What is the best protein powder that doesn’t cause acne?

If you are looking for the best protein powder that doesn’t cause acne, you have come to the right place. Learn how to supplement your dietary protein intake without causing a breakout.

Protein Powders

Collagen Protein Powder


Starting at $59.99

Protein Powders

Egg White Protein Powder


Starting at $39.99

Protein Powders

Vegan Almond Protein Powder


Starting at $39.99


This article was written by Jack Schrupp & Brittany Adelman, RDN.

Protein powder and acne

What is acne? 

Acne is an inflammatory disorder of the skin that causes outbreaks of lesions, commonly referred to as pimples or zits. These outbreaks usually occur on the face, but can also appear on the back, chest, and shoulders.

Acne can present in various forms, including:

  • Whiteheads: Closed, clogged pores that appear as small, white bumps on the skin.
  • Blackheads: Open, clogged pores that darken due to oxidation and appear as black or dark brown spots.
  • Papules: Small, red, and tender bumps that arise from inflamed hair follicles.
  • Pustules: Red, tender bumps filled with pus.
  • Cysts: Deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring.

Acne is thought to have several causes including oily skin, clogged pores, bacteria, inflammation, and hormonal changes. The latter tend to occur during puberty and the menstrual cycle, or as result of conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Certain medications, beauty products, behaviors, stress and foods can trigger acne too. Diet is actually thought to be one of the leading causes of acne.


Does protein powder cause acne?

Protein powder, especially whey protein powder, can cause acne. If you think that your protein powder is causing you to breakout, and are desperate for a protein powder that doesn’t cause acne, you have come to the right place.

Why does protein powder cause acne?

There are several reasons why protein powder causes acne. For starters, dairy-based proteins like whey and casein can stimulate the production of insulin and insulin-like growth factor, both of which have been linked to acne development.

The nature of this link is not fully understood, but it may be related to the fact that insulin production regulates sebum production. Sebum, an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands, can clog your pores and cause pimples.

Soy is another protein powder ingredient that may contribute hormonal acne. That said, the evidence linking soy and acne is anecdotal. The only way to tell if soy is causing you to break out is  to eliminate it from your and see what happens. If your skin clears up, you may have found your culprit.

It is worth mentioning that acne may be related to the health of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your digestive tract. That is, changes to the composition and function of your gut microbiome may be involved in the pathogenic process of acne.

Specifically, it is believed that altering the gut microbiome increases intestinal permeability, contributing to skin inflammation, which occurs at all stages of acne development. Increased intestinal permeability allows for toxins and bacteria to enter the bloodstream, triggering an inflammatory response throughout the body, including the skin. 


What is the best protein powder for acne-prone skin?

The best protein powder for acne-prone skin is dairy-free, soy-free, and made with a short list of simple ingredients. Short and simple is important because protein powders with lots of added junk (emulsifiers, thickeners, etc.) can alter the composition of your gut microbiome, causing increased intestinal permeability and widespread inflammation.

Given that acne is an inflammatory condition, foods and ingredients that cause inflammation should be avoided at all costs.

drink wholesome makes the best protein powder that doesn’t cause acne

We make the best protein powder that doesn’t cause acne because we use a short list of simple ingredients free from food additives, dairy, and soy. 

Our ingredients

egg whites

egg whites





monk fruit

monk fruit

NOT our ingredients

  • acacia gum

  • acesulfame potassium

  • artificial flavors

  • carrageenan

  • erythritol

  • guar gum

  • inulin

  • maltodextrin

  • 'natural' flavors

  • silica

  • soy lecithin

  • sucralose

  • xanthan gum

  • xylitol

Note that instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we use whole food protein sources like collagen, egg whites, and almonds, which are easier to digest and absorb. Order samples to see for yourself. 

Protein Powders

Collagen Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

Protein Powders

Egg White Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

Protein Powders

Vegan Almond Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97


What are the benefits of protein powder for acne-prone skin?

Although some protein powders may cause acne, eating enough protein is essential for healthy skin. Here is why:

Protein promotes collagen production: By incorporating protein powder into your diet, you ensure an adequate supply of amino acids, which are essential for collagen synthesis. Collagen is what provides structure and elasticity to the skin.

Protein supports tissue repair: When your skin is damaged, amino acids are needed to help repair and regenerate the damaged tissue. 

Protein helps with hydration: Adequate dietary protein intake supports the synthesis proteins in the skin, such as filaggrin, which contribute to the skin’s ability to retain moisture.

