What Does Creatine Do to Our Skin? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Creatine is an amino acid mainly found in your brain and muscles. Our liver, pancreas, and kidney make them, but you can also get them from eating red meat and seafood. Creatine can also be taken as a supplement in the form of pills, or powdered juice is hugely popular nowadays, especially for bodybuilders and health enthusiasts.

So how does it work? Your body makes creatine and phosphocreatine, the primary energy source for your muscles. Therefore, having creatine can give your muscles energy to do athletic feats by improving your body’s overall performance. Although some evidence links creatine to other health conditions, it’s mainly safe. But the question here is, how does it affect our skin? We’re here to answer that.

Connection to Acne

As of now, no proven evidence links creatine to various skin issues. However, it may benefit your skin, especially if you’re into anti-aging creams. This is because there’s evidence that links creatine to reducing the effects of age by reducing sagging skin and wrinkles.

Acne is a common side effect of steroids, a drug that helps an individual build muscle much more effortlessly. Because creatine is also a muscle builder, it’s only natural for people to link acne with creatine. However, creatine is not a steroid, which erases this speculation. Instead, the steroid is a synthetic drug chemically similar to testosterone, which can cause acne, and creatine is a natural substance found in our body.

On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, creatine is an amino acid found mainly in our muscles and brain. This means that they are all-natural. However, it may have some external links since creatine is also designed to help you be more efficient and last longer in the gym. And with all that sweat, getting some acne is unavoidable.

Also, a study shows that hydration has significant positive health benefits on your body, especially with your skin. That said, it’s best for you to mix your creatine supplement with water. Although the taste may not be as delicious as fruit juices, it can significantly reduce your chances of acne, as mentioned just now. Also, if you’re bulking using creatine products, it must be accompanied by at least eight glasses of water per day to avoid dehydration. 

It should be okay if you take acne medication while taking creatine. However, you might want to consult your doctor if you have health conditions or allergies.

It Protects the Skin from UV Exposure

A study shows that DNA damage from UV exposure plays a significant role in our skin aging and its progression. We’re sure you’ve already seen the effects of years of sunlight exposure on your skin, which is probably why you’re reading this article. With years of exposure to the sun, the skin becomes more wrinkly and leathered, like an old leather car seat. It’s not a good look, that’s for sure.

Fortunately, with the consumption of creatine, the keratinocytes and mitochondrial functions are improved, which reduces the progression of old skin in our body significantly. That said, you can see a lot of skincare products have creatine as an active topical ingredient nowadays.

Your Face with Creatine

Muscles collect water from the body when you’re taking creatine. As your muscles bloat and puff, so will your face, as it’s full of muscles. This will create puffiness on your face because of the water uptake, which will fade over time. You may also gain weight due to this water uptake which might even give you the illusion of having a more buff look in the mirror. 

But if you’re concerned about your skin when taking creatine supplements, you shouldn’t worry. A study shows that creatine has no adverse effects on your skin, even with acne. Moreover, another study states that creatine can help your skin look younger by stimulating the collagen synthesis of your skin.

Creatine and Hydration

Speaking of water uptake, another anti-aging effect of creatine is that it helps our cells with their hydration. A study conducted by the Journal of Athletic Training, or J Athl Train, states that their creatine supplementation protocol was effective for increasing muscle mass, total body mass, and total body water while not affecting the body’s fluid distribution.

Also, if you’re worried about being dehydrated after taking creatine, taking creatine supplements has no adverse effects on our body’s fluid balance. The same research suggests no proven evidence of the link between creatine and dehydration.

So, is Creatine Beneficial for our Skin?

As organisms age, a decline happens in the balance of their mitochondria and cellular energy levels. This decline is usually accelerated and is also caused by the formation of reactive species or ROS, which causes significant damage to the DNA, structural and catalytic proteins, and lipid membranes. As a result, the levels of coenzyme Q10 or COQ10, a key component in the respiratory chain in our mitochondria, are reduced significantly in our skin cells.

However, creatine supplementation can facilitate this process, reducing your aging skin rate. Not only that, but creatinine is also a crucial component of the energy transduction system. It functions as a reservoir for the high-energy phosphates in our bodies. Take note, however, that just like COQ10, creatine is significantly altered by the aging and oxidative stress in our skin. 

Thankfully, with creatine supplementation, the results are pretty positive. Vivo experiments demonstrated creatine’s photoprotective effect on our DNA and our cell’s energy metabolism. Creatine supplementation also stimulates skin collagen, ceramide synthesis, and glycosaminoglycan, reducing wrinkles due to old age. And not least, creatine also induced a massive positive effect on our skin in terms of skin relief, reducing the depth of wrinkles and papillary structure. In short, with creatine supplementation, our skin will look younger and with fewer wrinkles. 

But Is It Safe Overall?

Creatine is generally safe since it is produced naturally in our bodies. In terms of supplementation, it’s also deemed safe by many healthcare providers and scientists. However, there are other potential side effects, which include:

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • muscle cramping
  • diarrhea
  • weight gain
  • dehydration
  • heat intolerance
  • bloating
  • gastrointestinal pain
  • liver damage
  • kidney damage
  • kidney stones
  • compartment syndromes

However, note that there’s little to no evidence to support that any of these side effects can occur in healthy people taking creatine supplements. Two pieces of research from the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition state that creatine supplementation is safe in creating muscle mass and in our skin. 

However, you must consult your doctor if you have a medical condition, especially liver or kidney problems or history. Also, if you’re taking any medicine, you might want to talk to your doctor about it since some medicine might have a chemical reaction in your body while taking the supplement. 

It’s also important to know that even though creatine is safe, some brands claim that their formula doesn’t contain any hormones but is mixed with them. The substances can be anabolic steroids, which can cause acne and other skin problems. 

Final Words

Creatine is a helpful supplement that can help our body build more muscles, be more efficient with our workout routine, and also help us appear much younger and fresher. However, before taking this supplement, you must consult your doctor first. Also, there is little research on its effect on various skin conditions. However, this is good information if you have one.