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Caveman Regimen - Female With Moderate Cystic Acne

caveman regimen moderate acne cystic acne

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#1 clairem

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:11 AM

Hello! I've been visiting acne.org looking for advice for several years, although I haven't posted or created an account until today. I've recently been reading a lot of personal logs from people who have attempted the caveman regimen and after trying countless regimens over a period of ten years with no luck whatsoever, I've decided to give my skin a break and give this controversial regimen a go. I know some people will advise me that this will make my skin worse but I am willing to risk that. At this point in time, my skin is so horrible that I really have nothing to lose. This will be my last attempt to improve my skin without resorting to accutane, which I have been trying to avoid doing for years.

 

If you'd like a bit of background information about me and my skin before I begin then read on. I am female, 22 years old and have had acne since I was around 10 or 11. Inside my head, I have always perceived my acne as being extremely severe - I'm sure many acne sufferers feel the same regardless of the true extent of their acne. However, looking back on photos of myself when I first started to break out due to puberty, my skin really wasn't too bad at all. This was before I started using make up and experimenting with hundreds of skincare products. Since that time, my skin has gotten worse and worse. As a teenager, I had oily skin with acne predominantly in my t zone and some on my cheeks and my jawline was generally okay. However, as I've gotten older my skin has completely changed. I now have normal to dry skin and my cheeks and jawline are my main problem area. I also get breakouts on my chin, have constant blackheads on my nose, and whilst I get the occasional spot on my forehead, this is the best area on my face. My acne is usually cystic, particularly on my cheeks, although I do get whiteheads in other areas such as my chin and around my mouth. I'm not sure whether my acne would be considered moderate or severe, but it definitely isn't mild.

 

In the past I have tried countless skincare products, from gentle, 'natural' products for sensitive skin to harsh acne-fighting products containing BP and salicylic acid. I have also had treatments on prescription from the doctor and various kinds of antibiotics. The only thing I have ever tried that helped clear up my skin was Dianette, which I was on for around a year before being pulled off it by my doctor and informed that they are no longer able to offer long-term prescriptions of the medication. I have had several short-term courses of Dianette since then (usually around 3 months), but never with the same effect. This and my jawline acne would suggest to me that my condition is hormonal, although a recent hormone test did not show up any problems. I have always had sensitive skin and fear I may be irritating it with products and particularly with the heavy make up I wear on a daily basis.

 

I am going to experiment with the caveman regime in order to give my skin a break from products and see how it reacts. I'm not trying to persuade anyone else to do it, I'm not trying to criticize other regimens or judge anyone else for the ways in which they have chosen to look after their skin, I'm not even saying that this regimen will work for me. I'm just trying it out to see what happens. I've started up a blog which you can find here - http://thecavegirldi...blogspot.co.uk/ - where I will be posting detailed updates; but I thought I would post on acne.org as well as I would love to connect with other people who have experiences of this regimen or who are thinking of trying it out.

 

I'm doing the form of the regimen that involves using absolutely nothing, not even water, on your face and I'm on day 3. So far my skin has been more oily than I am used to. I am not dripping with oil like some people who have attempted the regimen but my skin wasn't particularly oily to begin with. I feel that today it is noticeably oily to look at. My skin feels itchy and uncomfortable and it's difficult to resist the urge to wash. The whiteheads I had prior to beginning the regimen are healing nicely, although one on my chin has formed a horrible black scab that I am dying to remove because I know it would look so much better if I did but I'm avoiding giving in to temptation. After having no new breakouts for the first two days (a record for me), today I have four very small new whiteheads - two of which are under my jaw so can't be seen unless you're looking for them. This is a very minimal breakout by my standards. At this point, whilst I am quite uncomfortable and definitely not enjoying the experience, and not wearing any make up is very difficult for me, I haven't yet experienced any horrible consequences, so I plan to continue with the regimen. 

 

If you are experimenting with this regimen, or have done in the past, I would love to know how it is working or has worked out for you.

 

Thanks for reading!



