Does Creatine Cause Acne?

Does Creatine Cause Acne?

What is Creatine?

You might have heard about creatine. It’s commonly used to repair skin cells and reduce aging, or if you’re an athlete, you might take it as a supplement to help you improve your athletic performance. But what really is it? 

Creatine is actually a naturally occurring amino acid present in your brain and muscles. Your liver, pancreas, and kidneys are in charge of producing these and they use the red meat and seafood that you eat as the ingredients.

The creatine in your body gets converted to phosphocreatine which becomes your muscles’ source of energy. Not only that, but it can also improve health conditions like brain trauma or congestive heart failure.

Don’t mistake it for steroids, however. Steroids enhance muscle performance while creatine only serves as energy.

Creatine and Acne 

men wear hat

Does creatine cause acne? Many people reportedly experienced acne breakouts after taking creatine supplements, but it’s also important to note that there could be other factors causing this.

Ask yourself, when you start using creatine, what else changes in your life? Starting creatine usually comes with other lifestyle choices. But before we unpack this, let’s look at the facts.

Does creatine cause acne?

The short answer is no. It has never been proven to ever be related to or a cause of acne formation. Rather, it even provides benefits to your skin if you use it properly. 

As I mentioned before, creatine is commonly used in skincare products to repair your skin cells and reduce aging. To be more specific, it reduces sagging in your skin and clears away wrinkles and sun damage. This is especially useful when you go out a lot as your skin experiences more stress.

If not creatine, why the breakouts?

Now we know it’s tried and true that creatine does not cause acne, but the question still lingers. Why do people say creatine gives them acne breakouts? 

Increased DHT Levels and Testosterone Byproducts

men apply cream

The biggest, most probable cause for acne breakouts after using creatine is a change in hormone levels. Creatine causes a hormone called dihydrotestosterone to increase and it’s a byproduct of testosterone. Studies show that it can rise to as high as 50% more and that’s already a lot.

This change in hormone can increase the likelihood of hormone-induced acne breakouts. It also makes your skin produce more natural oils which add to the possible causes of your breakouts.

Although this could apply to anyone, those who have a history of acne are more likely to get breakouts because of this.


Although there are some who might say creatine causes dehydration, it’s actually not true. In fact, creatine might even help alleviate dehydration. But of course, it’s still possible to become dehydrated especially when you’re taking creatine for that extra workout boost.

When you’re dehydrated, your skin becomes rough and dry. Now, what happens when your skin is dry? Your body starts producing more oil which also produces more dead skin cells. Dead skin cells make your pores more prone to clogging and trapping unwanted materials under your skin which leads to a higher chance of irritation, inflammation, and breakouts. 

Fortunately, there’s a quick fix for this: just make sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day. This will help you compensate for the water you lost through the increased physical activity making you sweat a whole lot more.

Other factors

It could also be a change in environment or diet, perhaps you changed something in your daily life around the same time or because you started taking creatine. Lifestyle changes can come with new stressors and stress is one of the biggest causes of acne breakouts. So, it will also benefit you to monitor what else is happening in your life.

The benefits of using creatine simply outweigh the risks especially when the risks are totally avoidable as well (and may give you even more benefits!).

How to deal with acne?

man wash face

We all know how annoying acne is especially when you want to look your best every day. Although it shouldn’t be a cause for judgment, it’s not easy to just ignore them and who doesn’t like clear skin?

Well, there are many ways to deal with acne, some more effective, and some more expensive. Personally, I find that maintaining my skin with a regular skincare routine helps me prevent breakouts and keep my skin clear and smooth.

The best way to combat acne is to use an anti-acne serum. My go-to anti-acne serum is Mantisfy’s Anti-acne and Repairing Serum which not only prevents acne breakouts but helps even out my skin from acne damage and reduces the redness on my skin. 

It uses high-quality ingredients which are great for my skin. Salicornia helps improve cell cohesion (that’s what reduces sagging in your skin), and keeps your skin hydrated while Edelweiss kills bacteria with its antibacterial properties, and we all know bacteria are one of the biggest reasons for our acne breakouts. On top of that, Edelweiss also repairs your cells which reduces, if not completely gets rid of, skin damage.

This might sound intimidating to those who have yet to start a skincare routine, but that’s okay I’ve been there too. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be complicated or tedious. It might take some trial and error and we have a guide to help you on the way! 

If you’re looking for something to target that stubborn acne, you can check out our article about the best anti-acne skincare routine. If you’re looking for something more specific, we also have one for acne on the temples.

It’s good to have an anti-acne part in your skincare routine but it’s also important to get the right facial wash for your skin. Fret not, we have one for facial washes that will help with your acne! If you’re not sure where to even start with your routine, you can check out the best skincare routines for men.

The Key Points

Taking that creatine for an extra boost? There’s no need to worry about the risks anymore. We know now what creatine does and how it could be indirectly causing your acne breakouts so now we have a solution.

Creatine gives more benefits than drawbacks so it’s definitely worth keeping that in your routine as long as you take the proper countermeasures. Although that sounds almost extreme, it’s a simple fix and you’ll leave with an extra boost in your performance plus clear and smooth skin every day.

A simple anti-acne serum added to your daily skincare routine can do wonders for your skin and you won’t have to stop using creatine! Although anti-acne serums are generally catch-all for acne problems, also keep in mind to stay hydrated at all times and to make time for yourself. 

Everyone benefits from a little me time not just to reduce stress but also to feel in control and not overwhelmed. Good luck and stay creatine!

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