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water-only caveman no cleansers dead skin

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#1 Bronck

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 04:17 PM

Hello,

I've been dealing with mild to moderate inflammatory pustular acne for about 10 years now. Looking back, it seems as if my acne and overall skin health got worse once I started using acne cleansers and topicals. I also think that a certain oily lotion I was using at the time started breaking me out and I confused it with a fundamental acne disorder.

I decided to start using water-only about a week ago. I've tried it before but I've never gone over five days. My skin started looking less oily and more balanced in the first three days. One of those first three days, I went without putting any water on my face at all. My acne hasn't become any worse but it also hasn't gotten much better. It seems like the pimples are healing quicker, though, and they seem less inflamed. Starting yesterday, my skin started looking really flaky. I feel a bit tempted to use a cleanser or a washcloth to rub the dead skin off.

I would appreciate it if some members who have experience with the water-only regimen or the caveman regimen can interpret my symptoms for me thus far. I could use some encouragement. Thanks in advance.

#2 clambak3

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 05:28 PM

Yeah the water only face washing method has always kinda stumped me.

I don't know if it's good to exfoliate / use a wash cloth to get rid of the dead skin or if it's mandatory to NOT exfoliate at all. Hmm.

I've heard great things from the "caveman" method. The best of luck to you. ^_^

#3 Murph89

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 06:02 PM

Hello,

I've been dealing with mild to moderate inflammatory pustular acne for about 10 years now. Looking back, it seems as if my acne and overall skin health got worse once I started using acne cleansers and topicals. I also think that a certain oily lotion I was using at the time started breaking me out and I confused it with a fundamental acne disorder.

I decided to start using water-only about a week ago. I've tried it before but I've never gone over five days. My skin started looking less oily and more balanced in the first three days. One of those first three days, I went without putting any water on my face at all. My acne hasn't become any worse but it also hasn't gotten much better. It seems like the pimples are healing quicker, though, and they seem less inflamed. Starting yesterday, my skin started looking really flaky. I feel a bit tempted to use a cleanser or a washcloth to rub the dead skin off.

I would appreciate it if some members who have experience with the water-only regimen or the caveman regimen can interpret my symptoms for me thus far. I could use some encouragement. Thanks in advance.


At some point, you're going to have to exfoliate the dead skin from your face.

#4 Bronck

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 08:09 PM


Hello,

I've been dealing with mild to moderate inflammatory pustular acne for about 10 years now. Looking back, it seems as if my acne and overall skin health got worse once I started using acne cleansers and topicals. I also think that a certain oily lotion I was using at the time started breaking me out and I confused it with a fundamental acne disorder.

I decided to start using water-only about a week ago. I've tried it before but I've never gone over five days. My skin started looking less oily and more balanced in the first three days. One of those first three days, I went without putting any water on my face at all. My acne hasn't become any worse but it also hasn't gotten much better. It seems like the pimples are healing quicker, though, and they seem less inflamed. Starting yesterday, my skin started looking really flaky. I feel a bit tempted to use a cleanser or a washcloth to rub the dead skin off.

I would appreciate it if some members who have experience with the water-only regimen or the caveman regimen can interpret my symptoms for me thus far. I could use some encouragement. Thanks in advance.


At some point, you're going to have to exfoliate the dead skin from your face.


Have you done the water-only regimen or the caveman regimen? Should I gently rub my skin with a washcloth?

#5 betterness24

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 08:17 PM

Slightly brushing/pulling/rubbing away DEAD skin is not going to make your acne worse. Those are dead skin cells that will either fall off on their own or you can carefully help it along. If you lightly rub your finger across your face and then look at the tip of your finger and see flakes, it's dead.

#6 Bronck

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 08:28 PM

Slightly brushing/pulling/rubbing away DEAD skin is not going to make your acne worse. Those are dead skin cells that will either fall off on their own or you can carefully help it along. If you lightly rub your finger across your face and then look at the tip of your finger and see flakes, it's dead.


I think I'll gently rub it off with a washcloth tomorrow or Monday depending on how it looks. My skin has been flaking up more in the last year for some reason, so I'm not surprised that it's flaking like crazy now that I'm weaning myself off of the cleansers. From other posts I've read, most people made it sound like they didn't start to seriously flake until the third or forth week.

#7 betterness24

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 08:33 PM

If i do any amount of consistent washing routines-- within just a few days my skin begins to flake. My skin gets dehydrated very easily.

