Can Ashwagandha Cause Acne: 6 Best Ways to Treat Acne

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Maybe you’re suffering from poor health, and suddenly your doctor suggests you take Ashwagandha. But as a skin-sensitive person, you suspect it may cause acne. 

Well, there are rumors about it, but can ashwagandha cause acne?

There are no proven studies that suggest ashwagandha causes acne. However, it can increase testosterone levels, sometimes resulting in problems like acne, blackhead, etc.

There is more about the topic, and we think you should explore more as there’s a twist waiting for you!

What is Ashwagandha?


Ashwagandha, derived from the roots and leaves of the Withania somnifera plant, is a medicinal herb commonly utilized in alternative medicine. This low-growing evergreen shrub is native to India and Southeast Asia.

Traditionally, ashwagandha powder has been employed to address various health conditions such as stress, fatigue, pain, and diabetes. Additionally, it has been attributed with potential benefits, including enhancing athletic performance, alleviating arthritis symptoms, and reducing anxiety.

While ashwagandha has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine and is gaining recognition in Western medicine, it is essential to note that scientific research has yet to confirm these purported benefits definitively.

Can Ashwagandha Cause Acne?

types of acne

Ashwagandha has no specific effect on the human body that directly causes Acne. However, Indirectly it may cause acne.

Certain preliminary studies indicate that the consumption of ashwagandha may potentially elevate testosterone levels, which, in turn, could contribute to an increase in breakouts or acne development.

Moreover, excessive intake of ashwagandha can exacerbate acne symptoms in certain individuals by further stimulating testosterone production, resulting in increased oiliness of the skin and clogged pores. It is worth noting that some individuals may also experience skin irritation or develop a rash as a side effect of ashwagandha usage.

Effect of Ashwagandha on Acne

In this segment, we will discuss the effect of Ashwagandha on 2 types of acne. So stick with us.

Effect of Ashwagandha on Hormonal Acne

Ashwagandha’s impact on hormonal acne can exacerbate the condition by influencing the hormonal levels in the body, resulting in oily skin and blocked pores. The active compound in ashwagandha, withanolide, affects hormonal regulation, including androgenic hormones like testosterone. Increased testosterone levels can lead to elevated sebum production, potentially clogging pores and contributing to acne breakouts, particularly in men.

Effect of Ashwagandha on Inflammatory Acne

For inflammatory acne, excessive consumption of ashwagandha may worsen pimples. While ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory properties, an excessive intake can paradoxically increase inflammation, potentially leading to inflammatory acne, where bacteria block pores.

inflammatory acne

While scientific evidence is not conclusive on ashwagandha as a direct cause or cure for acne, certain studies indicate that it can worsen existing acne. One study observed increased skin bacteria levels in individuals with mild-to-moderate acne after taking 500 mg of ashwagandha thrice daily for four weeks.

Related Pick: Does Ashwagandha Kill Emotions

6 Ways to Treat Acne Caused by Ashwagandha

Treating acne caused by ashwagandha involves a systematic approach to manage the underlying hormonal changes and mitigate skin inflammation. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to address acne in this context:

Method 1: Professional Treatments

  • If acne persists or becomes severe, consult a dermatologist for professional treatments.
  • Dermatological interventions may include prescription medications, such as topical retinoids or oral antibiotics.
  • Procedures like chemical peels or laser therapy may sometimes be recommended.

Method 2: Adjust Ashwagandha Dosage

  • If you believe ashwagandha contributes to your acne, consider reducing or discontinuing its use.
  • Consult your healthcare provider for advice on dosage adjustments or alternative treatments.

Method 3: Hormonal Balance

  • Focus on promoting hormonal balance through lifestyle modifications.
  • Maintain a healthy diet rich in whole foods, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
  • Engage in regular exercise, which can help regulate hormone levels and reduce stress.

Method 4: Skincare Routine

skincare routine
Basic skincare routine
  • Establish a consistent skincare routine to manage acne symptoms.
  • Cleanse your face gently twice daily using a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser.
  • Use oil-free or non-comedogenic moisturizers and sunscreens to avoid clogging pores.
  • Consider incorporating topical acne treatments with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, as your healthcare provider recommends.

Method 5: Over-the-Counter Treatments

  • Explore over-the-counter acne treatments, such as topical creams or gels containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
  • Follow the product instructions carefully and be consistent in their use.

Method 6: Stress Management

  • Implement stress management techniques to help improve skin health and reduce acne caused by ashwagandha.
  • Practice stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga.
  • Engage in regular physical activity to promote overall well-being and stress relief.
  • Consider incorporating relaxation techniques or mindfulness practices into your daily routine.

What Else Skin Problems You May Face Due to Ashwagandha?

As a skin-sensitive person, you may like to learn a few other skin-related side effects of Ashwagandha. Here are five potential skin-related side effects that have been associated with the use of ashwagandha:

1. Acne Breakouts

As mentioned earlier, some individuals may experience increased acne breakouts due to hormonal changes caused by ashwagandha.

2. Skin Irritation

Ashwagandha may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in certain individuals, leading to redness, itching, or a rash.

3. Dryness or Flakiness

In some cases, ashwagandha usage may contribute to dryness or flakiness of the skin. This can occur due to changes in oil production or moisture balance.

4. Photosensitivity

Ashwagandha might make skin sensitive to sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This can increase the risk of sunburn or other sun-related skin damage.

5. Hyperpigmentation


Although rare, there have been reports of ashwagandha causing hyperpigmentation, characterized by the darkening of some skin regions.

Can Ashwagandha Help with Acne?

In the intro, we’ve mentioned the word Twist! Here it is. You will be surprised to know that, according to some studies, Ashwagandha indirectly helps to recover acne instead of causing it. 

Ashwagandha has been reported to possess potential benefits in managing the inflammation, redness, and pain associated with acne breakouts. Additionally, it is believed to have the ability to alleviate stress levels, which in turn, may contribute to improved skin health.

What Amount of Ashwagandha is Safe for Acne Build-up?

There is no clear answer to this question regarding the safe ashwagandha dosage specifically for human skin or acne build-up. It mainly varies from person to person.

However, there is information available regarding the recommended general dosage of ashwagandha. While individual needs may vary, most research suggests that a daily dosage of 250-500 milligrams (mg) of ashwagandha taken consistently for at least one month may offer potential benefits. It is important to note that consulting with a healthcare professional about this.


In conclusion, the relationship between ashwagandha and acne is complex and poorly understood. While some preliminary research suggests that ashwagandha may potentially increase testosterone levels, leading to an increased risk of acne breakouts, further studies are needed to establish a clear causal link.

Additionally, individual responses to ashwagandha can vary, and some people may experience skin-related side effects, including acne, while others may not. Suppose you have concerns about Ashwagandha’s impact on your skin. In that case, consulting with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and discussing potential alternatives or adjustments to your ashwagandha usage is advisable.


Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and does not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This information is not comprehensive and should not be used to make health or well-being decisions. Consult a qualified healthcare professional with questions about a medical condition, treatment options, or health regimen. This website or the content should never replace professional medical advice.

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