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JLopez

Not Washing My Face For A Month

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So I took a little hiatus from acne.org. It's been a couple of months and I have a few things to update.

I think I started messing around a little too much with my routine towards the last post in this log. I gradually started to introduce a gentle cleanser and then a toner and then a moisturiser etc. etc. and there I was with a skincare routine, not sticking to the caveman regimen which had served me so well!

Anyway, as a result I would say my skin texture improved a little overall (just because of the dry skin flakes being exfoliated I suppose.) But I did start to get more breakouts.

My skin as of now is still relatively clear. I have 1 or 2 active pimples at a time, and no cysts.

I have decided to come back to this log as a means of encouraging me to stick to the new routine I have decided to attempt. I guess you could call it a slightly modified caveman regimen.

I will wash my face once every few weeks with a warm washcloth, wiping down gently after a shower to remove dead skin. I will allow my skin to air dry and only moisturise with Boots Botanics Facial Oil if my skin feels especially tight.

Another thing I am aiming for it to quit the methodical picking of my skin. I have noticed that I pick it when I am upset, when I am nervous, when I am on the computer, watching TV. I am regularly using the backs of my hands to scan my skins surface for bumps that I can pick at. The steps I have made to remedy this are removing the mirror from my bathroom (to prevent that "just before bed" picking) and purchasing a "fiddle toy" from ebay which is a toy intended for people with ADHD and irritability, but will serve me well as a tool to keep my hands off my face while I'm watching TV in the evenings.

Here's to water only washing and quitting the picking!

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On the 19th June it was my graduation so I decided I was going to wear makeup. I made this decision because I wanted the pictures from my graduation day to be pictures I was happy with and that I felt comfortable sending to my family and friends, so I am okay with my decision, however I haven't work makeup for a loooong time and I believe it caused quite a bit of irritation on my skin.

The foundation I used was Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum (I always used to use this foundation and never reacted to it.) I applied a very small amount all over my face. After a few hours I was starting to feel a bit of a reaction as a couple of pimples popped up and the texture of my skin became a little irritated. As soon as I got home I washed the makeup off with a cleanser, toned with diluted ACV and applied my facial oil. Since then I left my skin alone until today when I began what will be my skincare regimen for the next few weeks:

Cleansing only with diluted ACV as needed and moisturising with Boots Botanics Facial Oil as needed.

One of the major focuses of the next few weeks for me, is breaking the cycle of picking at/touching my skin whenever my mind wanders.

I have found this log so useful to look back over and work out what was working for my skin and when, so even if nobody is still keeping up with this log I am going to find it helpful to look back over in the future :)

Day 1

As a result of the reaction to foundation (I believe) I have two large pimples on my chin just next to my mouth, one healing on my chin and one healing on the left side of my face. Skin texture is a little bumpy and irritated.

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Day 6

My skin texture has improved over the course of this week. At the moment I am just cleansing with diluted ACV and moisturising at night. I don't do anything with my skin in the mornings.

My problem area has definitely been my chin. I think the breakout was due to a number of factors: stress in the run up to my graduating, starting my period and applying foundation for the first time in so long. I am also aware that I picked at the breakout initially which often results in more pimples for me. Other than my chin I am happy with my skins progress. Also, thanks to my Tangle Toy and removing my bathroom mirror I have drastically decreased the amount of picking/touching I have been doing which is a big step for me.

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Day 8

Everything is going well. I have definitely seen proof of the theory that if you pop a pimple, another one is going to come up right next to it a few days later. The breakout I had on my chin was one of the nastiest breakouts I've had in a long time in terms of consistently waking up to a new pimple. I went into a bit of a panic and started picking and popping and then the cycle starts. So I quit picking at it and it finally seems to be calming down and sort of drying up.

Currently I have a yellow headed spot on my right upper lip that I am trying not to pop, some hyperpigmentation marks on the right side of my chin from the nasty breakout and a blind pimple on the left side of my chin that has been lying dormant for a day or two. So all in all not too bad.

I'd also like to add at this point that yesterday I started drinking a smoothie of one apple, some ginger, the juice of half a lemon, 5 slices of cucumber and as much kale as I could squeeze into my smoothie maker (Breville Blend Active.) I have read a lot about green smoothies being beneficial so will see if this helps!

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I woke up to quite a good skin day today. Having been quite upset about my skin before I went to a friends house last night I was pretty surprised.

I've decided to note down the few things I did differently incase it helps me in the future.

- I have been drinking green smoothies for the past 3 days. The smoothie includes 1-2 large handfuls of kale, some fresh chopped ginger, the juice of half a lemon, some cucumber and a green apple.