#2 clairem

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:21 AM

Made it to day 5 so far! I've heard that day 4 is a turning point for a lot of people and this was true for me - my skin no longer looks or feels oily and is no longer uncomfortable. I don't feel the urge to wash anymore so the only difficulty is the lack of make up, which is very very difficult for me but I'm coping so far. my cheeks (most affected area) were slightly itchy for about ten minutes after I woke up - could be due to healing or maybe friction from my pillow - but this subsided quickly. everything is healing very nicely. I only developed two absolutely tiny whiteheads yesterday and nothing new today! still have the horrible scab on my chin though. usually I have huge swollen lumps all over my face but there is no swelling now and my skin tone is looking far more even, less red and calmer. my scars are now my biggest worry. the blackheads on my nose have been looking worse than usual since I started this regimen but they are beginning to look slightly better now! I know things could take a turn for the worse at any time but I'm liking this regimen so far.

#3 EatsRainbows

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 08:13 AM

Really interesting, I look forward to following your progress, I hope it works for you :)


My Roaccutane Journey

16th May-27th October 2013

 

15 Years Old/Female/52kg

 

Month 1- 20mg

Month 2- 40mg

Month 3- 40mg

Month 4- 50mg

Month 5 and 1/2- 50mg

 

Also see page 4 on my log for the before and after photos :)

 

"You can't make a rainbow without a little rain"

 


#4 clairem

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 06:14 AM

day 6 - I don't really have anything new to report, which I think is a good sign. my scars are noticeably less red than yesterday which is great as I was feeling particularly insecure about them. I have had no new break outs! I'm used to having big red swollen pimples that hurt and I haven't had a single one of these in almost a week without washing my face, which makes me think I am doing the right thing by avoiding products and make up. I hope this regimen continues to keep them at bay. I'm noticing a bit of flaky skin around my chin, nose and mouth but none on my cheeks yet. I'm worried that my pillow might be irritating my cheeks when I sleep as I sleep on my side and I tend to move a lot in my sleep, so I'm worried this could be brushing the dead skin off. As my cheeks are my most affected area I'd like to avoid irritating them at all costs so I might need to train myself to sleep on my back.

oh and the scab has FINALLY gone from my chin so it looks a lot better now :)

#5 clairem

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:20 PM

I'm so happy that I've made it to day 7! :) I've read a lot of comments from people saying that the most enjoyable part of this regimen is the freedom that comes from not having to think about your skin or your skincare routine. but honestly this has been one of the longest weeks of my life. I'm thinking about my skin more if anything and it really is dragging in. this regimen is certainly not for the faint hearted!

so here's what's happening with my skin today:
• aside from some healing pimples (some of which I've had for a long time before starting this regimen) my skin is pretty much clear
• I have a new whitehead on the left side of my chin. I also have a red pimple that looks like it's developing a head on my left cheek near my jaw. it's kind of painful/itchy so I'm hoping it doesn't turn into a cyst.
• I had an absolutely tiny whitehead above my lip when I woke up this morning but it has vanished already.
• my hyper pigmentation and red marks are looking a bit less red, but this could be due to sebum/oil/dead skin build up masking the redness
• my left cheek, which has been the worst area of my whole face recently and has particularly bad scarring has been feeling a bit irritated all day. hopefully this is good news and not the beginnings of a terrible break out... fingers crossed!
• I have a little bit of dead skin around my nose, mouth and chin which is increasing but is still barely noticeable; but none on my cheeks or forehead yet that I can see.

I'm really happy with the way my skin is looking so far. I managed to sleep on my back last night so I'm planning to do that from now on to minimise irritation on my cheeks. the most significant problem I've had so far has been stinging eyes! I've been wearing mascara on a few occasions and have taken it off with a gentle eye make up remover on a cotton pad which touches no other part of my face. but whenever my eyes have watered from yawning or whatever I've felt something stinging and irritating my eyes - don't know if it's residual make up remover or just sebum. this got so bad last night that I had to get out of bed to gently wash around my eye area with a damp cotton pad, which seems to have helped a lot.

not wearing make up is still so hard and I'm thinking of investing in some bare minerals concealer in case a situation occurs where I really CANT go without. I don't want to mess up the regimen though.

bring it on week 2!

#6 SpeciousHope

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 10:36 PM

Good luck! One of my friends followed did this regiment but she showered... so she did end up rinsing her face with water. Her results were remarkable! I didn't see her for 3 months and when I saw her on her birthday her skin improved so much. I was tempted to try this as well.


