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I have experimented with the caveman regimen in the past with great success. I now stick to a modified caveman regimen, ("washing" my skin twice a week with a diluted apple cider vinegar toner, and applying Burts Bees Sensitive Skin Moisturiser) but I barely ever wash my face.

My boyfriend has never used a moisturiser on his skin, and his skin is not dry in the slightest. I was wondering if anybody has any information on whether the use of moisturiser creates a dependancy over time?

I know that in the past I have been addicted to lip balms, and the more I used them, the dryer my lips got and so on. It became a vicious cycle, and when I eventually quit and weaned myself off them. I have found that my lips no longer get dry.

I was wondering if the same thing can be said for moisturiser? Any experiences?

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I think it depends. I only use water to wash my body (soap only for privates and feet) and most of my body is naturally well moisturized. But I do find that my elbows get dry so I have to moisturize them. I recommend taking krill oil and evening primrose oil internally. They help with my dry skin. The face might be tricky. I am still struggling to find what works for me. I'm attempting the caveman after reading your posts. It's funny because last year my arms and chest and back were breaking out so I stopped using soap on them and they are fine now. But my face is still awful but I'm too afraid to stop washing it. I've been using only natural things on it for a year but still awful. So I'm 2 days into caveman and hoping I have success like you. How has it been going lately for you? Still clear? 

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On 2/1/2017 at 7:49 AM, tbinybg said:

I think it depends. I only use water to wash my body (soap only for privates and feet) and most of my body is naturally well moisturized. But I do find that my elbows get dry so I have to moisturize them. I recommend taking krill oil and evening primrose oil internally. They help with my dry skin. The face might be tricky. I am still struggling to find what works for me. I'm attempting the caveman after reading your posts. It's funny because last year my arms and chest and back were breaking out so I stopped using soap on them and they are fine now. But my face is still awful but I'm too afraid to stop washing it. I've been using only natural things on it for a year but still awful. So I'm 2 days into caveman and hoping I have success like you. How has it been going lately for you? Still clear? 


Hey @tbinybg. Thanks for the reply!

I follow the same routine for my body. Except my shoulders and back, which are acne prone, I use Dr. Bronners liquid soap. But I try to only shower about 4 times a week because my skin just balances itself much better when I'm not drying it out with hot showers every day. It's crazy that we're all taught that showering daily or twice a day is necessary. Unless you are sweating excessively (working out or playing sports) it really isn't!

Great to hear you're attempting the caveman. It was such a great step for me in healing my acne. Please try to stick with it! I'm sure you've already seen my (incredibly long) caveman log - but one of the most important things for me was just sticking with it and having faith in my skin, even though it really sucked at times and got super itchy.

Yes I'm still clear - touch wood - but nowadays I attribute this mostly to my diet changes. If you haven't already seen it, I've written a more extensive post about that here: 

 

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Thanks for the reply as well. I tried to stick with caveman for a few days and it did seem to help. I got the bright idea that my skin is now invincible if I don't wash it so I ate more pizza than I'd like to admit in the span of a week. I didn't really break out that much that week so I ate chocolate too. But the next week I started breaking out bad. I guess it took a week to all come out my pores. Frustraing because I wish I could find something that worked to keep me clear no matter what I ate. So now I'm realizing and in the process of doing a major diet overhaul. Still not sure which way to go...maybe high carb low fat vegan or still eat some meat or maybe just gluten dairy free. At this point I'm scared to eat any fat thinking it is just clogging my pores. 
What is your current skin care and diet like? Do you still do ACV and Burts bees moisturizer 2 times a week and oatmeal scrub occasionally? Are you still dairy and gluten free, also do you eat fats like coconut, avacado, olive oil?  I know everyone is different. I feel like I need to moisturize my face but everytime I try something it seems to make my face worse. I feel like maybe I have candida/fungal problem on fave because I have tons of clogged pores and blackheads and some breakouts that don't budge no matter what. I have tried ACV too and the clogged pores still persist. I applied some diluted oregano oil to my face this morning in hopes it will dry out my problem pores. I really want to just leave my skin alone and do nothing but I'm afraid it will just get worse. Sorry for the lengthy post. Just venting and trying to find out what has worked for others.

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On 2/21/2017 at 1:50 AM, tbinybg said:

Sorry for the lengthy post. Just venting and trying to find out what has worked for others.


