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ohnelly

Anyone Still Doing Water Only Method / Caveman?

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I just started with water only. Hope it works...it's not even that I have severe acne anymore, I just want healthy skin. I've totally messed it up over the years and it doesn't know how to heal without products.

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I've heard some in this thread, and on this board, mention not washing their face with anything. I must add that people who go as far as to not wash their face with ANYTHING may be going a bit too far. I think it's healthy and natural to wash our face with at least water. But hey, if it works for you, go for it. Recently, I have stopped my antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, and other harsh topicals and just done a simple cleansing with Cerave once or twice a day. Although it has only been four days, my skin actually is looking normal again. This is not to say that a breakout may not be around the corner. I still eat too many carbs, potatoes, etc. although I have switched to whole grains and cut out dairy, I still have some ways to go. I think Alternatevista made a great point in that acne is such a whole body problem. People that say you can rid your acne with just water washing might be leading some to think that this is their only issue (although for a minority this may be true-an irritation problem). We should attack acne in three ways- diet (anti inflammatory, little to no dairy, high vitamin/mineral, probiotic rich, low glycemic diet), skin health (using as little topicals and systemic medications as possible, preferably none ), and stress reduction (exercise, socializing, meditation). If you still have acne after all of this, switch things up and try to eliminate more foods, etc. If things still persist, you could be a very rare case where you may need some extra help such as medicated topicals. But, water only is a GREAT START. I think cerave is a acceptable cleanser even to most in the holistic forum as it balances and restores the protective layer of skin on the face, something that almost all storebought cleansers do not achieve. That being said, i'm looking forward to the day I can just use water myself!

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It's amazing to me how many people in this cleanliness obsessed germophobic culture are willing to not wash their face at all and spend months with a face full of dead skin. And apparently are able to cope with that, just fine. But others expect diet changes to work in a few weeks and/or find eating right too stressful and alienating from their friends that they can't keep it up or develop an eating disorder.


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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Well to be too clean as we know is bad.. your body needs germs, and you need a strong immune system. Constantly stripping your acid mantle with anti-bacterials and such will make your skin more likely for breakouts, more sensitive, and make you dependent on the topical. If you stop it will be far worse until your acid mantle regains strength. Thats why I dont understand at all why people still use BP and other harsh chemicals.

Not washing your face at all though is ridiculous, your going to have a serious build up of dead skin, theres no need to not wash at least once a week. And everyday wipe your face with a dry tissue. This in my definite honest opinion is the best way to go for best looking skin, healthy glowing and STRONG able to fight against infections.. and still combating with a good diet and supplements from within. I get compliments on my skin quite a bit now which Im totally not used to lol, but my skin really does look better then a lot of people even those who never had skin problems, a lot of people tell me I look really healthy.

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I certainly couldn't stop washing my face completely or even just wash my a few times a week. I'm going to wash my face with water only, twice a day, every day. I have noticed already from doing this that my face isn't producing as much oil as it normally would and my skin feels very calm (I can't really explain it).

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I did this for about a month and my skin looked horrible as in there were dry red patches, a lot of dead skin and some whiteheads.

After that caveman regimen, because my skin looked horrible, I tried Delna's regimen.

But because I stopped using commercial products, I only wash my face gently with baking soda, apply apple cider vinegar afterwards, wait 10 minutes, wash it off,

apply nothing else on my face throughout the day and then at night do the egg mask. I don't moisturize at all.

I've past week 1 now and my face looks a lot better than before. It feels so smooth proud.gif

...but i'm getting a bit lazy on this regimen. I still do it though, I just don't wait 10 minutes for the ACV anymore. Instead, I wait for like 1 minute and then wash it off.

I'm also gonna cut down on breads, biscuits, those kind of stuff and drink lots of water. oh yeah..maybe eat healthy. Maybe. Hehe~

Hoping for a better skin before starting pre-university

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@dejaclaire Staph infections? Ouch! I think I was headed down that path but I finally intervened. I'm a little worried since I have two lingering whitehead/pustules. I keep hoping they aren't something terrible. They don't itch or hurt though.

