Discovering the Connection: Does Creatine Cause Acne?
For many athletes, creatine is considered a go-to supplement for gaining muscle mass, strength, and increasing athletic performance. But more often than not, its use has been associated with reports of acne breakouts, leaving those who take it wondering if there is any truth to these claims. After all, does creatine consumption really cause acne, or are the two unrelated? The fact is yet to be discovered, as there are studies supporting both notions. Also, it depends on your skin tone, dosage, health conditions, lifestyle, and many other factors. It has been established that taking creatine in the proper manner from a reputable brand will never result in any long-term side effects.
Does Creatine Cause Acne?
Creatine, popular with athletes and bodybuilders for increasing muscle growth, has long had a stigma attached to it regarding possible side effects. However, modern science shows us that creatine causes acne. Some researchers are of the view that creatine causes an increase in hormones, causing acne.
Others disagree, linking the combination to already damaged skin, poor health, an unhealthy lifestyle, and so on. According to some scholars, creatine could even be beneficial when it comes to skincare, namely reducing wrinkles and slowing the aging process. So, if you are taking it properly and getting health care provider advice, then you can rest assured that it won’t cause you unintended problems with acne!
Creatine Can Cause Acne In What Situations?
Even though more research is needed to prove that creatine causes acne, anecdotal evidence shows that some people get acne more often when they take supplements.
Increase in DHT Levels
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone that is produced when testosterone is exposed to an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. When there is an increase in DHT levels, it can cause acne breakouts. It does this by increasing the production of sebum, which is an oily substance that helps keep the skin lubricated but can also clog pores. This leads to breakouts because bacteria get trapped in the pores and cause inflammation. Creatine supplementation has been linked with increased testosterone levels, which in turn can lead to more DHT being produced and result in acne outbreaks.
Increase of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1)
Creatine supplementation has been linked with an increase in IGF-1, a hormone that promotes the growth and maturation of skin cells. High levels of IGF-1 have been associated with an increased risk of developing acne, specifically due to its ability to stimulate the production of sebum, or the oily substance mentioned above. However, when compared to anabolic steroids, this form of amino acid is not problematic.
Increase in Testosterone Levels
Creatine supplementation has also been linked with increased testosterone levels by 20% in some users, a lesser increase than the increase caused by the anabolic steroid. According to research, high testosterone levels can cause acne by making it oily due to the overproduction of sebum, leading to breakouts as described above. Furthermore, high testosterone contributes to the buildup of androgens, which are hormones that stimulate oil glands to produce even more sebum than usual. This can further exacerbate existing acne or cause new breakouts to form on the skin's surface.
Dehydration can also be a factor when it comes to creatine-induced acne because it causes the body's cells to become less efficient at metabolizing nutrients, including creatine itself. When creatine isn't effectively metabolized, it accumulates within cells and stresses them out. It leads them to secrete more oils and creates an environment where bacteria are able to flourish and cause acne outbreaks on the surface of the skin. So when you are taking creatine, be sure to hydrate yourself properly and take 8–10 glasses of water per day.
How Can You Prevent Acne While Working Out?
It might be upsetting to cure your acne yet still get outbreaks. The reasons for acne are many, and each person will respond differently to therapy. Fortunately, you may treat your acne at home by using certain self-care techniques.
Shower Right After Working Out
Showering immediately after working out is one of the most effective ways to prevent acne caused by creatine supplementation. Sweat and dirt can clog pores, leading to breakouts. Taking a shower right after your workout will help wash away any sweat and dirt that may have accumulated on your skin during exercise.
Restrict Sugar in Your Diet
When trying to prevent acne, maintaining a diet that is low in sugar and refined carbs can be beneficial. It has been found that diets high in these types of foods can cause inflammation of the skin, leading to increased breakouts. Avoid processed foods as much as possible and replace them with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eating healthy foods with fewer calories also helps decrease any potential weight gain or hormone fluctuations due to an increase in body fat levels associated with acne.
Increasing Your Water Intake
Drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to keep your skin clean and clear. Proper hydration helps flush out toxins from the body and leave it lean and clear. Proper hydration helps flush out toxins from the body and flush out dirt, which helps reduce clogged pores, which can lead to acne breakouts. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day is recommended by experts for proper hydration and the maintenance of healthy skin.
Limit Your Intake of Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine can both contribute to dehydration, which can lead to acne. Therefore, it is important to keep a check on your alcohol and caffeine intake when taking creatine supplements. Alcohol and caffeine can also increase the production of sebum, which can clog pores and cause breakouts.
Try Avoiding Red Meats & Dairy Products
It is important to avoid red meats such as beef and pork when trying to avoid acne breakouts. These types of foods contain higher levels of hormones, which in turn may trigger acne breakouts. Additionally, it may also be beneficial to stay away from dairy products such as cheese, cream, yogurt, etc., which also contain higher hormone levels that could potentially cause an increase in pimples.
Attention to Your Health and Habits
Focusing on your overall health and habits can help reduce acne formation while working out. Exercise regularly (at least 4 times a week) for about 30 minutes each time; this will help you maintain good circulation throughout your body, including improved blood flow to your face. Additionally, make sure that you are getting enough sleep each night (at least 7 hours), as this will help your body to rest and repair any damage caused by exercise or exposure to environmental stressors. It is also essential to practice good hygiene when taking creatine supplements. Wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser and exfoliate.
Examine Your Skin After Taking Creatine
When taking creatine supplements, it is important to check your skin status regularly. If you notice any changes in your skin, such as redness, irritation, or breakouts, it could be an indication that the creatine supplement is not agreeing with you and should be discontinued. It is also important to try and avoid touching your face while exercising, as this can lead to the spread of bacteria, which can cause further breakouts.
Creatine May Help to Make Your Skin Better, But How?
Creatine has been shown to have a positive impact on skin health by promoting the production of collagen, a protein that is important for skin elasticity and firmness.
Collagen levels begin to decrease with age, leading to a decrease in skin elasticity and firmness. Studies have shown that supplementing with creatine can help increase collagen production and improve skin health. Not only does this benefit the appearance of the skin, it also aids in the prevention of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Additionally, creatine has been found to improve overall skin tone and texture.
Creatine has also been found to have antioxidant properties that help protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants can help reduce wrinkles and fine lines, as well as protect against sun damage. This, in turn, may help to slow down the aging process and improve the overall health and appearance of the skin. This is proved by a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, which found that creatine works against ultraviolet radiation, protecting the skin.
Enhance Wound Healing
It has been found that athletes consume creatine to improve their recovery time and athletic performance. So, it shows that creatine can help in wound healing, which can be beneficial for those who have suffered from skin injuries or conditions that affect the skin. It accelerates the production of muscle cells, reducing recovery time.