How to Do the Caveman Regimen: Clearing Acne by Not Washing Your Face

The Caveman Regimen: Clearing Acne By Not Washing Your Face

For the last 14 days, nothing has touched my face – no face wash, no honey, no oil, no fingers (well, no picking or popping anyway), no makeup, and not even water.

I am doing the caveman approach to skincare!

What is the Caveman Regimen?

Most of you know that I advocate a simple skincare routine full of natural, non irritating, non drying ingredients. I believe strongly that most people’s commercial cleansers, moisturizers and topicals are actually working against them instead of for them and could be giving you acne instead of getting rid of it.

Well, the caveman is just taking the idea of gentle skincare to the next level – it’s the ultimate simple skincare routine. You essentially do nothing.

The Theory of the Caveman Goes Like This:

Your skin has something called an “acid mantle” that it develops when you hit puberty. It’s like this shell made up of sweat and sebum that protects your body from invading bacteria. It has a PH of approximately 5.5. Slightly acidic.

Problem is, we are constantly stripping our skin of this acid mantle by washing it and slathering it in stuff – especially with harsh, drying chemicals that have inappropriate PH ratings. For example, the reason you shouldn’t ever wash your face with bar soap, is because it is always highly alkaline. It messes with your acid mantle.

So at the very least, you want to be using something gentle to wash your face that has a slightly acidic PH – luckily honey, the thing I normally recommend, does. That is one reason I chose to use it in the first place.

So anyway, the theory goes that this acid mantle – the sweat and sebum that we are taking great pains to keep off our skin – is actually what protects you from bacteria invading your pores and creating acne. Problem is that for most of us, from the minute we see that first spot as an adolescent, we’ve been using some form of cleanser or topical to keep the acne at bay. Most of us have never given our skin a break since the time we were 13 years old.

In fact, maybe – and especially if you’re an adult with acne that just never stopped after your teenage years – you don’t even have acne anymore at all. You are just creating acne with all the irritation from your washing and products – or at least greatly exasperating it. And even gentle products could still be changing your acid mantle more than you’d want and leaving your skin unprotected.

The answer? Do nothing. Stop washing your face or putting anything on it. Let your natural oils and sweat build up and protect your face,  and your acne will greatly decline or go away. Let your skin heal itself with absolutely no outside interference.

–> Okay that’s the theory.

Don’t ask me if the theories are correct, and I’m certain this isn’t going to work for everyone.

Acne isn’t that simple, and we know that the acne machine churns on the inside, not the outside. But there are many different steps in the formation of inflamed acne, and one, is the introduction of bacteria into a clogged pore. Another is physical irritation of that clogged pore, which causes your body to then respond with inflammation there.

So maybe if you cut out some of the latter steps in the acne formation cycle and let your skin work its own magic, you could greatly reduce or eliminate your inflamed acne even if you are battling internal factors.

Whether it really works or not, I’ve always been incredibly enthralled with the idea. This whole ‘caveman regimen’ is all the rave over on the acne.org message boards, which is where I believe the idea was born and I came across it. It sounds like a lot of people have had some success with it. Not everyone, but lots have.

It was actually when my acne was severe that I came across this whole idea. It excited me a lot, because it seemed to make such perfect sense. What IF I was just causing my own acne? What IF the answer was doing nothing? How amazing would that be? I mean, I only seem to have acne on the parts of my face that I’d been washing and slathering with benzoyl peroxide for the last four years. The skin on the rest of my body is so perfect.

I think it was wishful thinking considering how bad my acne was then (definitely some sizeable inside issues needing to be addressed there!), but the theory stuck with me and I wanted to try it more than anything.

Of course – then came the one major roadblock in my amazing plans for caveman domination and that was makeup. My skin was so bad, I absolutely couldn’t bear the thought of not covering it up. I simply couldn’t will myself to do it. And I wasn’t about to just wear a ton of makeup and not wash it off day after day. (Although this girl did that and it still worked)

So even though I chickened out, I am still grateful to the caveman regimen because learning about it was the reason I was able to give up topicals for good and stay committed to only ever using natural, gentle ingredients on my skin. It took me a while to figure out the best thing to use, but I finally came across honey to use as a cleanser and it was like a match made in heaven (with a great PH rating to boot).

How to Do the Caveman Regimen

With such a simple regimen, you’d think there wouldn’t be too much to explain, but of course there is actually a heap to discuss.

First of all – not everyone does the caveman the same. To many, the caveman simply means ‘water only’. Splashing your face with water once in a while, or water that touches your face in the shower, and nothing else. That one’s pretty simple to explain.

But the more hardcore cavemen among us (including myself) are not even letting water touch our faces. Not forever, but at least 30 days.

This is because it serves to eliminate absolutely all irritation. There are chemicals in your tap water, after all. And water itself is actually quite drying, meaning that you’re going to need a moisturizer afterward, and then we’re just backpedaling into the “do something” routine.

The other reason for quitting water is that when you stop washing or rinsing your face after having done it twice a day for years, you build up a bunch of dead skin on your face. The ‘dead skin mask’, they call it. This protects your skin as it heals, regulates its sebum production, and restores itself to its youthful appearance underneath.

Allegedly your skin renews itself every 28 days, so sometime after a good four weeks, you can remove the dead skin mask by very gently exfoliating with a wet muslin cloth (or even just scraping it off with a clean fingernail) and your skin should be as smooth as a baby’s bottom if all went to plan. Then you can rinse or wash your face with something gentle every so often and stop completely avoiding water.

Wait – wait.

Dead skin mask?

Ew.

Yeah I know. I never said this was going to be pretty. But it’s not as bad as it sounds, or at least mine isn’t, here on day 14. It’s not really noticeable at all if you aren’t looking for it. It seems it would only be obvious if you disturb it (I hear you can see it if it gets wet or if you scratched at it or something). It’s not the type of thing that looks like you’re wearing this:

However, I do hear it gets worse as times goes on, and you do look a bit crusty and flakey by the end. I will certainly let you know when I get to that stage.

Despite all this, I’ve also heard that it is quite worth it – inflammation goes way down, if you do get spots, they are usually much smaller and go away quicker, and after you remove the skin mask, your skin looks way better – not oily, not dry, just perfect – and you don’t have to wash as much or at all.

Essentially the caveman regimen is the “no ‘poo” method for your face. It might be really oily, or it might be excessively dry for quite a few days. You could have a purging breakout or congestion. Maybe it won’t be great for a while… but then you will reap the rewards of a self regulating face that doesn’t over or underproduce oil, isn’t as congested, and looks a hell of a lot of healthier.

Again – this is only a theory, but it makes sense to me, and some people do clear their acne this way.

Logistical Issues with the Caveman Regimen

Aside from letting go of the psychological attachments we have to washing and products, the most obvious thing that is probably jumping to mind if you’re a lady is ‘but.. but……. no makeup?’.

Yes, that’s right, no makeup, and for me, this is the biggest logistical issue, by far. And I’m not even someone with really bad skin anymore, and I was never even the type who ever wore full makeup, only directly on spots – but the idea of absolutely NO makeup, through thick or thin, no matter what happens, still makes me feel a bit panicky sometimes.

The emotional impact of the choice to go without is a whole ‘nother can of worms, and I’ll save that for next post when I discuss how my caveman experiment has been going.

But for now – the answer is yes – NO makeup (well, except eye makeup. I still wear mascara. Just no skin makeup). While I did link to someone above who piled makeup on her face and never washed it and this was still successful, somehow that just seems like a bad idea. Although perhaps maybe it wouldn’t be too detrimental if you only put a tiny dab on a pimple just to cut down on that redness and didn’t wash that off. I’ve done that before when I was camping to no ill effect.

Either way, putting a bunch of makeup on when your face is all flakey and crusty is usually a really bad idea anyway. Tends to look a lot worse than if you just didn’t put any on, doesn’t it?

I’d like to point out here that if you are a guy, I’d think about giving this a try. I mean, if you didn’t wear makeup anyway, what do you really have to lose by trying this regimen? Then if it works you can let us ladies know so that maybe we’ll have an easier time letting the makeup go for a while if we know it is worthwhile.

So that brings me to the next question – if you’re a guy, how do you shave?

From my understanding, guys doing this regimen use beard trimmers and set them to the closest setting. Or just really get into the whole caveman thing and grow a full beard!

Another question that might pop into your head is – how do I wash my hair or shower if I can’t get my face wet?

Well, personally I just have baths now. If you don’t like that idea, sounds like everyone else just tilts their head back and does their best to keep the water off their face (I’d like to note here that shampoo streaming down your face can be a source of irritation, so this is great as it removes that as well!). But yeah… it sounds like if you get your face a tiny bit wet with splashes from the shower, it’s not going to ruin everything.

Other Things to Consider Before You Start the Caveman

  • The caveman is best paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Since acne comes from within (and can be exasperated from the outside), this no washing stuff is going to be the most effective if you are also eating like a caveman – or at least not eating processed garbage.
  • The caveman regimen is also best paired with a ‘do nothing’ attitude toward your acne (I mean, aside from eating well and exercising, things every person should be doing regardless of acne status). This means that you also don’t spend hours in front of the mirror obsessing over your acne, you just do other fun stuff and ignore it. This lowers your stress levels significantly and will greatly improve your chances for success with this.
  • I’m guessing the biggest improvements with this regimen are going to be with people who have been using the harsh chemicals, topicals, and irritating cleansers. Since I’ve been using a gentle, natural skin care routine for some time now, I don’t honestly know how much improvement I’m expecting for my mild acne problem (especially because I know it’s digestion related) – but you never know – maybe I’m wrong and doing nothing is the last piece of the puzzle. That’s why it’s called an experiment!

Extra Curricular Caveman Reading

Here are links to some of the popular Acne.org threads about the caveman regimen. Some are about the hardcore no water approach, and some are just about washing with water instead. If you’re interested in this concept, have a read through some of them:

Acne.org Caveman Regimen Reviews (they’re mostly great reviews!)
The biggest caveman regimen thread on acne.org
Not washing 14 Day Log
Not Washing for A Month Thread

The Caveman Strategy

Okay, tune in for the next post on Wednesday, where I will be talking about my personal experiences with the caveman regimen so far!

What do you think about the caveman regimen? Would you ever try it?

**Update** – Get the updates on my caveman regimen experiment by clicking on the following links:

My Experiences on the Caveman Regimen So Far
The Caveman Regimen Experiment – 30 Day Update
“No Wash” Caveman Regimen for Acne – 3 Month Update

** UPDATE ** This topic has been so popular, I’ve finally decided to create ‘Caveman Regimen: The Ultimate Guide’ to answer all your questions and help you through the terrifying process of letting of of skin care (as well as help with modifying the Caveman to suit you and your needs better). Click here for more details!

Comments

    • Tracy says

      No, you don’t do anything at all to your skin (on this regimen)… no scrubs… no face wash.. no moisturizers… not even water in my case. Nothing at all!

        • Tracy says

          yeah I think it could… there’s a lot of chemicals in it… chlorine, and maybe flouride depending on where you live, which can affect people’s acne. It’s much better to drink filtered water, preferably spring water if you can (especially if you have fluoridated water).

  1. says

    Wow, that was really interesting, I’m excited to read the fallowing articles! I’m doing the no shampoo kind of thing for a while, and It worked amazing to me… So why not doing the same thing for my skin? As you said, the only thing that “turn me off” is about the makeup. I don’t feel comfortable to don’t wear any, but I’m still thinking about it. Maybe it’s the thing to do! It’s kind of scary however…

    • Tracy says

      Oh yeah. The no makeup thing is completely frightening. It’s… terrifying. Since writing this, I actually already caved and put a tiny dab on only one pimple that just looked a little too red… I still didn’t wash my face over it though :)

      • says

        You know what? I think I’ll try it! Maybe it will help me to be less emotionaly attached to my makeup… Do you think I should just do it like you without any water? is that supposed to be more efficient? It does’nt matter to me cause I don’t really wash my hair either just wet it a couple times a week.

        • Tracy says

          I think the no water at all is supposed to speed the healing a bit, and that you might see slower results with water only..? But I don’t know, that’s just hearsay.

          My skin is more on the dry side, so I knew that if I rinsed with water often, my skin would just be super dry. If your skin is more oily it might be better suited for the water only vs the no water. Either way, even if you are using water, I’d probably only recommend wetting your face every three days or every second day at the most.

        • Hallie says

          I think no water at all seems to help amazingly. I have acne since puberty, I am 26 now. For a while I was washing my skin twice a day! Crazy. Then I switched to once a day, then I switched to natural cleansers (like raw honey). Still had acne, though not as bad–especially when I stopped eating processed foods completely. I guess the final step was no washing at all! I gave it up, gave up my makeup (except eye makeup) and my skin has pretty much become flawless. I splash it about once a week with cool water now. I have been doing this for nearly a year now. Great results! I completely recommend it.

      • says

        Not at all! The only change that I noticed was that my hair was a little oily the first week, but it wasn’t so bad… Nobody could even notice it! I made the transition in a long way, by start to wash my hair less often first (maybe every three day). After a couple week, I started to wash it every week or less using only a little bit of baking soda when my hair looked greasy. Now, I only rinse it with water sometimes and it look very great!

  2. RACHEL says

    I have been thinking of this for awhile, but I want to wait to dive in when I have more down time to do it completely(I do not want to do any experiments with my looks since I am giving several presentations and speeches in the near future). But I do think I will do this over the weekends. I have noticed my skin has become more oily and I am wondering if that is because I am using some products to try and get rid of some scaring(might be too harsh?). Who knows, maybe even two days a week can make a big difference! Thanks for the article and the links for more research. :)

  3. Nathan says

    I think I’m going to give this a go! Well, half give it a go.

    I could quite easily go without splicing my face with water in the morning (which I’ve been doing for a few weeks), but I think I would want to wash it at night time. (just due to the air pollution in the city etc.)

    At least washing at night ‘allows’ me to wet my face as I shave, which like you said is kinda a problem for us guys. (electric shavers are terrible in my opinion – even the £200 one’s which I’ve had!)

    • Tracy says

      Oh really? So beard trimmers suck? That’s too bad… I guess guys have their own complicated logistical issues then!

      Oh yes, and thanks for reminding me about air pollution… I’m not sure how that affects the experiment :/

      • Skin Researcher says

        I believe while on the cave man regimen it’d be wise to eat garlic regularly as garlic is very heavy and is very effective in purging the body of heavy metals and pollutants. Therefore you could continue the regimen without breaking any rules and cleanse the body of pollutants internally as opposed to using water. Just my theory.

  4. Lindsay says

    I find that if I don’t wash my face before bed that the next morning my skin looks better. Yes, it’s oily as heck but it’s as if the oil is helping to heal.

      • Ami says

        Being a Muslim, I wash my face with water thrice a time, 5 times a day. Would I still be able to follow this caveman regimen?^^

        • Tracy says

          Hi Ami – well, some people do the caveman regimen by just washing with water, so yes, I suppose you could do a sort of caveman. Normally I wouldn’t ever recommend rinsing 5 times a day, but if it’s part of your religion and you’re not willing to change that then you need to do what you need to do!

        • Hermione Rose Everdeen says

          Hello, Ami.

          I know your comment’s directed to dear Tracy, but as a Muslim myself, I think I can help. You can use soft water (filtered, boiled, etc.) to wash your face, and spring water’s the best. But if you have absolutely no choice but to use hard water, well- as dear Tracy says, you gotta do what you gotta do!

          I think Tayammum (ablution without water; using clear soil or stone) might help, though I’ve heard you only use it if you have no access to water or because of illnesses … Well, I guess I’ll lurk more and research on that later.

          Oh … And to dear Tracy (Lol, I’m not mocking anyone here) I honestly LOVE YOUR AVATAR! <3

          Oh, and I think I'll have some questions to ask later … Of course, I've recently started the caveman regimen and wash my face with soft water when I have to pray, and my face looks a lot clearer than before … I feel I've got a bit more zits on my face now as some parts hurt a bit while I gently wipe my face with my hands, but it's less visible and my face looks radiant. :)

          The downside? That flaky feel and the smell of sebum. -_-

      • says

        Hi Tracy,

        you said something about not to wash your face with soap. I always use the normal bar soap (irish spring) to wash off my makeup with.
        What do you suggest as a good makeup remover instead?

  5. Jenny says

    Today I decided to go to work without makeup or even washing my face — before seeing your post — spooky coincidence!

    I’m very neurotic about how my skin looks, so it was pretty scary. And I don’t even have any active zits right now — just those red hyper-pigmentation marks that take so long to fade. (Diet has been a huge factor in getting this far.)

    And you know what? Nothing bad happened! I don’t think anyone even noticed.