Hey @tbinybg

Don't apologise! I'll try and help in any way I can. I know how frustrating acne can be.

Firstly, please don't take this as me being preachy, as I realise the caveman routine is intense and it isn't right for everyone, but a few days really isn't enough time to give it a chance. My skin was a rollercoaster for the first few weeks at least. It takes your skin around 30 days to respond to any new skincare routine because that's how long the turnover of cells takes. So you wouldn't see any results until at least the 30 day mark, personally I saw the most improvement from 30 days onward. For me personally I started the caveman regimen at the same time as changing my diet, and I firmly believe that attempting one without the other would not have given me the results I have got.

I think that balance is one of the most important things when you decide to change your diet. Of course you know that pizza and chocolate aren't going to be good for your skin. I believe that the problem I was experiencing was inflammation in my body caused by repeated exposure to foods that I am intolerant to (which for me turns out to be gluten, meat and dairy.) When I started the diet, I may have taken it a little too seriously, I lost quite a lot of weight as I was worrying about calories and fats and the effect they would have on my skin. Now I have found that what I am eating is equally as important as what I'm not. Your body needs to be nourished. For example, you can't just cut out pizza and expect your skin to get better, improving your skin through diet requires a fully-committed approach, but it gets easier as you learn what to eat and how to cook it. I also cannot stress how much changing my diet improved my mood and my mental clarity. An inflamed body is not a healthy body.

I just added a post over here: 

that goes into more detail about my diet on a typical day. And yes I eat fats! Not excessively but I enjoy avocados and I cook with coconut oil every day.

Skincare wise I recently made my routine more simple. Once or twice a week I'll wipe my face down very gently with a warm washcloth to remove dead skin, I still use a 50/50 ratio AVC and water mix as a toner, then I apply 2 drops of grape seed oil by gently patting it into my skin. The most important thing with any skincare routine is consistency and knowing your skin type. I realised during the caveman that my skin (which I thought was oily) is actually very dry. Grape seed oil is non-comodogenic and high in linoleic acid which is great for acne prone skin. Though I must stress that, for me, doing 30 days of the caveman regimen was an important first step. It allowed my skin to balance itself after years of harsh face washes and switching routines every month.

I hope this was helpful, let me know if you have any more questions!

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Wow very helpful. Thank you for the time you took to answer me! 
I will have to give the caveman another shot and try to be more committed this time around along with the healthier diet.

I really don't know exactly what my allergies/sensitivities are. I mean, I'm pretty healthy in every other way except for the acne. I have tried to eat healthy for years and years now. Even the pizza I ate was from a health food store. But maybe as I get older I am becoming sensitive to things I used to be able to eat.

My main problem with my face is not so much huge pimples everywhere, but every pore on my face is clogged with either a blackhead or skin colored bump. Sometimes whiteheads,  sometimes cysts, oily....but worst of all indented scars and some hyperpigmentation.

Did you find something that helped your indented scarring and pigmentation? It seems I'm trying to fix my scarring more than my acne and the things I'm trying  are too harsh so it causes more acne and scarring. And yet like I said I have been only doing natural things to my face for a year plus. Papaya masks and oatmeal and acv etc .... maybe doing nothing at all will be better than everything. ..... thanks again for your help. Seems like Acne.org is the only place that really understands me.

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5 hours ago, tbinybg said:

Wow very helpful. Thank you for the time you took to answer me! 


Hey no problem. Speaking to people on acne.org was like my lifeline when my acne was really bad!

Yeah finding out what you have sensitivities too is the hard part. If you really want to find out there are a couple of routes you can go down. There's allergy testing. Here in the UK it is quite expensive but it's probably the quickest route you can take. You can have food sensitivities to all kinds of things. Personally I couldn't afford the test so I did the elimination diet for 4 weeks (you can search it on google.) Essentially you just cut out the foods that are likely to be allergenic (usually meat, wheat, dairy, caffeine and sugar) and then after 4 weeks you introduce each thing back into your diet one at a time to see how your body reacts. When I first read about this diet I thought there was no way I could do it, but I did, and without  that knowledge I might never have been motivated to stick to my new diet. And yes, sensitivities can start at any time, even if you didn't have them before (great, right?) I recently realised that when I eat oranges or drink fruit juices I break out with small cystic pimples on my cheeks, so I avoid them now.

