Not Washing or Water Only reviews
Read or post reviews on thousands of acne products & treatments.
The list of ingredients above is provided for informational purposes only. Always check the actual product label in your possession for the most accurate ingredient information due to product changes or upgrades that may not yet be reflected on our web site.
Where to buy
Acne.org is not associated with this product. All proceeds from links go to charity.
[The prices listed above may change at any time and in some cases do not include shipping.]
I had super clear skin as a teenager and once I started having babies, my skin went nuts. I started picking at my face to get rid of the blemishes, or when I was bored, or when I was stressed out by three tiny kiddos and needed an escape. The more I picked, the worse it got. Even when I could force myself to not pick, my skin looked and felt like sandpaper. I used everything possible. Fancy washes, fancy creams, fancy makeup, fancy volcanic ash exfoliants, etc. Some things did actually help the acne but would dry out my skin. Fast forward 6 years (I'm now 28), my skin still looks atrocious.
I was talking to a coworker the other day and she was like "A friend of mine uses water and a clean wash cloth and swears by it."
I was horrified but at this point, I have nothing to lose. With the exception of my face, I am pretty hippy with body care. Homemade, local bar soap on my body. No-Poo in my hair. Why not? Let's give this a try. I am on Day 5 of "washing" my face with cool water only and not only is my acne clearing up, but my skin is the softest and smoothest that it's been since I was super young. I do still wear some makeup. Not because I feel like I have to but because I like makeup. I remove it with some coconut or jojoba oil at the end of the day and then rinse with water. I am still seeing a dramatic improvement!!!!
Give it a try! I have been completely surprised but the results so far.
I was very skeptical of this method. I did a lot of research and read a lot of reviews before trying it. What really drove me to try it was the fact that, since I was about 12 years old, I've been trying different chemical and natural cleansers to try to control my very oily skin and get rid of my acne. I also tried different moisturizers/sunscreens, always wearing a hat in the sun. Nothing has really worked. It only added constantly flaking and sickly-looking pallor to my facial skin. I'm now 26, and over the years my acne has fluctuated between mild and moderate, with occasional flare-ups of perioral dermatitis. Pimples always took forever to go away and they left behind hyperpigmentation. My skin is always best when I'm on an antibiotic, but since experiencing how antibiotics mess with my body, I would never take them again just to treat my acne.
It should be noted that I've never worn heavy makeup except for special occasions like being in a wedding party. I used to daily wear Neutrogena's sunscreen, powder foundation, and blush, then cut down to sunscreen and blush only, then stopped wearing sunscreen and makeup altogether a couple years ago. These changes were attempts to let my skin breathe and hopefully improve it. If it helped at all, the results were minimal. My point is, if I still wore sunscreen and makeup, I might need something stronger than water to clean up. If I have to use sunscreen or makeup nowadays, I'll try using raw organic honey to get it off. That's what I had been using as a cleanser for over a year until now.
My method has always involved washing my hands before washing my face, and washing my face before brushing my teeth--no saliva or toothpaste residue on my hands. So, after washing my hands with Dr Bronner's tea tree liquid soap for the antibacterial properties, and rinsing it off really well, I now wash my face with cool or slightly warm water, repeatedly splashing my face and rubbing all over with my fingers. I can feel my facial oils on my fingers, and I wash the parts of my face that are prone to flaking last, distributing the oils there. Lastly, I pat my face dry with a towel that I use only on my face and that dries thoroughly between uses. I do this twice a day--when I wake up and before bed.
I've been using water only for almost 3 weeks now and my skin has never been better. I still get pimples, but they surface quickly, I pop them, and they go away without scarring! No more huge, red, angry, blind pimples. No more tiny, red, itchy pimples around my nose and mouth. Much less flaking, and I anticipate that the flaking will disappear entirely if I continue this method. It's awesome! My husband and others have commented on how good my skin looks lately. I'm no longer embarrassed by my pimples, because they're not very noticeable and I know they'll go away quickly without leaving behind a scar that takes months to fade.
Judging by the comments, maybe this method doesn't work for everyone, but it sure is working for me. Why has no dermatologist ever suggested that I try this? Maybe because water is basically free while acne products, medications, and facial procedures cost money and contribute to their business. Obviously, hormones have played a role in my skin problems, but since trying this method, I'm convinced that if a dermatologist hadn't said, 'Stop using bath soap on your face, but replace it with these expensive cleansers, toners, moisturizers, etc.,' pimples would never have been a big deal in my life. If they'd said,"Stop using bath soap on your face. Try using water only," I might've been feeling confident about my skin for the past 14 years of my life, and I could've saved a lot of money.