    I do notice that my skin sort of calms down when I do nothing to it for a day, or if I don’t wash off my makeup when my boyfriend stays over.

    I’m definitely going to try to do more nothing, although it is hard to resist doing something. But like you mentioned, I only have skin issues where I’ve been interfering since I was 11 — on my face.

    Let us know how you fare, especially with the fear of no makeup!

  6. Yvonne says

    I used to use all kinds of commercially produced products in my teens in an attempt to keep my severe acne at bay, sometimes up to 5 different ones in one sitting! Then, in my late teens, suspecting that it could be causing the problem, I switched to using just water twice a day to wash. My skin didn’t get worse, but it didn’t really improve much either, and it looked quite dry. So after a month or so I decided I needed to moisturise and bought some natural aloe vera gel. The first time I applied it and rubbed it in, tons of dead grey-looking skin sloughed away in layers. My skin looked better instantly. I can still hear my sister the next day saying, “Wow, Yvonne, what have you been using on your skin?”. I think I cleared about 60% of my acne overnight with that. I’ve only ever used water since with a few drops of something natural to moisturise with. It wasn’t a cure though. I’ve still always had mild acne and I’m 32 now, but compared to how it used to be I can live with that. Less is definitely more.

  7. Christy says

    I would love to do the caveman regimine. I am all for trying new things…but the whole layer of grossness is certainly not applealing. Does it smell? I am going to try it. I can’t wait to hear how it is going for you, Tracey.

    • Tracy says

      It’s really not very obvious at all, or nearly as bad as it sounds, as long as you don’t disturb it/try to put makeup on it. It doesn’t smell, but if you normally have bad BO, then it might be a concern… people only have BO because of how they eat and what sort of toxins are trying to escape their bodies through their sweat

  8. Riamey says

    Interesting! I might have to try this once my skin clears up a bit more – I’m too chicken to do it right away and not use makeup on my residual hyper pigmentation. Plus, since I’m still sort of weening myself off of Proactiv, I really don’t want to go cold turkey and not do anything for my skin.
    I’ve been implementing some of your low-key skin routines over the past week. I haven’t been using a moisturizer when I wash my face, but I have been applying aloe vera afterwards. I just have a plant that I break stems off of whenever I need it. What’s your take on aloe vera? Is it good for the skin? Is it drying? Can it be a moisturizer?
    Thanks, Tracy! :)

    • Tracy says

      I really like aloe vera… I used to use it on my face every night instead of jojoba… I don’t know if it’s a great moisturizer… some find it drying, some find it moisturizes. I liked it though

  9. Martha says

    Im really excited you’ve written this post as Ive just started doing this myself now for the past week. I LOVE the laziness factor, anything to simplify my life is a good thing.

    I noticed that as a nurse, I wash my hands A LOT but I hate putting mositurizer on them as I hate the greasy feel of it and yet… my hands are never dry. Meanwhile, my co workers are slathering on goop all the time. I wondered if the same might work for my face.

    I’ve had no results so far but I see that as a good thing as it certainly hasn’t gotten any worse. My skin feels mega dry and as an experiment I’ve tried a tiny bit of argan oil on the jaw line of one side of my face only – a controled experiment so to speak.

    The makeup thing is the scary part but I’ve done it and lived to tell the tale. I feel like everyone is staring at my face and I wish I could wear a bag over my head but meanwhile, I’ll just deal. It’ll be worth it if it works.

    Looking forward to hearing your experience.

    • Tracy says

      Yeah, I figure that even if it doesn’t actually get RID of your acne, it still is a great exercise to show you that not washing your face doesn’t result in imminent disaster and it at least doesn’t get any worse…. it’s really good to break that psychological need

  10. Devin says

    I am sooooo interested in this. I really would love to do this whole caveman thing but… I could not go without make up right now. My skin is in a healing process from the cleanse so I’m kinda breaking out a little and wearing makeup makes me feel normal when I’m breaking out. Also, I love my manuka honey! It’s really helped out a lot with the texture of my skin and has even lessened a lot of my scarring from when I used to pick. So perhaps when my skin has cleared up a little, most likely in the summer, I will turn caveman. Do you think salt water is ok? I’m constantly in the ocean in the summertime.

  11. Kumiko says

    I am so excited to do this but just one thing is stopping me from doing so. I live in a big city, loads of cars and another factor is that my parents smoke like crazy! So there will be fumes – which *drumroll*
    will be on my face ofcourse, will sebum be strong enough to hold that outside of my pores?

    • eva says

      I was wondering about the same problem, since as an artist I work in the studio a lot, where I’m around paint fumes and dust. Anyhow, I will start again with washing my face less. Yesterday night I didn’t wash my face, even though I was wearing a little compact powder, and this morning my skin looked really good…until I went under the shower and water went over my face. Right afterwards my skin looked red, thin, dry and wrinklely..

  12. Svea says

    Hi Tracy,

    the caveman regimen – not thinking about skincare and all that stuff – can be very liberating …

    I was “forced“ to try it once in my early teens: my addiction to creams resulted in a severe perioral dermatitis. Just skin products in general provoked, aggravated and worsened the condition. The caveman regimen was the only thing that helped. I just rinsed with warm water to open pores and cooler water to close the pores two or three times a week. For over 6 months.

    At first I had such an awful time and felt naked without makeup. In the first two weeks I didn‘t even go to school at that time and tried to hide at home. I didn‘t dare to meet anybody, didn‘t socialize. That was the worst thing. But when my skin began to clear up, I became a little more self-confident. I began to live my life and after a while I simply forgot about it all!

    Have you guys realized that in third world countries or in places where people do not have access to skincare their skin still looks great in most cases?

    However, the caveman regimen works for me only for a relatively short period of time. My eczema just loves to show up from time to time, especially in winter, and asks for a little more attention … and oils!

    But still I can‘t wait to read your next post!

    • Samantha says

      Hey, how did you deal with your eczema? I think I have that, or psoriasis — since rinsing with only water and no moisturizing I’ve found that I have itchy, red, scaly patches across my face. Do you simply put oils on them and leave them be, or do you wash with honey and moisturize? What controls them? I’ve tries using a humidifier, and it makes it BETTER but doesn’t get rid of it — I can still feel the scales, even if they aren’t super visible.

  13. Stella says

    I’m going to try this. Good thing is I’m at home right now anyway with no obligations to leave the house (wrtiting essay after essay for university, ugh) for at least another week. Will see how it goes, right now my skin has so much improved from cutting out dairy/sugar, drinking green smoothies AND manuka honey! God, I love this honey. Every other natural face care stuff failed on my skin, so thank youuu SO much for manuka!! :)
    Tap water is def. not the best for my skin, it’s always a bit dry after washing. But I have this awesome bottled thermal spring water from Avène which I might use every 3 days or so instead of plain old tap water. I’ve had good experiences with this stuff. Plus maybe once a week a manuka mask. That’s the plan!

  14. Christelle says

    Yeah, caveman! I agree with the concept completely. It sounds so logical. We stress our skin out with lotions and creams and chemicals all the time… it just seems to logical to let the body heal itself.
    I haven’t gone that far – I just use splash a little water on my face in the morning and leave my skin alone until the following day. But for those with dry skin I would definitely recommend doing nothing at all, I mean no water at all. My skin is dry, and the fact that I’m using water and no moisturizer isn’t helping… ahh, it’s not easy to take the full plunge! Can’t wait to hear your results :-)

  15. Stella says

    BTW about the make-up: I really think that this a psychological thing. My skin was never that bad but putting on foundation was/is the first thing I do before leaving the house. It’s so weird because sometimes I even think the skin looks better (or at least not worse) without make-up but it kind of feels more safe with it?! Like it’s not even about the appearance itself for the most part (I’d just need to hide some spots), it’s more like a safety shield or something. Really f*cked up tbh.
    Also whenever someone looks at me for JUST a nanosecond too long I always panic that my face looks funny or red or that I didn’t cover a pimple good enough or something dumb like that. I told a friend about that, he was like “… did it ever occur to you that maybe someone’s looking at you because they think you’re pretty?” LOL no, it didn’t! Talk about paranoia! Uggh.

    • Tracy says

      It really is all just psychological attachments. I’m not used to seeing myself without my bits of makeup to even everything out… so it just.. like… freaks me out. But I dislike how much it freaks me out, and I want to move past that. Only way to do that is face your fears head on and move through them, I guess

    • Samantha says

      Tracy, if doing the caveman regimen (except with water every few days) has given me psoriasis, d’you think it’s time to throw in the towel? Or should I try doing NOTHING for a while? It’s just, I never had psoriasis before, and it seems really not cool to stick with this regime when it’s actually made my skin worse.

      • Tracy says

        Hi Samantha,
        I think that if it’s making your skin really dry and scaly, that you should cut out using water completely and maybe also use a tiny bit of moisturizing oil, like jojoba (still no washing or water, just rub a bit into your skin once a day). Water is so drying, and so are other factors, like dry indoor heat in the winter, and a dry climate… dry skin isn’t good!

  16. says

    Awesome post. Thanks! I actually never wear makeup on my face, since I think it makes my blemishes look worse (I’m probably just not very adept at application), but I am super attached to my mascara and eyeliner. How are you removing your eye makeup?

    • Tracy says

      I’ll be honest…. I never remove my mascara (I’ll probably get some people telling me why that’s horrible, but it’s never seemed to be a problem for me). I wear waterproof and it just sort of… flakes off on it’s own after a while and then I reapply it. If I wore full eye makeup then I would probably make more of a point to take it off. But anyway… to answer your question… you can use jojoba oil or olive oil on your eyes to remove it… just put some on a cotton pad or something and swipe them over.

  17. Gabrielle says

    I just started doing this about 2 days ago, so I’m not seeing drastic results just yet, but I was wondering if you would do the same for your body if you had back acne? I started doing the whole baking soda and vinegar alternative to shampoo and this caveman regime for my face. But I don’t know what to do with my body. I’m constantly using cetaphil body wash, but I’m not sure if that’s good for my skin.

    • Tracy says

      I don’t see why you wouldn’t/couldn’t try it for your back.. if you want to try this regimen, just don’t wash your back with anything except water… don’t know how you could do the completely no water thing for your back though

  18. says

    Its a new thing for me to hear about the caveman regimen. Does this really work. Did you ever try it out yourself. I have tried many other methods for getting rid if acne which were very beneficial.

  19. Christine says

    Hi Love Vitamin, I have been very inspired by you, first, I started making kefir a few months ago (water kefir), and really love it. Then, I saw this post and decided to challenge myself with no washing, starting last week.

    It was a hurdle to give up bathing, it is one of my beloved rituals, but after suffering from acne for so long (decades) it seemed worth the sacrifice. I have had really severe acne, which I have outgrown, but lingering was moderate bacne that has been the bain of my existence, my face is mostly clear, but I still break out, especially around my ears and neck (yuck).

    And whoa, my skin started clearing up RIGHT away, my back is so much improved, it is pretty crazy to think that I may have been causing my acne all these years by essentially irritating it. (I had given up all serious acne meds for many years now, but I have been using lots of acne soap and AVC toners, and tried BP again last year). With no washing, the extra oils on my skin dried up around day 4!

    I would like to start wearing foundation again, after doing a month of no makeup and soap, but now it seems like I really need to be looking for a foundation that a) won’t change my skin’s ph and b) I won’t need to remove with cleansers, just water. It seems like this is all about keeping the acid mantle intact.

    It is also eye opening to realize that I (and other acne sufferers) have sensitive skin. Other people can wash with lots of soap and have perfectly clear skin, and I just can’t, it seems, otherwise I am going to get an overgrowth of acne bacteria (double yuck).

    So the search begins for a new foundation.

    • Tracy says

      Hey Christine! Crazy – that’s really cool that you’ve seen such great results with your back! Woohoo! :D

      • Christine says

        So I have mixed news to report. For the first week on the regime, my skin seemed to be improving, the texture got so much better, softer and smoother, but I have continued to break out. Now, five weeks later, I have not improved in terms of breakouts on my back at all, though my skin is still a much better texture. I am not going to go back to using soap, but I am going to go back to water, and also keep exploring the root cause of my acne. It is always a little deflating when something so promising doesn’t work. I just started a month of no-dairy, I have always been a big milk drinker and wondering if that is a big contributor to my acne, I am crossing my fingers.

        • Laura says

          Were you drinking raw milk? Because that could make a huge difference. Raw milk has lactase which actually helps our bodies process the lactose in milk.

  20. Steven says

    Hey Tracy, just a question for you. I am a healthy person which only once in a month enjoy alcohol and junkfood otherwise I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, rice, potatoes, chicken, fish and nuts. I exercise every day with pretty intense workouts. As I’m into bodybuilding and cardio. I would like to try the caveman regime but after sweating on body and face cutting out showers is not an option. I just have to be washed everywhere! Do you think only washing with water is enough to see results. I wouldn’t say I’m the kind of person who has been using lots of BP, creams and stuff like that on my skin.

  21. says

    Scary – but I’m going to give this a shot!

    So that’s nothing at all?

    No Coconut Oil/ OCM either?
    No steaming of the face either?

    Giving it a go..

    • Tracy says

      Yep nothing at all. I’m still doing the caveman now (45 days from when I started), and it’s awesome!!

  22. Em says

    Hi Tracy,

    I’ve given the caveman regimen a try for two weeks now, but it seems as if I’ve gotten even more acne than before! When I started, I only had very mild acne, but now it’s become a liitle more moderate. Is there any reason for this? I know this plan won’t work for everyone, so does this mean I’m one of them?

    Thanks and sorry for freaking out.

    • Em says

      Alright, I’ll try sticking with it for two more weeks and see how it turns out. :)

      Thanks for your advice and fast reply!

  23. eva says

    Tracy, I know this post is already old and I’m coming up with my question pretty late. And my question doesn’t even directly relate to the caveman regimen, but I don’t know where to put it: You are talking about the famous acid mantle here, which we all probably hear of a lot within our skin research. I’ve been reading here and there (unfortunately I don’t have any link right now) that some people say the acid mantle is a contemporary myth. they say that there is no such thing as a natural acid mantle. the surface of the skin is only slightly acidic because we are too acidic these days. those people refer to the fact that as babies in our moms bellies we bath in alkaline liquid and come out with babysoft skin. and then there is also the thing with alkaline salts, that when you take a bath with them and let the alkaline water dry on your skin it encourages your natural oil production and makes your skin soft. although the water is highly alkaline your skin goes back to normal right after the bath. i’ve been trying alkaline salts on and off, sometimes with great results and then again not so sure. but it’s definitely great for relaxation and detoxing. Taking alkaline baths is an ancient health thing, so it cannot be that alkaline=bad for skin. I’m sure there is also a difference between the water being alkaline b/c of high qualitay salts or b/c of some soap bar. Sooo, my question in general is, what’s up with the acid mantle and all these contradicting facts. Or aren’t they contradicting at all and I’m just not very educated in biochemistry? Would be great if you had some insight on this and could comment or make even a new post about this!!
    (I tried caveman for five days, but couldn’t take it much longer. I have a lot of respect for that you went all the way, I guess it’s worth it)

    • Tracy says

      Hi Eva,
      Well, unfortunately I’m not biochemist either, so I can’t say for absolutely certain whether or not the acid mantle really exists, but the way I see it is that no matter what fact or knowledge is out there, someone will dispute it. That’s a good thing because obviously it keeps us thinking critically, but it also makes it super annoying when it comes to figuring out health stuff. Due to this, I usually I simply prefer to go with evidence based conclusions… in other words… just go with what works in actual application.

      I personally have reason to believe the acid mantle is real, although I really don’t know how truly difficult it is to actually disturb it to the point of causing problems. The caveman thing is just a theory, but hey, it does seem to work for many people and maybe the acid mantle is why. Maybe it’s not though.

      What I do know is that the ideal PH of a surface/organ etc completely varies throughout the body. For example, the mouth, esophagus, and stomach PH is acidic, the small intestine, however, is alkaline. Amniotic fluid is alkaline, where as the vagina is acidic. And it’s actually well known that babies inherit bacteria flora from their mothers as they travel through the birth canal, which can set them up for whether or not they have digestive problems in childhood and later on. I suppose it’s reasonable to say that they would also be covered in acidic fluid as they made their way through there too.

      As for the alkaline baths and all that, I don’t know. I mean, I know baking soda and epsom salt and whatever are good for drawing out toxins from your body… so maybe they are great in one way, at the expense of another. Or, like I said, maybe it’s actually harder to disturb the acid mantle then we think!

