Can Melatonin Cause Acne

Can Melatonin Cause Acne?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pineal gland in response to darkness. It plays a vital role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, helping to promote relaxation and sleepiness at night. As a result, melatonin supplements have become increasingly popular for aiding sleep problems such as insomnia, jet lag, and shift work sleep disorder.

While melatonin is generally regarded as safe and well-tolerated, some users have reported experiencing acne breakouts after starting to take melatonin supplements. This raises the question: can melatonin cause acne?

  • Does Melatonin Cause Acne Directly?

Direct evidence linking melatonin to acne is lacking. Melatonin does not appear to directly cause acne by itself. Acne is a complex skin condition caused by various factors, including hormonal imbalances, increased sebum production, and the presence of acne-causing bacteria.

  • Possible Indirect Effects

However, some indirect mechanisms may contribute to the development of acne in some individuals taking melatonin supplements:

1. Hormonal Influence: Melatonin is involved in regulating various hormones, including reproductive hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Fluctuations in these hormones can influence sebum production, a contributing factor to acne development.

2. Sleep Quality: Poor sleep has been linked to hormonal imbalances, stress, and increased cortisol levels, which can exacerbate acne. Melatonin, by improving sleep quality and duration, may indirectly help mitigate these factors and potentially reduce acne flares.

3. Immune Function: Melatonin possesses antioxidant and immune-modulating properties, which may influence the skin’s immune response to acne-causing bacteria. Some studies suggest that melatonin could potentially suppress inflammation and reduce bacterial proliferation, indirectly benefiting acne-prone skin.

  • Individual Susceptibility:

The potential role of melatonin in acne development may vary among individuals. Factors such as age, hormonal status, underlying skin conditions, and overall health can influence how melatonin affects an individual’s skin.


While direct evidence of melatonin causing acne is lacking, indirect factors related to hormonal influence, sleep quality, and immune function could potentially contribute to acne breakouts in some individuals taking melatonin supplements. More research is needed to establish a definitive link between melatonin and acne development. Consulting a healthcare provider or dermatologist is advisable for individuals experiencing acne while taking melatonin to rule out other potential causes and determine the most appropriate treatment approach.