Protein regulates oil production: Dietary protein is involved in regulating the production of sebum, the skin’s natural oil. Balanced sebum production is essential for maintaining skin hydration and preventing acne.

Basically, if you need the protein, adding an acne-safe protein powder to your diet can nourish your skin from within.


What are the benefits of collagen protein powder for acne-prone skin?

Incorporating collagen protein powder into your skincare routine can be incredibly beneficial for acne-prone skin. Research has shown that regular collagen supplements improve skin moisture, elasticity, and hydration when orally administered. Try this acne-friendly high protein recipe to give your skin a glowy boost:

Turmeric Collagen Latte


  • 1 serving of vanilla collagen protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of black pepper (to enhance turmeric absorption)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)


In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk over medium heat until warm but not boiling. Add the collagen protein powder, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and honey. Whisk the ingredients together until combined and frothy. Pour the turmeric collagen latte into a mug and enjoy its anti-inflammatory and skin-nourishing benefits.

Tips for clear skin from a registered dietitian

Here are some dietitian-approved tips to achieve clearer skin:

  1. Prioritize protein: Include sources of lean protein in your diet. Protein is essential for skin repair and renewal, and helps to maintain a healthy complexion. Consider using collagen protein powder or eating collagen-rich foods like bone broth to support skin structure and appearance.
  2.  Balance your blood sugar: Prioritize balanced meals rich in complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats to help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Eating fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, can also slow down glucose absorption, further supporting skin health. Consistent blood sugar regulation can mitigate hormonal fluctuations associated with acne, reducing sebum production and inflammation.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated and support detoxification processes, which help to flush out toxins and prevent clogged pores.
  4. Eat antioxidant-rich foods: Incorporate antioxidant-rich foods like berries, dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds into your meals. Antioxidants help protect skin cells from damage and promote a healthy glow.
  5. Limit added sugar and processed foods: High-sugar and processed foods can contribute to inflammation and hormone imbalances, potentially triggering acne breakouts. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods for clearer skin.
  6. Include healthy fats: Include sources of omega-3 rich fats such as avocados, seafood, olive oil, nuts, and seeds in your diet. Healthy fats support skin barrier function and reduce inflammation, promoting clearer skin.
  7. Practice stress management: Chronic stress can exacerbate acne, so incorporate stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises into your daily routine to support skin health.

By following these tips, you can support clear and healthy skin from the inside out!



1 week ago

Verified Purchase Hi! Your powder has been life-changing for me! I wear many hats as a military spouse, mom of a toddler, and yoga teacher. However, the hats I wear of being a human, living with endometriosis and IBS, are the ones these simple ingredients have most impacted! Thank you! Thank you for creating a product for stomachs that is sensitive, simple, AND still packs a punch protein wise!

For Egg White Protein Powder


2 weeks ago

Verified Purchase Your protein is seriously a game changer for me. I went from 135 to 170 in a few months due to the shakes I made with your protein powder. I've been drinking 1 each day for the last bit of time. Most protein kills my gut. You guys are seriously making a life support for me. Thank you for all that you do and create!

For Egg White Protein Powder


3 weeks ago

Verified Purchase I've spent the past decade searching for the perfect protein powder, and I've finally found it!!!! Not only does it make me feel incredible, but it's also transformed my fitness recovery in ways I never thought possible. Thank you drinkwholesome for changing the game and helping me feel my best! <3

For Egg White Protein Powder

Frequently asked questions

Collagen vs egg white vs almond protein powder?

You may have noticed that we make three types of protein powder: collagen protein powderegg white protein powder, and vegan almond protein powder. As long as you are eating a balanced diet, any type of protein powder can help you boost your protein intake. Just pick the type that best suits your dietary needs and personal preferences.

Protein powder vs meal replacement powder?

You may have noticed that we make protein powders and meal replacement powders. The difference between protein powders and meal replacement powders is the nutrition content. Protein powders are high in protein and low in everything else, whereas meal replacement powders contain fats, carbs, and protein because they are intended to replace the nutritional value of a healthy meal.

Learn more

My name is Jack and I created drink wholesome because I was sick of protein powders that upset my stomach. Read my story, check out my short list of simple ingredients, and browse reviews from other customers to learn more.



Protein Rice Krispies Treats


15 min


0 min




In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove the pot from the heat, and incorporate the protein powder. Add the Rice Krispies, stirring until combined. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch greased pan. Let your Protein Rice Krispie Treats sit for 30 minutes before eating.


This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.