    • Eli says

      Our body is alkaline, acidic, and neutral in different places. In fact, these differences drive many physiological processes. The process of glycolysis for example, creates a chemical gradient of electrons in within mitochondria, which further drives the phosphorylation of adenosine diphosphate. Your blood pH is close to neutral. You’re digestive system contains both highly acidic and alkaline substances which are necessary for digestive processes. The vagina of the female reproductive system is acidic and must be to ward off bacteria. The acidity acts as a spermacide. Sperm is highly alkaline, which neutralizes the acidity of the vagina, and facilitates further reproduction.
      The acidic pH of skin seems to be standard biological and medical knowledge.

      This idea that humans are too acidic is rediculous. The body is homeostatically regulated and will return to its natural pH levels, as changes to pH levels can cause disease and even death.

  24. Victor says

    Hello,
    I appreciate your well written article. I’m happy to say that after 3 weeks of doing nothing to my face and just not caring, I’ve finally cleared my skin. Along with eating like caveman, lots of vitamin-D and water.I’m so astonished by the results, I’d forgotten how handsome I really was.

    People need to realize that we, ourselves are the biggest contributer to the cause of acne. I remember the first pimple I got was in my freshman year in highschool. I began to panic and immediately began a skin care regimen thinking it would cure it, but it only worsened and I got more and more spots. Please pay attention people, dermatologists, doctors, drug corporations don’t care about your well being, they care about their own well being and making more money is their number one priority.

    As I always say, less is more!

    • Tracy says

      Hey Victor, that’s fantastic and so great to hear! The caveman rocks, i’m still loving it nearly two months on.

  25. says

    This is extremely inspiring. I really need to kick the BP now that im on the anti-fungal/cave man diet. Today was my first day on just water, I have tried it before, but never combined with the diet. Its truly terrifying, but my dream is to get out of the shower and not have to do ANYTHING to my face..(and stop throwing out T-shirts because of bleach marks)

  26. says

    Heya Tracy!

    I love your site, I’m glad to see it (and you) are doing great! I wanted to chime in on this because I tried the “no washing” thang a few years ago while I was 100% raw and vegan. While I had practically no pimples, I ended up with a sh*tload of blackheads…and in places I had never even had one before (chin, forehead, etc.). Just a note of caution to those who are prone to blackheads – blackhead formation is a different mechanism than a real pustule. Did you have any experiences with this?

    ~Steph x

    • Tracy says

      Hi Stephanie,

      Yay I’m glad to see you here, I love your site as well :)
      Interesting to hear your experiences with the caveman! I had lots of blackheads when my acne was bad, but I wouldn’t say I am terribly prone to them in general, and I haven’t found anything like that from this regimen. I’m still doing the caveman two months on and really liking it.

      Anyway – thank you though, that is a great warning for those with blackhead proneness to be careful with this. I’m curious though if maybe you’d have a different experience with the caveman now that you’re a paleo eater? Or do you not think that would make any difference?

  27. Jelly says

    Hi! Thanks for posting about the caveman.

    I want to echo what Stephanie said. I have never tried this, but would be reluctant because of my larger pores. Blackheads pop up all over my chin if I go one night without washing my face :(

    Has anyone else with blackhead-proneness/ oily skin tried this method and had success?

  28. Nasim says

    I have backne could the caveman work with that? and how would you do it? i’m also a dancer so showering after class or rehearsal is kinda a must. any ideas? could this work?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Nasim – it might work. Do you currently use soaps and products on it? If so, stop using that and just use water. I don’t know how you could do it sans-water for your back… it would be pretty tricky, even if you bathed instead of showered

      • Nasim says

        Thank you Tracy!
        your site is a God send! Thank you so much for creating it! and your secret acne book, AmaZING!!!! thank you thank you thank you!!!!

        • John says

          I’ve tried this caveman regimen on every part of my body except my face which I am planning to start today. I can tell you that it has really helped with my back/chest/shoulder acne by a ton. I only wash my back once a day with water. Hope it helps my face.

  29. dee says

    I’m on month three of the caveman regimen. So far my acne has only gotten worse. I never got the “dead skin mask” so I feel that maybe this is just an extreme measurement to take after doing many extreme things to your skin? The only thing I ever did before was a gentle wash and then lathered on my prescribed topicals. Even then it never seemed to harshly affect my skin. But, the caveman regimen HAS cleared up my back and my chest, which is good. My face, on the other hand, is now worse than it has ever been. It’s not my diet, because I’ve already tested everything out of that to see what makes me break out and have been eating healthily for years. I suppose it’s probably hormonal acne which is no fun!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Dee – I’m so sorry to hear it’s not working for your face (although I’m happy to hear it worked for your back and chest!). It’s interesting, I’m not sure why this works so well for some people and not for others. I mean, for me, I have been using natural stuff for a long time, so I didn’t think it would help so much… I assumed it would have been repaired a bit already from whatever extreme things I had used on my face in the past. But who knows. I’m sorry to hear Dee, I hope things get better for you :/

  30. Kim says

    Hey Tracy,
    Im on my 10nth day of the caveman regemin!
    My skin complexion seems to be doing much better, however i am getting breakouts lk on places that i usually didnt get acne, such as my nose! I also have like a little congestion on my forehead…?
    Did you also experience this? Any tips would be greatly appreciated:)
    Im tryg to stick it through and hoping for the best! Yay,!! Ive made it this far!!!
    Thank you

    • Tracy says

      Hi Kim – I personally didn’t get much extra inflamed acne, but I got all sorts of congestion, strange dry patches, blotchiness etc… I somehow just knew they were healing reactions because they seemed ‘different’ than normal. It usually seems to be that if you experience breakouts in areas that aren’t normal for you, or breakouts that just seem “different”, after you start something new, it’s highly likely you’re having a detox or healing sort of reaction. Not to say if you get acne in the regular places too that it’s not a detox, but I feel that having it be kinda different is a more surefire sign.

  31. Kim says

    Ok Tracy,
    Thanks for the tip! It definetly makes a lot of sense!
    My face is also itchy sometimes, the only thing i can of for this is that their is new skin growing underneath!? Kinda of lk wen you get a burn, i know when the new skin is growing, it sort of itches!
    – Thanks for all your great advice and awesome information about acne!

  32. Ryan says

    I play a sports everyday of my life and when I’m done my entire face is dripping with sweat. Can I just use water on my face in the shower?

    Also will this method get rid of my acne scars?

  33. Laney says

    Well, I must be living proof that it “doesn’t work for everyone” then. I’m 22 and I’ve never ever worn any makeup and don’t plan to. The only time I’ve ever used cleansers, or washed my face were a few times my mom did it for me when I was younger, which I hated. I really hate anything touching my face, I even towel off excess water that comes from washing my hair right away in the shower. But I still get acne to this day.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Laney,
      Well, face washing is definitely not the sole, or even most common reason people get acne… it’s internal…. for some people, face washing is just making it worse though. I figure that most people who this “works for” (unless your acne is completely an external irritation thing) won’t actually cure their acne with it, but can hope it will get better to some degree. For you, perhaps your acne would be worse if you did wash your face?

  34. alejandra says

    Hi , Tracy !
    I have started the caveman regimen .. i’m in day ten . The first days my face was very oily by the night but all the oil was absorbed by the morning. now i have many new breakouts , but i think its natural or hope so .. i keep doing it, it’s my last chance or i will have to take pills , which i avoid like crazy!
    I would like to ask you if its better let that yellowy liquid from inside the breakouts to come out or i should wait till they disappear

    thanks a lot!

  35. John says

    Will this experiment work on people with oily skin? I mean doesn’t oil combined with dirt clog pores and cause acne? Would I just need to cleanse my face with just water twice a day?

    • Tracy says

      A lot of the time, people with oily skin only have oily skin because their skin is overproducing after it gets stripped of it when you wash it all the time (or with harsh products). So this should help to calm down your oil production!

      • John says

        Thanks for your info. I just might have to try this regimen now. If it works imma love you do much! Thanks!

  36. Stephanie says

    I have a lot of blackheads on my face and have tried everything to get rid of them plus my other acne. Would the caveman regimen help get rid of blackheads too???

  37. says

    I can’t believe I just stumbled across this post! I messed my skin up severely after using commercial products for years then topping it off with the evil Proactiv, leading to my skin’s development of rosacea. A few months ago, I got so fed up with hollistic skin washes that I quit using anything, and bam, my skin looks healthier than before (although not perfect)! I believe in drinking lots of clean, distilled water helps too. But I refuse to use any types of wash on my skin ever again, ever!

    I actually stumbled across that “dead” skin mask the other day on my back while I was taking a bath. I went to scratch myself and underneath my fingernails laid a bunch of dead skin, and I kept doing that it repeatedly and more and more came. So interesting how our bodies do a lot for us.

  38. Zach says

    Terrific piece. I am a dude and this works. I was using topicals and harsh cleansers for 9 years. I am in month 4 of this regime, and I am seeing noticeable improvement. Though I must say, my skin is still purging. The zits I get are not new ones, they are clearly deep, underground ones that are coming up. And these take a long time to resolve themselves. I do not expect my skin to look the way it used to for several more months, but I know, with time, it will return to normal.

  39. Joe says

    Alright I know this post is old but I have a major problem with doing
    This regimen. So far my skin is faring pretty well, I’ve been doing this
    For about five days and I haven’t broken out. Up till now, I’ve been
    Using retin a micro for over a year and used to cleanse twice a day.
    Anyway, When the school year starts I wont be able to do this
    Anymore because I’m a swimmer. How do I deal with this? How
    Bad is chlorinated water on our faces? Thanks.

    • Tracy says

      Hmm.. yeah I don’t think chlorine is great, but you have to do what you have to do – don’t quit swimming if you love it!!! I say if you want to continue the minimalist route – just maybe rinse your face with water after you’re in the pool, and apply a touch of oil or something to moisturize – because I know it really dries your skin out. But don’t wash your face beyond that

  40. Sergio says

    I am considering starting the caveman regimen but i have a question. Now that you’ve been on the caveman regimen for quite some time now do you still use manuka honey to wash your face every other day? and when you do wear make up what do you use to remove it (eyemake up and concealer?

  41. Martin says

    Hi there – I’ve actually been doing this for many years now after realising that all the washing and moisturising I was doing was actually making matters worse. I think people like us have very sensitive skin and benefit from leaving it alone for the most part. I tend to moisturise my skin simply by getting in a hot shower and allowing the steam to do its job. I also avoid carbs as they upset my stomach and this in turn seems to aggravate my acne.

    I must admit though that the major factor in clearing my acne was to get laser treatment. Without it I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go to college and, subsequently, university. But maintaining my clear skin has definitely been possible by not washing with anything, not even water. I do wonder though if it would be beneficial to remove the layer of flaky skin that seems to build up once in a while. Because I often think this may contribute to the acne as well – if left on too long.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Martin – could you tell us more about the laser treatment you had? Was it a specific treatment for acne? or was it for scars? It made your acne go away?

      • Martin says

        Hi Tracy – I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s a treatment for acne, as opposed to a treatment for scarring, although the clinic I went to (The Aesthetic Beauty Centre) provide that service also.

        I began by getting treatments every few weeks – which cost £150 per treatment. I got about twenty treatments in total, then after that I simply frequented the clinic as and when I needed to whenever I had a breakout, and the Dr would simply zap any visible acne. And these subsequent treatments were free.

        After the course of treatments my acne was all but gone. However, about two years later I started breaking out again, so I made an appointment for another session, and now I go very infrequently whenever I have a breakout and I’m treated very swiftly at a substantially lower cost (around £50).

        I honestly believe however that we are probably predisposed to acne and therefore have to treat as opposed to cure. I doubt my acne will ever go away (as I’ve seen middle-aged men with it) but at least now I know that I can keep on top of it and lead a relatively happy life.

  42. Justin says

    I’ve done the no wash regimen for about a week / 2 week before until I couldn’t deal with it no more. I’ve had some crazy breakouts; however, they were all whiteheads. Mostly localized on my forehead and nose area. I understand that it takes about 35 days for the face completely detox itself, but its a hard journey. I’m just worried that I might break out again after I try this regimen. I’m on the fence about this :/

  43. Rhiannon says

    Hi Tracy!
    I’m on day 5 of the caveman regimen and so far so good. I decided to try this at the beginning of the month (without knowing it was a real thing until I stumbled across this post!) and figured that simply not doing anything to my face might even work better than trying the OCM. I was considering trying the OCM but dug a little deeper and found that a lot of people were having bad reactions to the oils and I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of finding my perfect mixture/potentially breaking out like crazy. Anyhow, I started doing the caveman a few days ago and have noticed a BIG improvement in the oiliness of my skin. I generally have a really oily T-zone and after about the 2nd day, I noticed at least a 40% decrease in the amount that was on my face. I also have pretty stubborn sebum plugs all over my nose and under my eyes (where my glasses rest on my face) and over the summer have developed a bunch of congestion in my forehead as well (damn these humid Virginia summers!). Since starting the caveman I’ve noticed that those areas have become more rough and my nose/under-eye area is a bit more noticeable. I know that this is part of the healing process, letting the dead skin build up to give the skin a chance to repair, but I was considering steaming my face with a washcloth to try and loosen up some of the congestion. Do you think this is a bad idea? I know that it kind of goes against the whole idea of not doing anything to your face, but I can’t really go to school and work with big sebum plugs and dead skin on my face every day. If I do steam, I was only planning on doing it once a week, at the very most.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Rhiannon,
      Well, I do recommend leaving your skin alone as much as possible – which means not steaming it/exfoliating it – for at least the first month – to really let your skin heal. I know it’s hard.
      But then again – this is not exact science. Maybe if you do that it will be fine. I really don’t know – you just have to decide what you are comfortable with and what you want to do and if you can’t leave it then don’t!

    • Tracy says

      It just means you aren’t prone to acne. Lucky you – now get out of here and never think about acne ever again :p

  44. Rose says

    Hey
    I was wondering if you had blackheads before starting the caveman regimen, and if you had, did they go away?
    I have been trying the caveman regimen for 5 days and my nose is full of white and black heads and is so rough, im losing my skin there as well. I have always had blackheads but never that much. Do you have any idea of what could make them go away if this regimen doesn’t? or if the caveman regimen works on scars and opened pores ?
    Thanks

    • Tracy says

      Hi Rose –
      I personally have never been prone to a lot of blackheads (except in my really bad acne phase), but I do tend to get clogged pores and whiteheads on my forehead, and lately it’s been looking pretty clogged – I don’t know if this had to do with doing the caveman, or just because I’ve been more slack with my food over the summer – but either way, about three weeks ago, I decided to try just rubbing a small bit of jojoba oil into my forehead once a day. Still not washing my face or putting water on it or anything, but just adding in this one thing. Anyway – it took a couple weeks, but it’s pretty much completely dissolved all the congestion on my forehead. So this is what I would suggest trying!

  45. Angelo says

    I’m a guy (20 yrs old) with incredible sensitive skin and this works for me. I have bought hundreds of acne medications but now i have it figure out how to deal with my acne. I use makuna honey once a week (tried everyday ended up worsening) and now i wash my face once every three days (between those 3 days i use a shower head to spray water onto my face)

  46. Aubrey says

    Hi everyone,
    I’m 23 and I’ve had acne since I was 15… My acne mainly shows up on my chin and along the side of my nose on my cheeks and sometimes on my forehead..It is the worst on my chin though..when I first got acne I was on an antibiotic for a while, and remained off and on it up until a few months ago when I stopped because I figured out that antibiotics are totally bad for you and are doing more harm than good, wish I had stopped sooner… Anyways I came across this caveman regimen blog and I decided to try it….I also run 3 miles about 3 times a week and ive been drinking more water lately and eating way healthier. It has been 14 days that I have not washed my face… The first 2 days my skin was very oily (which has always been a problem for me) but after that the oiliness went away, which is awesome because I usually was dabbing my face 3 times a day to get rid of the oil, Now 14 days in I keep getting white heads and my problem areas are pretty congested… I have had a few big ones seem like they are trying to come out but they go away… I have also gotten a few on my chin recently that I would have considered really bad a few weeks ago but now they seem to not be getting so big and sort of figure themselves out, I still feel like its too early for me to tell, but I’m hoping that this works out for me and I’m wondering if anyone experienced the same sort of thing with the whiteheads and also if anyone else with cystic acne on the chin has tried this and it has worked for them? I’m staying positive also… Going without the makeup is hard because I work face to face with people everyday, but all in all I feel like this regimen makes me feel better about being myself :) Ive read some of the comments and some are a few months old and I”m hoping someone has done this recently or is doing it now and is able to help me along with it and sort of keep me updated thanks! :)

  47. esther says

    Since I’ve always used products on my face, I would feel like I should slowly stop using these products but substitute them with something else–something organic. Before going “caveman” what can I put on my face instead of harsh products, at least until I go “caveman?”

