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Sports supplements gave me acne (99.9% positive)

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I've never had acne except for the rare bump here and there until I decided to take protein powder for body building(don't ask me what brand/ingredients, can't remember!!) 3yrs ago. Wham!! acne came and never left. Surprisingly my forehead is totally clear. But i have loads of blackheads and really oily skin. One cystic acne every week or 2, a few other smaller nodular/paspules appear every few days.

These are the list of stuff I've tried in chronological order.

1) Tetracycline (3mths): Hmmm...No significant help

2) Erythromycin (3mths): Hmmm...No significant help

3) BP regime(3mths): Greatly lessened the amount of acne, but i was still getting like 1 cyst every 2 weeks. Red marks seem to fade slower and skin was reallllly oily. I heard BP causes premature aging....not really a good long term solution

4)Apple cider vinegar (2mths): Didn't reduce oiliness nor outbreaks for me

5) Colostrum (2mths): Did like 6g/day, No significant help

6) B5(1mth): Went up to 3g, no difference, and my energy levels seemed to plummet, so decided to go off it

7) Gluten/Dairy/Yeast/Soy-free anti-candida diet (2weeks and counting): Basically my everyday meal consists of tons of broccoli, mung bean sprouts, some pumpkin and sweet potato, some chicken/fish, and 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. No vegetable oils, no sugar and only 1 serving of fruit/day. No significant help so far.. But i'm going to continue this diet for at least 4mths. If things don't improve...well.....nothing to do with my diet isn't it? Then maybe my acne is really incurable. :( Currently I seem to have a small outbreak, hoping that it's die-off, so at least things can only get better. Will do liver flushes in a month's time. Had one earlier but didn't do an enaema, may have contributed to an outbreak a week after.


30mg of zinc

B100: Once every 2 days

1g of tumeric

5000 IU of Vita A, 400 IU of vita D

4-5g of fish oil.

2tbps of chlorophyll

I'm thinking maybe the protein powder, with its suspcious additives such as creatine, etc may have contributed to a chronic leaky gut/candida ( i do have a slight coated tongue and i failed the saliva test IMMEDIATELY). I wonder, has anyone faced the same problem as me?

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Protein powder is made from whey and artifical ingredients. Whey is a by product of dairy... so its more than likely that dairy aggravates your acne.

Creatine will not make you break out.

Also less is more my friend. Your acne could actually be getting worse from all the supplements your taking. Zinc works very well for some and makes others break out.

Your diet looks good, I'd stick to your diet and ditch the supplements and see what happens.

Remember everyone's acne is pretty unique to their body chemistry; so what works for one might aggravate another.


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try taking HCl to regulate your stomach acid or start taking more vitamin A (start with 10 000 then ramp it up to 20 000), see where that gets you.

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It might be just the amount of protein you are taking in. Try betaine HCL. It helps increase stomach acid and aid in digestion of proteins. Do a little research on it first.

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Creatine is natural and found in red meats. If people claim to stay away from it then they should stop eating red meat too.

If you want to continue consuming whey protein (which you need to if you weight lift), I would recommend using an isolate. Do not get a concentrate blend (even though it might be cheaper) as they are more prone to causing skin problems.

Perhaps your acne is just from an increase in testosterone from weight lifting. As much as I hate acne, I am going to continue to lift weights. Hopefully my acne will leave someday and I will have a good looking body as well.

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Xboxfreak - Yes, creatine is found in red meats, however in much lower doses than in supplement form. I forget what the exact number is, but you would have to eat pounds of meat a day to get as much creatine as you can get in a serving of the leading creatine supplement. A large number of people report that creatine breaks them out, including those that don't even get acne. Back in high school when I was doing weightlifting, most of us on the team took creatine, and most of the guys would say that they very rarely got any pimples, but when taking creatine they would get a slight breakout every few weeks. I personally noticed that it would not break me out on my face any more than normal, but it would give me some mild acne on shoulders and back, which I never got unless I was taking creatine.

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Also, If you are looking for a protein shake to take after workouts and such but do not want to take powder anymore, try this:

-one cup goat's milk (this is expensive, around 7 bucks for a 4 serving bottle, but it is known to be much better in regards to breakouts for most than cow milk is, and in the end may end up not costing much more than powdered protein)

-one spoonful of raw honey

-one banana (or some other kind of fruit, whatever your preference)

-3 eggs ( DO NOT be afraid of eating raw eggs. The chance that you will get salmonella is VERY rare if you are eating organic range free or cage free eggs. I have been doing so daily for about three years and have never gotten sick. When you cook eggs it destroys a lot of the protein and raw eggs are much easier for your body to digest than cooked ones)

That's it. The shake comes out to around 400-450 calories and about 25 grams of protein. I usually drink between breakfast and lunch, and after a workout.

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Side note, I only started doing this last week and just sat down and calculated how much I would be spending on the milk by drinking twice a day and realized it is way too much, so I am going to start drinking just one bottle a week: one serving on workout days (three times a week) and one other some other day of the week to finish it off. The rest of the week I will make up for the calories and protein by eating extra food. I have found that as long as you could a good amount of protein in your diet, supplements are not really needed. When I was at my strongest, about a year after I graduated high school, I took no supplements whatsoever. The only time I feel it is important is after a workout, because a liquid meal is much more easily digested than a cooked one or one you have to chew. But, like I said, they're are other ways to make a protein shake than using powder.

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Thank you guys for your feedback, I'm actually really seriously considering the betaine HCL. But 2 reasons are stopping me. It's notoriously hard to find in Singapore, all i can find are "digestive enzymes" which have a small concentration of betaine HCL, not sure if it will work, I will have to order from iherb or vitacost. Another reason is I want to go "natural" which seems healthier, I currently believe that I will have to reboot, repair my gut.

I do suspect that some "components" in my protein powder may have irritated my intestinal lining and contributed to my leaky gut, that seems to be a very good reason for the long-termness and antibiotic resistance of my acne.

P.S: I've actually stopped the protein powder 2.5 yrs ago. Got damn scared after so many pimples appeared.

Edited by PsYhIoN
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A lot of protein powders have too much unnecessary fat (such as Muscle Milk) and most have sugar or some sweetener. If you can try to find one with Stevia in it. I recently bought some Muscle Gauge Isolate which uses Stevia. It doesn't taste quite as good as other protein powders but hopefully it is better for me.

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