I've been on caveman for 5 months (only washing my face with cool water once every 2-3 days).
Here's my background:
Around the age of 18, I started to get bad acne, I mean really bad. I went on accutane 3 times. Still came back. Low self worth, depression, etc. Went on a number of diets, blood type diet, paleo, vegan, alkaline, candida, you name it. Still had acne. Started to get psoriasis + eczema + sheborric dermatitis + rosacea after the 3 rounds of accutane. Wanted to kill myself, thought I looked like a freak. Non-existent social life by this point. The entire time I was always washing my face at least once a day. Used only natural products too (e.g. apple cider vinegar, manuka honey, etc). Still, had all these skin issues. Felt nervous every time I didn't wash my face. Had anxiety about eating new foods in case it broke me out.
Realized I had some really unhelpful stories about my skin, and that the need for control was the cause of all my stress (both physical and mental). Read a quote somewhere that doing more of the same will only get you more of the same - if you want to see a dramatic change, often times the solution is characterized by simplicity and elegance (and, will also seem counter-productive - even outrageous). The caveman routine will go against all of your mental conditioning - so much BS we've been taught to believe without realizing or ever questioning.
So I decided to go full caveman and not wash with anything but cool water, every 2 days. Here's how it went:
End of week 1: A new sense of freedom, more free time as I wasn't spending 2 x 10min per day on my routine. Started to break out a bit but nothing major.
End of month 1: Random little clusters of pimples on my chin, but they seem to go much quicker
End of month 5: Basically 99% clear. Anytime I get a new pimple forming, I'll purposely not wash my face for a couple days and most of the time it will never surface. I feel so much more in touch with my skin, like it's thanking me.
Since starting caveman, I never broke out any more than I already was. In fact, less, and the frequency between the breakouts decreased significantly (starting caveman, at times I could have maybe 10-15 active pimples - after 2 weeks, I'd have maybe 5 on a 'bad' day). I also did not look in the mirror for the last 5 months as I wanted to fully detach myself from the need to control my appearance, realizing I'm only doing this for myself (this I found very helpful). After about 3 weeks, the psoriasis + eczema + rosacea disappeared and never came back. 1.5 months in, the sheborric dermatitis went as well. By month 3, I still had acne (mild), but by this point I didn't care about it. I felt more and more at peace with the way my skin was, realizing that it's perfect the way it is in this very moment.
You'll find yourself having a deep sense of connection with yourself, and this realization (well at least for me personally) that we need to be kinder to our bodies - they've gotten ourselves this far, why abuse and punish it with chemicals, the need for control, and constant washing ? Seriously, one of the best things I've done. Do the caveman. You won't regret it.
I've tried many different facial cleansers with differing success. Some irritated my skin, others made my acne worse, and others would clear my acne up, but leave me with dry skin, despite being marketed for people with sensitive skin. I decided to ditch facial cleansers all together and try washing my face using only water, once or twice a day. Right away, I noticed that not only was my skin clear, but it no longer felt like sandpaper! Flaking was down to a minimum and improving quickly as well. Fast forward one year later and my skin has never looked better. I get the odd pimple or two every few months, but these disappear within a couple of days. My skin looks healthy and soft. Washing your face is a highly personal thing: you have to keep trying different products/methods until you find what works. In my case, the solution was to stop using cleansing products. I believe every person who struggles with acne should try this method for at least a few weeks and see what happens.
Up until the age of 23 I had very clear skin with an occasional pimple just before my period. I used to wash my face twice a day and sometimes put moisturizer at night if my skin got too dry. Everyone complimented me on my skin. After I graduated and I started working, I started getting acne rapidly on one spot. I didn't do anything about it because I trusted my regimen and I hoped that it would go away naturally. But it still kept appearing in one spot and I started getting a bit more concerned. My skin since then has gotten worse and has become extremely sensitive even though I didn't change my regimen. It still wasn't as bad as it is now
Slowly, I started switching to anti-acne products and ended up buying more products in the hope that I would go back to the skin I had. Around 2 months ago, I stated an intensive acne care regime. Just after I used a face mask, BAM! I got 4 more pimples. It was alarming because everytime I used a more expensive or new anti-acne product, I would immediately develop acne. So I went natural and I gave into all sorts of anti-acne regimens. NOTHING WORKED. My skin just kept getting worse.
