Can Ashwagandha Cause Acne? Exploring The Link

By Kathy Brisbane

Updated On

Ashwagandha, the ancient herbal remedy, has taken the wellness world by storm. Touted for its stress-reducing and hormone-balancing properties, this adaptogenic herb has become a go-to supplement for many. But as its popularity soars, so does the concern about a potential link between ashwagandha and acne. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the world of ashwagandha and explore whether this beloved herb could be the culprit behind your breakouts.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ashwagandha is known for its stress-reducing and hormone-balancing properties, but its impact on acne remains controversial.
  2. Hormonal imbalances can contribute to acne development, and ashwagandha may help regulate hormones in some individuals.
  3. Individual differences, dosage, and supplement quality should be considered when evaluating ashwagandha’s effects on acne.

What Is Ashwagandha?

Before we tackle the ashwagandha-acne connection, let’s get to know this ancient herb a little better. Ashwagandha, scientifically termed Withania somnifera, has been a cornerstone of Ayurvedic medicine for ages. Its roots and berries are commonly used to create supplements that offer a wide range of health benefits.

Ashwagandha is renowned for its ability to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue. It’s also believed to support immune function, enhance cognitive performance, and promote overall well-being. With such an impressive resume, it’s no wonder that Ashwagandha has become a darling in the natural health community.

The Connection Between Hormones and Acne

To understand how ashwagandha might impact acne, we need to talk about hormones. Hormonal imbalances are a common culprit behind those pesky pimples. When our hormones are out of whack, it can lead to increased oil production, clogged pores, and inflammation – the perfect recipe for a breakout.

Factors like stress, diet, and specific medications can each play a role in causing hormonal imbalances. So, it’s no surprise that many people turn to natural remedies like ashwagandha to help restore balance and keep their skin clear.

Ashwagandha And Hormonal Balance

Here’s where things get interesting. Ashwagandha has shown promise in regulating hormones, particularly in reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol, often called the “stress hormone,” can wreak havoc on our skin when it’s elevated.

Some studies suggest that ashwagandha may help lower cortisol levels, which could potentially reduce acne caused by stress-related hormonal imbalances.

Additionally, ashwagandha has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which could further help in managing acne (Sikandan et al., 2018).

The Controversy: Ashwagandha and Acne

Despite the potential benefits, the link between ashwagandha and acne remains a topic of debate. While some individuals swear by ashwagandha for its skin-clearing effects, others claim that it exacerbates their breakouts.

The internet is filled with anecdotal evidence from people who believe that ashwagandha causes or worsens their acne. However, it’s essential to note that these experiences are highly individual and may not represent the majority of ashwagandha users.

Factors to Consider

There are several factors to keep in mind when it comes to ashwagandha and acne. First and foremost, everyone’s body is unique and may react differently to supplements. What’s effective for one individual may not yield the same results for another.

Before beginning any new supplement regimen, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure safety and effectiveness.

It’s important to remember that acne can be caused by a variety of factors, not just ashwagandha. Diet, skincare routine, genetics, and environmental factors can all play a role in the development of breakouts.

Before attributing acne solely to ashwagandha, it’s wise to take a holistic approach and consider other potential triggers. Keeping a skin diary to track your breakouts and any changes in your routine can help identify patterns and pinpoint the root cause of your acne.

User Experiences With Ashwagandha

To paint a more complete picture, let’s hear from real people who have used ashwagandha for acne. Some individuals report significant improvements in their skin after incorporating ashwagandha into their routine.

“I’ve been taking ashwagandha for a few months now, and I’ve noticed a definite reduction in my breakouts,” says Sarah, a 28-year-old marketing executive. “I feel like my skin is more balanced, and I’m less stressed overall.”

On the flip side, some users have had less favorable experiences. “I started taking ashwagandha to help with my anxiety, but after a few weeks, I noticed more pimples popping up,” shares Michael, a 35-year-old graphic designer. “I stopped taking it, and my skin cleared up again.”

The Bottom Line

So, can ashwagandha cause acne? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. While some individuals may experience breakouts after taking ashwagandha, others may find that it helps regulate their hormones and improve their skin.

The key is to approach ashwagandha with an open mind and a dose of caution. If you’re considering adding this herb to your routine, start with a low dose and monitor your skin closely. If you notice any adverse effects, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

Remember, acne is a complex skin condition that can be influenced by multiple factors. While ashwagandha may play a role, it’s essential to take a comprehensive approach to skincare that includes a balanced diet, consistent routine, and stress management techniques (Tan & Bhate, 2015).

Also Read: How To Cure Fungal Infection On Skin Naturally At Home? Heal Your Skin


Ashwagandha’s impact on acne remains a topic of debate, with conflicting anecdotal evidence and limited scientific research. While this herb may offer potential benefits for hormonal balance and overall well-being, its direct effect on acne is still unclear.

As with any new supplement or skincare routine, it’s crucial to listen to your body and pay attention to how your skin reacts. If you’re unsure about whether ashwagandha is right for you, consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance based on your unique needs and concerns.

In the end, the path to clear, glowing skin is a journey that requires patience, self-awareness, and a willingness to experiment. Whether ashwagandha becomes a part of your skincare arsenal or not, remember to be kind to yourself and celebrate the skin you’re in.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can ashwagandha help with hormonal acne?

Some studies suggest that ashwagandha may help regulate hormones, particularly cortisol, which could potentially reduce acne caused by hormonal imbalances. However, more research is needed to establish a direct link between ashwagandha and hormonal acne reduction.

2. How long does it take for ashwagandha to clear acne?

The time it takes for ashwagandha to impact acne varies from person to person. Some individuals may notice improvements within a few weeks, while others may not see any changes. It’s important to give the supplement time to work and be consistent with your usage.

3. Can I apply ashwagandha topically for acne?

While ashwagandha is primarily consumed orally, some skincare products incorporate ashwagandha extract for its potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, the effectiveness of topical ashwagandha for acne treatment is not well-established, and more research is needed.

4. Should I stop taking ashwagandha if I experience breakouts?

If you notice an increase in breakouts after starting ashwagandha, it’s best to discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional. They can help you determine whether the breakouts are related to the supplement or caused by other factors and guide you on the best course of action.

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