#8 Murph89

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:17 PM

If i do any amount of consistent washing routines-- within just a few days my skin begins to flake. My skin gets dehydrated very easily.


same here

#9 Bronck

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:04 PM

I finished week 2 last night. So far my acne hasn't gotten any worse. If anything, the number of pimples on my face have reduced. The pimples certainly seem to be healing faster. I am dealing with lots of flakiness, though. I tried rubbing the dead skin off with a washcloth about a week ago but I think it was too ruff on my skin and I think that it inflamed my pimples a bit. I've been rubbing the dead skin off in the shower with my fingers every other day since then. I'm hoping that the flaking will stop or at least settle down in the following weeks.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but I'm using water-only for my scalp as well. I've been dealing with an itchy, flaky scalp for years and I started to get scalp acne a few years ago. The number of pimples on my scalp have definitely reduced since I started using water only, but my flakiness and itchiness are less becoming.

I'll be back in a week for another update.

#10 albert88

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:51 AM

I wouldnt rub the dead skin mask. Once you do so, you have to start again the whole thing. It should stay there some weeks, it deppends, and eventually it will go away slowly on its own. You need the dead skin mask, then the redness blemishes cure and disappear, as your ph skin lv.ls. If you do the caverman properly (i would recommend some baths instead of shower) pimples and redness will disappear in a month or so, but after the only problem is the dead skin, that it takes more time to go away.
Stop washing your face and stripping your oils, even with only water. Thus you wont cure your skin. The ichty thing its normal since the flakes and when the skin does cicatrization, it usually itches.

Edited by albert88, 29 October 2012 - 04:52 AM.


#11 Bronck

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:46 PM

I just started my fourth week today. At this point I think it's fair to say that my acne has improved. I'm still a bit skeptical so I'm going to give it another two weeks before declaring certainty. My complexion seems to be more balanced and healthier looking overall. The dead skin seems to be subsiding but it's hard to tell. I have a mild to moderate case of keratosis pilaris on my forehead and even that has clearly improved.

I decided to stop washing my face under the shower because it seems to irritate my skin and dry it out. My shower water has a lot of pressure.

I've been shaving with water only since I started doing this in order to keep chemicals off of my skin. It's actually not as bad as some of you may think. I just keep splashing water on my skin while shaving to keep it moist. I'm thinking about using a shaving oil once the month is up.

Edited by Bronck, 29 October 2012 - 01:46 PM.


#12 albert88

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:23 AM

I just started my fourth week today. At this point I think it's fair to say that my acne has improved. I'm still a bit skeptical so I'm going to give it another two weeks before declaring certainty. My complexion seems to be more balanced and healthier looking overall. The dead skin seems to be subsiding but it's hard to tell. I have a mild to moderate case of keratosis pilaris on my forehead and even that has clearly improved.

I decided to stop washing my face under the shower because it seems to irritate my skin and dry it out. My shower water has a lot of pressure.

I've been shaving with water only since I started doing this in order to keep chemicals off of my skin. It's actually not as bad as some of you may think. I just keep splashing water on my skin while shaving to keep it moist. I'm thinking about using a shaving oil once the month is up.


I have been almost 2 months with this. Redness in my face has almost disappeared, and no more pimples i have, apart from no inflamattion. Good thing is that things that worsened my acne in the past, now they dont, i feel my face strong now, since some weeks without any pimple or redness. My main problem is the flaky dead skin mask (some regions of my face like forehead, the dead skin mask is starting to disappear, so is aa good thing), i dont know when it will disappear of i should remove it gently, but in my first attempt doing this i did so , and my face got really bad really fast, so i think i will stick with the mask.
Yes, showers driy up skin (hot showers and a lot more if you do with a narrow string of water, that removes the oils that you need), do the splash water thing or even taking some baths a week (no need to do it everyday).

Some help about the dead skin mask will be useful.

By the way, i would recommend you to take like 6 or 7 days without water touching your face, it will help the acid mantle to recover a lot, and it will decrease the ph level.

Edited by albert88, 30 October 2012 - 02:31 AM.


#13 Bronck

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:31 PM


I just started my fourth week today. At this point I think it's fair to say that my acne has improved. I'm still a bit skeptical so I'm going to give it another two weeks before declaring certainty. My complexion seems to be more balanced and healthier looking overall. The dead skin seems to be subsiding but it's hard to tell. I have a mild to moderate case of keratosis pilaris on my forehead and even that has clearly improved.