After 30 days, I saw my skin go from a small problem to a gigantic one. At one point during the water only, I went without washing for five days. I think that's what did it. I know have a million blackheads across my cheeks. I started dove sensitive soap 1xday in the shower, very gently, for five seconds. My skin has improved. The whiteheads went down but the blackheads remain. I have no clue how I am going to get rid of them since irritation inflames my acne. I keep hoping my skin will push them out. I tried picking one and learned my lesson as two whiteheads erupted and I now have a scar.

I have used honey as a spot treatment and had some success with it, although I am little worried about it clogging my pores even more and causing cysts. We shall see. I really wanted to believe in this method and I do think it works for some people but my skin just got out of hand. I couldn't handle it. Whether or not my skin was purging, I don't think it was going to survive the onslaught of red marks, blackheads, and whiteheads. And I didn't want to live like a hermit.

I also didn't want to end up with something serious, like a staph infection.

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Out of all the cleansers in this world why are you washing your face with soap? lol, thats straight a big no no in Acne 101. And your not suppose to spot treat with honey, it will clog your pores, your suppose to use it as a cleanser or mask then wash off. Honey is amazing at exfoliating even using it in your hair if you get dandruff. And it won't dry your skin out, it's a win win.

Getting a staph infection has nothing to do with only washing with water or something natural like honey. Staph doesnt just start on your face because your only washing with water. Not to undermind deja but she probably has/had seborrheic dermatitis or perioral dermatitis.

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It's amazing to me how many people in this cleanliness obsessed germophobic culture are willing to not wash their face at all and spend months with a face full of dead skin. And apparently are able to cope with that, just fine. But others expect diet changes to work in a few weeks and/or find eating right too stressful and alienating from their friends that they can't keep it up or develop an eating disorder.

Good point, but I must say it is difficult for some to make the switch from junk food to healthy as I speak from personal experience. I began the process of trying to eat better 9 months ago. My goal is almost no dairy, no refined carbs, fresh, organic, natural, low glycemic, etc. But when you are constantly around others who have no care in the world for what they put in their body, you feel isolated and battle temptation some days. Bad eating habits are decades old addictions and changing can be as hard as quitting smoking. I would know as I have had an on again off again relationship with cigarettes throughout my life. At night I have looked at the 24 hour pizza delivery menu the same way I looked at my ashtray in the midst of nicotine withdrawal. I had to white knuckle through the craving.

However I found a trick that works for me. I try to find a handful of anti-inflammatory recipes online and plan my week out. I buy everything in bulk for that week and make my meals in big batches the night before, when my blood sugar is stable after dinner. That way when I wake up, instead of opting for fast food because I am starving I have some lentil stew, or fish with capers, etc. already made and ready to eat. I also forgive myself if I slip, as my bad eating habits have been there forever and it will take some time to get this right. I still think if I eat well 6 days out of the week, it's not the end of the world if I slip and have something unhealthy for a day. Nobody's perfect, and this is a process. I forgive myself and I move on. The point is I never give up. Eventually, if you practice eating the right foods it will become the new norm, and a cheeseburger or pizza will be viewed as a rare treat. A lot of individuals are all or none in their thinking and throw up their hands and give up completely when they cave. We must do the complete opposite, pick ourselves up and try again and be compassionate.

That being said, I too find it kind of "out-there" not to wash your face at all with water. Washing your face with water or a gentle non stripping cleanser seems pretty healthy. I just can't see it......do people just stay in the shower shielding their face while water goes everywhere else? Leaving your skin to just sit there day in and day out with no moisture whatsoever seems just as extreme as the plethora of harsh topicals people were lathering on their skin before they decided to go on the no water method.

I am wary of the "quick fix" threads.

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@Thehoper,

Regarding dove sensitive soap or "beauty bar" as they market it, ha. I am aware of the problems people have with soap. However, I used this soap for 10 years 1x day and had perfect skin. The only point at which my skin turned bad was when I prescribed anti-biotics, finacea, and cetaphil. The antibiotics came first to clear one small spot and I was told to cleanse twice a day with cetaphil. Then the cysts came so I was prescribed finacea and bp spot treatment. When I was having my problems, I was not using dove sensitive soap.

