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

Sick of protein powder acne? drink wholesome is the best protein powder that doesn’t cause acne. It is made with simple, dairy-free, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

EGG WHITE PROTEIN POWDERS

vanilla protein powder

(43) $39.99 or subscribe and save 15%

VEGAN ALMOND PROTEIN POWDERS

vegan chocolate protein powder

(11) $34.99 or subscribe and save 15%

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

What is acne? 

Acne is an inflammatory disorder of the skin that causes outbreaks of lesions, commonly referred to as pimples or zits. Outbreaks usually occur on the face, but can also appear on the back, chest, and shoulders. Acne is thought to have several causes including oily skin, clogged pores, bacteria, and inflammation. Hormonal changes — which occur during puberty and the menstrual cycle, or as result of a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome – can have a big impact on acne development. Certain medications, beauty products, behaviors, and foods may also cause acne. Research has found that diet in particular may cause or worsen acne. For instance, foods with a high glycemic index (GI) like bread, cereal, and sweets have been linked to acne because they cause and worsen inflammation in the body. Research has also associated milk and whey protein with acne (more about this later).

Does protein powder cause acne? Do protein shakes cause acne?

Protein powder and protein shakes can cause acne. Each year, thousands of people take to the Internet to complain that their protein powder makes them breakout. If you are one of these people, you have come to the right place. Here are a few ingredients to avoid when choosing a protein powder for clear skin.

Avoid dairy. 

Casein and whey protein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, can cause acne. Dairy indirectly stimulates insulin production, which regulates sebum production. Sebum, an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands, can clog your pores and cause pimples. Dairy can also hinder your ability to process blood sugar efficiently, which can cause inflammation in your skin. This is a problem because acne is an inflammatory disease; clinical evidence shows that inflammation occurs at all stages of acne development.

If you regularly consume casein or whey protein, you may now finally have something to blame for your breakouts! That said, the relationship between food and acne is complicated, and food that causes acne for one person might not have the same effect on someone else. If you think that whey or casein protein powder might be causing you to break out, stop using it for a few weeks. If your acne improves, you should switch to a dairy-free protein supplement. Unfortunately, however, not all dairy-free protein powders are created equal. Many dairy-free protein powders contain food additives that can cause uncomfortable side effects. Keep reading to learn more. 

vegan chocolate protein powder serving suggestion
chocolate protein powder lifestyle image 1

Avoid food additives.

Most protein powders are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a protein shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and can lead to constipation.

In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying protein powder that doesn’t cause acne, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate,  Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids,  Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain.

*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling protein powders in the United States.

Another reason to avoid dairy. 

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein are also known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas. 

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free protein powder is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free protein powder made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most protein powders are made with protein concentrates and isolates*, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein” and “whey protein” as opposed to “peas” and “whey.” I will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming protein powder. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The problem with ingredients that look nothing like real food is that they are hard to digest. (Your gut always prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation.)

vegan chocolate protein powder lifestyle image 1
chocolate protein powder serving suggestion

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. Almonds are just roasted, pressed, and ground. Minimally-processed ingredients like these are an easy to digest, gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.  

Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for your gut. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, naturally alkaline, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. 

If you cannot eat eggs, try our almond protein powder. Unlike protein concentrates or isolates, almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients like calcium and vitamin E. We prefer almonds to other minimally-processed plant protein sources because they are more gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties and can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have IBS and every protein powder hurts my stomach…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Why drink wholesome

Our protein powders are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates. They are perfect for people with acne-prone skin, as well as for people just looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk.

Again, drink wholesome is the best protein powder for acne. It is made with simple, dairy-free, easy to digest ingredients. Order samples to see for yourself.

drink wholesome the best protein powder for acne prone skin.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of protein powders that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

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.