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VolcanicSkin

The Caveman Strategy

When I think back to when I first got acne, it was over ten years ago. I have had bouts of clear skin during these years, but through it all, I was using topicals. I had experimented with lots of different products and so I am doing the caveman regimen to see if it is in fact all these topicals I have been using.

I have noticed one thing about my skin that leads me to think that it could be the topicals. Whenever I use multiple treatments, and anything besides BP, a breakout is inevitable. I had found that the best thing for me to use is neutrogena gentle cleanser, BP, and a good moisterizer. Any time I deviate from this I will breakout. I have also noticed that I may breakout from exfoliating.

So my theory is this, if I do nothing to my skin besides splash it with filtered water, I shouldn't get any irritation which I think may be the cause of my acne. You may ask why I would stop using BP if it works, and my answer is because BP never fully has cleared my acne. I went on Dan's Regimen for about 3 weeks and I do think it works with time, but the fact is, I believe it is too harsh for my skin for long term use.

Now, I'm not sure of my acne type, but I'm going to guess that it is moderate. I get blackheads in and around my nose, and I get very bad, inflamed, red, painful spots on my lower cheeks by my mouth. I have on spot on my face (right by my cheekbone) that is always prone to break out and there I can get blackheads and painful zits (which I believe are called cysts). I also can get painful and angry cysts on my chin but I haven't had those in a few months. (Knock on wood)

I get an occasional sore pimple on my forehead and my back but I've noticed that they might be caused by certain hair products like mousse, hair spray, etc. So I will do without hair products as well, except for shampoo.

I think that is pretty much all the info about my skin... I do have some slight scarring and hyperpigmentation, and I have very fair/light skin so they show. I'm hoping the colored marks will fade in time. I take 90mg of chelated zinc oxide, primrose oil, and between 2,000 and 3,000 mg biotin on a daily basis. I washed my face for the final time, last night. I put nothing on it afterwards. This morning I only poured filtered water on it.

I am going into this experiment with three painful active pimples. One on my forehead and one on my cheek that resulted after I tried and failed at popping them when they were barely noticeable. The other is emerging by my mouth for a reason unknown to me... perhaps it is because I exfoliated about 3 days ago.

Anyway, I will update as things change!

Wish me luck.

Edited by Creekey

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Day 1: By the end of yesterday I had accumulated a decent amount of oil on my chin, upper lip, and around my nose. I am still wearing makeup around my eyes during this regimen so I took that off with a bit of olive oil on cotton and water to wipe away. Skin seemed to be a bit red around my nose and nasolabial areas. Also, skin was pretty itchy! No changes with current pimples.

Day 2: Woke up this morning and skin seemed to be a smidge less red but oiliness increased by mouth area. No new breakouts yet. Current pimples are the same. The itchiness is less today. I think I will buy oil blotting sheets today.

AshleyNicole: Thank you for your response. I'm so glad there are some women doing the same thing! It is hard to compare experiences with men because of obvious reasons. They don't have to worry about that time of the month or wearing makeup. I know makeup isn't essential but I work full time in an office dealing with lots of people... so I feel like I just can't go around looking completely haggard!

You said you break out a lot around your mouth area because of the food you eat. I started observing my habits a bit more and I think this could be. Also, I notice I rest my hands on my face while flossing at the exact places I tend to break out. How did I not notice this before! I also sleep on my sides so it could be the position. I will try to wash my pillow cases more often because of this and see what happens.

I'm hoping the oil will go away but if it doesnt, I may do what you do or use the oil blotting sheets. I'll keep you informed and I'll go check out your post. Thanks for the advice!

Edited by Creekey

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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I hope this works for you! Washing with just water dries me out, so I had to quit. But I'm doing something similar; I'm washing my face 2x a day with a gentle cloth and water, then moisturizing with oil. I can't not exfoliate or moisturize, as it makes my skin uncomfortable.

Feel free to check out my log if you want, as there are two other females posting in there who are also following the same type of regimen. One is doing exactly as you are actually, only she's been exfoliating with a cloth whenever she feels her skin needs it. The other is, I think, just using water and a moisturizer once a day. If you ever need some moral support, don't hesitate to post in there.