- I cleaned out the glass bottle which I use for my ACV toner mixture with boiling water, possibly for the first time in a while

- When I made the fresh batch of ACV toner I upped the strength a little. Probably more like an 80-85% vinegar to water ratio.

- I dotted some full strength ACV on my breakouts as a spot treatment using a Q-tip.

- I was a little more generous with my facial oil last night.

- I chose to use a little facial oil this morning as well.

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Back to the Caveman Regimen

Okay so looking back over this log I have realised that all my progress was made when I wasn't washing my face with anything at all. And then as soon as I started messing about with ACV and facial oil etc. towards the end of the log, I actually started to get pimples again. So as of 4 days ago I have quit washing my face again.

I will update whenever I feel the need to; I am hoping to see a similar progress to last time!

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Day 5 (Round 2)

I can't believe how stupid I was to have ever gone back to using a skincare routine! All of my irritated problem areas have already calmed down massively. It seems to me that what happens in these early stages is my skin becomes a little dry and itches (perhaps part of the healing process) and all those parts of my face which seemed to be "brewing" something ie. very irritated, clogged and red looking, turn into a few very run-of-the-mill, manageable whiteheads.

I am trying my best not to pop them as I am currently challenging myself to not pick my face. I bought the book "Skin Picking: The Freedom to Finally Stop" and I am in the process of logging my picking for 2 weeks at the moment, as per the books instruction. So those few little whiteheads are staying put for now!

I currently have 3 tiny whiteheads on the left side of my chin and two on the left side of my cheek. On the right side of my cheek there are two (now flat) pimples from a cystic breakout I had when I went back to using a skincare routine, I also had a mildly-cystic breakout on the right side of my chin which is now almost completely gone, leaving me with some hyperpigmentation.

Why did I ever doubt you caveman regimen!

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Day 6 (Round 2) - A gory detail

I have been avoiding popping any whiteheads on my face at all costs for the past week, and usually what happens is after a few days (anywhere between 2 and 5) I will wake up in the morning and the whitehead will be a flat dry patch rather than a whitehead. Today I was fortunate enough to see what happens to these whiteheads and where they go (ew sorry.)

So this morning I was getting ready and witnessed one of these whiteheads just fall off my face, revealing new (albeit dry) skin underneath. I had been under the impression that they had popped somehow from the pressure of sleeping on my pillow, but it seems they they sort of solidify, heal and fall off akin to a scab.

For some reason I find this satisfying as I have always thought that if it's going to pop in my sleep anyway I may as well pop it myself, and in a sterile manner. But clearly there is a benefit to leaving whiteheads alone as they will just fall away leaving little to no hyperpigmentation that will heal much quicker than a picked and popped pimple!

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Day 6 (Round 2) - A gory detail

I have been avoiding popping any whiteheads on my face at all costs for the past week, and usually what happens is after a few days (anywhere between 2 and 5) I will wake up in the morning and the whitehead will be a flat dry patch rather than a whitehead. Today I was fortunate enough to see what happens to these whiteheads and where they go (ew sorry.)

So this morning I was getting ready and witnessed one of these whiteheads just fall off my face, revealing new (albeit dry) skin underneath. I had been under the impression that they had popped somehow from the pressure of sleeping on my pillow, but it seems they they sort of solidify, heal and fall off akin to a scab.

For some reason I find this satisfying as I have always thought that if it's going to pop in my sleep anyway I may as well pop it myself, and in a sterile manner. But clearly there is a benefit to leaving whiteheads alone as they will just fall away leaving little to no hyperpigmentation that will heal much quicker than a picked and popped pimple!

Keep it up JLopez! And yeah, popping whiteheads is never a good idea. It usually leads to multiple whiteheads as the bacteria spreads.

I haven't been on here much either and just stopped in to read some posts. Like you, I recently altered my caveman-ish routine for the worst! I introduced ACV spray toner 4 days ago and all hell broke lose. I'm now back to sticking with manuka honey for good.

Thanks for the updates, it's great to relate to someone going through similar experiences.

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Keep it up JLopez! And yeah, popping whiteheads is never a good idea. It usually leads to multiple whiteheads as the bacteria spreads.

I haven't been on here much either and just stopped in to read some posts. Like you, I recently altered my caveman-ish routine for the worst! I introduced ACV spray toner 4 days ago and all hell broke lose. I'm now back to sticking with manuka honey for good.

Thanks for the updates, it's great to relate to someone going through similar experiences.

Hey Canucklehead!