I credit the caveman, water only for bringing back my acid mantle that was stripped by over cleansing (sometimes three times day). However, my skin after 30 days was a complete mess. Even when I had the cysts, I could at least hide them and go out in public. My face looks destroyed and I will probably have scars because of it. I hate going in public now. I avoid my friends since they have no clue what is going on and my face is basically covered in red spots and whiteheads. That said, I can't go back in time and undo over cleansing my face or undo the caveman. I just have to move on even though I am having difficulty with it. The most sensible thing for me is gently cleanse with something that worked for me for ever and ever.

I understand since you had success with the caveman/water only that you would have this opinion. I wish beyond anything in the world that it worked for me! I would've given anything for it to work. Even worse, I actually believe it is what is best for our skin. But I can't invest the months to a year it is going to take for my face to purge and eventually heal. As a woman, I feel so overwhelmed by how often I am judged by my looks and so like a house of cards, I folded. I guess I must be terribly superficial--something I never thought of myself. My brother struggles with acne and I would reassure him that "no one cares" and "don't let it run your life." Seems rather hypocritical of me now. Everyone thinks themselves to have a ton of resilience and virtue until something actually tests their vanity. But honestly, in the last 30 days, I may have regained my acid mantle but I lost some self-esteem as a result. So I guess I can take this as a lesson and maybe now I will grow as a person and not place so much value on how I look on the outside.

As far as the honey spot treatment, I put the honey on a couple of zits, wait 30 minutes, then rinse them off with a damp cotton pad. I don't leave them on and not doing anything.

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Still doing this regimen, although today I purchased some Cetaphil cleanser and moisturiser that I do plan on using at some point. I do not feel any less hygienic using only water, my face feels just as clean as it did with any cleansers. I haven't broke out and the two spots I did have disappeared since starting the water-only regimen, so technically I am clear.

The only reason I purchased the products is because of the good things I've heard about them and because the water-only isn't something I ever planned on doing permanently. I'm definitely going to give my skin breaks from using products as it turns out that it is highly beneficial for me - this may not be the case for everyone.

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@Thehoper,

Regarding dove sensitive soap or "beauty bar" as they market it, ha. I am aware of the problems people have with soap. However, I used this soap for 10 years 1x day and had perfect skin. The only point at which my skin turned bad was when I prescribed anti-biotics, finacea, and cetaphil. The antibiotics came first to clear one small spot and I was told to cleanse twice a day with cetaphil. Then the cysts came so I was prescribed finacea and bp spot treatment. When I was having my problems, I was not using dove sensitive soap.

I credit the caveman, water only for bringing back my acid mantle that was stripped by over cleansing (sometimes three times day). However, my skin after 30 days was a complete mess. Even when I had the cysts, I could at least hide them and go out in public. My face looks destroyed and I will probably have scars because of it. I hate going in public now. I avoid my friends since they have no clue what is going on and my face is basically covered in red spots and whiteheads. That said, I can't go back in time and undo over cleansing my face or undo the caveman. I just have to move on even though I am having difficulty with it. The most sensible thing for me is gently cleanse with something that worked for me for ever and ever.

I understand since you had success with the caveman/water only that you would have this opinion. I wish beyond anything in the world that it worked for me! I would've given anything for it to work. Even worse, I actually believe it is what is best for our skin. But I can't invest the months to a year it is going to take for my face to purge and eventually heal. As a woman, I feel so overwhelmed by how often I am judged by my looks and so like a house of cards, I folded. I guess I must be terribly superficial--something I never thought of myself. My brother struggles with acne and I would reassure him that "no one cares" and "don't let it run your life." Seems rather hypocritical of me now. Everyone thinks themselves to have a ton of resilience and virtue until something actually tests their vanity. But honestly, in the last 30 days, I may have regained my acid mantle but I lost some self-esteem as a result. So I guess I can take this as a lesson and maybe now I will grow as a person and not place so much value on how I look on the outside.