Morning
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Aczone spot treatment somtimes

Cervae Facial PM Moisturizer
Juice Organic Sport SPF 30

Spring Valley - Super B-Complex

Make Up

Urband Decay Liquid Liner, Perversion
Cover Girl Aqua Smoothers SPF 15

Night

Remove makeup with Jojoba oil
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser with out Clarisonic or
Philosophy Purity + Use Clarisonic if it was heavy makeup

Green Tea toner
Tanda Anti Aging Light Therapy (sometimes)
Aczone,
Cervae Facial PM Moisturizer/ Jojoba oil depending on how my skin feels

Drink a cup of non caffeinated green tea

Spring Valley - Super B-Complex



New Regimen Updated 5.23.11 9.28.11 11.13.12  9/25/13


#7 clairem

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:35 AM

thank you :) I'm so glad it worked for your friend. it's so hard to avoid getting any water on my face in the shower but I'm not too concerned about a little splash here and there. I just wish this regimen didn't take so long! best of luck if you do decide to give it a go :)

#8 clairem

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 01:19 PM

Day 10

I'm at the end of day 10 and things are still going well. I have had a bit of a breakout after a night of drinking and zero sleep which is only to be expected but again it's just a couple of small whiteheads that are drying up really quickly and not a cyst in sight. I've noticed a couple of my red marks turning into pimples again, as though the infection is finally being pushed out once and for all. The dead skin mask has certainly arrived and my chin and nose are looking grim! My forehead is also flaking but looks okay and I haven't noticed much on my cheeks aside from one MASSIVE flake I had to pull off yesterday because I was going out and couldn't put up with it flapping about on my face. I think the mask is there though, my cheeks have been really itchy again, it's probably just thicker then and less loose and flaky. It's pretty unpleasant, I'm not going to lie. I've read posts from people complaining about it in the past and I've always thought so what, I'd rather that than acne but when you're still insecure about your acne and have that to contend with as well it just adds to the negative feelings about the way you look and is very difficult to deal with.

I'm happy with this regimen and really want to continue but I can't avoid my boyfriend forever and I'm not comfortable enough yet to be around him without make up on unfortunately. When reading other logs I've always noticed that whenever someone caves in and exfoliates or washes or does something to their skin before it's "ready" they set themselves back so I can tell I'm making a bad move here but it's unavoidable. I'm going to see my boyfriend tomorrow so I've bought the softest sponge I could find and I'm going to lightly exfoliate with that tonight. I also bought some mineral make up and a really soft powder brush and I'm going to put that on tomorrow to cover the worst areas along with a dab of concealer if I really need it. Way less make up than what I'd usually wear but I'm still not happy about doing it. Oh well, it is what it is. I hope I don't mess things up too much!

#9 Mtnmama

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:35 PM

Thanks for your log! I'm on day 9 I think. I've been splashing with cold water though and also wearing cover up. I'm also not brave enough to go out without it. So vain i know! Maybe I will get more brave. Today was the first day I had a pimple pop up. Seems to be working so far, despite not adhering perfectly. Keep us posted on your progress!

#10 clairem

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 04:20 AM

I know exactly how you feel, it's so hard to go without. I felt like it was affecting my self esteem so I couldn't continue not wearing any. I'm now wearing make up again occasionally when I really feel I need to (only twice so far). I would usually wear moisturiser, primer, liquid foundation, concealer EVERYWHERE and powder, but I bought some mineral foundation and wear that alone with just a tiny dab of concealer where I need it most. I've noticed my skin itching under the concealer so I need to try and find one that doesn't irritate me. I can't sleep in make up so I've been taking it off with a cleansing oil but thankfully I don't think this is hindering my progress either. My skin is still much clearer than I'm used to, still haven't had any new cysts and I'm surprised by how quickly my scars and red marks are fading.

I'm so glad it seems to be working well for you, I'd love to hear how you get on too. good luck!

#11 Mtnmama

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 10:20 PM

So I think this is day 14. Finally had to pop an inflamed cyst that just wouldn't go away. Hope it doesn't cause more. Also seem to have more whiteheads. I've backed off the water and makeup for the past few days and my face feels much oilier. Hoping I'm about to turn a corner. Still think it's improved my case quite a bit