Thanks for the response. Yeah I have been keeping a sort of diary of my breakouts and it's become painfully clear that every time I pop a whitehead, a new one will appear right next to it a few days to a week later. It's enough to keep my fingers away from my face for now!

I can't believe I ever stopped doing it! I think it's so deeply ingrained in me that a skincare routine is "good" that I forgot what my face was like before the caveman regimen. I can't tell you how much I prefer dry skin to irritated acne!

Glad Manuka is still working for you. I'd love to hear what your routine looks like now if you get the chance. Good luck!

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Keep it up JLopez! And yeah, popping whiteheads is never a good idea. It usually leads to multiple whiteheads as the bacteria spreads.

I haven't been on here much either and just stopped in to read some posts. Like you, I recently altered my caveman-ish routine for the worst! I introduced ACV spray toner 4 days ago and all hell broke lose. I'm now back to sticking with manuka honey for good.

Thanks for the updates, it's great to relate to someone going through similar experiences.

Hey Canucklehead!

Thanks for the response. Yeah I have been keeping a sort of diary of my breakouts and it's become painfully clear that every time I pop a whitehead, a new one will appear right next to it a few days to a week later. It's enough to keep my fingers away from my face for now!

I can't believe I ever stopped doing it! I think it's so deeply ingrained in me that a skincare routine is "good" that I forgot what my face was like before the caveman regimen. I can't tell you how much I prefer dry skin to irritated acne!

Glad Manuka is still working for you. I'd love to hear what your routine looks like now if you get the chance. Good luck!

My routine is really simple! Just lightly splash water on my face and ever-so gently wash with manuka honey morning and night. Every other night I'll leave the honey on my face for 1-3 hours. I've tried normal raw honey but it wasn't as effective for me.

About 2 months into using "water only" I realized that my dry / flaky skin was actually seb derm. It is most prominent between my eyebrows, beside my nose and on my chin. I think this, along with folliculitis, is what is also causing my whiteheads / pustules on my chin.......so brutal!! I'd love to just use water, but my seb derm will flare up and my skin gets really flaky.

The honey definitely took a while to start working, about a months time. Everything aside from my chin is the clearest it's ever been though! Patients is key I guess.

Are you strictly using water now??

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Day 10 (Round 2)

Okay so just a quick update as I'm trying not to obsess too much in these early stages. Things have been okay. I am going on holiday tomorrow and I have very bad PMS (sorry for the TMI) so my skin has not been behaving fantastically well, but I know it's still early days. I am still breaking out in tiny little whiteheads on my chin but it has improved vastly since I started. My forehead is essentially clear as are my temples. It seems to be that the left side of my face is doing very well with on pimple to report and the right side less so, with some hyperpigmentation from old pimples and a few really quite irritated ones over the past few days. I think my skin responds badly to stress and it is probably having a bit of a strop as it did last time I started the caveman regimen. So I am feeling positive that things will get better and I am going to enjoy my holiday regardless of my skin!

(Also may be worth noting that I let cool water run over my face in the shower today.)

My routine is really simple! Just lightly splash water on my face and ever-so gently wash with manuka honey morning and night. Every other night I'll leave the honey on my face for 1-3 hours. I've tried normal raw honey but it wasn't as effective for me.

About 2 months into using "water only" I realized that my dry / flaky skin was actually seb derm. It is most prominent between my eyebrows, beside my nose and on my chin. I think this, along with folliculitis, is what is also causing my whiteheads / pustules on my chin.......so brutal!! I'd love to just use water, but my seb derm will flare up and my skin gets really flaky.

The honey definitely took a while to start working, about a months time. Everything aside from my chin is the clearest it's ever been though! Patients is key I guess.

Are you strictly using water now??

Hey,

Yeah I'm very strictly just water! It seemed as though as soon as I did anything to my skin with products it had a negative reaction almost immediately. And as a bonus, I love the simplicity of it! I am off on holiday tomorrow and for once I don't have to bring an extra bag full of skincare products. It is very liberating. Although, must admit I am pretty scared of the giant mirror we have in the bathroom of the apartment we are renting. Crossing my fingers that I've got the strength to keep myself away from it and away from any skin picking!

So pleased that the honey is working so well for you. Keep it up!

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Day 21 (Round 2) - Mini Update

I am still on my holiday and I plan to post a detailed account of the steps that my skin took in the 11 days that I have been on holiday for anyone who is keeping up with this log, as I have found that my skin has behaved similarly to last time, only I forgot just how much I wanted to quit in those first few weeks. My skin has been dry and itchy with some initial breakouts and I was convinced just a few days ago that it wasn't working.

