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cortisol working out acne stress flareup

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#1 jenjenjen


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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:26 PM

i've read that high cortisol levels can cause acne :/ i've been working out a lot lately and now my acne has flared up, i suspect this is the reason. any suggestions?

#2 Michelle Reece

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:37 PM

i've read that high cortisol levels can cause acne :/ i've been working out a lot lately and now my acne has flared up, i suspect this is the reason. any suggestions?


There's very little data concerning cortisol and acne. Of the two studies I can find, the results are mixed: http://europepmc.org...ct/MED/2151388, http://europepmc.org...ZMH3Y404nlFb.12


Testosterone and estrogen appear to be more influential on acne, but no one knows for sure whether cortisol effects acne and to what degree.

#3 sleptember


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Posted 09 March 2014 - 09:11 PM

I had the same problem last year. Tweaking my meals before and after exercising, as well as the length of the workout, completely stopped the breakouts I was experiencing when I took up resistance training. I eat a light, protein and fat rich meal 2 or 3 hours before working out. I exercise for no more than one hour (this is crucial). After exercising, I wait about 2 hours until I eat. 


It's also important not to exercise too much. Keep it to once a day, every other day. 

#4 alternativista


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Posted 13 March 2014 - 12:13 PM

Cortisol has far reaching systemic effects such elevating blood sugar, immune system suppression, gastrointestinal function, constricted arteries & thus elevated blood pressure, etc.


So yes, it affects acne.   But extreme workouts can also elevate testosterone.   Is your skin oilier?

Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!

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