics do cause acne.

Probiotics and Acne: The connection

Several factors are to consider when determining if your skin reacts poorly to probiotic supplements, such as yogurt with live cultures or kombucha tea. 

The first thing you should understand about how probiotics affect your body is that they need time (and good bacteria) to start working effectively against harmful bacteria in the gut. 

If you’re experiencing an increased amount of pimples on your forehead, nose, and cheeks, it could be because there isn’t enough friendly flora living in your digestive system yet for them to do their job. 

Bacteria can contaminate the skin any time it has been compromised by scratching, picking at blemishes, or even wearing dirty clothes. When this happens, you end up with an infected pimple that will typically resemble a white head with redness around it. 

This type of acne breakout looks inflamed, painful, and often very raw looking! People who have these breakouts tend to experience them more frequently on their face, shoulders, and back.

What probiotics are and why they matter to your health

Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be found in fermented foods, like yogurt and kombucha, as well as supplements you can find at your local drug store. 

These beneficial bacteria have many health benefits, including improved digestion, increased immune system function, reduced risk of certain types of cancer(breast cancer or colon cancer), lower cholesterol levels, and even weight loss. 

Despite these excellent benefits to overall wellness, some studies now show that probiotics may increase the chance for acne breakouts

Not to mention, many people have allergic reactions to certain foods that contain these probiotics. With this in mind, you need to understand the connection between Probiotics and Acne.

How to take probiotics for acne

If you are considering taking probiotics for acne, then it is essential that you speak with your doctor or dermatologist first. They may recommend a specific strain of orally consumed bacteria to help reduce and prevent breakouts on the skin. This is because there are many different types of bacteria, each with its benefits. 

To add to this, some people may be sensitive to certain types of bacteria. Moreover, many different kinds of bacteria can be applied to the skin. 

One type, called Bacillus, has been shown to reduce acne breakouts by balancing out oil production on the surface layers of your skin. This type of bacteria is often found in beauty products, like face masks and creams. 

It can also be applied through a process called Propionibacteria Therapy. This is where bacteria from the Propionibacterium family are injected into the skin to reduce inflammation and breakouts.

The benefits of taking probiotics

Aside from the possible acne-causing benefits of probiotics, they still have many other health benefits. Some examples include improved digestion and immune function and reduced risk for certain types of cancer.

If you are considering taking them to reduce breakouts on your skin, then you must talk with a doctor first who will recommend a specific strain that may help prevent and treat outbreaks. 

Despite these possibilities, scientific evidence suggests that probiotics can be highly beneficial to one’s health.

Side effects of taking probiotics

Some people may experience side effects when taking probiotics, such as acne breakouts, but this is not the only possible outcome. Other potential issues include gas pains or rashes. If you consider beginning a new supplement regimen for your skin, you must speak with your doctor about any concerns they might have before starting. 

They can help recommend an effective strain to reduce and prevent further outbreaks of acne on the skin while also helping to improve overall health at the same time! 

Moreover, if you are experiencing any other side effects, mainly if they include breakouts or rashes, then it is essential to speak with your doctor as soon as possible. This may result from an allergy that was not initially apparent and needs immediate attention to prevent future outbreaks. 

Furthermore, it is also important to note that some people may experience an acne breakout even if they do not react poorly to this type orally. This is because there are so many differences out there, which offer their unique benefits.

Tips for incorporating more healthy bacteria in your diet

Many options are available if you’re considering taking probiotics but want to get them from food sources instead. Fermented foods contain live bacteria that can be great for digestive health, as well as helping to prevent certain chronic diseases.

Aside from fermented foods, it is essential to consider adding prebiotic-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet too. 

These include onions, garlic, leeks, and bananas, which all offer their unique benefits, in addition to those provided by healthy gut flora (a buildup of good intestinal microorganisms).

Vegan options are available for those who do not eat dairy products, such as yogurt, and many supplements can be taken daily. 

Suppose you prefer to take a supplement than incorporate more foods into your diet each day. In that case, it is essential to consult with your doctor or another trusted medical professional before beginning any new health regimen.


If you are suffering from acne, it is worth experimenting with your diet to see if there could be a correlation between the foods you eat and breakouts. Probiotics can offer many health benefits when consumed, but they may also cause unwanted side effects in some people. 

Avoiding these types of probiotic-rich foods will not only help clear up your skin but also give you more energy, improve digestion, and strengthen immunity, among other things.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can long-term use of probiotics be harmful?

There is some evidence that long-term use of probiotics can be harmful. If this is a concern for you, then it may be best to consult your doctor before adding them to your diet in the future. Though most potential side effects aren’t harmful to the individual’s health, they can be upsetting. For example, suppose you are considering beginning a new supplement regimen for your skin. In that case, it is essential to speak with your doctor first about any concerns they might have before starting.

Is yogurt with live cultures good for acne?

Although they have been proven to help reduce certain chronic diseases such as colon cancer and even weight loss, there has not been enough research on their effectiveness when used orally or applied topically to determine whether or not eating foods like yogurt will provide any benefits for acne sufferers. These same helpful bacteria may impact how our skin reacts, but more testing needs to be conducted before we know exactly what kind of effect they might have!

How long should you take probiotics?

If you’re currently considering taking probiotics to treat acne, it’s essential that you speak with your doctor first about the best course of action. They can recommend a specific strain for skin-related issues and help determine how long you need to take them before any results might be noticed. Some probiotics may make things worse before they get better, more specifically in the gut. So give it a week or two for things to work themselves out. 

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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