I decided to stop washing my face under the shower because it seems to irritate my skin and dry it out. My shower water has a lot of pressure.

I've been shaving with water only since I started doing this in order to keep chemicals off of my skin. It's actually not as bad as some of you may think. I just keep splashing water on my skin while shaving to keep it moist. I'm thinking about using a shaving oil once the month is up.


I have been almost 2 months with this. Redness in my face has almost disappeared, and no more pimples i have, apart from no inflamattion. Good thing is that things that worsened my acne in the past, now they dont, i feel my face strong now, since some weeks without any pimple or redness. My main problem is the flaky dead skin mask (some regions of my face like forehead, the dead skin mask is starting to disappear, so is aa good thing), i dont know when it will disappear of i should remove it gently, but in my first attempt doing this i did so , and my face got really bad really fast, so i think i will stick with the mask.
Yes, showers driy up skin (hot showers and a lot more if you do with a narrow string of water, that removes the oils that you need), do the splash water thing or even taking some baths a week (no need to do it everyday).

Some help about the dead skin mask will be useful.

By the way, i would recommend you to take like 6 or 7 days without water touching your face, it will help the acid mantle to recover a lot, and it will decrease the ph level.


The longest I've gone without splashing any water on my face since I started this is 24 hours or so. I find a few splashes or more of cold water to be refreshing, hydrating and invigorating. I let the water air dry afterward. I haven't patted my face dry for at least three weeks. I figure that using a towel will dry up more oil. I would like to go a few days or so without splashing my face with water, though.

As for the dead skin, I suggest that you thoroughly wet your face with lukewarm water and use the tips of your fingers to gentle massage the skin in a circular motion. Don't be too vigorous when you do it. You just want to gently help the dead skin move along.

#14 albert88

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 02:45 AM



I just started my fourth week today. At this point I think it's fair to say that my acne has improved. I'm still a bit skeptical so I'm going to give it another two weeks before declaring certainty. My complexion seems to be more balanced and healthier looking overall. The dead skin seems to be subsiding but it's hard to tell. I have a mild to moderate case of keratosis pilaris on my forehead and even that has clearly improved.

I decided to stop washing my face under the shower because it seems to irritate my skin and dry it out. My shower water has a lot of pressure.

I've been shaving with water only since I started doing this in order to keep chemicals off of my skin. It's actually not as bad as some of you may think. I just keep splashing water on my skin while shaving to keep it moist. I'm thinking about using a shaving oil once the month is up.


I have been almost 2 months with this. Redness in my face has almost disappeared, and no more pimples i have, apart from no inflamattion. Good thing is that things that worsened my acne in the past, now they dont, i feel my face strong now, since some weeks without any pimple or redness. My main problem is the flaky dead skin mask (some regions of my face like forehead, the dead skin mask is starting to disappear, so is aa good thing), i dont know when it will disappear of i should remove it gently, but in my first attempt doing this i did so , and my face got really bad really fast, so i think i will stick with the mask.
Yes, showers driy up skin (hot showers and a lot more if you do with a narrow string of water, that removes the oils that you need), do the splash water thing or even taking some baths a week (no need to do it everyday).

Some help about the dead skin mask will be useful.

By the way, i would recommend you to take like 6 or 7 days without water touching your face, it will help the acid mantle to recover a lot, and it will decrease the ph level.


The longest I've gone without splashing any water on my face since I started this is 24 hours or so. I find a few splashes or more of cold water to be refreshing, hydrating and invigorating. I let the water air dry afterward. I haven't patted my face dry for at least three weeks. I figure that using a towel will dry up more oil. I would like to go a few days or so without splashing my face with water, though.

As for the dead skin, I suggest that you thoroughly wet your face with lukewarm water and use the tips of your fingers to gentle massage the skin in a circular motion. Don't be too vigorous when you do it. You just want to gently help the dead skin move along.


Yes, its much better to do not use any towel. As i said, i prefer not to remove the dead skin mask with my fingers, i did it in other attempt in the past and it got bad really fast. The key is to leave your skin alone and be patient, it wont cure your acne in a few weeks, but in some months. About the splashing you do is ok, but i'd suggest you to bath or dunk your face into water, since thus your skin will become hydrate. Avoid hot showers, since it opens pores and dry up skin. I think the water acts as sort of catalyzer, it reduces the time your dead skin mask starts to go away.