  48. Devaney says

    So,after 30 days,how often can you wash with water?? and if not with tap water,should i just use spring water(bottled water)?? or what did u use after the 30 days?

    • Tracy says

      It depends.. you just have to see what works for you and how often you want to wash it, or not. I still continue not to let water touch my face (beyond a few dribbles in the shower, or swimming in the lake or something), but if you think there’s a lot of crap in your tap water that’s irritating your skin, using bottled spring water might be a good idea

  49. Devaney says

    and also, i drink alotta water during the day like, three or 4 bottles (even 5 or 6 sometimes)but at night,i tend to drink 2 or 3 (18 oz) cups of lemonade.could that cause more acne to come because im not drinking only water????

  50. Andrew says

    Hi! My acne is pretty bad so I’d be interested in trying out this caveman method because it just looks so easy to trash all the products I use right now. My one question is this: would it still work as well for a teenager? I understand that after puberty these products can irritate the skin that is already fairly healthy without them but what about during puberty where our skin is still largely sensitive? I can tell you that sometimes if I neglect washing my face for a day or two it does get extremely oily and for some reason my eyes start to burn (perhaps the oil is getting into my eyes?) and when I do wash my face after this period of time the dead skin cells come off when I scratch gently with a fingernail. Would you not suggest the caveman method at all, or perhaps a middle ground like using a gentle face wipe instead of the usual chemical products? Thank you!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Andrew,
      I’m really not sure how this works with teenage acne. You do have a lot of crazy hormones to push against with only a simple change in skin care, so it’s not really to say it’s going to do miracles and get rid of it all. If you’re going to do it, I’d strongly suggest also making some diet changes and things to go along with it.

      However, it might help… it all depends on just how much the skin care you’re using now is aggravating and worsening your acne. The more it’s aggravating it, the more quitting it is going to help!

      As for the oil, well, your skin gets used to being stripped of the oil constantly with all the washing and products, so as soon as you stop, your oil production is going to seemingly go nuts. So it makes perfect sense that your skin is going to be oily in the beginning if you don’t wash. It balances out though if you continue on. Or at least it should get a lot less oily, I can’t say that the caveman will get rid of all the oil though. If it doesn’t, after a while, you can try adding in using a little bit of jojoba oil on your face, as it helps to control oil production.

  51. Ian says

    Decided to give this a try because it did make sense. In the past I have had periods where I haven’t shaved for 2-3 weeks due to being on holiday. During these periods all that has touched my face is water when showering. Before returning to work I would shave and my skin would be clear. Getting back to shaving regularly I would use cleansers, moisturisers, balms etc and my acne would return. I put it down to the shaving and that the acne was due to ingrown hairs, razor bumps and the like. Maybe its not using the products. I have just completed 10 days of the full caveman(no water) and so far quite happy. My skin is dry, I have congestion and a few spots on my forehead and both sides of my nose which are only small. Haven’t had spots here for ages since using a natural cleanser and jojoba oil from rawgaia.com based in the UK. Hopefully this is a good sign like suggested in previous comments. The rest of my face is clear. I have a few flaky areas but not too bad. Will definitely be continuing this regimen. I am using a beard trimmer on 0.5 mm setting. Is there any problem clean shaving with an electric razor?

  52. Ian says

    Have been doing ‘the caveman’ (no water) for 21 days now and am very pleased. I have had some congestion and whiteheads in the middle of the forehead, on the nose, and either side of the nose beneath the eyes. They have been small, not inflamed or sore, and have cleared up quite quickly. Have not had a sore pimple during the 21 days which is unusual for me. I have had no acne on my chin, sides of face or neck ie. the areas where I grow facial hair, this is also unusual. My skin has never been oily during the 21 days but is dry and flakey. It is not too noticeable except if I look in a magnified mirror so I’m not to bothered about facing people. Tracy,Does this mean my skin type is dry as I have been told by a beautician in the past that my skin type is combination? After 30 days I am planning on gently removing the dead skin with a muslin cloth and water, I assume this is ok having read the entire article. In summary, very pleased with the experiment, all is going to plan. Tracy you’re a star and thanks for producing the best website on the internet. Also, have been sticking to a healthy diet.

    • Tracy says

      Yay! Awesome to hear it’s going well Ian. Are you doing full caveman or caveman with water? The reason I don’t use water is because my skin would get too dry. although it’s normal for your skin to be really flakey in the first month or so before your skin normalizes

  53. Ian says

    Hi Tracy, doing the full caveman (no water). Because my skin is dry does this mean my natural skin type is dry? because I was told by a beautician in the past that my skin type is combination.

  54. Kamila says

    What if you acne it’s not only on your face but your back and chest too and you havent used any products on those areas. Would this still apply? :(

  55. jak says

    Hey Tracy i am thinking to start the caveman regimen but i want to wash my face with only water and apply argan oil only to my face will that be fine? Because i have red marks on my face and also get little whteheads.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Jak! I can’t say what exactly will happen with your skin and whether this regimen will work for you, but water and a little oil moisturizer sounds fine to me

  56. Mitch says

    Tracy,

    I literally just spent an hour at work reading everything from day 1. First off let me say you are amazing for doing this, fully committing, and most importantly answering people’s questions quickly and for such a long period of time you are ridiculously awesome. I have tried everything from BP to salaslyic acid and Neutragena kits and stuff. Of course nothing works. I have had bad acne for five years not since freshman year of highschool and of course freaked out using tons of products which most likely led to my demise.

    Currently I am on a local regime where they can keep track of how I am doing, and I get a diamond microdermabrasion which costs hundreds of dollars. Needless to say it is not working. I break out and now my scars are even worse. Eventually I will try the caveman method but I work with people face to face on a daily basis.

    I am 23 so I dont think I still have raging hormones, but who knows.

    Sorry for my rant I have had a lot of time to think while reading the whole forum.

    What do you think about extractors or lancets to pop white heads? I sterilize the tip with rubbing alcohol for each individual whitehead I pop. Of course my family has perfect skin and my little brother suggested using it to avoid infections anywhere else.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Mitch! I’m glad to know you’ve enjoyed these posts! I think that if you are going to pop whiteheads, then using a sterilized needle as opposed to squeezing the skin is a LOT better

  57. Sharon Taylor says

    Hi Tracy, I would just like to say a big THANK YOU! for your website! I am a newbie to your site but was recently convinced that our tap water had something to do with the skin problems I had. (My houseplants are producing different coloured flowers would you believe!) I am following your caveman regime and already my skin has shown some improvement within 1 week. Today is the first day in years that I have been able to go outside without makeup! This is a massive milestone! My problem has been with facial redness aswell as acne and together with the hideous medication supplied by my GP I started to think my skin was burning from the water and meds. I intend to completely change my diet and lifestyle, albeit after Christmas!!, so I have a long term lifestyle change which I am looking forward to. Your recipes have given me so much inspiration I am really looking forward to my new diet and lifestyle. Keep up the excellent work!

    • Tracy says

      Hey Sharon, that’s awesome!!! Stoked to hear things are going well… it’s fun when the solution is also the simplest thing ever!

  58. says

    hey guys, I actually have some pimple spot on my face, and they are so big black spots and i want to get rid of this thing. but i m not sure that this regime will help me……..
    please h

  59. says

    Wow, this was rough. Today was the start of day 11 on the caveman regimen, and my face was so covered in dead, flaking skin I couldn’t stand it any more. And I was getting worried about a tear-duct infection, cause I had WAY more eye-krispies in the mornings than I normally do.

    I still shaved, cause for me not-shaving is much more likely to lead to ingrown hairs and inflammation. It was weird not washing my face after shaving though ;)

    So today I showered and actually washed my face afterwards, bringing my caveman experiment to an end. So far it seems like certainly nothing bad has happened because of it, and my skin feels nicer than normal, even if it doesn’t look better than normal.

    Thanks for the great advice as always Tracy, I love experimenting with “alternative” health like this.

    • Eli says

      From my perspective, washing your face actually stimulates mitosis (cell division) and oil production. Your skin naturally produces layers of dead skins cells to protect underlying layers of skin from abrasion. Oil contains enzymes that kills bacteria. If you are removing both of these and a constant basis, it would seem natural for the body to overproduce both skin and oil to keep up with the constant removal. Your body is basically trying to recover from continued disruption of homeostasis.

      When you suddenly change your regemin, your body will continue to overproduce both skin and oil, which is why your face was covered in dead skin. I would like to recommend an adjustment to this caveman regimin: that is, people should be washing less and less over a period of time, instead of quiting cold turkey. Allow your body to have a stable and gradual return to its natural homeostasis. A sudden change may actually throw of homeostasis even more.

  60. Alex says

    Hey can u use oil absorbing sheets. to wipe off all the on nerssery oil off for the cave man thing or is oil absorbing sheets bad for u what do u think?

  61. Abinav says

    Hi Tracy,

    I started my own cavemen regimen 2 weeks before but in my regimen i wash my face with warm water twice a days and that’s it nothing else goes on to my skin.Now maybe after 2-3 months if my skin gets better than before,should i continue on with the cavemen regimen for the rest of my life or should i go back to cleansing?And if the cavemen regimen did not workout i would like to know how to cleanse my oily skin.I like to follow the simplest and cheapest cleansing routine which involves no moisturizers,no sunscreens etc and it has to be natural.What should i do?

    Best regards,
    Abinav

    • Tracy says

      Hi Abinav!
      Yes, if the caveman works for you and it makes your acne better, why go back to cleansers? I still do the caveman and it’s AWESOME.
      If it doesn’t work out… my default recommendation for cleansing the face is to use smooth raw honey, and use some kind of an oil to moisturize.. jojoba is a good fit for oily skin.
      Go to my “articles page” on the menu bar, and scroll down to “natural skin care and beauty” or whatever it says, and there’s tons of articles there to give you ideas about what to use on your skin that’s all natural. There’s one called “14 Natural Face Cleansing Alternatives” that you might be interested in.

  62. Januaryice08 says

    Hey Tracy Ive been doing the Caveman regimen for almost 30days now but Im thinking I need to back track alittle. Okay so although my acne isnt severe by any means right now, its still moderate. Since I started doing the Caveman Ive ended up with a large cyst on my forehead and acne all around my mouth area.I think Im going to try your Manuka Honey washes and Jojoba Oil for awhile then give it another try. I need your advice please, what do think??? Thanks. Also I have Combination Dry skin if that makes any difference.

  63. Maya says

    So, this is something that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere yet:

    If you’re doing a strict no water – nothing regimen, what do you do if you happen to drool a bit one night?

    Hey, it happens to people.

  64. Ian says

    I completed 30 days of the full caveman (no water)on 26th Dec. Everything went exactly as you suggested Tracy ie. congestion, breakouts in different places, dry flaky dead skin etc. But by 30 days my skin was clearer than I could ever remember. Very pleased. So on that 30th day I decided to remove the dead skin with a baby hair brush and muslin cloth. Loads came off, it was great. Since then every second day I have been cleansing with manuka honey and applying a lovely jojoba oil. So far so good, my skin is staying clear, touch wood. I have stuck to good healthy eating avoiding dairy, gluten, soya and sugars. I have been taking FCLO, Primal Defense Probiotic, a liver cleanse, DIM, zinc picolinate and L-glutamine. There maybe one factor that has cleared my skin or a mixture of some of the above. I may eliminate one supplement at a time and see what happens. I have become a little obsessed with reading ‘the love vitamin’ daily and your ebooks (which are fantastic)but in an enjoyable way as my skin clears so I’m not getting anxious or stressed. Thank you ever so much Tracy, you’ve really cheered me up.

    • Tracy says

      Hey Ian, this is great! I’m really stoked to hear this has helped you so much :) And I’m glad to hear that I provide you with some comfort as you heal!! Yay

  65. Pinion says

    Hello, my name is “Greasy Mess”
    :(
    I have always been able to wash my face with plain bar soap and exfoliating gloves, then applied a light layer of unscented “whatever is available” lotion to my face and have not ever had any acne or oily residue build up on my face. Since I was 13 years old, this has been my “tried and true” preferred method of cleaning my face and I have never, not once had any issues…until now.
    I am now 31 and am a total and complete grease ball. It’s not anywhere else, other than my face and it seems to be the most prominent at night, starting around 11pm, after I have done my normal face washing regime. It seems to start up once I lie down to go to bed or if I take a nap during the day. It’s gotten so bad that my gf of the past 2 years has taken notice and has herself wondered what is making this happen to me. Now, I don’t have a normal sleep schedule (because of work) and I rarely drink water (cant stand the taste or the waterlogged feeling i get) but other than those 2 things, I am very active, my stress levels are at a minimum, and I don’t wear make-up.
    Since this began (about 6 months ago), I have started to use oil-free face washes or washes that are made to work on oily skin, and I have cut down on the amount of moisturizer I use, which I was barely using any to begin with. I hardly ever have break outs, it’s just my face getting so oily that is making me absolutely crazy and grossed out. I find myself getting up throughout the night just to wipe off what feels like a thick layer of cooking oil on my face with a towel or the sleeve of my t-shirt.
    After reading about the cave-man regime, I don’t know if it would work in my case because I don’t really do all that much to disturb my “mantle” to begin with, but I need to do something to combat this. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions other than going out and buying a bunch of chemicals to put on my face or engine degreaser. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated as I am completely out of ideas and do not want to have this issue anymore. Thank you for your suggestions and taking the time to read this.
    Sincerely,
    Greased Out Girl in Texas

    • Tracy says

      Hi Pinion,
      Sorry to hear about the oil problem.. my guess is there is some kind of hormonal thing that is going on that has caused the oil to get out of control. Usually it’s excess testosterone/androgens that are responsible for that. Improving your diet and lifestyle as per suggested on the rest of my blog might very well help to get your hormones back doing what they’re supposed to be doing, which will cut back on the oil production. The caveman might also help a great deal, but it’s hard to say since the oil problem just started out of nowhere, not after a change in skin care.

  66. Mike says

    Hi,

    I started getting acne when I was turning 17 (currently 18)and since that first day my mom offered me face wash (salicylic acid) after that I continued to use it twice a day, and things seemed to get a little worse (but not too bad).

    When I first went to college this past summer all hell broke loose very quickly, I went from having 2-5 pimples to a ton. In response I bought some BP and started moisturizing, I also applied a bunch of other crap from hydrocortisone, to vicks vapor rub etc.

    I’m not sure what caused the eruption this fall it could have been diet (even though I never ate healthy), the extreme humidity in august, the ton of chlorine in the showers, idk.

    I just wonder what you think will happen to the ~20 pimples (some small, some large) on my face if i completely stop using a face wash. I don’t really want to look awful for a short period, im conflicted at this point.

  67. says

    Hi Tracy!
    So, after a year my acne has gone from servere to moderate, still with breakouts and scars. I want to move off of commercial products, but I don’t want to go cold turkey nothing right off the bat. I was thinking of using honey for a couple of weeks, and wearing no, yes no, make up, and then moving to nothing but water, and then nothing at all. Do you think doing this will help clear the remaining acne up? Thanks!

  68. Russ says

    This “Caveman” regimen indeed works for the resurfacing of your facial skin. I recommend that this be attempted in the winter when the temperature is cooler and when the skin is less prone to perspiration.

    Also, when not washing your face for long periods of time, make sure to continue and wash your hair, forehead and temple areas. Otherwise there can be significant damage to the hair follicles and eventually loss of hair.

    By the way, if you hadn’t realized from me name, I am a male, of 25 years of age.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Russ – Interesting. I’m curious as to why you recommend not washing your face, yet not washing your hair and forehead would cause damage and your hair to fall out?? What is the difference?

  69. altab says

    hi tracy,
    m 21, suffering from acne since last 7 years, tried almost evrything. my skin is too dry congested n acne prone. for how long should i follow d regimen? n will the dead skin mask goes off itself o i need to remove it myself? let me know the best way to remove it…

    • Tracy says

      Hi Altab,
      I’ve answered these questions many times throughout the comments, go through them and you will find your answers :)

  70. Andrea says

    Hi Tracy:

    I just read your site and I am completely thrilled with what you have written. I have stopped washing my face except for once a week when I take off the dead skin with a natural scrub and I have had so little acne that I am amazed!!! I also started to exercise everyday…both cardi and weights and my diet has changed to a vegan… would like to be a raw vegan one day. I wash my hair twice a week…recommended by my haircutter in order to keep the natural oils in it and do not use tap water as much as possible. I am 42 and look in my 30’s, be careful with showering or bathing to often as you want to preserve your natural oils to keep your skin young.. You are amazing and I will keep on reading all your info. At first it was so wierd to not use soap…I took a bath everyday for an hour and I would still get pimples and tons of rashes and my skin would feel sunburnt and hurt. Try this and I hope all works for you as it did for me even though I had to be patient.