Best of luck! Just remember, it's not an instant fix, it could take a few months.

A quick edit: I just changed my routine. Just spraying with thermal water in the AM (no moisturizer or actual cleansing, this is just more of a refresher and to help remove any excess oil/sweat - the thermal water is also supposed to help keep the skin hydrated, so we shall see!), and then rinsing and moisturizing in the PM. I'm testing out yogurt as a means of exfoliating, so if you ever do want to seek out a gentle way to exfoliate, I'll let you know how it works for me :)

I find I often break out around my mouth because of foods I eat. If I get certain oils on my face (hazelnut and olive oil), I will likely break out there. Maybe something is getting on your skin without you noticing it?

Hi! I'm one of those females! Lol. :)

I'm actually trying to stay away from those washcloths since I think they're doing more harm than good. I might try the yogurt if it works out for Ashley.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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I hope this works for you! Washing with just water dries me out, so I had to quit. But I'm doing something similar; I'm washing my face 2x a day with a gentle cloth and water, then moisturizing with oil. I can't not exfoliate or moisturize, as it makes my skin uncomfortable.

Feel free to check out my log if you want, as there are two other females posting in there who are also following the same type of regimen. One is doing exactly as you are actually, only she's been exfoliating with a cloth whenever she feels her skin needs it. The other is, I think, just using water and a moisturizer once a day. If you ever need some moral support, don't hesitate to post in there.

Best of luck! Just remember, it's not an instant fix, it could take a few months.

A quick edit: I just changed my routine. Just spraying with thermal water in the AM (no moisturizer or actual cleansing, this is just more of a refresher and to help remove any excess oil/sweat - the thermal water is also supposed to help keep the skin hydrated, so we shall see!), and then rinsing and moisturizing in the PM. I'm testing out yogurt as a means of exfoliating, so if you ever do want to seek out a gentle way to exfoliate, I'll let you know how it works for me :)

I find I often break out around my mouth because of foods I eat. If I get certain oils on my face (hazelnut and olive oil), I will likely break out there. Maybe something is getting on your skin without you noticing it?

Hi! I'm one of those females! Lol. :)

I'm actually trying to stay away from those washcloths since I think they're doing more harm than good. I might try the yogurt if it works out for Ashley.

Well I tried yogurt tonight.. I'll post about it in my log so as to not bombard this log!

Maybe at most, use a washcloth on a once-a-month basis as a serious "clean-up" lol.

I'll probably do that. This regimen is not good if you are trying to avoid clogged pores.

Not this winter though. This is my first winter without moisturizer since I started using skin care products and I don't want to stress my skin out with the scrubbing.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Thanks for the advice again AshleyNicole! I will have to try the toilet paper thing while I floss. I tried sleeping on my back last night but it was nearly impossible for me to fall asleep... so I ended up sleeping on both sides, and on my stomach. Sad face.

So I did blot the oil off my face. I didn't waste money on the blotting sheets, since they do the same thing! I see a new pimple emerging by my mouth where I normally get them. They are always so big, angry, and painful. And now I soooooooo want to rinse with water because I'm afraid my oil is causing the pimple and I don't want it to get any bigger! I don't think I will rinse it... but it is soooo haaaard not to. Sad face again.

I also stupidly stuck my face in a bunch of cool steam from a new humidifier I bought today. I was like, "OMGOMG MIST! MUST STICK FACE IN MIST!" Then like coming out of a brain fog :) I remembered that mist/steam is water too. Hopefully this didn't set me back!

I hate when you ("you" as in general) are sitting, minding your own business and then out of the blue, a pimple starts to throb. It's like punishing you because you might have managed not to think about it for like, 5 minutes. It is almost like it's saying, "Haha you can't forget about me! See, I'll make sure you know I'm here! MUAHAHA!"

Yeah, that is whats happening to me right now.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Well, I wasn't going to rinse at all but maybe I should. I dunno, it's all trial and error I think! I hardly ever wash, rinse, or put anything on my jaw line, the skin under my chin, and my neck and I very seldom get a breakout in those places. It gets rinsed in the shower of course but that is once a day AND only if I am washing my hair that day. Hmm... So maybe a little spring water splashed on my face and left to evaporate would be a good thing like every other day at night. Again, with the trial and error.

