Lower CORTISOL levels…reduce STRESS… = LESS ACNE

I originally wrote this post for the ‘tears’ thread but I feel it deserves its own thread.

😀 Hi Mari,
You asked me what could bring cortisol levels down in order to lower stress. I have found that cortisol and stress feed on each other but exercise breaks this cycle.

Don’t drink a lot of caffeine rich drinks like coffee because caffeine raises cortisol levels and this stresses the body. Cola’s have some caffeine so don’t drink too much cola.


One of Dr. Perricone’s key concerns in maintaining an anti-aging lifestyle is the control of stress. “Of all the destructive, proinflammatory and proaging forces I have observed as a physician, nothing compares to stress. Stress causes various hormonal changes in your body that rapidly alter cellular function in your vital organs.” According to Dr. Perricone, the real danger of stress is that it increases the levels of cortisol in the body. In excessive amounts, the hormone cortisol can cause brain cells to die, increase blood sugar levels and negatively impact on the immune system.

In a lecture I saw Dr. Perricone call excessive cortisol “the death hormone.”


Supplement help controlling excessive levels of cortisol:
The key is to suppress elevated levels of cortisol, not decrease normal physiological levels of this hormone – a certain amount is needed for it’s anti-inflammatory and other effects.

One way is to take anti-cortisol supplements in the morning upon rising and then before bedtime, as these are two times that cortisol levels seem to be raised.

Vitamin C and Green Tea are mentioned in this web site as good regulators of excessive cortisol. This is an excellent site to read …very informative.


Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are particularly good choices because all are rich in omega-3 essential fats that help to counteract adrenaline’s blood thickening effects.

(Cortisol and adrenalin both come from the Adrenal glands.)

The adrenal glands burn up vitamin C, magnesium and vitamin B-5 in an attempt to meet demands of adrenaline production. During periods of long term exposure to stress the body can become very acidic. To compensate for the shift and to restore bodily fluids like blood back to the preferred alkaline state minerals such as calcium and magnesium are drawn from stores in bone tissue. Cortisol also has the effect of suppressing bone regeneration. Both these factors can contribute to an increased risk in the development of Osteoporosis.

The fooddoctor web site states that good old salmon among other fish and vit C, Magnesium and vitamin B5 are destroyed by cortisol. So the logical thing to do is to supplement yourself with these nutrients. It is interesting that B5 is destroyed by cortisol since B5 is helping many people get rid of acne, and we know that one of the causes of acne is excessive stress.

So to reduce cortisol levels you need to exercise at least 3 days a week, try to drink less coffee and cola; take a good mineral supplement that has magnesium and calcium in it. Also, take vitamin C, vitamin B5, eat salmon, drink Green Tea and consider taking some of the other supplements mentioned in the third web site will reduce cortisol levels. The vit C (plain ascorbic acid), and green tea are easy to obtain, and are low in price. A good multi-mineral supplement is moderately priced.

I take extra magnesium citrate and some calcium with vit C at bedtime because it relaxes me. This works better than anything else for a good nights sleep.

Related Acne Archive Posts & Questions

5 thoughts on “Lower CORTISOL levels…reduce STRESS… = LESS ACNE

  1. Hi Wally,
    Magnesium is an amazing mineral that is essential for our very being.

    I hope you have PDF capability because I found a very interesting on-line paper that is full of studies on magnesium, and the link between magnesium and Diabetes. One thing I read in this paper, from an actual medical study, is that a magnesium deficiency produces INSULIN RESISTANCE. I know you must know by now, from all your research on magnesium, that this can be linked directily to skin problems.

    Here is the link that is provided by:
    Massachusettes College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
    This link will take a bit of time to load because it is in PDF format…it is worth the wait.



  2. Thanks solomio great post! I will definetly dig into Vitamin C, I agree 100% with Dr. Perricone in that of stress can potentially do a lot of harm.

  3. Thanks Solomio. Another interesting one I have been looking into is Chromium. This is from “Vitamins and Minerals: A Basic Guide” by Karen Sullivan.

    Chromium is a trace mineral that was discovered to be important to our health in the 50’s. It is an important regulator of blood sugar and has been used successfully in the control and treatment of diabetes. Chromium functions as the glucose-tolerance factor, or G.T.F., which stimulates insulin activity, controls blood glucose by encouraging its uptake by muscles and organs, stimulates glucose metabolism, controls blood-cholesterol levels, controls fat levels in the blood, reduces arteriosclerosis, stimulates the synthesis of proteins, increases resistance to infections, and suppresses hunger pains.
    The body requires chromium, magnesium, and B vitamins in order to metabolize sugar, and a diet that has excess sugar will quickly rob the body of these essential nutrients. There is some evidence that Western diets, which are high in sugar and refined foods, is substantially lacking in chromium, which may be the cause of a number of common health problems.

    Chromium works in the body as the glucose-tolerance factor that stimulates insulin activity.

    Toxicity is rare because less than 10% of chromium taken in by the body is absorbed. Some people experience troubled dreams when taking it. People who experience mood swings associated with blood sugar drops may benefit from it, as well as dieters since it might help control appetite.
    About 100 to 200mcg is considered to be adequate for most people, with higher doses used therapeutically. Chromium polynicotinate has the highest G.T.F. activity.

    That book is really great. It was only $9.99 @ Barnes & Noble too!

    The following is from Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements by Michael T. Murray.

    This is under Chromium:


    Several dermatologists report that insulin is effective in the treatment of acne, which suggests impaired glucose tolerance and/or insulin insensitivity of the skin. The doctors gave insulin either systemically or injected it directly into the lesion. Although oral glucose tolerance tests are normal in acne patients, repetitive skin biopsies reveal that their skin’s glucose tolerance is significantly impaired. One researcher describing the role of glucose tolerance in acne even coined the term “skin diabetes”. High chromium yeast supplementation can produce rapid improvement in patients with acne. Despite the lack of double blind studies to document this effect of chromium, it is a safe nutritional supplement and should be considered.

    Dosage Ranges

    …Many experts in the field of nutritional medice currently recommend chromium dosages in impaired glucose tolerance and as a weight loss aid of 400 to 600 mcg per day

    I havent looked into magnesium much but I will do that soon. What I find VERY interesting about all of this is that it backs up SweetJades reasoning and kind of links acne to food to those skeptics. I wonder why this is not more publicly known? I went out today and got $6 Multi thing from Walgreens that contains 200mcg of Chromium and I’m gonna take it twice a day and see if it has any effect.

    I hope SweetJade that you see this!!!

  4. I am bumping this thread so more people will have a chance to read how stress and high Cortisol levels affect our skin.

    To do a search on this web site just click the ‘search’ that is located in the upper left hand corner of this page. If all you have to search on is just one word or phrase like, ‘body acne’, or ‘stress’ the search feature will find all posts that contain the word(s) you have used for the search even without inserting the author’s name in the box provided for this piece of information.

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