  71. Eli says

    We’ve all been indoctrinated to consume products that we don’t need …

    As you stated, the skin has an acidic pH level that is unwelcoming to bacteria. Adding alkaline substances neutralizes the acidity, which invites bacteria to set in.
    The oil produced by your sebaceous glands also contain an enzyme that kills bacteria.
    The layer of dead skin cells is natural and serves to protect underlying skin from abrasion. Skin naturally sheds off.

    I learned all of this in undergradute biology courses, and cured my own acne by allowing my natural defenses to take charge. I’ve had moderate acne since puberty, and now my face is cleaner that it has ever been in my entire life.

    I have not washed my face directly for over a year, except for shaving or for the removal unwanted particles. I started off by taking baths to keep tap water off my face. I would clean my face with bottled water and a terry cloth (I would soak the terry cloth with the water, then gently swipe my face with it). I would wash my face once a day. As my face started to clear, I washed it less and less, until eventually I stopped washing my face altogether except for those cases mentioned above. I mean why should I? It stays clean on its own.

  72. Eli says

    Oh and to anyone reading this, I highly recommend NOT using tap water. I think this is one of the culprits, not just soap or chemical products.

  73. Ashley says

    I have just started this about a week ago! I recently went on a date, and gave in and wore makeup so I had to wash my face :/ so I guess I am starting over now. Well spring break is comming up… what should I do about sun protection on my skin?

    • Tracy says

      Just wear a bit hat that shades your face, or don’t spend a ton of time in the sun! That’s what I do all summer.

  74. anne says

    I had been on the caveman regimen for three months and the result was scars ( little , but all around my face ). Perhaps the lack of any source of moisture has such results ..
    Please be careful and never EVER stop moisturising ( a eco- friendly moisturiser would be the best choice )

    • Tracy says

      Hi Anne,
      I’m really sorry to hear that – were you doing the caveman with or without water? If your skin isn’t naturally very oily, rinsing with water can be very very drying. That’s why I do the no water caveman version, because my skin isn’t overly oily and it just gets really dry if I put water on it and don’t moisturize after.

      • anne says

        I was doing the caveman regimen without water , and i have to say that my skin was always very oily. We have different reactions , because we have different skin.
        I am going to try jojoba oil and raw honey and see how my skin reacts .

        and something else : has the regimen left you any scars ? or do you have acne scars anyways ? how do you treat them ?

        • Tracy says

          Oh okay, I guess I misunderstood. I thought you said that there was no moisture, which lead me to believe your skin wasn’t oily… anyway… hopefully the honey and jojoba work better for you :)

          As far as scars, are you talking indented or raised scars? or just red marks?

          • anne says

            Mainly red marks and 3-4 such marks have become indented scars …I’m afraid that the same will happen with the other ones :-(

    • anne says

      And of course i don t blame the regimen for my scars , all i only want to say is how important is to moisturise your skin .

  75. Kristie says

    What did this do for blackheads? About 90% of my issue is blackheads. Did this help them go away or did you have to treat them another way. I have them all over my face and even when I get a red spot it eventually turns into a blackhead

  76. Aisha says

    I AM SO HAPPY I DID THIS NO REGRETS.
    This is the BEST treatment so far. ive only been on this regimen for 5 days (started monday) and my acne has gotten considerably better im telling and ive tried ALOT OF THINGS my acne has gone from moderate to mild in just 5 days and oiliness has reduced SO MUCH. cant wait to see what will happen in 1 month of this.
    JUST TRY IT! your not going to loose money the only thing your gna gain is less irritated wonderful clear skin like it once was as a child :)

  77. whawha91 says

    May i ask, for months didnt wash face, can i put on the sunblock? or just ignore the sunblock didnt touch and put on anything at all?

  78. Meaghan says

    Hi Tracy, I’m wondering when you did this if you experienced itchy skin? I’m currently on the start of the third week and my face is starting to get really itchy … is that a sign of healing?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Meaghan… hmm I actually can’t remember if my skin was itchy or not. Sorry I don’t know what it means! I wouldn’t worry too much unless it never goes away. It’s probably just a phase in the healing process

  79. says

    Day 2 : So far I feel like i’v seen the light at the end of the tunnel already. To be honest the right side of my face is getting back together, i could see the few pimples, maybe five of them are been shrinked drastically but leaving white heads and veeeery tiny white heads as also settled on one are of my fore-head and they itch me so badly that i’m tempted to scratch them off but i will just make the slightest contact with clean hand so i can satisfy it and myself. But so far I’m so glad have seen the way to end acne and I cant wait till the end of this week to see what my face will look like.

  80. Rudgie Tabug says

    Can we use powder in our face to make it look fresh? Or does it have any effect on the experiment? If yes, what are those? Thanks!

  81. Jerry says

    Hello Tracy,
    I just wanted to know if you use any moisturizers when you wake up in the morning? Or do you just wake up and begin your day leaving your face untouched ?

  82. Kit says

    I’m one week into this and the world hasn’t ended like I feared it would…zombie apocalypse style, myself looking like/being the zombie.

    I’ve suspected my tap water as irritating my face for a long time, but I’ve been way too chicken to stop using anything. It’s actually incredibly liberating, and although it’s too soon to know…so far, it’s helping. My skin looks the calmest it has in months. Knock on wood, fingers crossed, etc. I’m taking off eye makeup with jojoba oil, dotting on concealer as needed and leaving it there. And I haven’t mutated into a beast yet. Key word, yet. I’m still nervous.

    I’m not sure what I thought would happen, but I’m honestly stunned I look so normal.

    • Tracy says

      It’s crazy how much we cling to things like that, and how much fear it produces to let it go. And just how amazing it is when the world doesn’t cave in!! :D it’s really is incredibly liberating

      • Kit says

        Absolutely! Even my old derm told me a 2x daily face washing was a must…I’m tempted to call her voicemail and leave a message telling her she was wrong, even though I stopped seeing her years ago (after she told me I was wrong and diet/lifestyle couldn’t affect my skin. Lol.)

        I’m really hopeful that this is my last puzzle piece after resolving my food allergies. Going to do my best to give it three months before I really celebrate.

        I’m wondering if you told anyone that you were doing this? I mentioned it to my sister (in an attempt to help her in her own acne struggle), and she called me “absolutely nasty.” I understand the strong reaction, but it kind of hurt. I don’t think I’m going to tell anyone else for awhile :/

        • Tracy says

          Yeah, people are brainwashed pretty hard! Sorry your sister said that, but she might change her tune if it actually works for you well. I don’t remember if I told anyone when I was doing it. Probably not, but maybe. I probably waited until after it kind of “worked out” to be like “hey. I don’t wash my face anymore and it looks better than ever!” just so no one can contest me that it’s a bad idea hahaha

  83. Jill says

    Hi there

    I had recently tried this after having an operation being bed ridden and feeling just too excused to get up and down twice a day to wash my face and moisturize as usual.

    First few weeks i’d reduced it down to only once a day instead of the usual morning + night (twice) then for 2 weeks stopt after looking into and seeing no true damage could be done or anything that wasn’t reversable as most would initially thought.

    And have to admit I’m quite glad i did.

    Have never had much pimples, but because my skin did dry out a fair bit did find was much less oily or any signs of any tiny pimples!

    The overall complexion was also more even.

    Since doing this I have also done it with my hair.

    Thing I worked out was it may get worse before better but then after is alot better for good!

    And can tie in your routine matinince making it alot healthier.

    Like mentioned with the skin (same for hair) all it’s doing bar cleaning is stripping of natural oils, then it can’t regulate itself and naturally the body (skin + hair) produces more oil then to compensate for the ones it’s just been striped of.

    So your then trapped in a vicious cycle of dry hair that gets oily at the routes, so you need to wash it everyday, but it’s like that because you wash it everyday!
    on going cycle.

    to break this & with skin drop it down gradually then stop for skin would say under 3 wks, hair up to a month, then can do hair once a week or when needed if on occasion gets something in it or gym etc or face less than twice a day and instead wiping it down with a fragrance free oil free for sensitive skin face wipe when sweat or in between washes.

    Not wearing any makeup or minimal helps also as does when you first doing the ‘hair detox’ having it swept off the face not touching as the oil build up could cause pimples when tranffering the oil.

    Is funny old revalation that all these anti aging creams or thinking your being more healthy or clean are actually more damaging for your skin than not using them!

    Problem is in today’s living many are in polluted cities where not washing hair/ face wouldn’t have the same effect as when in the country or smaller city.

    And many also feel the need to wear much make up everyday.

    This beauty regime concept is very european over american where PRESERVATION is the idea of natural beauty rather than putting all the crap on top of your skin and in your hair NOW and everyday to change it to a way you’ve been conditioned to think is ‘beauty’.

  84. Kit says

    Two week mark. I suck at washing my hair this way…I almost always get little splashes on my face, especially since going back to the baking soda method and needing to scrub it out. I just pat my face dry ASAP. Oh, and I’m a total slob and spill drinking water down my chin on occasion lol.

    Despite how liberating this is, not doing anything (when you’ve done stuff for twelve years) is HARD. I’m starting to get the flakes/congestion, and it’s so, so against my nature to leave them alone.

    I will say that my skin tone/color looks incredible. I really have high hopes for this…Is there any way to tell if it’s a healing phase, or something to worry about? Would it work like any other detox/herxheimer, or is it different because this is about external issues?

    • Tracy says

      I think it’s your skin just sorting itself out. I got flakey and totally congested and then it fixed itself! I kind of felt it was just a healing phase, and it was.

      • Kit says

        Tracy. Tracy. Tracy. I sound five years old but I don’t even care. You were totally right about the caveman regimen. THIS IS WORKING FOR ME! The purging breakout passed, and even though I’ve ended up rinsing once a week with distilled water only (didn’t want to walk at graduation with visible dead skin on my face), my skin looks WONDERFUL and my oiliness is totally resolved. My complexion is absolutely glowing. The breakouts have become super tiny and infrequent, and it really does seem like they’ll be all gone soon (I’m just starting week four). This, in combination with finding a naturopath and healing my gut (also per your advice), is finally freeing me from this eleven-year acne curse. I am so happy to look normal – in face, I have better skin than many people I know (haven’t been able to say that since the year I tried Accutane). So, if you’d like, put me down as a success story – I am FREE, and I can’t thank you enough. I have referred lots of people to your site and you have my utmost gratitude. Lots of love!

        • Tracy says

          YAY!!! I’m so happy for you Kit!!! Such wonderful news :) I’m going to add this to the “praise” page if that’s okay?

          • Kit says

            Yes, of course that’s fine! :D I’m having a blast telling people I don’t wash my face and watching them gawk at how good I look…hahaha.

  85. Lewis says

    Hello!

    This post is pretty old, but I thought I’d comment and *fingers crossed* get a reply.

    I really really want to start this regimen because I know that the clearest I’ve ever been was when I rarely washed my face. As soon as I started piling OTC products on my face, I got more acne. I’ve also noticed that as soon as I wash my face, I become conscious of it. I feel the oil and dirt slowly building up. Before I wash my face, nothing!

    The only problem is, I’m really worried about breaking out on this regimen. I only ever get a couple of whiteheads every couple of days, but I have terribly oily skin. I’m hoping that if I stop washing, the oil will significantly reduce.

    Is the initial few weeks that bad? I’m thinking I should wait until I have time to hide away for a couple of weeks…

    Lewis :)

    • Tracy says

      Hi Lewis,
      I understand your fear! But if the clearest you’ve been was when you rarely washed your face, why are you worried you’ll break out on this? I don’t think most people who do this break out more in the first few weeks.. the issue comes in weeks three or four when your face gets really flakey!

  86. Misha Clanton says

    This makes so much sense! I wasn’t crazy about washing my face in high school, but I’d do it every now and again because I thought I had to, but my face would end up breaking out afterwards! I FIGURED it had something to do with messing with the natural oils on my face but I never looked into it.
    Now I know! Thanks.

  87. Krista says

    Hi! I find that when I’ve remove the dead skin mask I get more pimples and skin irritation. Tracy, you said eventually the mask can go away on its own after a while (since you’ve continued doing it long after your 30 day experiment)…? Or am I misinterpreting you?

    • Tracy says

      Yeah it goes away. Well, I guess technically it is still there, but you can’t see it. I haven’t washed or exfoliated my skin in over a year, and I definitely don’t like I did that first month or so on the caveman with the mask. It looks like normal skin, but it has a secret added layer of protection from stuff that wants to mess with your skin!

      • Krista says

        I am glad to know it becomes more “secret”! I guess it is worse now for me since I am in the beginning of healing stages like you were…? Was yours thick too and that is why you exfoliated? I had to clean some of the mask away this weekend because I had people point it out to me (some spots were VERY thick and looked “orange”).

        • MJ says

          in my experience youll need to remove some flakes, the obvious ones by gently rubbing them off with a qtip or a cloth. but like tracy has said, those flakes will go away once the hyperpigmentation and other scarring goes away…those flakes are there as dead skin is flaking away just like any other scar tissue would. after they heal and your face is clear your face will have no need to be in repair mode any longer, and it should not produce as much flaking.

          if you go 30 days without washing, no water, and then reintroduce water or washing your skin will have a lot of dead skin on it, this is because you are drying out the outer most layer. Pretty much everyone that washs their face is removing the outer most protective layer, drying it out, taking away the acid mantle and leaving it prime grounds for bacterial breeding. look at solitary tribes in afica, island nations, and australia and asia. these people dont have showers, running water, soaps, creams etc. yet their skin is flawless….hmm i wonder why?.

          its not rocket science, but you have to de-tune yourself from the American brainwashing AKA American marketing. lies are put forth to make money, no company truly cares for ones health, all they care about is making money. if you dont use their product continuously, they dont make money, so they make up lies to make their products continuous sales.

  88. Exercise says

    Ok, Im interested, but I do workout 4 times per week, am I suposed to not even wash my face with water after working out? gross

    • Kit says

      On the yoga video website I use, I just watched a video where the instructor talked about the acids in our sweat actually being healthy and beneficial to our skin – that’s why lactic acid and such is a common ingredient in skin lotion. Apparently in some parts of the world, yogis don’t wash off the sweat – they let it dry and some even rub it in. I’ve been caveman for almost a month now and although it was a huge mental hurdle not to wash the sweat off my face, I managed it – and my skin actually looks and feels pretty damn good.

      • MJ says

        I agree, to an extent. I think sweat can help, but it should be removed every so often, not always but on occasion. I use to get this dry buildup of dried sweet otherwise and it traps dust particles really easy, so my skin looked blotchy sometimes. But like you said, it’s not going to harm your skin like those Acne product companies want you to think.

        • Kit says

          Cool. It’s great that you figured out what works for you. I’m still on the fence about how often I’m going to end up rinsing with distilled water. Personally, I’ve noticed that I have a certain healthy “glow” after a good workout/sweating session. Maybe it’s the increased blood flow…or the sweat itself? Dunno.

          I think it’s funny how sweat is portrayed as dirt and grime though. And how I believed it for so long. I don’t even smell when I sweat – it’s just dampness. Not a big deal at all, really.

          • MJ says

            I don’t think it would negatively impact you, however, if you acne or a cut you should try to keep the sweat to a minimum, it could create a staph infection.

  89. Ian says

    Hi Tracy, as you’ve said you haven’t washed your face for over a year, are you putting anything on it at all such as jojoba oil? I just put jojoba oil on it every few days and wipe off with a cotton pad slightly moistened with bottled water. Is this ok?

  90. Jessica says

    Hi! I’ll first like to say, amazing article. I’ve been battle on and off with acne….my problem is i’m constantly picking at it and it’s hard to stop because of being self-conscious about it. But my question is, i exercise daily and sweat a lot….for the caveman regimen, if i don’t wash my face after a good sweat wouldn’t that worsen the problem? this is something i need to know.

    Thank you!! :D

  91. Krista says

    Tracy, is there a reason you use EVOO instead of jojoba now? I plan not to use any oil. I find when I do (I tried the oil cleansing method a while back) my skin does not like it. I don’t seem to get too dry as long as I drink lots of water and hydrate from the inside.

    My dead skin mask is getting so thick again! (I cleaned some of it off last week) Is this an OK sign and just shows my skin needs a lot of healing but the mask will get less and less thick over time?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Krista,
      I pretty much tried it because I heard it was more moisturizing than jojoba, and it does seem to be. In this case, I wanted to use it because my skin was all dry, especially after a shower. I was mostly using jojoba on my forehead to unclog my pores, but now they aren’t clogged anymore so I stopped using it.

      As for the mask, yes, it should get less thick over time until the point where it’s not visible anymore, and if it’s staying thick, I think you just need more healing time.