I'd even be wary of things from health food stores to be honest - they can still contain a lot of salt and "natural" chemicals. The only thing you can really trust is the ingredients list, but cooking from scratch is always best and much cheaper if you have time.

Your acne sounds pretty similar to mine. It's super important to treat the root cause of your acne before you start treating your scarring. I made so many mistakes when my acne was bad, covering my face in lemon juice, BHA face masks, crazy scrubs etc. All of this just made treating my acne harder and irritated my skin. The thing is with most hyperpigmentation and scarring, is it will fade, you just have to give it time. This wasn't what I wanted to hear when my face was covered in red marks, but the most powerful treatment for me has been sticking to a consistent, very gentle skincare routine, and allowing the marks to fade on their own. It's obvious to say but the best remedy for scars is not getting acne in the first place.

Something else I've learnt over the years is that "natural" does NOT equal gentle or even safe. A lot of natural acne treatments like lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar etc. can be way, way too harsh for skin. I remember doing this kinds of treatments thinking I could just burn the acne off my face with acids and scrubbing but it's so detrimental to your healing.

Again, let me know if you have any more questions! Here to help :)
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Thank you so much for your response. I am frustrated at myself...I was being very gentle with my skin a couple weeks ago and it was looking a lot better and then I thought it needed something more and within a week's time I had used clay, witch hazel, oregano oil and who knows what else. Oh my soul it looked so bad this morning. I really need to stick to this caveman because I feel deep down in my soul it's what will really work. It's hard when I see so many clogged pores and oil and blackheads and breakouts. But after reading your log, I know it's what will solve the problem of over production of oil and healing my acid mantle. It's crazy but I feel like my skin is so sensitive to everything, even water and oatmeal seem to irritate it. All the more reason to have some determination and faith to endure the healing process so someday I can look back with clear skin and say it was worth it. Thanks again!

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16 hours ago, tbinybg said:

Thank you so much for your response.



That's so good to hear! I'm so glad that you're feeling like sticking to the caveman. It was such a big learning curve for me! It can be difficult but there are so many success stories. I really recommend the Love Vitamin blog - Tracey who runs it had success with the caveman regimen and she has a great guide to it here: http://thelovevitamin.com/caveman-regimen-ultimate-guide/ and also the modified caveman regimen which is closer to what I'm doing now: http://thelovevitamin.com/13795/modified-caveman-regimen/

To be honest, since speaking to you, I've really reconsidered how much I have been over-complicating my skincare routine. It was basic before but I have decided to really cut down on the products I use and how often. It's just got me thinking about how much my skin liked the caveman regimen, and my only skin complaint really since my acne improved is that I'll occasionally get a rashy sort of redness on my cheeks that looks a little bit like rosacea. At the start of last week I stopped using a washcloth, diluted my ACV toner 20/80 with water and decided to only use it once a week. I'm still moisturizing with grape seed oil every day and my skin is already looking better for it. I think a lot of people with acne have super sensitive skin but are scared to quit harsh treatments because that's what the beauty industry tells us is going to work.

Good luck with your caveman! I really hope it works for you.
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I know this is kind of a personal question and if you don't want to answer that's fine .... but after reading your log and seeing your acne pics from worst to better, and how you mentioned that your boyfriend encouraged you to keep going in the caveman...how were you able to maintain a healthy relationship with him while your skin was at its worst? I had pretty good skin when I was married...some minor scarring from previous breakouts but overall skin was good. We have been married 5 yrs and my skin gets worse every year. Probably hormones and worse diet at times. But the point I'm getting to is that I am do self concious about my skin now that I avoid spending time with my husband and he takes it personally. My skin is about is bad as the worst pic you posted and I feel so sorry for him that my skin looks like that for him. He tells me I'm beautiful and he loves me but I'm sure you understand we can be so hard on ourselves. How did you manage being in a relationship with skin like that? Its such a huge stress to me that my skin doesn't look good for him. Maybe some guys don't care about perfect skin as much as others. I know I'm a perfectionist and want perfect skin, for my husband and for myself. I miss feeling pretty although that is a vain thing and I know this all has humbled me greatly in how I view others so that's good but it's still hard to deal with.

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13 hours ago, tbinybg said:

I know this is kind of a personal question and if you don't want to answer that's fine .... but after reading your log and seeing your acne pics from worst to better, and how you mentioned that your boyfriend encouraged you to keep going in the caveman...how were you able to maintain a healthy relationship with him while your skin was at its worst? 


