Can Collagen Cause Acne? | Exploring The Possibility

Beauty and wellness enthusiasts have begun increasingly using collagen supplements to benefit their skin, bones, hair, and overall health. However, many fall victim to marketing ploys and fail to investigate this component thoroughly. With so many products enticing us with lofty claims, we need to remember that it is critical to consider their functions, benefits, and potential side effects before incorporating them into our diet. 

Can Collagen Cause Acne

One of the most frequently asked questions about the potential side effects of collagen supplements is, “Can Collagen Cause Acne?” This article intends to look in depth at collagen and acne and the relationship between the two. So, let’s get started.  

Can Collagen Cause Acne? | Are They Related? 

Before delving into the question,” Can collagen cause acne breakouts?” it is necessary to understand each of them better individually to determine whether they are related.

What is Collagen? 

Collagen is a protein that occurs naturally in our bodies and provides structure, strength, and support throughout the body. There are about 28 types of collagen that can be broadly classified into five categories. In terms of skin health, collagen promotes a youthful appearance by increasing hydration, retaining firmness, improving elasticity, and reducing wrinkles.


However, the rate of collagen production slows with age. Eventually, it manifests as wrinkles, sagging, loss of mobility, muscle ache, and other signs of aging. As a result, people turn to skincare with collagen or supplements to compensate for the collagen loss. Oral collagen supplements come in various forms, including powder, capsules, liquids, and gummies. Some well-known advantages of collagen supplements include the following: 

  • Provides skin hydration and improves elasticity 
  • Diminishes dryness, uneven texture, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • Alleviates inflammation and joint pain 
  • Increases bone mineral density (BMD)
  • Improves muscle mass and strength 
  • Promotes gut and cardiovascular health 

What is Acne? 

Acne is a common skin disorder characterized by inflamed spots or pimples caused by pore clogging. Acne can often be observed on the face; however, it can also appear on the shoulders, upper arms, neck, chest, back, and buttocks. Acne peaks in adolescence and early adulthood, affecting approximately 85% of people aged 12 to 24. Nonetheless, it can occur at any age. 


The types of acne are as follows:

  • Blackheads 
  • Whiteheads
  • Papules 
  • Pustules
  • Nodules 
  • Cysts 

Excess sebum production, bacteria growth, dead skin cell accumulation, hormonal imbalance, stress, genetics, diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption are common causes of acne. 

Can Collagen Cause Acne? 

Simply put, collagen does not cause acne. No study or evidence proves the relationship between the two or that collagen causes breakouts. As a result, taking collagen supplements should not ideally cause or worsen acne. However, there are some situations in which acne is more likely to appear. Let’s take a look at them: 


Allergies develop when the immune system reacts negatively to a foreign substance. So, suppose you notice acne breakouts soon after starting a collagen supplement. In that case, you are most likely allergic to one of its ingredients. Inflammation, rashes, eczema, hives, and acne are some of the most common skin problems caused by allergies. 

Some collagen supplements contain common allergens, such as shellfish, eggs, and fish, so it is best to avoid them if you are allergic to these ingredients. However, it is best to seek medical advice if you are unsure whether a product will suit you or require additional information. 


Digestive Issues

If you take a supplement your body cannot properly digest; you may experience common side effects such as bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Furthermore, gut problems can increase skin congestion, inflammation, and acne. 

Collagen supplements, particularly those containing whey protein, have a reputation for causing hormonal acne and promoting sebum overproduction, increasing the number of pustules, papules, and comedones. 


Choosing a reputable brand providing high-quality collagen supplements will help you avoid unpleasant side effects. Low-quality or inexpensive collagen supplements frequently contain allergens, additives, flavors, sulfites, chemical ingredients, and sweeteners that can cause acne or pimples. 

Pick a brand that is open about its processes and sourcing. Choose supplements derived from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows and wild-caught fish. Additionally, looking for collagen certified by a third-party quality testing company can be highly beneficial. 


People frequently consume supplements in greater quantities than recommended to hasten the arrival of desired results. In some cases, positive results may encourage people to increase their dosage. As a result, you may experience side effects such as acne. 

According to studies, our bodies can only absorb up to 5000m of collagen daily. Consuming supplements with a higher dose or taking them frequently can result in reactions such as rashes and pimples. 

collagen dosage

Tips for Managing Acne 

If you start taking a collagen supplement and notice acne breakouts, here are some tips to effectively address and treat them: 

  • Include Salicylic Acid, Benzyl Peroxide, and Azaleic Acid in your skincare routine. 
  • You may visit a doctor and get Retinoids or oral medications prescribed to treat acne based on its severity, skin type, and tolerance. 
  • Instead of popping pimples, use pimple patches.
  • Start double cleansing (using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser) to remove acne-causing and pore-clogging dirt, oil, and grime. 
  • Avoid using aggressive exfoliators with a high percentage of chemicals or physical exfoliants. 
  • Remember to change your pillowcases and towels frequently. 
  • Maintain a healthy diet and manage stress. 

Frequently Asked Questions | Can Collagen Cause Acne? 

Does collagen cause skin purging? 

Skin purging is a term used to describe skin reactions that cause dryness, redness, irritation, and breakouts. Sulfites and chemical additives in collagen supplements can cause congestion, leading to purging or acne. Purging is temporary, lasting only 4-6 weeks. 

Can Marine Collagen cause acne?

Marine collagen comes from marine sources such as fish, skin, scales, and bones. Marine collagen is especially well-known for its ability to improve skin health. Only if the collagen you consume contains heavy metals or chemicals will you experience acne. 

collagen supplements

Can collagen make hormonal acne worse? 

There is no evidence that collagen causes or worsens acne. However, collagen supplements containing whey protein may cause hormonal imbalance, increasing comedones, pustules, and pimples. 

Can too much collagen cause acne? 

Excessive consumption or use of anything will almost certainly have negative consequences. Similarly, consuming too much collagen may impair your digestive system’s ability to digest it properly, resulting in rashes or acne as a side effect. These side effects may be exacerbated if your supplement contains hypoallergenic ingredients. 


Can Collagen Cause Acne? – This is an important question to ask if you want to incorporate collagen supplements and have a sensitive immune system or skin type. As previously stated, there is no conclusive evidence linking the two, and collagen does not cause acne in and of itself. 

Only if you are allergic to some of the ingredients in your supplement or if it contains a lot of unnecessary additives, metals, and allergens will you experience a flare-up. As a result, seeking medical advice and selecting a high-quality collagen supplement is critical to reducing the likelihood of experiencing side effects. 

Leave a Comment