  92. Ann Marie says

    This and the other articles you have posted about the caveman regimen are so helpful, thank you!

    I started the caveman regimen about 3 months ago, I had already been poo-free since July. I was nervous about both the caveman and no poo because I am high school teacher, and so I need to be professional and cleanly-looking. However, I had no problems with the skin mask or with looking unkempt(my skin leans to the oily side, although less and less since I cut out dairy back in October).
    I do still wear eyeliner on school days on my lower eyelid, because again, I need to be a bit professional. But otherwise, no makeup and my skin has never looked better. Most of all it helped me to get over my skin-picking addiction!

  93. Jess says

    Will it work if I put sunscreen on ???
    Because apparently sunscreen stop the UV rays from damaging the skin, so I usually put physical sunscreen on, but my face is just horrible right now and I really want to try this !!!

    • MJ says

      use clothing, clothing (hats, etc.) are around 20 spf…get shade, chemicals clog pores in my experience, you can take the risk and try it…just note how your skin does with it

  94. Chris M says

    Never take advice from anyone who has dreadlocks and doesn’t wash… I’m guessing this person doesn’t have a job either!!

    • Tracy says

      hahaha. This IS my job (aka. successful entrepreneur!). Keep on toeing the line of the status quo and thinking inside the box, my friend.

      • MJ says

        he’s pretty closed minded individual that likes to judge others, and if you notice he is judging your success, he’s probably jealous…keep up the good work tracy

        • Tracy says

          It’s cool… apparently if no one ever disagrees with you, you never make any waves in this world! :)

          PS- thanks for helping me to answer questions about the Caveman, MJ – you know a lot about it. I appreciate hearing other people’s experiences with it!

  95. Krista says

    quick question — my face ITCHES sometimes under the dead skin mask! Could that be a sign of the healing stage (in your opinion)?

      • Krista says

        I know you don’t like to claim definites so that is why I included “opinion” :) That makes sense to me too! I am trying SO so hard to not pick/touch like you wisely advise, but the itching gets to me…I try to resist so not to take off the covering protecting the healing skin. Any words of encouragement for me to remember?

        I can’t wait for the time when it becomes more invisible like you say! I am tired of my mom telling me my face looks “orange” (she is a skeptic, worried the mask will clog my pores)

        • Tracy says

          Haha, I loved that you included the “opinion” :)
          My words of encouragement are……… be strong! And hang in there. My face was orange at the beginning too.

          • Krista says

            oh you were orange too?? Knowing you were here but then got to the point where the mask is invisible is very encouraging!! Your skin looks great now and where I want mine to be. It is just so discolored, scaly, and at times itchy right now…but I do think I just have a LOT of healing to do (I have candidiasis and undergoing treatment). I will stay strong and clean the mask only when necessary… any clues I should look for to remove or trust it will just flake when its ready?

            • Tracy says

              Yep, definitely had orange patches. With the mask… what happened was that I exfoliated it off after a month… and then over the next two weeks it built back up, but not nearly as much… then I exfoliated it again… and then it was pretty invisible after that. I don’t think I even ever exfoliated again, or maybe only once in a long long while. It might take longer than that for you though it all depends on how much healing needs to happen.

  96. Dustin says

    Hey Tracy, I’ve just now discovered your site and I’ve been using all kinds of topical acne creams with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, but the idea of not having to do ANYTHING to my face sounds rather great! I only have two concerns. I am 14 years old, and today I spoke with my mom about trying to be healthy and trying to improve my diet because of how it affects my skin and she didn’t really take me seriously. Should I wait to start the cave man regime since my diet isn’t very “good”? And also, I have been perscribed a topical treatment with 3% erythromycin (whatever that is) and 5% benzoyl peroxide that I’ve been using for the past month or so. It’s working quite well, but I know it isn’t beneficial to my skin for the long run. I am honestly scared to stop using it because of my acne returning, so advice on that would be great as well… Thank you so much!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Dustin,
      I’m sorry to hear your mom wouldn’t listen :( as for whether or not you should do the caveman… I don’t know. I imagine your acne probably has a lot to do with teenage hormones, which would be more affected by your diet than by what you are putting on your skin. However, what you’re using may be making it worse, in which case the caveman would help… but I don’t knowI can’t really say. You say you think the stuff you are using is making it better, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing to just stay on it for a while and maybe wean off it later in a few years to see if your hormonal stuff has passed (which it hopefully and likely will). In the meantime, improve your diet (and other lifestyle factors) if you can get your mom to get on board! It’s probably the best route for you to manage it in the meantime!

      • Dustin says

        Thanks for your suggestion. If I recal correctly, I stumbled across an article that said EVERYONE should wash their face with a cleanser morning and night – even kids with clear skin. It seems soon after I took the advice and began washing my face, I began to get some breakouts. I just have one more question though, I know you’ve said the three things acne sufferers should cut out of their diets are dairy, gluten, and soy – to see if it helps with the acne…. But does this go the same for me and my hormones because of puberty and my age? Thanks!

        • Tracy says

          Hi Dustin,
          Yes it would apply, but I would start with dairy, apparently it is the most common food that worsens teenage acne, which makes sense because it can contain hormones

  97. Kit says

    Can I ask a question? I’m in my second month of caveman and I cleaned some dead skin off using a cotton swab last night. It seemed to go well, but the dead skin was a weird, ashy, gray color on the q-tip. Can I get any feedback regarding whether or not that’s normal? It kinda surprised me.

  98. Yownut says

    Hi Tracy!It’s my first month and I wanted to ask if I should clean the dead skin or it will disappear naturally if I don’t touch the face? Before I started the regimen my skin used to be so oily,but now, I guess it’s too dried. What should I do next?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Yownut,
      What I did… after a month I removed it, and then it built itself up a little, but not as much, and then I removed it again two weeks later, and … I think that was it. I didn’t exfoliate again and it never built it up again to where you could really see it. So, I actually don’t know whether or not it would disappear on its own if you just left it.

  99. Laura says

    Hi Tracey,

    I am really really interested in trying out the caveman routine. But I’m so scared! I’ve been flitting between using chemicals (like salicyclic acid and glycolic acid) and using the OCM for my hormonal acne.

    I’ve was just wondering if you thought that this regimen may work for people with hormonal acne? I’m actually weaning off the pill at the moment (after reading your fantastic post on the subject!) and I was put on it for moderate acne and the possibility I may have PCOS. Could leaving my skin alone completely help to stop the spots from coming up, or do you think that because my hormones are out of whack it will continue on the inside regardless of what I’m doing on the outside?
    Thanks for your awesome site! :)

    • Tracy says

      Hi Laura,

      Don’t worry, it’s normal to be scared trying something like this!!

      I actually don’t think this regimen would totally fix hormonal acne. How well it will work for you depends on whether or not what you are using on your skin right now and in the past is making your hormonal acne worse by irritating it. If it is in fact making it worse, then you should see improvement in your hormonal acne, but it probably won’t take care of it completely due to the internal factors.

      Check out this article for help with hormonal acne: http://thelovevitamin.com/6855/treat-female-hormonal-acne/

      Also check out PCOS Unlocked: The Manual if you think you might have PCOS…. click on the ad on the right sidebar if you’re interested

  100. Aurora says

    Hi Tracey! My friend and I came up to enjoy some quiet time at my cabin, and she confessed that she doesn’t wash her face. I took this chance to go face wash and makeup free and I have to say I am pretty amazed by the difference in just 4 days. Plus its kind of cool to only have to brush your teeth before bed :)
    Anyway, I’m sure you have done plenty of research and know the foods to help with your digestion, but I was reading about how fennel is a good veggie for that in , which I really love, and a great recipe for raw fennel is to chop it up in big chip-like pieces and squeeze a bit of lemon juice all over it.
    Bon appétit!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Aurora!
      That’s awesome!! Glad some time in the bush helped you discover your inner cave woman and it worked out!
      As for fennel… as yes, I have heard about fennel’s awesome digestive properties… I always forget about it though because I don’t like it that much! I’m one of those people who hates black licorice, and fennel tastes like licorice, in my humble opinion ;)

  101. emmie says

    hi tracy!
    I’ve literally just started the no water or anything caveman three days ago and I’m real excited for whats going to happen! I’m 15 so i think some spots are to do with hormones. i have had a lot of new breakouts (mostly whiteheads and red bumps). would this be normal? my face is also really itchy and it seems that the mask is already starting to appear, especially round my nose. is the itching and new spots a sign of healing? i will let you know after 28 days whether it has worked!! thanks so much!!
    emmie xoxoxo

    • Tracy says

      Hi Emmie,

      Are you saying that you are getting more acne after starting the caveman? Or are this the same level of acne that you were getting prior to starting and it’s just continuing? Also, yes, the mask and itching is quite normal and a sign of healing

      • Emmie says

        hi again! i don’t have “acne” as such, just lots of spots, if that makes sense? usually my skin is really clear with just one or two spots, but about 6 weeks ago I started breaking out real bad. so i haven’t got more spots since starting the caveman, they’re just continuing as you said. But! today i noticed that my chin is really starting to heal, and the couple of new spots i have now seem to feel as though they would be huge, but have come up as tiny little whiteheads. i think this is just the “purging” stage! I am not going to give up on this! (and the spots may also be to do with me being a bit poorly at the moment with a bug :( ). thanks so much for helping!! xoxoxo

        • Emmie says

          and, also, my cheeks have nothing whatsoever, so do you think this may be a sign that I’m not “meant” to have spots? it may just be teenage hormones sadly :(

  102. Emmie says

    Hi Tracy!!
    After a week of doing the caveman my face is healing so well! i expected it to take much longer, but because I am so young I think i haven’t used such harsh cleansers for so long therefore i am healing faster. Thank you sososososososo much for writing about this, without this my skin would still be in its bleeugh phase! i am experiencing a bit of flaking which i expect to increase but it’s so worth it because slowly my skin is regaining its colour and hopefully will be the colour of my legs one day! (my legs are a different shade of colour to the rest of my skin so heres hoping!). I have still got some mini scabby things from where i cannot resist squeezing my whiteheads, but now i am not getting anymore spots and everything is healing!!!!!! my skin is completely different in terms of colour and texture- it’s not looking its best but i can’t tell it’s getting better quickly!! one of my best friends has just never got round to buying a cleanser or moisturiser and her skin is perfect!! i hope one day to have flawless skin like her! i was fed of being one of the few people in my grade that cleanser didn’t work for so thank you again!!
    this has worked magic for me so far, and I’m so excited for the next month!! i’ve read lots of your caveman posts and tracy, your skin looks gorgeous, you should be so proud! it’s beautiful!! thank you sososo much again!! xoxoxo

  103. Ian says

    Hi Tracy, Are you still not using anything at all on your skin? No jojoba oil, honey, moisturiser nothing? If so, how long has it been now? Your skin looks gorgeous on the photos. I did it for 3 mths and now I just cleanse with jojoba oil but I may use nothing if that’s what you’re doing.

  104. Shannon says

    Hi there Tracy
    First off its a good feeling to know us acne sufferers are not alone.I think these might be blackheads but I have these grayish black dots in the center of my face especially. When I squeeze them white stuff comes out. I am very fair skinned so they are embarrassing because you can see them well. Any advice on the Cave men regimine? I have combination sensitive skin.

  105. KC says

    Tracy, For I didn’t read all 200+ comments. I have 2 questions about this: So how do you go about cleaning the sleep crust from your eyes and mouth in the mornings when you wake up? How do you clean your ears and earlobes from the buildup and earwax drainage?

    For I have Oily Acne Prone Sensitive Skin just to let you know.If this will help my Adult acne I would be willing to try anything.

    • Tracy says

      haha well you’re lucky, because no one has actually asked those particular questions yet so you didn’t waste your time ;p
      Sleep crust… well… you could probably just put water on them (and just on them). I don’t think it’s much of a big deal to get your eyes wet. Or you could put a little olive oil on it, that’d get rid of it. And your ears? I don’t know.. use a Q-tip? lol

  106. says

    When I read this, it actually made tons of sense to me. When I was a young teen I would go to 4H camp and on long camping/horseback trips in back country. At home, I abused my face with abrasives, benzoyl peroxide, acids, you name it. I was a huge fan of Stridex pads. At camp and on trips, I let my cleaning regimen slide. I also didn’t really take off my few spots of coverup presumably because I didn’t want whichever boy I liked to see my spots. Ever. When I got home, my skin looked great, but I got back into the regimen of abuse, picking, scrubbing etc and my skin looked red, angry and irritated again. Repeat this cycle ad infinitum. I miraculously don’t have any scarring from the years of systematic abuse I subjected my face to from ages 12 onward. However, I still have a few closed comedones that are barely visible except in harsh lighting, as well as a few odd zits I can’t seem to shake. I’m going to start not doing anything to my skin today and see what happens. Have been up to now washing my face with coconut oil (which really helped get most of my acne under control. The extra virgin cold pressed kind, btw) and hot water, and, I admit it, picking… I still pick. Not like I used to, but occasionally I can’t resist and I go for it. Invariably makes things worse. Maybe not touching my face at all will eliminate the temptation…

    Cheers!

      • says

        Two days in and no new spots. My face is shiny, but rosy, and I think the little closed comedones are going away (they look crusty, like they would come off if I rubbed them, but still barely visible). The hardest thing is giving up makeup (particularly powder in this hot climate). I feel super naked! :O

  107. Angelina says

    I tried to read all the comments before I posted but I already do a modified version of the caveman regimen but I would still strongly encourage SPF usage on any exposed skin. Let’s not forget the “cavemen” lived into their late 20s and not much longer after that, they didn’t have to deal with higher sun radiation exposure and a slower aging process. Also they didn’t have to contend with the smog after effects of the industrial revolution.

    It’s not 100% but I clean my face at night with a damp lukewarm washcloth (no rubbing, just patting) and in the morning the same way (hello! morning eyes). Then I apply an SPF and head out into the world.

    Those wonderful hormone fluctuations still give me troubles once a month. I’m also a clean eater (vegan leaning vegetarian) and drink alcohol only occasionally, rest of the time it’s green tea or water.

  108. Joshua says

    I’ve been following this regimen since 2 months now.I just washed my face once or twice with drinking water (free of chemicals).While my skin has improved in terms of complexion and redness in general but i still get cysts.I abhor cysts… Also this dead skin issue is getting on my nerves,Whenever i work out there’s a white trail on my cheeks. Sometimes people even point out at it.

    Is there a way by which i could exfoliate and not irritate my skin? I’m just not in favor of using commercial exfoliating scrubs.

    • Tracy says

      I recommend putting plain yogurt on your face for ten minutes or so… it’s a gentle natural chemical exfoliant

  109. Demetria says

    So thankful to have read this!
    I began the ”only water” method two weeks ago, and my face is about 98% clear.
    Every time I washed or moisturized my face, my acne only seemed irritated afterward..so I figured I must be causing problem skin with those products.
    The only addition I use ate Huggie’s fragrance free wipes to remove makeup.
    Gentle for me!
    I hope any tweaking of this method works for someone out there!
    Feels good to know my skin is healing itself.
    Also! All these years I thought I had oily skin, but I think it’s normal.
    :-)

  110. tabu says

    I did it but it has many prob, the worst is the dead skin…. just my experience… With the dead skin on when u go out u just think about it gonna stress out more… N if at home mirror all the time… N the skin cycle is not 28 days… It’s around 52 days… N d dust o dirt delays the healing…. So use a gentle cleanser rather than looking yaky… Use the one without water… Ponds cold cream o cetaphil… Be gentle dont scrub or rub…. Hope it will help… But caveman not that great for me… Do only if u can without touching for 2 months.. If u gonna disturb in between u are gonna suffer with raw red kindaa peeled out skin welcoming infectionz… Good luck… N pillows n hair too shouldnot touch your face

  111. Krista says

    I need some support!!!

    my naturopath recommended Malazepam cream for Rosacea (main ingredient azelaic acid) but I declined thinking “I am doing the caveman and it has so many chemicals!”…but after having an interview yesterday I got all in my head/self-conscious about the redness still on my face and am entertaining the idea thinking “maybe it won’t be bad, help speed the healing process…medications can be good, right?” but in reality I DO NOT want to stop the caveman, yet worry about my red marks. PLEASE HELP ME STAY STRONG!! :/

    • Tracy says

      Be strong Krista! In the end it’s your decision.. red marks suck, but maybe try something like tamanu oil instead of something with a bunch of chemicals? I’m writing a post about it that will be published this week sometime, or just google and read about it

  112. M. Prufrock says

    Love this idea– I always wondered why I looked like a huge greaseball after my complicated, powder-heavy makeup routine designed to absorb oil! I’ve been slowly cutting down on products, definitely going to do a modified Cavewoman and cut down on the “helicopter” monitoring of my skin, which inevitably results in the slathering on of about 8 different harsh lotions and potions..