I know my skin will take a bit of time to adjust because I had been slathering on BP for the past 3 weeks and before that, using so many other chemicals and home remedies on it for yeeeeaars.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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My jaw line is also clear! As is my neck. I would always focus my cleansing on my cheeks and forehead, which are quite gross now.

So how often are you wanting/planning on rinsing? My advice: stick with a specific amount of times you want to rinse and don't deviate from that for at least 2 weeks. After that, alter it if you think you need to.

I'd recommend just rinsing once a day for sure. When I wasn't washing at all (not even water), my skin improved in terms of acne and little whitehead things on my chin (whcih are now returning, I think it has to do with exfoliating too much and drying my skin out!), so less is definitely more!

It is so nice to have a second opinion. What you told me about your jaw line and neck just bolsters my theory that sometimes the cleansers and topicals is what actually causes the problem!

I think I will continue to go without rinsing and see how this new pimple that I just saw arrive today, fares. I am inspired that your skin improved. Maybe mine will also. :D

Edited by Creekey

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Ashley:

Nuts are risky I think for a lot of people! I have known people that have broken out from nuts. I used to eat them all the time until I'm pretty sure I developed an allergy to them.

And to answer your question, I will not be rinsing at all. Not even at night. Isn't that what you had success with?

Greengurl: Thanks for the link, I'll check it out! :)

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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I just used this new soap for the whole person (body, face, hair) called Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Magic Soap. It was like 6 ingredients. They are all organic and I can pronounce them all. I have some slight body acne and so I used this on my hair thinking my current soap and shampoo causes the body acne.

This has been my first shower since I started this and it was way harder than I thought it was going to be. I tilted my head back but I still had like 15 drips of water go down my face plus lots of steam and then splashing. My face was wet when I got out. Meh. :dry:

This concludes day 2 of my Caveman Strategy!

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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So, after talking to AshleyNicole and visiting her log, I have been very curious about all products I use. As I said, I switched my soap. Low and behold, coconut oil breaks out a lot of people! After learning this, I went to look on my shampoo bottle and soap bottle ingredients.

I use Biologe because I thought, "hey a higher priced shampoo is bound to be better!" but THEN, the very second ingredient listed is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. I may not know a lot of the in-and-outs of specific ingredients in relation to acne, but I do know that SLS is highly comedogenic. It was also in my old soap! I can't believe I never checked. tsk, tsk.

Ashley, thanks for the inspiration. I will definitely check it out.

Greengurl, I checked out those links inside the link you posted for me and I learned A LOT. Thanks so much again for recommendation.

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Ashley:

I will definitely take a look at that website! I know I basically said this already, but I just feel so glad and lucky to have found a place to have support. It really has helped my knowledge enormously.

My goal is to not rince or wash my face for at least 35 days because I read that is how long it takes for the skin to completely regenerate itself. Of course I will tweek it if necessary if something just is absolutely not working. Like if I get a rash, black heads visible at 4 feet away from me, or gangrene. :redface: Afterwards, I will see how my skin is and then determine my wash/rinse plan per week thereafter.

Now on to my update:

Day 3 (11/7/10): I woke up and my skin felt very oily around my t-zone. I think maybe it's because I blotted off the oil from my face on the day before day 3?? Hmm anyway, I didn't blot my face, I just let the oil sit. As the day wore on my skin became less oily. I actually tried to remove some dry skin from the center of a pimple with tweezers and it turned out that it wasn't dry skin. As gross as this sounds, the "flake" turned out to be liquid pimple material.

It was clearly the head of the spot. So I took took pieces of toilet paper and used the slighest pressure on either side of this and let me tell you, it was the most effortless spot draining experience I have ever had. I feel like I could have willed it to drain with my mind. Yeah, thats how light the pressure I applied to the area was.