Thanks for asking this. I think it's a really important topic and it's not too personal for me.

Firstly I think it's important for me to stress that no matter how I came across in the caveman logs, that time of my life was one of, if not the most emotionally distressing time I have been thorough. I felt like a monster, I felt trapped in my own home, I avoided social events and I cried most days.
And, like you, I punished myself for feeling like this, for wanting to be pretty and thinking I was vain. I thought I should be thankful - I was healthy, my body worked, I could see and hear, I had my arms and legs - I had so much to be thankful for. But all problems are relative, and your face is your face. It's what people see every time they look at you, and if you look in the mirror and what you see doesn't feel like 'you' then it hurts and that is a real and genuine struggle. 

All my relationships suffered somewhat during this time. I have high functioning anxiety disorder coupled with social anxiety - the acne made my symptoms much worse. I avoided friends, people from university, teachers and even my boyfriend at times. I remember days when I would sit in the bedroom with the curtains shut from the moment I woke up until dark just googling acne and researching every product and miracle cream I could find, no matter what the cost.

I am telling you this to stress that it was not easy, and I had my share of failed attempts at healing my acne before I finally committed to improving my diet and figuring out my skin type through a gruelling process of elimination. Keeping the caveman log and taking photos of my skin helped me tremendously in feeling like I was taking control and like I was finally doing something. I began to see healing my acne like a scientific experiment, which helped me to separate it from my identity. It took my years to see myself as a person and not 'a person with acne.'

My boyfriend was always extremely supportive, told me I was beautiful and that he didn't care about my skin. I believed him but that didn't make me feel beautiful. I was in a dark place and there was nothing he could do to help me. I know he felt powerless and lost. I think the most important thing for me was taking time to explain to him calmly and rationally (not when I was upset or angry) why it could make me so emotional and why it made me feel the way it did.

I also made the decision to have good days. This may sound silly, but I would decide not to care for a day. It wouldn't last long but it helped me to see a life beyond my acne. I had my graduation day and my degree show for art school while my skin was as bad as the first picture. I had to do public presentations and exhibition openings for school and I went on holiday twice. There were very hard things about this, but I had to decide, that today is going to be a good day and remember that no one who cared about me, cared about my acne - and if they did I didn't want them in my life anyway.

You don't have to pretend you feel beautiful when you don't. You should never put that pressure on yourself. But if you feel worried about your husband, maybe try to have some days where you shift your focus from your skin, even for a few hours, and think about the other things he loves about you - your hair or your eyes or your arms or your sense of humour or your smile - just so you can feel a little bit of love for yourself. Making a habit of this should benefit you too and the way you see yourself.

I hope this was in someway helpful. Please don't hesitate if you have any questions, I'd love to help.
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I can't say thank you enough for opening up to me...just knowing someone feels the way I do and understands...brought me to tears....it's been such a blessing already. My husband has been gone 3 months working and is coming home today. I was hoping more than anything to get my skin better before he came home and now it's even worse. I trust he will love me nonetheless and I will just have to begin my caveman journey now. 

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52 minutes ago, tbinybg said:

I can't say thank you enough for opening up to me...just knowing someone feels the way I do and understands...brought me to tears....it's been such a blessing already. My husband has been gone 3 months working and is coming home today. I was hoping more than anything to get my skin better before he came home and now it's even worse. I trust he will love me nonetheless and I will just have to begin my caveman journey now. 


Honestly it's just so rewarding to be able to reach out to someone. That's wonderful that your husband is coming home. 3 months is a long time! And it's so great that you have someone to love you and support you.

Acne can feel like such a punishment but you can conquer it. Unfortunately it just takes time and figuring out what is right for your body. I remember reading an article once that said that those people with acne are lucky in a way - acne is our body's way of telling us that something inside is out of balance, and that those of us with acne have a clear window to seeing what is going on inside. We just have to make a commitment to figuring out what it is.

Stay strong through the caveman regimen! Your skin might get a little worse before it gets better, and even though I can't promise it will be the right routine for you, I know without a doubt that it was an incredible learning experience for me. Especially in those first 30 days -  finally seeing that I didn't need to rely on mirrors and routines and products any more I could embrace some simplicity in my life.

Again, if there's any questions you have along the way or you just need someone to talk to, I'm here! And I really wish you the best of luck.

 
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