#15 Bronck

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:55 PM




I just started my fourth week today. At this point I think it's fair to say that my acne has improved. I'm still a bit skeptical so I'm going to give it another two weeks before declaring certainty. My complexion seems to be more balanced and healthier looking overall. The dead skin seems to be subsiding but it's hard to tell. I have a mild to moderate case of keratosis pilaris on my forehead and even that has clearly improved.

I decided to stop washing my face under the shower because it seems to irritate my skin and dry it out. My shower water has a lot of pressure.

I've been shaving with water only since I started doing this in order to keep chemicals off of my skin. It's actually not as bad as some of you may think. I just keep splashing water on my skin while shaving to keep it moist. I'm thinking about using a shaving oil once the month is up.


I have been almost 2 months with this. Redness in my face has almost disappeared, and no more pimples i have, apart from no inflamattion. Good thing is that things that worsened my acne in the past, now they dont, i feel my face strong now, since some weeks without any pimple or redness. My main problem is the flaky dead skin mask (some regions of my face like forehead, the dead skin mask is starting to disappear, so is aa good thing), i dont know when it will disappear of i should remove it gently, but in my first attempt doing this i did so , and my face got really bad really fast, so i think i will stick with the mask.
Yes, showers driy up skin (hot showers and a lot more if you do with a narrow string of water, that removes the oils that you need), do the splash water thing or even taking some baths a week (no need to do it everyday).

Some help about the dead skin mask will be useful.

By the way, i would recommend you to take like 6 or 7 days without water touching your face, it will help the acid mantle to recover a lot, and it will decrease the ph level.


The longest I've gone without splashing any water on my face since I started this is 24 hours or so. I find a few splashes or more of cold water to be refreshing, hydrating and invigorating. I let the water air dry afterward. I haven't patted my face dry for at least three weeks. I figure that using a towel will dry up more oil. I would like to go a few days or so without splashing my face with water, though.

As for the dead skin, I suggest that you thoroughly wet your face with lukewarm water and use the tips of your fingers to gentle massage the skin in a circular motion. Don't be too vigorous when you do it. You just want to gently help the dead skin move along.


Yes, its much better to do not use any towel. As i said, i prefer not to remove the dead skin mask with my fingers, i did it in other attempt in the past and it got bad really fast. The key is to leave your skin alone and be patient, it wont cure your acne in a few weeks, but in some months. About the splashing you do is ok, but i'd suggest you to bath or dunk your face into water, since thus your skin will become hydrate. Avoid hot showers, since it opens pores and dry up skin. I think the water acts as sort of catalyzer, it reduces the time your dead skin mask starts to go away.


You may be right about rubbing it with your hands. I've rubbed the dead skin off with my hands a few times already, but I think I was too rough. I've also used a washcloth, and that certainly aggravated my acne. I agree that water probably slows down the healing process when its used too often. I'm just going to reduce my use of it and see what happens.

By the way, are you shaving while doing this?

#16 nakedsmurf

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:32 PM

I started washing my face with only water when I shower no more chemicals I been using chemicals for 5 years now and no improvement ...

It's been 3 days since I started this regimen and so far no new breakouts my face is less oily , it doesn't feel tight anymore looks more even tone not red hopefully this keeps working ...I'll be cool with a small pimple per week :)

#17 Bronck

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:40 PM

I've completed the four week experiment of using only water to clean my face. I now feel that I am able to reflect on the experience and come to a thorough conclusion.

During the first week, I thought that my skin's complexion, tone and oil production was improving. After reflecting on the entire experience, I realize that I was mostly seeing what I wanted to see. I've tried this water-only experiment before but it only lasted for a week at most. In the first few days of the first try, I thought that my oil production and complexion was improving, until I saw my reflection under certain lighting. I could clearly see very small comedones all over my face, which convinced me to start cleansing my skin again. I mostly ignored it this time around, but I could see that the comedones had developed the same as they did the first time I experimented with water-only. Looking back on this now, I realize that the reason why my oil production seemed reduced and more evened out was because the oil was clogging beneath my pores. This also explains why my skin seemed dry and flaky on the surface. My skin cells were shedding too fast and mixing with the oil, which prevented the oil from reaching the surface.

Within the first week of this experiment, I could not resist the temptation to rub the dead skin off with a washcloth or my fingers. My skin just began to look too dull and flaky. I continued to do this at least once a week throughout the experiment. I think that rubbing with the washcloth irritated and inflamed my pimples, which made them bigger and redder. Once I noticed that the washcloth worsened my pimples, I stopped using it and started using my fingers only. The problem was that my fingers didn't do a good job at unclogging my pores and removing excess dead skin and oil.

