Many people looking to incorporate Ashwagandha into their health and wellness routine may be concerned that it causes acne. But does it? While there is some anecdotal evidence linking this ancient herb to acne, the science isn’t clear. In this blog post, we will be debunking the myth that Ashwagandha can cause acne and exploring the potential reasons why it could be seen to cause acne, why it might actually help to reduce acne, and other things that could be causing acne.

The Possible Connection Between Ashwagandha And Acne

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is an herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, balance blood sugar levels, lower inflammation, and promote overall wellness (1, 2, 3). However, there have been reports of Ashwagandha causing acne, leaving many people wondering whether or not they should be taking it.

The reason behind the possible connection between Ashwagandha and acne is the herb’s effect on hormone levels. Ashwagandha has been found to increase levels of testosterone, which can lead to an increase in sebum production (4). Sebum is an oily substance that can clog pores and lead to acne. However, there is insufficient evidence that Ashwagandha does indeed cause acne.

Ashwagandha Might Actually Help Reduce Acne

Despite the concerns around Ashwagandha potentially causing acne, there are also some reasons why it might actually help to reduce acne.

One of the reasons is that Ashwagandha has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is one of the key contributors to acne, and reducing inflammation can, in turn, reduce acne (3).

Another way Ashwagandha can help reduce acne is by regulating stress. Stress is known to worsen acne, and Ashwagandha is a known adaptogen that helps the body to manage stress more effectively. By doing so, it may help to prevent stress-induced breakouts (5).

Things That Could Be Causing Your Acne

While some people may experience acne as a result of taking Ashwagandha, it’s important to note that there are many other factors that can cause acne. Here are a few possibilities to consider:

  1. Hormonal imbalances: Hormones can play a big role in the development of acne. Fluctuations in hormones during puberty, pregnancy, or the menstrual cycle can all contribute to breakouts (6).
  2. Poor diet: Eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and dairy products has been linked to acne in some studies (7). A diet rich in whole foods, fruits, and vegetables may be more beneficial for clear skin.
  3. Genetics: Acne can also run in families, so if your parents or siblings have had acne, you may be more likely to develop it as well (8).
  4. Skincare products: Certain skincare products, particularly those containing fragrances or harsh ingredients, can irritate the skin and lead to acne (6).
  5. Stress: Chronic stress can cause hormonal imbalances and inflammation in the body, both of which can contribute to acne (9).

It’s important to remember that everyone’s skin is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you’re struggling with acne, it may be helpful to consult with a dermatologist to determine the best course of action for your individual needs.

The Bottom Line: Can Ashwagandha Cause Acne?

There is insufficient evidence to support the claim that Ashwagandha triggers acne, but numerous studies have highlighted the diverse range of health advantages that Ashwagandha offers. To fully experience the fantastic benefits of Ashwagandha, consider trying Research Verified® Ashwagandha, which contains a potent dose of pure Ashwagandha to provide the ultimate wellness boost.


Trina used to be a full time hospital dietician but now works as a medical secretary in a small clinic. She and Mr. Walker are proud empty-nesters living in Denver, Colorado and looking forward to the next time their children come to visit. On the weekends, Trina enjoys visiting Bonita, Chino, and Bernardo, the golden lion tamarins at the Denver Zoo.

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