I woke up this morning, having still not let water touch my face, and my skin looks great! The best it has looked since last time I did the caveman. Yes it is dry, yes I have the dead skin mask and I am not completely clear (I still have hyperpigmentation and a load of dry skin) but I have maybe one or two active pimples, which is amazing! Anyway, just wanted to keep this short and sweet as a heads up to anyone in the first few weeks of the caveman who is struggling: it does get better!

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Day 26

Okay, so I'm going to post a full update of what's been happening with my skin since I went on holiday.

The first few days I was away were pretty horrible skin-wise. I was still breaking out pretty persistently (maybe one or two whiteheads each day,) but the horrible itchy dryness was the worst. I had forgotten what it feels like, and how much the itching makes you think that you should wash your face/touch your face/scratch it/anything to stop the itching. But I didn't and I am so thankful for that now!

My breakouts have slowed almost to a complete halt. I feel I am in a great position now, especially considering I am still not at day 30. My skin is dry and flakey but the discolouration has evened out and any pimples that I do get are those non-threatening, fast resolving kinds that come to a head really quickly and heal really quick too.

I am still struggling somewhat with my skin picking compulsion. In an attempt to remedy this I am reading "Skin Picking: The Freedom to Finally Stop" which is so far fantastic and a brilliant resource for those who wish to stop skin picking. One of the first exercises is to keep a 2 week diary which documents your skin picking, I am keeping up with this diary now but that's a separate issue to the Caveman Regimen.

All in all I am very pleased.

At day 30 I will gently wash my face with a little cool tap water and then continue to leave it alone. I promise at the end of this second Caveman journey I will be posting pictures from every stage of my acne. (Scary but oh well!)

If you are on the Caveman regimen right now and are itching like crazy and still breaking out, please please stick with it! It gets better!

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Currently I have 3 spots worth noting on my face. One on my right cheek which is the most severe and two flat and kind of dormant, but large enough to notice, spots on my right cheek. I am going through some pretty intense stress in my personal life right now and I am a week away from my period, so I am trying not to be too harsh on myself. I tend to be very self blaming when I am suffering from a breakout. Good points are: my chin is clear, my forehead is almost clear, my temples are clear. It is just my cheeks that appear to still suffer from those nasty under the skin spots.

Worth noting that I tried wetting my finger and exfoliating a little with just plain water last night. Lots of dead skin, but I was very gentle and brief and left it alone after about 2-3 minutes of gentle circular motions. Nothing new this morning, so I will update with any further developments following this wash.

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Day 48 (Round 2)

My skin is looking great. At the moment I have no pimples. I have scars and I have had one or two yellow headed spots while I was staying at home (maybe to do with the change in diet, ie. I was eating some dairy and chocolate) but the most miraculous thing about the caveman regimen is the healing time of these pimples. They come up and disappear within a day or two and leave little to no hyperpigmentation. I would say I am down to 1 or 2 spots a week at this point, which is similar to the point I was at in my first go at the caveman regimen.

I just wanted to update to keep a track of where I am up to. My aim this time around is to get to about 90 days no washing before I make a firm decision about the caveman. As I believe it is best with any skincare "regimen" to allow about 2 or 3 months to properly assess your progress. At the moment things are getting better and better.

As to my photo updates: I am incredibly nervous about the idea of posting photos of my skin at its worst online. It is quite an emotional personal hurdle for me to conquer. I plan on continuing to take photos as my progress develops though, and uploading them when my skin has returned to the condition I achieved in round 1 of the caveman regimen.

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I just wanted you to know I have been following this post since you started :)

Love hearing updates from you. Please don't be ashamed about posting pics of your skin at its worst, sometimes it's a relief and also we all truly understand.

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I just wanted you to know I have been following this post since you started :)

Love hearing updates from you. Please don't be ashamed about posting pics of your skin at its worst, sometimes it's a relief and also we all truly understand.

Hi MissSac17,

That's so nice to hear! Thank you for posting and I'm glad you enjoy the updates.

I know there's no better place to post my progress photos than here, since I know everyone empathises with what a struggle acne can be; I just want to feel as comfortable as I can with my progress before I post I guess, as I truly believe in the caveman regimen and hope to offer some encouragement to those who are considering giving it a go!

Thanks again for getting in touch,

J

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Day 50 (Round 2)

Just a quick note to say that today I noticed that the dead skin mask on my cheeks was a little... muddy looking? (Lovely I know.) Perhaps from the residue of makeup that I had taken off from my eyes? So I took a cotton pad soaked in water, squeezed it out, and gently wiped over my face. It removed a little of the dead skin mask, leaving my skin looking peachy in areas and a little raw in others where the dead skin had come away to reveal new.

