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. 

Need more help? Ask our team!

I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their acne naturally. If you cannot easily find an answer to your question on the website, please reach out to me by email ([email protected]) or send me a message on Instagram or Twitter. I will reply within 24 hours.

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood
Hi I’m Sam Wood. I’m the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach behind GoodGlow. I’m also an author of one of the top selling acne books on Amazon, a husband, father of two, and a pretty good cook!

I’m so glad you found GoodGlow and hope the information I have spent the last 10 years cultivating will help you clear your skin and improve your overall health.

I began experiencing acne breakotus as a sophomore in high school, but unlike most of my friends, my acne actually got worse as I got into my 20s. I exercised regularly, ate healthy (or so I thought) and spent hundreds of dollars a month on high end skincare products and supplements to help clear my skin. Despite these measures my acne breakouts and scarring only got worse as the years wore on.

This greatly wore on my self confidence and mental health. Simple things like taking pictures or going out with a large group made me feel self conscious. So I avoided these situations whenever I could help it.

As a last ditch effort I decided to try an extremely restrictive diet recommended by a close friend with an autoimmune disease. After following this diet for about two months my skin started to clear for the first time in over 8 years. The good news is that this restrictive diet is not actually necessary for 99% of people to permanently clear their skin, and over the course of a few months I was able to add back about 90% of my “normal diet”.

After clearing my skin I spent the next 4 years self experimenting on myself with different diets, supplements, skincare products to try and find a pattern for what was triggering my acne breakouts. I even tried different meditation, ice baths, and accupuncture to try and isolate the root cause of the breakouts.

In the end I realized that an extremely restrictive diet was not necessary for clear skin. The most important thing to do is to avoid inflammatory foods in your diet. Some common examples of this are fried foods, alcohol, sugar, and dairy.

Most impoirtantly I stopped reading trendy websites for skincare advice and began reading medical journals authored by dermatologists and nutritionists. Although the information in the articles was great the information was not easily understandable to most readers (including me). I spent hours dissecting individual posts and looking up terms I did not understand. Over the next 6 months I gradually began to understand these journals and started self experiemting some of the research on myself.

After experiencing quite a bit of success personally, I started sharing my research on forums and with close friends struggling with acne. When I shared the research it was in easy to understand, plain English. Everyone I talked to loved what I had to say and kept asking more and more questions. So I decided to start a blog so I could just send someone a link when they asked a question instead of rewriting something I had sent 100 times before 😅

While the same directional principles apply to everyone, acne is very personal and should be treated on an individual basis. That’s ultimately why I created GoodGlow. To help everyone reverse engineer the root cause of their acne and clear their skin permanently.

To date I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their skin using a natural, holistic approach. If you are unable to find an answer to your question in any of the articles my team has written please reach out and I will do my best to guide you to the proper information and resources so you can make a thoughtful, informed decision. Read more of Sam's articles.

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