T Nation

Can Insulin Be Responsible for Acne?


At the age of 18 its not uncommon for any teen to have acne but it seems mine has gotten somewhat worse since I've begun seriously lifting. I could go outbreak free for weeks when I was an occasional lifter but my priorities are in the weight room so acne or no acne I'll still be there.

Now what I'm trying to do is track what exactly is causing the outbreaks. After reading the 'Creatine & Acne' threads I realize that creatine has nothing to do with acne which I thought was causing my outbreaks. However I realized that since I've been supplementing with creatine I've been mixing it with 2 cups of cranberry juice (to spike insulin) post workout. I'm thinking about tossing the cranberry juice (I know everyones going to advise Surge, but its hard to get a hold of up here in the great white north.)

From what I've gathered; acne is caused by imbalanced hormone levels. I'm just curious as to whether insulin could be causing my frequent breakouts? The cranberry juice has been working for me, but I'm getting sick of having a shabby social life due to my acne. I eat very clean (TC's powerfoods!) so you'd think I'd have a clear complexion.. :confused: if only it worked like that.

I usually drink my PWO shakes in 1-2 cups of skim milk. I don't think the lactose in the milk is adequate as it lacks potency. Should I just buy a big bag of maltodextrin and toss a tablespoon into my shake and ditch the cranberry juice? Or if you have a better solution, please share :slight_smile: I'm trying not to compromise my gains but I would really like to improve my acne. Just as a side note, I've been doing the Clear Skin Regimen on acne.org for the past 3 weeks. I've seen results but I just keep having breakouts. I'm not sure if any vitamin supplements could help my situation as my diet should be sufficient but I do have some small bottles of vitamin A, vitamin E, beta-carotene and zinc kicking around if those could be of help.


I can't say if it's insulin spikes or not that cause it - but my acne also flared up when I started lifting.

I'm personally convinced it's hormone related, so I've been taking a few supplements which seem to be working - maybe you could give them a try.

Check Here.



Do you take flax oil/seeds and other EFA supplements?

This worked for back acne with me.

Also, avoid milk in my opinion, it causes a flair up in me if I consume it a few days running!


Thanks for the link rsg. I'll read through it.

I've been a big milk drinker since I was a kid and never had any real problems with acne while consuming a ton of milk. I will however take this into consideration and try to cut down on my milk intake.

I take flax and fish caps (about 10-16) daily, and that has also helped my back to clear up nicely.

Rsg, insulin is a hormone right? Thats why I'm thinking that it is causing my problems. :confused:

Thanks though.


Yes, I believe insulin is a hormone.

I've been taking some supps to balance out androgens in the body and to slow the conversion of test to DHT, which could also cause acne. Read through that thread I posted and there is a lot you can pick up from there.