Now, just so we are clear, I would not have done this if I wasn't ABSOLUTELY sure it would drain. I didn't try before it was ready, I didn't touch it hardly ever during it's life (which was about 3 days... which is sooooo uncommon with spots I get around my mouth!) Normally, spots around my mouth are long lasting, painful, damaging, and scar prone. Perhaps that is because I constantly touched and squeezed them which added to the irritation.

I know perhaps I shouldn't have drained it but I did it because I didn't want it to become re-clogged (can that happen?). Afterwards, I gently swabbed the area with wet toilet paper.

The rest of my face looked better. Less discoloration overall, less swelling/redness on other spots. I did find some swelling on the skin right above my eyebrow and it hurts when I smile but it doesn't look red. I looked at the other eyebrow and I noticed a small, skin toned spot on the exact opposite side of the swelling. Then I remember that I happened to be tweezing some stray hairs there about 3 or 4 days prior. Maybe the pimple is caused by the irritation from tweezing? Or maybe my tweezers carried some bacteria.

Not washing my tweezers before I use them is definitely something I need to work on. I removed noticeable dead skin flakes with them for like 3 minutes before I realized that I hadn't washed them. :naughty: THEN I did it again this morning!

Wow, this is turning out to be a book. :think:

Day 4: In case I don't have enough time to update today, I'll tell you what's going on so far. I woke up this morning and my skin on everywhere but around my nose is waaaaay drier. I had so many flakes! I gently removed the more noticeable ones with my tweezers and left the rest. The swollen spot above my eyebrow has had no change. Skin tone was less red upon waking.

I forgot to mention that going into this, not only does my face have a more red tone than the rest of my body, but I have these splotches. They appear whiter than the rest of my face and if my skin flushes, the splotches don't flush along with the rest of my skin. They just stay white. They are located around my trouble areas where I am more prone to break out and where I have some hyperpigmentation marks. Does anyone else have this and know the cause?

I am grateful if you read this entire post. If not, I don't blame you. :D Have a great day and week! It's Monday, so back to work we go!

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I just wanted to add something I forgot to mention. That is I can't believe how LIBERATING it feels to not spend 30+ minutes morning and night washing my face, applying different moisterizers, applying topicals, and then worrying about if I covered all the spots or washed well enough, and worrying about bleaching my towels and shirts.

I feel so liberated in fact, I decided I don't need to apply all that eye makeup I'm used to applying. So yesterday I wore nothing (and even had company over to my house for dinner with no eye makeup what-so-ever) and I didn't feel wierd about it AT all. Today I skipped the undereye concealer, skipped the eyeliner, skipped the eyeshadow (not that im a big eyeshadow wearer in the first place), and just put on mascara.

I think when we focus on our face so much we, or should I say "I"... I think when I focus on my face so much, I tend to pick on myself more than necessary. Then I persuade myself that I need certain products to fix things that really aren't broken. But I never do feel better about myself... I end up feeling the same or worse... maybe i worry about not appling enough eye liner or that my eyeshadow is uneven, etc. Which is a so self absorbed! But right now I feel fantastic because I JUST DON'T CARE! I don't have to worry about the makeup I'm not wearing! I don't care if the other makeup-wearing girls at my work judge me because I am LIBERATED and I feel great with a naked face! Who knew I would feel this good and confident with nothing.

Can you imagine how much time I have wasted over the course of 11 years over-analyzing my flaws and my face regimen?

Phew, that felt good. :proud:

That's all.

Creekey out.

Edited by Creekey

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* This is an edit. Mrs. Grape doesn't live here anymore.

Cya, the Org.

Edited by Mrs. Grape

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Ashley: The whiter areas on my face aren't a different texture, but they are scarred with both hyperpigmentation and damaged skin. I'm only four days in, but I recommend at least giving this a try... so you should try again!

Hopefully the tweezing didn't irritate the process too much!

The rest of Day 4: Skin is the same. I squeezed and drained another spot that came to the surface above my other not swollen eyebrow. I noticed a spot right by the spot I successfully drained last night and I wonder if it is because I removed a beneficial flake as I was very flakey around that area this morning.

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Oh and Ashley, don't you think a razor would cause more irritation than a tweezer because you are dragging something across your skin? It also might promote dryness, which is a problem for you.

Edited by Creekey

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