As far as the honey spot treatment, I put the honey on a couple of zits, wait 30 minutes, then rinse them off with a damp cotton pad. I don't leave them on and not doing anything.

If by complete mess you mean covered with dead skin, you don't need to do that. That does nothing. Wash your face with water, a cloth, every day, twice a day, whatever. The benefit comes from not stripping the acid mantle with soap. The rest is nonsense. That is, unless you are sensitive to your tap water.


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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@oh nelly- sorry to hear girl. Yeah I know everyone's skin is different so it is foolish to make any claim of a topical being the best method. Hey if the soap worked for 10 years Im no one to tell you it doesnt work! Sorry to hear about your situation, some deep suffering acne can make you go through, it is best to take the advice you gave to your brother and not let it get to you. Stay mentally strong, calm, patient. Best of luck to you.

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Still doing this regimen, although today I purchased some Cetaphil cleanser and moisturiser that I do plan on using at some point. I do not feel any less hygienic using only water, my face feels just as clean as it did with any cleansers. I haven't broke out and the two spots I did have disappeared since starting the water-only regimen, so technically I am clear.

The only reason I purchased the products is because of the good things I've heard about them and because the water-only isn't something I ever planned on doing permanently. I'm definitely going to give my skin breaks from using products as it turns out that it is highly beneficial for me - this may not be the case for everyone.

Good luck with the cetaphil, it wasn't good for me as it has one of the worst ingredients for your face-sodium laureth sulfate.

Cerave is a better option as it doesn't contain sulfates and is designed to keep the protective layer on your skin and rebuild it.

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For those that warned me about Cetaphil, you were right. After using it last night and this morning, my face feels disgusting. It's so greasy and horrible, I feel like an oil-slick.

I'll be back to to water-only regimen from now on as I've never seen my skin so healthy. I've lost all faith in OTC products.

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For those that warned me about Cetaphil, you were right. After using it last night and this morning, my face feels disgusting. It's so greasy and horrible, I feel like an oil-slick.

I'll be back to to water-only regimen from now on as I've never seen my skin so healthy. I've lost all faith in OTC products.

Good thinking. I recently cut out all my topicals except for my Cerave hydrating cleanser. My face improved 90% within a week, no new breakouts whatsoever. I ust can't seem to make that jump though, from topicals to nothing but water. I feel like a smoker who hangs onto that one cigarette a day....ready to quit but not quite there yet. I am addicted to washing my face twice a day with SOMETHING. Although I think I did a good thing by cutting out the BP and stuff, I agree with you...otc products and prescriptions in and of themselves are evil to the face.

Any advice on how to make the leap?

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The only advice I could give would be to just go for it. I was skeptical at first and was pleasantly surprised at how my face felt. No dryness, no oiliness, just a happy medium. My skin felt normal.

With cleansers I can't seems to find one that has the balance that water-only cleansing does. I really regret buying such an over-priced product that is so dreadful. From now on it's just water and my unlikely favourite moisturiser, Clean and Clear Dual Action. It's another OTC product but works for my skin and absorbs so quickly, it practically saved my skin. Cetaphil literally sat on my face all night (sounds so wrong) and just remained a greasy mess. I have no idea how anyone uses those products on a regular basis...

As for BP, that shit is horrible. It got rid of my acne, but I used to have to go to college looking like a snake shedding its skin. So it's definitely good that you stopped using it!

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I read an older post on here recently that stressed the importance of using only COLD water for the water only method and letting your face AIR DRY. No towel business. The original poster claimed the cold water would help to alleviate dead skin build up, unlike warm or hot water, or obviously not washing at all. They also explained how this all allows the acid mantle to return to its intended state and play its crucial role in keeping our faces clear.

So, for probably the 1,000th time lurking on this site I've been hook, line and sinker-ed into believing a complete stranger's logic and am looking forward to the results, whatever they may be. Hell, I even feel like finally posting about it, ha. I've never struggled with cysts, but instead inflamed whiteheads and dry-yet-oily-yet-flaky congested skin, complete with those blasted sebum plugs. Oh and mild flushing for good measure. Admittedly things have been relatively mild recently compared to my teenage years, but I haven't been able to keep things under control and ease my mind of the whole debacle.

