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Plant Protein and Acne

Plant Protein and Acne

Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment. 



Since many different animal sources of protein have been found to be responsible for skin breakouts, many people wonder whether there is any link between plant protein and acne. However, there is no reported evidence so far that plant protein can cause acne or its related skin issues, but more research is needed to confirm if there is any indirect link.  

In this article, we’ll be exploring if there is any factual correlation between plant protein and acne. But before we get into the in detail answer to the question - “does plant protein cause acne?”It's worth knowing the fundamentals of plant protein a little bit more. So, let’s get started.  

Table of contents 

  • What is plant protein? 
  • Types of plant protein 
  • Plant protein and acne 
  • What to look for in a plant protein powder  
  • Final words 

What is plant protein? 

Plant protein refers to the protein sources that are extracted from plants. Plant protein is high in fiber and is considered easily digestible which supports the human body in many different ways. 

The carbohydrate content found in plant protein is relatively lower and it is packed with essential amino acids that are easily absorbed in the body, making it a great alternative to milk proteins. 

Plant protein can provide similar amino acids as milk proteins if sourced properly. It works wonders for people who want to restrict their intake of calories and at the same time want to get enough protein that the body needs such as dieters and athletes. Plant protein may help in building lean muscle, preventing hair loss, and promoting weight loss. (Also read Plant Protein for Weight Loss)

Types of plant protein 

Plant proteins are mostly made from legumes, seeds, and grains. There are a number of plant protein supplements available on the market, it’s important to look for something that can provide high amounts of amino acids, particularly those that the body cannot make on its own and are considered essential amino acids. 

Plant protein supplements may come in various forms, such as: 

  • Pea protein 
  • Soy protein 
  • Brown rice protein 
  • Hemp protein 
  • Pumpkin seed protein 

Plant protein usually does not have any smell, tastes more neutral, is easier to digest compared to whey protein, and does not cause indigestion or bloating, making it obviously a protein of choice for people with lactose intolerance. 


Plant protein and acne 

Since there is a meaningful link between whey protein and acne and many experts suspect that milk protein may have a part to play in acne breakouts, you might be wondering - 

Does plant protein cause acne too? For a single-word answer, no, it does not. 

Plant protein powders have been found increasingly popular over recent years, especially among vegan, vegetarian, or people who otherwise for any reason want to skip animal protein. More and more people are getting interested in plant protein as a safer and healthier alternative to animal protein. 

While plant protein has been linked to hair growth, weight loss, and muscle building, there is also confusion about whether it can cause acne breakouts. 

There is a lot of controversy about plant protein and acne. While some people suspect that it causes acne, others believe it doesn’t have any role in developing an acne condition.

But the fact is that there are no reported studies available so far that link plant protein with acne. Rather, some scientific studies suggest that plant protein might have some beneficial effects on the skin. It contains a considerable amount of fiber that can help lower the risk of developing acne. 

Moreover, plant protein contains various antioxidants that can promote skin tone and texture and protect it from free radical damage. So, does plant protein cause acne? The answer is absolutely no.    

What to look for in a plant protein powder 

There are two major factors to consider when it comes to choosing a plant protein powder - the completeness of the protein and unnecessary ingredients. Let’s take a look at these two factors one by one. 

The completeness of the protein 

There are around 20 amino acids that the body needs to maintain all bodily functions properly. Out of them, 9 amino acids the body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained through diets or supplements. These are called essential amino acids and the protein that contains all of these 9 essential amino acids is called a complete protein. 

The protein powder you want to choose should be complete in nature, meaning it should contain all 9 essential amino acids so that the body gets them all. But unfortunately, unlike whey protein which contains all essential amino acids, most plant proteins do not contain them altogether or miss one or more of nine essential amino acids. 

A very few plant protein powders contain all nine essential amino acids, such as pea protein for instance, and are considered a complete protein. This is the main reason why most reputed dietary supplement and nutrition brands produce different types of pea protein powders. 

Unnecessary ingredients 

Plant protein is usually a safer and healthier protein option, still, it’s important to pay extra attention when choosing plant protein powder from an overwhelming product range across the market. 

In order to get the optimal benefits of plant protein, it’s vital to make sure your protein is as intact as natural and free from unnecessary ingredients, such as: 

Artificial additives 






Avoid any ingredient that is allergic to you. You can consider opting for blends that contain some essential vitamins and minerals as well such as vitamin D, calcium, and iron to be more effective. 

Final words 

There is no established evidence to claim any link between plant protein and acne. Plant protein does not stimulate hormones that enhance the production of sebum or skin oil, which is one of the leading causes of acne breakouts. Rather, plant protein and the antioxidant compounds it contains help reduce inflammation and thus can help reduce acne risk in most cases.

Here you can see Vorst’s Vegan Plant Based Pea Protein Powder with Multivitamins 

Here you can see Vorst’s Vegan Plant Based Pea Protein Powder with Greens

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