It's a hell of a dead skin mask. I suppose it almost behaves similarly to sunburnt skin, only rather than the red raw skin underneath, there is pinky, new skin. Anyway, I'll be leaving it alone again now and seeing how I progress.

Edited by JLopez

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Day 50 (Round 2)

Just a quick note to say that today I noticed that the dead skin mask on my cheeks was a little... muddy looking? (Lovely I know.) Perhaps from the residue of makeup that I had taken off from my eyes? So I took a cotton pad soaked in water, squeezed it out, and gently wiped over my face. It removed a little of the dead skin mask, leaving my skin looking peachy in areas and a little raw in others where the dead skin had come away to reveal new.

It's a hell of a dead skin mask. I suppose it almost behaves similarly to sunburnt skin, only rather than the red raw skin underneath, there is pinky, new skin. Anyway, I'll be leaving it alone again now and seeing how I progress.

Hey I just read your entire thread and then realised how recent it was!

I started this 4 days ago now and my skin is very dry, super itchy and breaking out not awful but not great either. Dealing with this for 5 years makes me so impatient, I just want something to make acne go away overnight.

How is your progress going?

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Hey I just read your entire thread and then realised how recent it was!

I started this 4 days ago now and my skin is very dry, super itchy and breaking out not awful but not great either. Dealing with this for 5 years makes me so impatient, I just want something to make acne go away overnight.

How is your progress going?

Oh wow, I guess it's been a month since my last post!

Hi AppleySauce, my progress is going great. Right now I have no cysts and no active pimples.

My skin is dry, yes, sometimes flakey if I irritate it by picking or scratching, but all in all I much prefer the dryness to the acne, and maybe some day I will feel comfortable enough to test out a moisturiser on a breakout prone area of my face. But for now I am happy with my skins progress.

I should add here that although my skin is dry, it is very comfortable, it feels dry to the touch but does not feel tight or itchy. However, if I look back over this log to when I started this routine, it took my skin a long time to adjust, and I know how badly I wanted to wash my face and touch it and scratch it.

When I started my skin was still breaking out occassionally, even up until day 50. I truly believe that the caveman regimen takes a lot of commitment, but please stick with it. It is only as difficult as any other acne skincare routine, and if you don't try it you won't ever know. I would love to help you out if there's any specific questions you have or support that you need.

I also believe that diet, water intake and supplementation have been absolutely integral to my skins progress. The caveman was simply the icing on the cake.

Good luck and I hope your itching begins to subside very soon! Let me know if I can help at all.

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thank you so much for writing out your experiment! this helps me greatly. its the last thing people with acne want to do bc it goes against every fiber in my being BUT it makes sense lol

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Hey JLopez, are you still on the caveman regimen? I just started it the other day (posted about it here) and am wondering how often you "wash" your face with water (I say "wash" for lack of a better word... splashing, I guess).

Also, was your skin oily during your no-wash regimen? If not, how long did it take for the oiliness to subside?

Thank you SO much for documenting your experience, by the way. I related very strongly to your first post and all your descriptions of anxiety surrounding acne. It really is a traumatizing condition :smileys_n_people_15:

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Hey there,

I am fourteen years old and just started to get acne. I (used) to have really clear, nice skin but now it is somewhere between weak and mild and it is making me feel really down. It started a couple of months ago and I had quite a few small, flesh coloured bumps on the sides of my face. I decided to use witch hazel to try and clear this up and it didn't help. I began to think about when my acne started and realised it was around the time I actually started to wash my face twice a day. So I then went on the caveman regiment but used an apple cider vinegar toner (without the mother). This didn't help but actually aggravated my skin. I stopped using the apple cider vinegar a week ago and have been using jojoba oil for around a month now but I cannot tell if it is working. I started to put in on the sides of my face where I got those little bumps and it seemed to clear it up but then I started to put it on my forehead as well as my cheeks and now I have small little bumps all over my face. I cannot tell is my skin is just purging or if I should go back to using a cleanser like Cetaphil once a day. I have been on the caveman regimen for 6 weeks now and my skin hasn't gotten better and I can't tell if it is from the apple cider vinegar, the jojoba oil or from not washing my face. Please help me; all I want is my clear skin back.

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Hey there! I've been doing the caveman regimen for almost 3 months! No water has touched my face! I still have some breakouts but my main concern in all the dried up oil flakes on my face. They just aren't coming off on their own. I'm thinking about lightly scrubbing them off with a dry washcloth... but I don't want to disrupt the healing process. Do you have an update? You are the only person I have found that has documented going so long with this regimen! Thank you xx

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