Can Ashwagandha Cause Acne or Clear Skin? Exploring the Connections

Ashwagandha, with its natural goodness, is beneficial for numerous health benefits. However, natural doesn’t always mean free from risks. In case you are allergic, that goodness can cause adverse reactions. Certainly not worth getting a face full of acne for any other healing.

So, if you take a significant amount of the magic herb regularly for any purpose, can ashwagandha cause acne?

Ashwagandha triggers existing acne problems like non-inflammatory cystic or hormonal acne. The herb might cause hormonal imbalance by enhancing Testosterone and DHT levels leading to acne breakout and hair loss. However, it also has anti-inflammatory properties to treat acne.

Let’s learn more about ashwagandha and its properties, how it can cause acne and any possible treatment.

Understanding the Ashwagandha and Acne Relationship

Like ashwagandha and libido, there is no direct relation between ashwagandha and acne. However, some research finds that it can be related to hormonal changes, increasing testosterone levels due to the compound withanolides. And you already know that this imbalance can cause acne. 

Testosterone and DHT levels are the precursors of acne. Females with severe hormonal imbalances can also see severe acne breakouts, which may or may not be related to ashwagandha.

In some cases, ashwagandha can worsen acne problems if they are non-inflammatory.  Excess testosterone over-stimulates oil glands under the skin, causing oily skin. The stimulation also changes the skin cells surrounding the hair follicles that end up in clogged pores.

Does Ashwagandha Make Acne Worse?

Acne becomes a significant problem when taking too much ashwagandha allows bacteria to block pores. Studies found that 500 mg three times per day for several weeks caused an increase in bacterial growth, leading to acne.

But what about creatine? Can creatine cause acne too?

So, can ashwagandha cause acne will depend on allergies and skin conditions. People with acne-prone and sensitive skin should be careful in using ashwagandha.

Consult your health professional before adding it to your supplement list or skincare treatment, especially if you have any medical conditions.

Does Ashwagandha Help with Acne?

Like a coin, ashwagandha has another side that offers benefits to treating acne. This applies to inflammatory acne, where ashwagandha can combat germs since it has anti-inflammatory properties.

The herb reduces inflammation, which in turn will decrease any acne-related swelling and painful cysts. It can also limit sebum production and prevent oily skin and pore-clogging.

But you must maintain the appropriate amount per the doctor’s advice to avoid skin and hair fall issues.

How To Use Ashwagandha For Skin?

Ashwagandha can be used for the skin in many ways. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial properties can help reduce acne, control shine, treat pigmentation, reduce aging signs, and moisturize the skin.

Here are some ways to use Ashwagandha for your skin:

  • Ashwagandha oil: Mix ashwagandha powder with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil and apply it to your skin.
  • Ashwagandha face mask: Mix ashwagandha powder with honey and yogurt to make a face mask.
  • Ashwagandha toner: Mix ashwagandha powder with water or rose water and use it as a toner.

Ashwagandha For Skin Acne Checklist

If you want to heal with ashwagandha and especially treat acne, consider the following guidelines.

Consult Your Doctor

Talk to your doctor or dermatologist before using ashwagandha for skin acne. They would check whether the herb can have benefits for you or may cause adverse reactions.

Besides, they will also recommend the time and dose according to your conditions. You might need to follow up after a few weeks. Normally, it can take up to six weeks to notice any change.

Way of Application

You can take it either in a capsule or powder form, which will require water to swallow. You can also mix it with honey or milk. Other methods include tea, creams, or any extract if you have digestive problems.

Monitor Effects

Check regularly after intake how Ashwagandha is doing. Be careful about any negative reactions. In such cases, stop taking it and visit your doctor. Other than acne, it can be digestive distress or common sickness and tiredness.

Benefits of Ashwagandha

  • It helps reduce inflammation and maintain equilibrium in your body. Tea with ashwagandha works best.
  • The alkaloids of ashwagandha work to reduce stress and depression.
  • It is a remedy for the skin condition keratosis by relaxing skin tissue.
  • Keeps skin oil-free and clean.
  • It has telomerase from the roots for anti-aging effects.
  • Antioxidants in ashwagandha also remove wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes, and dark spots for skin regeneration.
  • Melanin is controlled to lower hyperpigmentation.
  • Hyaluronan production increases for skin hydration.
  • It is rich in other compounds like annelids and saponins for skin health.

Other Side Effects of Ashwagandha

Even with so many benefits from ashwagandha, it also shows some side effects upon consumption.

  • Increased levels of liver enzymes indicate liver problems.
  • Decreases blood sugar levels a lot.
  • It may cause mild fever and headaches.
  • Causes stomach inflammation and GI troubles like nausea.
  • Allergic people can suffer from rash and swelling.
  • It can aggravate autoimmune diseases and hyperthyroidism.

Who Should Avoid Ashwagandha?

Firstly, ashwagandha isn’t suitable for people with digestive issues. But if it’s essential, minimize the dose, and mix it with a liquid like warm milk or honey to ease digestion. However, it is still a big no for people with liver diseases, especially if you want to take it long.

Women with PCOS should be careful while using the herb. Although ashwagandha shows positive effects on  PCOS, any overdosing and the resulting increase in testosterone may worsen the issue. This will lead to abnormalities like weight gain, acne in the chin, abnormal hip development, and so on.

Patients with auto-immune conditions like arthritis, diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or lupus should also avoid it. Ashwagandha can worsen your thyroid conditions. You should also reconsider taking it or consult a healthcare professional when you are under medications or supplements that can interfere with ashwagandha.


How to know if ashwagandha causes acne?

It isn’t work if you take ashwagandha for a while and find that your skin condition worsens with more acne. Every skin is different to understand a particular symptom. But if Ashwagandha is responsible, you would see acne worsening or no change. 

What is the best time to take Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is safe for use every day, especially in the morning. But you can consume it whenever you can without any issue. It will offer the best results after breakfast. At night, it can also help with sleep. 

How much ashwagandha is safe to consume?

It depends on the form you take. Take a teaspoon or 250-600 mg daily with water or milk. For capsules, a single day is good enough. Some people also take ashwagandha churna, which is safe at ¼ to ½ teaspoon daily.

What other supplements may cause acne?

Other than ashwagandha, if you apply tea tree oil for any treatment, it can also cause acne to acne-prone skin. Green tea and fish oil can also cause acne problems in some people.

Final Words

Herbs might be natural and free from harmful synthetic substances. But they might not suit everyone. So, whether your acne problems worsen or not depends on if you can tolerate ashwagandha. Some people with various health and skin conditions usually suffer from an adverse reactions. You might also be allergic to the herb.

However, as a regular supplement for multiple treatments, ashwagandha is relatively safe. Depending on your circumstances, you can consume or apply it topically. But you must remain within the recommended dosage to prevent adversities and for better results.

Check supplement salon blogs to learn more.

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