John Doe’s Secrets for Clear Skin (and 3 Ways to Control Steroid Acne)

Why work so hard for a nice body if your skin sucks? Thousands of bodybuilders have built these monstrous physiques that they can't even show off because they are so covered in acne and boils.

Shitty skin just sucks. It will mess with your confidence and takes a long time to clear up.

There was a time when my back and shoulders were covered in acne and I had to go to a dermatologist a couple times to get prescription medication to try and clear it up. It's just not worth walking around like some zit-faced kid serving french fries at BK just for a few pounds of muscle. But here is the thing, you don't have to if you know what you're doing.

These are my secrets to clear skin (and 3 ways to keep steroid acne at bay)

The main cause of acne while on steroids is hormone fluctuation. Most bodybuilders will get acne when they first start using steroids, and it gets worse when they discontinue their cycle and they go through an estrogen rebound.

The estrogen rebound is when the testosterone levels come down and estrogen levels start coming up. It really doesn't matter how you try to combat this as far as skin care products go, the root of the problem is the hormone fluctuation and no skin care product is going to stop that.

1) The biggest solution is to not use steroids unless you plan on running a base line testosterone dosage 24/7/365.

When you're using a steady dosage of testosterone year round as a hormone replacement, these outbreaks won't happen because you don't have this yo-yo effect going on with your hormones. Everything is smooth and steady and your skin will remain clear.

2) If you're not ready for testosterone replacement and are cycling in traditional 8-12 week cycles, be sure to use an anti-estrogen such as Arimadex or Nolvadex when you come off your cycle.

It's not quite as important during cycle if you're not a gyno prone guy, but coming off it is crucial. You want to prevent this estrogen rebound and even though you're no longer using steroids, the benefits of keeping that estrogen level from jumping are well worth the extra $$ of including an anti-estrogen.

Read this article to learn how to keep estrogen under control: How to Keep Estrogen Under Control

3) Another way to combat bad skin is to avoid high doses in the first place.

What the hell is the point of using 1,000mg/wk of any steroid just to lose your gains when you come off it, and to throw your body so far out of its normal processes?

I always hear guys talking about “why didn't the old timers get acne?” Well, it's because they were using a shot a week as opposed to a vial a week! And they still looked pretty damn impressive and many were 200+ lbs lean. There is no reason for anybody to use any more than 500-1000mg/wk total of any single steroid OR combination of steroids. It's just not worth it.


When it comes to shaving your face don't fuck around. Make sure you're using sharp razors and new razors frequently. You shouldn't be using the same blade for any longer than 3-4 shaves.

I have been using disposable Mach 3's lately and they work pretty well. I was using a Merkur safety razor for awhile, but my skin got used to it so I took some time off it. When I went back to it the thing destroyed my face. I don't know why but I just wasn't getting the same results as I was before, and the razor bumps were horrible.

One day I was at work and a co-worker of mine told me to try this shaving cream called Bump Patrol.

I think it's one of those products made specifically for black guys, but I will NEVER use anything different. This stuff just makes your face baby smooth. I'm not sure what's in it that is so different than other shaving creams, but the results on my skin exceed other shaving creams ten fold! I get it at Walmart and it runs me about 6-7$ a tube.

I do still use a shaving product made for straight razor shaving, only I use it after the shave. After you're done shaving with your Bump Patrol shaving cream, wash your face off and then rub Proraso pre/post shave cream over the area you just shaved and let it sit there for about 5 minutes. You will feel the menthol working its way into your skin and your entire face will feel cool and tingly.

I will then jump in the shower and wash it off.

OK, now for the real secret to smooth ass skin.

I use a homemade exfoliant that is far superior to anything you will buy, and cheaper!

John Doe's homemade exfoliant recipe:

  • Take a couple tablespoons of coffee grinds out of your used coffee filter (yes, after you're done brewing the coffee)
  • Mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Throw in a moderate amount of sea salt

The caffeine in the coffee grinds will actually wake your skin up. It will lift out wrinkles and tighten your face when you use this consistently. I have seen noticeable results and have heard many compliments on my skin/complexion since doing this.

I am one of those guys who does not like things on my skin that don't belong there, and I pick at them and they end up looking like a mess. Some of the things I've tried to squeeze and pop weren't zits, they were frikken razor bumps and the occasional ingrown hair.

Since using this method of shaving, in this order, and the homemade skin exfoliant, I DON'T GET SHIT!

No razor bumps, no zits, NOTHING. JUST CLEAR, SMOOTH ASS SKIN!

So try it my friends, I know the results have been kick ass for myself anyways.


16 thoughts on “John Doe’s Secrets for Clear Skin (and 3 Ways to Control Steroid Acne)”

    • I agree with it, most soaps throw the ph balance of your skin off. I wouldn’t consider myself paleo, but much of the paleo lifestyle makes good sense to me, I’d go for organic soaps or use a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar and water

      • I see.
        Because since the dude, “Carnivore” Commented on my site abouy this
        (I this was about 2 months ago)
        I haven’t used soap since,
        The soap was no problem but the shampoo part was difficult since it so happens that I am also trying to grow a long hair.
        But I havent used shampoo anyway occasionally conditioner when I cannot stand it.,
        But the soap, it did me great improvement

  1. John,

    Two tips you might want to experiment with:

    Bicarbonate of soda as an exfoliator: Mix a small amount with water to create a paste, then rub into face two times per week. Better than anything I’ve ever tried. Including the coffee mix.

    Witch Hazel as a post shave toner: Works like any aftershave, though I’ve found it to treat razor rash and blemishes better than anything else. I use the drugstore stuff (£2 for 200ml), but Thayer’s – alcohol free and with extras for sensitive skin – is the popular choice for North American’s.

    • I just do that in the shower, or if I’m not taking a shower and just cleaning my face, then I’ll do it before I shave. I do not shave before I shower, I do the opposite, don’t ask me why

  2. John, I’ve had problems with bad skin pretty much since I started lifting. I was prone to acne as a teen but this was generally on my neck and back. I once took a Bulbine based supplement which helped but it got taken off the market.

    Most of my problems are over my forehead, nose and cheeks and not necessarily where I shave. A face mask sometimes helps. I’ve been on BB forums before and guys are all like ‘just get prescribed meds’ which I don’t really want to do.

    I’ll give the face scrub thing a go. We don’t get that Bump Patrol stuff here otherwise I would give it a go for shaving.


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