I decided to create a blog entry for this, as I did not feel comfortable posting an actual forum entry for reasons I'll not discuss.
It's been a few months since I stopped posting here, and it's one of the best decisions I've made in regards to acne. Acne is no longer really on my mind, just my remaining marks and shallow scarring are. When posting here, even when mostly clear, I was still worrying about breaking out. I've been able to live a much healthier life, physically and emotionally; people no longer scare me, I no longer hide, and I'm pushing myself to be more involved in my academics and exercise. I joined this website in July of 2010 because of a mild outbreak on my chin and cheeks that had become quite rash-like and pus-filled from picking. Over the course of the next 6-8 months, my acne progressively worsened due to sampling various DIY/holistic methods of skincare and not giving my skin a chance to adjust. And being on this website contributed to my constantly changing routines. By the start of 2011, I decided to swear off products, DIY or storebought, entirely. I continued to shift my methods around, and would sometimes wash with a face cloth, sometimes just using my hands, but very rarely just leaving my face alone. I also, throughout the entire year, tried the Caveman routine and wouldn't wash my face in any way for a few weeks. These approaches allowed my moderate-to-severe acne to lighten up to mild acne. Finally, by May of 2011, after my last Caveman stint, I mashed together my water-only approach with the Caveman mindset and found a routine that works.
My routine is simple. Shower when I choose to (generally every evening) and let the water from the showerhead wash my face as it does my body, without scrubbing at the skin. I then dry off. No products or tools, nothing used to treat the actual acne I once had. There are likely numerous reasons as to why this worked, but the main one is simply that my acne was not a natural occurrence. I actually brought it on myself when I was 14, and everything I did to try and clear it up just made it stay longer. Once I reverted to my pre-acne approach, my skin gradually improved. Within a month and a half, the then mild acne disappeared, and for the next few months I'd mostly just get minor pimples from time to time. And as the weeks have passed, I've noticed that any pimples I do get are further and further spaced apart in time.
This routine doesn't work for everyone, but I definitely think it's worth trying. I mean, if it doesn't work, it's no different than trying other routines for a few months and not seeing any results. The link to my closed log can be found here, and I'd advise reading the first entry as it contains far more information about my water-only routine and the struggles I went through. Here are some before and after pictures of my red marks; I have none of my acne, because I was too embarrassed. The red marks in my before shot are of red marks that had been fading for a few months, so it doesn't look as bad as it had earlier in the year (around April). I'm not doing anything for the marks or shallow scarring, just learning to accept it and trying to not let it affect me. I will update this once my red marks fade entirely, hopefully with better-quality pictures (these do not show my shallow cheek scars).
July 23rd, 2011 (about 2-3 months after my moderate-to-severe acne became mild):
September 24th, 2011 (natural lighting, no active acne - a few almost-pimples, but that's about it, everything else is just red marks and shallow scarring):