    But I do have the whole sunscreen concern. A few commenters mentioned it earlier in brief, but I have to ask myself: is it realllllly okay not to SPF up? My French teacher never used sunscreen a day in her life and her skin looked…. very shriveled and leathery and made her whole appearance terrifying and still gives me nightmares. I’m sure she had a million other toxins in her system too, but it’s sort of indisputable that sun damage was her major issue. Also she was mean, so I don’t mind bringing it up LOL.

    Unrelatedly, my grandma developed skin cancer presumably from unprotected sun exposure. Many incidences of skin cancer can irrefutably be traced back to UV-B sun radiation, as evidenced by specific damages to a patient’s DNA that indicate such.

    So… How do we stay cancer free AND pimple free? Any thoughts specifically on sun protection? Obviously sunscreen is chock full of chemicals, but if they’re saving lives, it seems kind of worth it? Or no? I can always retreat into my dark and protective cave ;)

    • says

      Hi M. Prufrock,

      haha, I love that image of your French teacher! Maybe her face developed that shriveled look just because she was mean? You‘re not, I can sense that! You‘re funny!!! :D

      Tracy‘s doing her honeymoon right now (just BEFORE her wedding!!! :D :D :D ) and she asked me to answer her comments until she‘s back. Since I‘m her regular skincare and sunscreen correspondent, your question is a great question for me!

      You seem pretty concerned about sun protection, so I‘m inclined to suggest you a “less is more“-regimen instead. Personally, I do not use sunscreen every day. I just put it on whenever I‘m going to stay in the sun for a while or if I don‘t know how much sun I‘ll get during the day. If I can, I try to avoid the peak hours of sun radiation (10/11-15/16 o‘clock) and like to wear sunglasses to protect my eyes and (sometimes) a wide-brimmed hat. Whenever I‘m going to stay inside most of the day, I leave my skin alone or simply put on 1-2 drops of oil on damp skin. That‘s all. Tracy, on the other hand doesn‘t use any sunscreen on her face, but she uses one of these extremely oversized Chinese palm-leave hats that offer a very good protection ;) . And she uses a natural zinc oxide sunscreen for her body (only as needed though). Have a look at these 3 articles about sunscreen (and possible toxic ingredients):
      http://thelovevitamin.com/4000/sunscreen-and-acne-part-one/
      http://thelovevitamin.com/4012/sunscreen-and-acne-part-two/
      http://thelovevitamin.com/4013/sunscreen-and-acne-part-three/

      If you need an up-to-date sunscreen tip: this year, I’m using one of those new Badger sunscreen lotions (the aloe one without added scent), and I have to say that I’m extremely excited about it.
      The formula is quite thin, spreads pretty well, contains only few ingredients (no chemical preservatives!!!) and lots of antioxidants without any of them being phototoxic. It’s not water resistant though, but nonetheless it’s really effective. I tested it over the last few weeks, and I did not burn or have any adverse reaction, although my skin usually does not get along with creams or lotions. The only downside is that it’s a bit drying (like all zinc oxide sunscreens). But since I’m not using it every day, this is acceptable.

      In addition, the “magic mitt” (a microfibre cloth that is super gentle) might be great to get off your sunscreen without using any cleansing substances or oils:
      http://thelovevitamin.com/5457/how-to-remove-makeup-without-cleansers-oils-or-makeup-remover/

      • M. Prufrock says

        Thanks for the thorough reply. I’m totally looking into the Badger sunscreen, as Badger balm is amazing for protecting cuts, etc- didn’t know they had a sunscreen! Also thanks for the links to the articles on here- god the chemicals in typical sunscreen are really alarming..

        Incidentally, you’re super nice, congrats to Tracy and thanks for the info!

        • says

          Thank you, M. Prufrock!!! ;)

          Yes, I love those Badger balms too. The aftersun balm is the best thing I ever tried to stop mosquito bites from itching!!! At least it works with the European species. ;)

          Eating a clean diet (avoiding sugar, trans-fats and omega-6 fatty acids) and taking astaxanthin (a very strong antioxidant) as a supplement can make your skin a lot more resistant to sun exposure as well. However, I‘d still put on some mineral sunscreen or stay in the shade during the peak hours!!! ;)

          • Kimberly says

            Hi there, thanks so much for the info on clearing up acne. Have been a long time reader, and first time commenter.

            I suffer from acne since puberty and now even with age 23 I am still recovering from acne scars and mild acne. Finally I took up courage to do the cavemen… I am now 4th day in (with no water except when in shower), and my skin does not look as oily as I was afraid of, which is great…. except for patches of small, tiny thingy on both my cheeks which make my skin looks like sandpaper;( It’s really hard for me to go to work with my face looking like covered with sandpaper, but I think I will stick to it…

            The problem is I’m heading to the beach next weekend, and I really don’t wanna give up on my sunscreen, at the same time I am not willing to break the cavemen routine…. So, what do u think? Should I apply my sunscreen and just wash it afterwards?
            And if so, is it sufficient to just wash it with water?

            Thanks for your help. Loving The Love Vitamin, it keeps me going when I’m thinking of going back to commercial cleansers

  113. Hannah W. says

    Hello!
    Ok, so I want to start this program but I have a concern about sweat. I have read through almost all the comments and I know that people have asked about sweat while working out and been answered but the thing is I am a hot yoga instructor- I sweat in a 105 degree (fahrenheit) room EVERY day. Needless to say I get very, very sweaty! Is this a problem and will it affect my face/breakouts? Do you have an recommendations?
    Thanks :-)

  114. Kristen says

    Hey Tracy,

    Is it normal for your face to undergo EXTREME oil production when you start this method? Ever since I cut back on washing my face, it’s like I’m producing extra sebum and oil my skin needs to, I’m assuming, heal itself though all the shine is a little extreme. Does this sound normal to you?

    • Tracy says

      Yes, because when you wash your face all the time, you strip it of it’s oils constantly.. so it overcompensates with a lot of oil. So when you stop washing your face, it’s still in the habit of overcompensating, yet you’re not washing it away, and so it just seems like your face had a deep fryer dumped on it. I say just pat it off with a towel or paper towel or something while it’s doing this. Soon it will learn that you aren’t stripping it of oil anymore and will chill out.

  115. says

    I tried this for two weeks, and my skin broke out in tiny closed comedones (something I have never had before) and now feels like sandpaper. Maybe it’s just purging? I have no idea what’s happening. My skin was 98% good before.

      • Tracy says

        This happened to me in the first month on the caveman… my face felt like sandpaper. It was just a healing thing and it passed.

        • says

          I guess I’ll stick with it, then. It’s really hard to stop feeling all the little bumps with my fingertips. They’re not inflamed, though… so that’s one positive thing.

  116. zoha says

    Hey Tracy… Help me to continue caveman reg for a month… I remove the dead skin off after few days… Anything that wud stop me from removing the dead skin….the regimen has helped.. But m not giving it enough time…. Help!!!

  117. says

    I’ve tried this often during exams. It starts out as a lack-of-time thing and then I continue slacking coz it gives me so much time to waste in front of the computer.
    And I always break out badly at the end of the month.

  118. zoha says

    Hey… thank u for the reply… c u after 24 days.. on day5 now.. n the link u provided is gonna help a lot i guess …..

  119. Sara says

    Does this work well for dry skin? And what if I exercise, should I just leave the sweat on my face?
    (P.s. Love this website, it really helps with my acne!)

  120. Cece says

    Tracy, what would you recommend doing to wash off the yogurt if you have very dry skin? I was thinking of also using papaya pulp on my face to gently exfoliate as well, if the dead skin mask gets to be too much. I’m on week 2 and am getting scaly red patches here and there. Every time water gets on my face, it feels super tight and dry. Thank you so much for chronicling your experiences and sharing advice, you are amazing!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Cece,
      Well, honestly if your skin is that dry, then I might actually consider not removing the dead mask at all and instead just using an oil on it to moisturize it (like olive or avocado or another very moisturizing oil), which will help it to blend in/go away without having to use water

  121. Kate says

    Just wondering though – what about after working out? After yoga-ing my skin is super sweaty and salty, won’t that cause breakouts?

    Thanks!

  122. A.J says

    Thanks to all of you for your info and comments. Im 40 and have been battling acne since my teens and im going to try the honey and grow a beard and see how it goes. My problem seems consentrated to the right side of my face next to my nose. I dont think I could ever stop useing at least water.

  123. Chloe says

    Hi Tracy! I’m thirteen and I’ve been battling acne for a couple of years now. I don’t have pimples all over my face but usually on my forehead and by my ears. I usually go a couple of weeks without bad breakouts but when it does happen I get a big pimple right in the middle of my face. I’m interested in trying the caveman regimen, but I’m mainly concerned about my pores. Will they get better as well or do I have to apply facial masks? And do you think I should give the caveman regimen a go?
    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Chloe,

      Tracy is without internet access for a few days, so she asked me to answer the comments on her blog until she’s back. I think that your pores definitely could get better with the caveman regimen, but it‘ll take quite a while and at first your pores might get worse. It‘s all about trial and error, but for many people the caveman regimen seems to work pretty well. However, you‘ll only know if you give it a go…

  124. Christian says

    “Then you can rinse or wash your face with something gentle every so often and stop completely avoiding water.”

    When you say, “something gentle every so often”, are you referring to the exfoliation or stating you can rinse or wash your face afterwards? Maybe I read it incorrectly, but putting the “once every four week” exfoliation aside, I thought the point of the caveman regimen was indeed to avoid water.

    Thanks.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Christian – well, some people use water on the caveman the whole time. The fundamental caveman is about avoiding products of any sort. The hardcore caveman is also about avoiding water, especially during the first thirty days, and then after that, while not purposely getting water on your face, you should be able to get it wet if you want to without any trouble. Not necessarily washing your face purposely, although if you want to, you can. Some people would probably like to wash their face every once in a while. I don’t bother, personally.

      • Christian says

        Thank you.

        I will gladly attempt this, (I love disciplining myself), I’ll comment on my results in so many weeks.

        Additionally, I take it when choosing to exfoliate is also something that varies from person to person? I usually exfoliated once a week with a sugar, olive oil scrub, but I’ll try a muslin cloth after 3-4 weeks.

        “So that brings me to the next question – if you’re a guy, how do you shave?”

        For my moustache, a battery powered, precision trimmer. For my other facial hair, a standard, wired beard trimmer.

        Regarding my face’s extreme sensitivity, I’m terrified of shaving foam and standard razors.

        • Steve says

          I was pretty scared of shaving too, until I did it. My beard had grown quite a bit and my sideburns were getting thicker too. I couldn’t tell you if it was the shaving foam I used or what, but afterwards, my skin felt sooo much better. It was that “hydrating gel” stuff by wilkinson. It does say for sensitive skin on it, so maybe it’s not working against us.

          Saying all that, after some more testing, I really think that having facial hair will actually irritate your skin. My face is the worst on the sides, and when my sideburns grow, it always gets way worse.

  125. Bri says

    Heylo.. I just discovered this regime and starting today on it.. my acne has calmed down over the years.. but still have occasional breakouts… hoping to see what this does for me. :)

  126. says

    i’m a messy eater. i can’t imagine not washing my face after i eat something that makes it’s way onto my chin. what would you do in this instance? (the idea of leaving it there makes me itchy)
    thanks!

    • Christian says

      Hello.

      I just thought I’d share some advice of my own, as despite that I’m not a messy eater, such things also happen to me.

      If it’s something like gravy on my chin, I usually just gently pat with a clean kitchen cloth so it’s minimally absorbed. If I believe the substance may be more “harmful” than others, then I just try to remove any substantial amounts as gently as possible in the same manner.

      I personally believe the most important thing in such situations is simply not to panic, as that sometimes lead my skin to more harm. I believe it’s your individual right to panic, but that’s my humble advice.

      I wouldn’t worry about it too much, just do what you can and relax.

      Respectful wishes.

      Christian.

  127. Christian says

    It’s my fifth day of diligently avoiding any water. I’m enjoying it, but I’m concerned about some severely red, flaked, sore patches on my inner cheeks and above my left eyebrow. They burn, itch and seem to have been worsening from day 1.

    I don’t particularly care about this next detail, but my face is also utterly covered in small skin flakes.

    I’d love to see if my skin can finally produce it’s own sebum, but the erratic weather, (I live in England), my skin’s historically dry tendencies and winter’s approach worries me. As a precaution, do you think I should apply a little natural oil, (such as Extra Virgin Olive), to the patches? Or do you think I should try baring it for longer?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Christian, I had some weird dry patches on my skin too which healed on their own, but they don’t sound like they were as bad as yours! I’m sure it would be find to rub a little oil just into those patches to see if it helps.

  128. Kimberly says

    Hi Tracy,

    It’s been 2 weeks since I experimented with the Caveman Regimen. During this period, I haven’t washed my face with anything, except for the water splashes on my face when I wash my hair.

    So far, acne on both side of my cheeks has calmed down. I’m happy to say that I don’t have any new breakouts. However, my face is covered with small skin flakes (I suppose it’s the dead skin mask). Also, my skin has gotten very very dry due to the skin flakes, so I apply a tiny bit of jojoba oil when my face got itchy and dry.

    I know that acne takes a lot of time to go away, together with internal issues. But I have observed that, during this 2 weeks my skin just seemed that it’s not able to produce its own sebum underneath all the skin flakes. I have weird, red dry patches over my face, and they can’t seem to go away as my face is always dry.

    So, I think that maybe it’s because I have clogged pores, my skin isn’t producing sebum? I couldn’t figure out, why my skin is so dry and itchy all the time (p.s. I live in hot and humid weather, that has gotten me puzzled even more).

    Thanks for your help, Tracy.

  129. Kimberly says

    I’ll definitely try the EVOO and let you know the updates.
    Let’s keep it up together, I believe it will get better :)

    Thanks Tracy!

  130. Taylor says

    Hi Tracy. Thank you so much for bringing this theory to my attention!

    I’m already a full 8 days into the regimen, and things have been going well. Stuff on my face has begun to crust up, and getting pretty gross looking, which I take as a good sign.

    However, in the last hour, I had a small itch on my face, so I carefully scratched it. But before I knew it, I went Baloo the Bear on myself. I scratched off a whole lot of scab like particles and dry, dead skin went flying everywhere. Gross, right? Well, it felt so good haha, but now I realize I’m an idiot.

    I was just wondering, how far does this set my progress back, and did this, or anything similar happen to you?

    Thanks again for your wisdom!

    • Tracy says

      Woohoo that’s great! Glad to hear you are liking the regimen. As for scratching… My advice? Keep calm and carry on. It’s no big deal.

  131. Sara says

    Tracy,

    Words can’t express how thankful I am for your advice on Caveman Regimen. It’s one of the best regimens that I have ever come across. I have done it once for 10 days and will be trying it again.

    After 10 days of doing nothing, I simple washed my face with some oatmeal. The results were spectacular. I have never experienced such a glow on my face for doing nothing and for the first time I liked what I saw in the mirror after having broken into a severe rash from using some rancid oil and going out in the sun 5 weeks ago.

    Thanks to you and Svea (both of you are my unpaid dermatologists) I am worry free and don’t stress about how I look.

    One thing I am unable to get over is looking at the mirror at onset of the slightest red bump due to atmospheric changes or a drop of water touching my face accidentally. I want to slap my wrist but actually prefer if somebody unbiased did that for me LOL!

    My focus has now shifted to my legs where I have eczema and I am following Svea’s advice on using pure Shea Butter. I am on a 4th day Shea Butter. The first two days were hell as my legs became dry, flaky and itchy. But I am not giving up.

    I travel 300 days a year so I am exposed to sun, rain, heat and cold all at the same time in a matter of few hours.

    But caveman regimen is helping me no matter where I go.

    God Bless Your Soul for sharing so much that helped a lot of us who weren’t getting any answers from regular doctors.

  132. Liam murphy says

    Hi I have a few questions
    1- I do sport almost every day (4-5 times a week), would I be able to wash my face after this exercise and not ruin the regime?
    2- how long does this generally take to clear up acne? My acne is quite severe on my cheeks?
    3- how can I clear off this dead skin without using an exfoliator and how often should I wash my face?
    Thank you if you are able to answer my questions

  133. Taylor says

    Hi again.

    Thank you for answering my earlier question! I was also wondering, my first month is coming to an end tomorrow, and if you had the time to answer, I’d like to know what your opinion is on shaving? Is it safe?

    I realize that you never had to worry about this haha, but I haven’t shaved for the whole month, and I’m starting to look like an actual caveman. It’s quite weird looking.

