Whey protein is a popular protein powder supplement touted by trainers and bodybuilders. After all, it's a lean protein source that will help you feel fuller longer and build muscle. Unfortunately, it may cause breakouts.
Dr. Shainhouse said that for some people, this protein source can trigger inflammation and acne flares. "Whey, which comes from cow's milk, contains an insulin-like growth factor that stimulates the body's production of insulin and androgens," she explained. "The increased insulin and androgen production increases sebum production in the skin, resulting in acne. If you are an ingredient-reader, note that whey protein isolate is more problematic than whey protein concentrate."
Better yet, switch to a plant-based protein powder made with hemp, pea, bean, pumpkin, or other vegan ingredients. They still pack 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving and can help you meet your goals.