I decided to go to one of the best dermatologists in my city and he prescribed myocycline for 3 weeks and 2.5% BP gel for my already inflamed acne and an anti-pigmentation cream for marks. I continued to use sunscreen and moisturizer. None of it really worked on my skin. When I was younger, my acne would subside in a few days but my acne now persisted the more I used any sort of product.
I started observing my dad's skin and asked him how his skin is so perfect even though he is out in the sun everyday, most of the day. He told me he does nothing to his skin (I live in hot, humid weather). I started researching more and realized that your skin is an organ too. Do you rub your organs with chemicals and peels and scrubs? Noooo! You have to leave them alone. So I decided to stop all products, chemical and natural because even natural products would irritate my skin. I realized that my skin is meant to be left alone.
Since the last 5 days I have only been splashing my face with water, twice a day. And, WOW. My skin is smoothening out, my acne has already subsided and come to a head, pigmentation marks are fading, and even though I live in sticky, humid weather, my skin has actually become less oily!
I am happy!
If you're looking for a sign that you don't need face wash - THIS IS IT! Trust me! All those chemical-loaded products will only deteriorate your skin!
Some background history:
My acne is hormonal and genetic so basically I wake up everyday with a new pimple here and there. Recently, I decided to amp up my skin care regimen. I went from using Clean & Clear to Cetaphil to Dermalogica Clear Start. I also got a few facials. Looking back on it now, I should have known I was being too harsh, but I only realized when all HELL broke loose!
Literally just last week my face was so horrible that people were constantly asking me "What's wrong with your face?" , "Are you having an allergic reaction to something?". I was so embarrassed that I would avoid human interaction as much as possible and hide myself away. It took a serious toll on my confidence and self-esteem. I've never felt worse about myself!
After complaining multiple times to my best friend (who has flawless skin), she urged me to quit face wash and just use water. After much research, contemplation and just being frustrated I decided to give it a try.
Now it's been just over a week and I'm already seeing huge results. A lot of the redness has calmed down, my old pimples have dried up and my skin is a lot less oily.
There's still a lot of pigmentation but I feel so relieved that this is working for me. I finally have hope!
However, my skin is now really dry and flaky and sometimes I feel uncomfortable with not cleaning my face, so here's some other things I did this past week that you can also try:
1) Drink lots of water and green tea (definitely helps!)
2) Soak face in green tea - I soak napkins in warm green tea and rest them on my face for about ten minutes - softens up the skin and brights it up, also applies some antioxidants to the surface (great for preventing breakouts)
3) Exfoliate GENTLY with green tea leaves afterwards (I just burst open the tea bag) to remove dead skin cells
4) Soak face in milk (use method above) - moisturizes, reduces pigmentation etc.
5) Exercise - blot face with a clean rag to remove sweat
6) Wash face with very diluted Cetaphil or soap after workouts (not sure if this helped or made it worse so I won't do this anymore, still trying to figure out how to clean skin post-workout, help?)
7) Avoid sun (I had no classes for this past week so I've been able to stay home and avoid the sun, I believed this helped significantly)
8) Improve your diet - no carbs, sugar, dairy products, cut down on the hormone-filled chicken etc.
9) Use a sterilized needle to gently burst new white heads, then wash area with lukewarm water (google this method for more info)
NB- I only used the green tea and milk about twice this past week to reduce the redness and give me some temporary relief.
Overall, once you use your discretion and monitor your skin you should be fine. Play around with some natural remedies and figure out what works for you and DON'T GIVE UP! If you're suffering from acne and it's affecting your social life and confidence, just remember that you're not alone! I know what it feels like to be extremely insecure and self-conscious about my skin :( (I still am to an extent). I know this post went a bit further than just using water only but I really want to help and encourage someone who's in this same situation. I know how hopeless you can feel when your skin is at its worst.
I would have given this method five stars if I saw perfect results but it is too soon to tell. It will probably take months before my skin clears up (I may come back to update). In this past week I've learnt to love myself despite my skin problems and not let acne hold me back. I hope you can do the same!
Stay positive and don't give up the fight! :)
Any other chemical stuff, even though i thoroughly scan products for comedogenic ingredients, will most likely break me out, its just aloe vera, water and a clay mask once a week now, and my skin is doing perfectly fine!