Last week I accepted the unfavourable results of the experiment. While my acne didn't get much worse, it didn't get much better either. Aside from the irritation and inflammation caused by rubbing my skin with a washcloth, the pimples that were easily visible were a bit smaller and not as red. On the more negative side, I had small comedones all over my face, which were clearly visible under certain lighting. I also had to deal with extremely flaky skin and a dull complexion. I finally gave in and used a cleanser to clean my face this morning and, frankly, it felt great!

With that said, I'm glad that I completed the four week experiment. I learned a lot about my skin and acne in general. The simple truth is that I am genetically prone to acne. It runs in my family. I do believe that environmental factors like diet and lifestyle play a role, but I can't deny the underlying genetic predisposition. Dan made a video about the do nothing "regimen", which is essentially the same thing as the water-only "regimen". I agree with Dan's take on it, which is that people who have success with the do-nothing "regimen" or the water-only "regimen" are probably not genetically prone to acne. Those who have had success with this experiment probably had a mild hormonal reaction to certain foods and started using strong topical treatments that irritated, oxidized and inflamed their skin.

As stated in an earlier post, I also tried this water only experiment on my scalp to resolve my dandruff (seborrhea). The results were very similar to what happened to my face, except that I also had to contend with itching and extreme irritation due to the fungi feeding on the dead skin and oil that I refused to remove with a cleanser.

I used Dan's regimen a few years ago. The results were OK, but there were some problems. For starters, benzoyl peroxide isn't good for my skin. I have relatively dark skin that suffers from hyperpigmentation in the form of brown marks as opposed to red marks for people with light skin. Benzoyl peroxide kills P. Acnes bacteria, but it also oxidizes the skin. I noticed that my hyperpigmentation took longer to heal and my skin complexion just didn't look very good in general while on that stuff. I completely stopped using it a few years ago. I've also come to disagree with Dan's cleansing instructions. Maybe that works for people who use the entire regimen (benzoyl peroxide included), but I find that it doesn't clean my skin thoroughly enough. As I said, my pores get really clogged with dead skin and oil so I need to clean it thoroughly. I believe that it's possible to clean your skin thoroughly and relatively gently at the same time. The instructions for every face cleanser that I've seen say to gently massage your skin in an upward motion. I find that this is the best way to clean your skin thoroughly while keeping irritation at a minimum. I'm going to give special attention to my t-zone when cleaning my face from now on.

I've decided to continue treating my acne by using a mild cleanser like Cerave or Cetaphil once a day. I'm also going to purchase a salicylic acid wash tomorrow, but I'm only going to use it two or three times a week at the most. I've also come to realize that moisturizing the skin after using a cleanser is important. The moisturizers add back some of the essential moisture and lubrication you lose from using cleansers, which potentially reduces irritation and inflammation. If you have acne-prone skin, never use a moisturizer without using a cleanser first. In my experience, Cerave and Cetaphil make the best face lotions for acne-prone skin. Jojoba oil is also a good one.

I'm also going to take a more holistic approach by engaging in more physical activities as well as reducing my intake of high glycemic foods and dairy products. I'm also thinking about using a multi-vitamin along with omega-3 fish oil pills.

I strongly recommend that all of you visit http://www.acneeinstein.com/. The blog has tons of empirical information about acne's various genetic, hormonal and environmental causes.

#18 betterness24

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:56 PM

enjoyed the above ^ read. but sorry you didn't get the results you were looking for. I feel your pain.

#19 melmel87

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:48 AM

Acne is a response to something else going on in your body, hormones, diet, allergies, etc. So treating acne with water only isn't going to work because you're not treating it at it's source, just the side effects. And of course chemicals are going to treat the acne response that appears on the skin better than water ever could, but you have to figure out what your triggers are.

Edited by melmel87, 09 November 2012 - 08:49 AM.


#20 jarrit

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:45 PM

If everything inside your body is functioning properly and ideal, there's no reason that it shouldn't create a nice carpet of good skin across your whole body with ideal pore size, shedding of skin cells, and moisture / PH balance.


In some cases, people will aggravate their acne even more by using chemical based topicals. In your case, I think the water washing simply let you know that it isn't the surface of your skin, but the inside.

I agree with everything melmel said.

If you're using water and comedones are appearing, you have internal inflammation.

Edited by jarrit, 09 November 2012 - 03:46 PM.