Anyway, I began the cold water regimen about a week ago and have been thoroughly impressed with the initial results. My face has ceased breaking out (I feel like I'm playing with fire making a statement like that!). I popped the whiteheads I had initially which have either scabbed over or become red marks. Nothing else has reared its ugly head and the overall redness in my skin tone has evened out much more already. The sebum plugs are still hanging around but are quite minute to be honest. I also don't feel like I'm wearing a dead skin mask like I did with the caveman regimen. However, my face becomes somewhat oily throughout the day but not too excessive and hopefully it will balance out over time.

It's worth noting that I tried this method some time ago with warm water and towel-drying instead, but it exacerbated the dryness, flaking and sebum plug production. Oops!

I'd appreciate any further insight on this regimen, I'm used to playing the part of the guinea pig thanks to the multitude of advice on here and will update my further progress if anyone is interested.

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The only advice I could give would be to just go for it. I was skeptical at first and was pleasantly surprised at how my face felt. No dryness, no oiliness, just a happy medium. My skin felt normal.

With cleansers I can't seems to find one that has the balance that water-only cleansing does. I really regret buying such an over-priced product that is so dreadful. From now on it's just water and my unlikely favourite moisturiser, Clean and Clear Dual Action. It's another OTC product but works for my skin and absorbs so quickly, it practically saved my skin. Cetaphil literally sat on my face all night (sounds so wrong) and just remained a greasy mess. I have no idea how anyone uses those products on a regular basis...

As for BP, that shit is horrible. It got rid of my acne, but I used to have to go to college looking like a snake shedding its skin. So it's definitely good that you stopped using it!

If you bought it at a drugstore, you can probably return it. I know you can at Walgreens.


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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If you bought it at a drugstore, you can probably return it. I know you can at Walgreens.

I'm just going to keep it and use the lotion for my hands, they get so dry during colder months. I'll probably keep the cleanser too just in case my skin ever gets extremely dry or something. I definitely won't be using it regularly though. Water all the way!

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As an update, I very highly recommend the water-only method. I can't stress enough the importance of using cold water though, as the anti-inflammatory effects are immense. I was simply splashing my face with cold water before and letting it air dry, but unfortunately dead skin and sebum plugs were slowly building up. I've now incorporated using a wash cloth each time I wash by gently wiping my face of the build up and then letting it air dry. I'm not overly anal to be honest on using a new wash cloth each day and things haven't gotten worse. There has been no initial breakout, only continuous improvement. For what it's worth my diet has included many of the common triggers I thought were aggravating to me before and they now haven't had a negative impact.

I'll update again if anything changes, but otherwise I'm ecstatic with this regimen and hope it helps out anybody else willing to give it a chance. Best of luck.

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@clark, How far along are you?

My face broke out severely towards the end of the 30 days. It's now healing immensely since I stopped the method. I totally agree with the acid mantle thing, though, I read that researchers find your acid mantle recovers within 60 minutes of washing if you use a gentle cleanser. Not sure if it matters though if your acid mantle has been damaged like mine was.

Wish it would've worked for me but the blackhead and sebum plug build up killed my skin. I have tons and tons of hyperpigmentation from attempting it (sometimes I think my scars fade quicker when it's a pimple I popped. I've left almost everything alone and I think it made them take longer to heal). The scars are slowly fading and thank goodness I've gotten my breakouts to stop. The daily gentle cleanser/sensitive face lotion is working wonders for me. I feel like the mistake I made on the water only method was not using some type of moisturizer.

Good luck to you.

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I'm still doing the cleansing only method....everything looked good until week 2. I have now developed within 2 days mind you, a cyst on my cheek, a very oily pimple covered nose, and a large nodule under my beard. I am sticking through this though. In the past I would have run to my medicine cabinet and smothered my face in BP and moisturizer and this and that and I never saw improvement.

One thing I am noticing? Pimples coming and going in like, days time, when I used topicals like BP they would linger for weeks.

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