I have had relatively clear skin my entire life. I would get the odd pimple during my period, but that was it. When I was 19, my skin went down hill. I was breaking out very badly on my chin, which then moved to my cheeks. No matter what I did, my skin would not clear up. I tried all the quick fixes, and when none of those worked, I knew this was more serious than I thought. I have tried almost everything to clear up my skin. I've spent a disgusting amount of money on topical treatments, been on many different rounds of antibiotics, been to a dermatologist, spent at least $1000 on acne treatments at spas, changed my entire diet and lifestyle, started taking vitamins, changing my pillow case every night, only drinking water, HONESTLY EVERYTHING YOU CAN THINK OF. So, one day I ran out of my face wash, and I went to my local spa to pick up some new stuff. The total was $200, and I just could not fathom spending this much money on products that weren't even clearing my skin. So I made up some excuse about how my credit card wasn't working and left. I decided to just leave my face alone. No cleansers, toners, moisturizers, spot treatments, NOTHING. Just water, or also known as the "caveman regimen". I did a lot of research on this before I started, and I felt that it was worth a shot. For the first few days, I noticed my skin wasn't as red and "raw" looking as usual. I wasn't breaking out more than usual - if anything, it was less than what I usually would break out. After about a week, I started noticing little whiteheads around my cheeks and chin, and even my forehead. I'm assuming that my skin was "purging", meaning it was pushing out all of the toxins. These whiteheads didn't hurt, and they weren't red at all. They would usually clear up in about a day or two. I also noticed that my hyperpigmentation was lightening up, and it wasn't as noticeable. The hardest part for me was to give up wearing makeup. Not that I wore a lot, but when I would get a pimple here and there, it was hard not covering it up. But I stayed strong. Now, three weeks later, I can't believe how good my skin looks. The hyperpigmentation marks are almost gone, I have not broken out in a few days (I can't remember the last time that has happened), the colour of my skin matches the rest of my body (my face is usually white, while the rest of my body is tanned), my skin is nowhere near as oily as it used to be, and overall, the condition of my face is amazing. So, here's what I do - I only let water hit my face when I'm in the shower. Other than that, I don't let water touch my face. I stopped wearing makeup, and I stopped touching/picking at my face. I would highly recommend trying this if you feel like you've tried everything.
I use to get cystic acne on my face and came across salicylic acid sulfur soap on ebay and it works like a charm. Trust me it works wonders and I have clean pores and an even smooth skin tone and very soft skin.
I began this regimen 4 days ago. The 'version' I'm following is rinsing and very lightly massaging my face with lukewarm water twice a day, and allowing water to touch my face in the shower (albeit not hot water).
My acne story began when I was 11, I'm 30 now. I've tried everything (Proactiv, Accutane x2, birth control, prescription topicals and orals, coal tar, drugstore sh*t, neem soap, oil cleansing method, peroxide, and honey washing), and yet today I still live with acne and cystic acne. I have an irritating combination skin type of oily with dry patches, strictly oily patches, and strictly dry patches. I am also vegan, meaning I consume zero dairy, which is a known trigger. I have been vegan for 6+ months, and my acne has not really changed at all, nor my skin texture.
SO... After my most recent breakout, including 3 angry cystic spots on my chin, I magically came across this regimen. I read for like 6 hours on different techniques, and decided upon the one I felt most comfortable with starting. Although the differences in versions seem minor, I think what you choose to start with has the power to make or break your journey. If you really want to push through for at least a couple of weeks, at least be somewhat satisfied from the beginning with your regimen of choice!
I'm at the very end of Day 4 right now, and I must say I'm not only pleased with the changes, but equally as shocked! Those of us who have truly struggled with acne, come on, we definitely don't expect this of all things to actually work! But yep- for the first time since childhood, my skin tone is beginning to even out, meaning less read blotchy spots (even where I don't have acne), and my cheek scarring which is usually a brownish-purple hue is already lighter. Whaaaat. Now, I am experiencing some flakiness that people have mentioned, mostly between my eyebrows and around some acne on my chin that I was treating with peroxide spot treatment before I started the regimen. But it truly is subtle and not anywhere as nasty as having foundation or concealer flake up my skin in spots. Also, my oiliness is already evening out. What I'm used to is being able to swipe my forehead with my finger and have it be totally slick, morning, night, and whilst wearing makeup. I don't have anywhere near that now! And my face has a sheen and glow to it that I've never had before. It's incredible.
I have only worn a small amount of concealer and mascara since i began. I just use water and very light massaging to remove the concealer, and have user jojoba oil on a cotton pad to remove my mascara (which by the way, is an amazing eye makeup remover to use, and zero chemicals!). Only the first two nights did I lightly pat on a very small amount of jojoba oil onto my previous dry spots.
I'll be updating as I go, and will answer any questions anyone has! I'll be 100% honest throughout this journey, and will mention any changes I've made to my regimen. Fingers crossed! :)