    Also, when I do peel away all the flakiness, what should I expect afterwards? Will the flakiness come back only slightly less disturbing, or are they going to stay off for the most part?

    Thank you! :)

    • Tracy says

      Hi Taylor, when you take off the flakiness, it should come back, but slightly less disturbing. Next time it should come back even less, and so on, until it’s there but totally invisible. How long this process takes seems to be different for everyone, I suppose depending on how damaged your skin is.

      As for the shaving – I can’t make any guarantees about what will happen with shaving! It just depends on your skin and whether it gets irritated from that or not. A safer, more prudent way would be to get an electric shaver and shave on a pretty close but not too close setting.

      • Taylor says

        Thank you! I took off all the dead skin… I seriously think I looked better with it on haha. My skin is all red and looks very hyper-pigmentated (I’m sure that’s not how you spell it. I hope it’s all just a part of the healing. When the dead skin grew back of you, did you let it sit there? Or did you take it all off as it came?

        Thank you again for all your help! :)

        • Tracy says

          Hi Taylor, after the first time I took off the mask, I did it again two weeks later, and then… I didn’t really have to do it again much after that. Anyway, if your skin is very sensitive, I’d probably leave the next mask on for as long as you can stand it and then take it off! Give it even more time to heal without disturbance.

  134. Sean says

    I tried it and thought it was cool. No worries about having to wash. It all takes getting used to. Longest i went was 14 days! Amazing. Minor itching so i just pat it softly but the skin adapts and does not itch anymore! Now i just wash my face every 3 or 4 days depending on how dirty it feels or looks..the key is to not overwash, stay away from irritants and stay clean for as long as you can! Also diet, exercise, and stress is important. You have to feel good about yourself. Find a way! Every little thing matters! Balance balance balance. Find what works for you and god bless.

    P.s. thanks trace!

  135. tabu says

    caveman… i was struggling with it…. since last 8 month… the mask never came out… evrytym i tried to remove it was all red…. finaaly to d dermat.. he told i hav seborrhic dermatitis…. the thick yellow thing out of the pores irritated the skin… so b careful.. wash it off.. or else its gonna b worse…. wash but do not over wash …. not washin at all is d stupid thing i did for which i still regret,,…. guys donot go 4 too long days… u gonna get facial dandruff.. that is y the flakiness,…. it wont work… so do not try

  136. Debbie says

    Hi Tracy, I was so glad to have found your site. I also have a terrible acne on my cheeks and forehead and most especially between my eyes that are so annoyingly coming out every now and then. At first they are just on “normal sizes” but then when I started to use every anti-acne products that I came across to, they became inflamed and they even multiplied in numbers. I was so frustrated and I started to fell embarrassed when people start noticing my reddened face. Then it became worst, I lost my confidence and I became unsociable. I found myself hiding from other people. I was so sad to realize that I’m skipping every moments that I am supposedly enjoying.
    But now, when I had read about your story, It give me courage to take control. I had just downloaded your ebook and I would follow your advice. And I think I would try this caveman regimen as well. I think my acne got worst every time I’m spending a lot of time trying to get rid of it. I might as well just let it be and do other exiting stuff and be happy than making a one-on-one battle with it. Then I’ll see what would happen next.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Debbie, I know how awful acne is and really wear you down. Things will get better though :) Good luck on your journey! xo

  137. Cece says

    Hi Tracy,

    I’ve been successful with the regimen (all thanks to you!) and was able to go the past few months without putting ANYTHING on my face! It feels so liberating. I’ve also gone completely makeup free, since the the regimen also helped my skin with smoothness and pigmentation issues.

    However, now that the weather is getting colder and drier, I’m starting to get dry patches again. I have 100% shea butter that I’ve been putting on little red dry patches here and there, but the rest of my face is still starting to get flaky. What would you recommend? Shea butter? Jojoba or coconut oil? I don’t want to do anything that could possibly interfere with my body’s natural oil production.

    Thanks again for all your help!

  138. Sarah says

    I’m a little worried about jumping straight into the caveman regimen, so do you think it would be just as effective, and maybe not as major of a freak-out to your skin, if you gradually ease yourself into it? I was thinking that I would start only washing my face at night for awhile, then every other day, then every two days, etc. until I can make it through a whole month. Would this constant going-back-to-washing every so often just make my skin confused? I.e. would it just be better to cut off washing cold turkey? I’ve been washing my face twice a day with manuka honey for the past couple months, so my skin is used to natural products.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Sarah, hmm it’s hard to say because I think both ways can work, and it probably just depends on your skin. I don’t think it sounds like a bad idea to begin only washing once a day, and then maybe every other day and then ease out of it.

      • Sarah says

        Okay, thanks! Also, I shower every night because I’m a runner and I get really sweaty (also meaning I wash my hair every night, argh) and I find it really difficult to keep the shampoo and water from running down my face as I massage it into my scalp and hairline. If I were to do the full-on caveman, would this pose a huge problem? I understand that water or even the shampoo you use can be irritating your skin, but assuming this isn’t the case, would this totally set me back each night?

        • Tracy says

          It is indeed difficult, but you can keep most off it off if you lean your head way back so that it runs down the back, not on your face. It is hard to keep all the water off though. I don’t think it’s a big deal though.

          • Sarah says

            I suppose I’ll just need to practice more! Thanks for your help. One last thing- is it okay to use oil blotting sheets until your skin (hopefully) becomes balanced, or is it important for the oil to accumulate and stay on your skin for some reason?

            • Tracy says

              You can definitely get rid of the excess, except commercial blotting papers usually have quite a lot of chemicals on them, so I would avoid them. There’s probably more natural alternatives

              • Sarah says

                Oh man, I hadn’t even considered the chemicals in them! Thanks so much for addressing that. I’ll definitely look into something more natural.

                • Brittni says

                  Tissue paper, like the kind you use in gift bags, work wonderfully if you cut it up into squares and carry it in your purse or something (:

  139. Krista says

    Hi again Tracy!

    I am in a wedding Saturday and splurging to get airbrushing done to look my best for my friend’s day. Based on research, it seems to have the least potential to irritate (no brushes/touching involved) and the ingredients are sensitive skin friendly

    My question… do you think I should wash my face at the end of the night or just let it go?

    A reminder: I have been doing the Caveman for some months now, some spot treating with clay here and there. I do remember in your article there was one person doing the Caveman who put on makeup and just let it on…

    • Tracy says

      Ah I think you should wash the makeup off. I don’t think it should be a big deal, you’ve been doing the caveman for several months, it’s not like your face is in the delicate first stage. It’ll be fine :) If it were me, I’d wash it off.

      • Krista says

        Thank you for the advice! What would you think the best/safest to use to wash it? I know I can’t use honey because of my candida…

  140. Steve says

    Hey Tracy!
    I recently got dreads and after years of washing my hair every day, I was pretty skeptical and worried about having to cut down. I slowed it down to 2-3days then a little less and now I just wash it when I feel like ie (hardly ever) and it feels fine. I’ve also had acne for years and couldn’t understand why I still had it and why it was worse than ever. Up until 3 days ago I was washing my face 4 times a day with soap. I feel like a right turd-burgler now. Stopped washing completely and it’s just so much better. I had a lot of cystic acne which was pretty painful and definitely not attractive. At the moment I only have a few small spots that heal pretty quickly. I do rinse my face with water in the shower once a day though, but restrain from drying with a towel.

    Anyway, I do have a little problem though. My skin is normally quite flakey and particularly right now, when it’s healing a lot of sore marks. How can I sort this out without interfering too much and making things worse?

    Thanks :)

    • Tracy says

      Hi Steve, yay that’s awesome! :) Super happy for you! You could try rubbing a little bit of extra virgin olive oil into your dry patches, it’s very moisturizing and should help things.

  141. Peter says

    I’ve never posted on here before, but I started doing the Regimen about 2 weeks ago, and now my face is suuuper red and blotchy, I’ve to the point where I don’t want to leave the house and I’m trying to avoid people all day at work. In addition to the blotchy redness, there are flakes everywhere, chin, nose, eyebrows, sideburns, harline. How much longer is this going to go on for? Should I exfoliate.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Peter, that’s normal, it’s part of the healing phase. It happened to me, as described in the subsequent follow up blog posts (links to them at the end of this article). For me it took about a month to two months for my skin to heal from that, but it might take longer depending on how damaged your skin was before starting this

  142. Taylor says

    Hi Tracy! I’m just shy of the two month mark of the regimen, and it really looks like I’ve made the right decision. Thank you so much for bringing this to everyone’s attention!

    Just my forehead seems to be rather congested. It really broke out with acne a little while ago, and my forehead usually was always the clear spot on my face prior to the regimen. I haven’t picked at it yet, but it doesn’t look like its going away. Do you have any thoughts on this?

    Thank you! :)

    • Taylor says

      Thank you, Tracy! I got some jojoba oil, and I’m well on my way to finally having clear skin thanks to you :)

      I just have one final question (final at this moment haha), that I’d like to ask you if you wouldn’t mind answering? A while back, from around early March to early/mid June, I stupidly believed all the stories about how apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil could help with acne. Using those two twice a day for that time period, along with my chemical based washes exfoliants really did a number on my skin, and now I have somewhat of a slight redness on my face except for the area around my eyes. I was really stupid, I know, but I was desperate. Would you happen to know anything I can do to get my natural pigmentation back? Or is this just a matter f waiting?

      Thank you!

      • Tracy says

        Hi Taylor, ah well.. I would suggest the caveman in order to restore your skin back to it’s original state, but you’re already doing that, but so I suppose just time!

  143. Katy says

    HiTracy,

    Do you recommend this for rosacea or seb derm skin? Tbh I’m not sure what my skin condition is but maybe you can shed some light?

    I hardly break out, what I have seems to be blockage under the skin, like when I feel my cheek, it has lumps like uneven texture. On the outside I sometimes get pimples that are dry and red and this is only one cheek. The rest of my cheeks have a dry scaly feel to it that turn pink when I’m hot or when pressure is applied on it (sleeping on my cheeks). I believe if I got rid of the dry red patches, my skin won’t flush. It also get a little itchy where I have the lumpy red patch of skin.

    What do you think it sounds like? Any advice would be great. Oh and just to add, I only use cold water and a little bit of face cream on dry patches. I’ve used tons of chemicals in the past but stopped using them couple of months ago and went all natural but even they irritated my red dry cheeks so I’ve been a few days of just water and a wash cloth.

    Thanks in advance

    • Tracy says

      Hi Katy,
      It sounds like rosacea. I can’t really say with any great positivity whether it would work or not, but I don’t see why not if your skin is so sensitive to absolutely everything, then it very well may be a good match. If it’s seb derm, I’m not sure. Some people with seb derm have said that it has not helped or even made it worse.

  144. Francina says

    Hey Tracy,

    I have clear skin except on my forehead, which because of excessive washing with harsh cleansers (neutrogena) and BP creams, it has become flaky and I get these tiny red bumps I have no idea from where. I started getting these bumps in June and never had them before except get a zit around my period. This caveman regime looks super awesome, but wouldn’t the oil that accumulates cause more bumps? I notice how my skin does not react or stays clear when I leave it and do not wash it at all. My roomates do not wash their skin with any wierd cleansers and have very clear skin.

    My forehead has made me lose confidence where I have begun to decline going out and socialising.

    Thank you so much for any help!

  145. says

    Hey Tracy,

    SO i stumbled upon this while doing my research on how to clear my over dried out-pimple prone forehead and I was wondering if by letting the natural oils heal the pimples would fade away or should I have to keep washing it to ward of the oil?

    Thank you!

  146. Sarah says

    Would you still consider it important to wash your face sometimes, such as after swimming in a chlorinated pool or a lake?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Sarah, yeah, chlorine isn’t the best for the skin, it might be a good idea to perhaps rinse the skin with fresh water after and apply an oil such as olive or jojoba or whatever works for you

  147. Steve says

    Hey Tracey,
    I changed my diet drastically yesterday from cheap junk food and sweets to fruit/veg, fish, green tea etc. Thing is, I immediately got a terrible breakout which hasn’t yet cleared. Is this normal? I’m hoping it’s an initial step and will go soon
    Thanks

  148. Paul says

    I’d just like to add a potentially helpful tip for those especially dealing with the dead skin layer, plugged pores, and cysts and feel the need to wash or at least splash some water on your face on occasion.

    My dead skin layer is really bad. I’ve been diagnosed with seb derm, and rosacea, had it pretty much since high school, and also acne. I’m 47 now and still get it all.

    I tend to get a layer of dead skin every day, some days worse than others especially if I get sun. When I come out of the shower, I always have a dead skin film. Plus I get the hard plugs that cause the occasional cyst.

    I read an article recently about how hard water, with its high mineral content, can cause skin problems and turn sebum, which should be very thin and light, into a hard thick substance that clogs pores.

    Try distilled water. Distilled is completely free of anything, and no minerals. Distilled seems to be the only water that doesn’t leave anything on my skin to cause irritation. The dead skin feels thinner and soft, and I react less. I’ve experimented with Zero Water and that even causes inflammation.

    Thanks for the threat Tracy!

  149. Nico says

    Please I need help. I’m on day 25 and my itchiness is worse than ever. I haven’t used water, but I feel like I need it now. I can’t walk into a room of people without becoming agitated. How did you reduce the itchiness?

    Side note: prior to starting this, I had extremely dry skin. I have rosacea. My pustules have gone down significantly and I manage much better in the sun, so I think this regimen has come a good way for me.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Nico, I’m not really sure how to reduce the itchiness.. it’s probably just a healing phase, but I can see how it must be driving you crazy. you can try water to see if it helps. As per what Paul says above, maybe try distilled water to eliminate any chance of irritation.

      Or you could try maybe moisturizing with something like olive oil.. just use a little bit and gently rub it into your itchy, flakey patches

      • Nico says

        I ended up removing the dead skin mask. I simply couldn’t take it anymore. Just wondering, how did you go about washing your face after you removed the dead skin mask? Did you wash daily? Every few days? And how often did you removed dead skin after that? Also did you moisturize?

        Thanks,
        Nico

        • Tracy says

          Actually I’ve never really washed my face again since starting the caveman. Maybe once or twice. I actually still mostly avoid getting it wet too, but if it does get wet, I don’t care.

          The dead skin mask just gradually went away on it’s own. I mean I guess it’s still there, but you can’t see it. It’s just part of my skin now, instead of sitting on top of my skin. The reason I don’t let water touch my face most of the time is because it dries my skin out. This way I don’t have to use moisturizer. Although sometimes in the dead of winter if my skin gets dry anyway, I will sometimes rub a little bit of extra virgin olive oil or something into my skin and that takes care of it

  150. John says

    Hi, Tracy. I’ve been on the caveman for a while now. It seems to be doing good. My skin is a lot smoother than it has been, and there’s been less and less actual acne popping up. But I have a case of hyperpigmentation, which I’d really like to get rid of as fast as possible. Would you happen to know any way to help the fading process while still remaining on the caveman? Thank you in advance!

  151. Emma says

    I’m just about to start the caveman regimen, quite nervous but for the past few months nothing has helped my adult acne. My GP put me on antibiotics and told me to just wash with water because using more chemicals on my face will make it worse.

  152. Brittni says

    I’m really interested in the Caveman regimen. I really want to give it a try but the bad reviews are scaring me! I know there will always be bad reviews and things not working for certain people, but on the first link you provided, there are actually quite a few situations where it made people’s acne much worse. Part of it seems to depend on the skin type, so I was wondering if I told you my skin type, would you tell me if this is a good idea for me to try or not? Based on your judgement, of course.
    I’m 16 years old and my acne started about 4 years ago (beginning of middle school which means just starting to wash my face, but also the same-ish time I started my period…) and gradually got worse each year. I literally haven’t had one single day of clear skin since 6th grade. As my skin has gotten more acne, it has also gotten much more oily (I have to blot it with tissue paper like every hour) and red and uneven.And I have bad back acne and my chest is just kind of clogged and gets small red spots pretty often.
    Do you think the caveman regimen would work for me?
    Ps- I really REALLY appreciate everything you do! Your site is my favorite natural acne treatment site on the internet, and you’ve changed my life in so many ways (:

    • Tracy says

      Hi Brittni,
      It’s hard to say if it’s a certain skin type, or just.. you know.. the composition of your sebum, which is affected by your inner health, in which case I recommend improving your lifestyle for a while first before jumping into the caveman. Also how much your skin care is irritating/making your acne worse makes a difference in how well it works. Sorry if that’s not straight forward, but there’s no way for me to say if it will or won’t work

  153. Ana says

    so this might have already been asked, but i didn’t have time to go through all the comments.
    I’ve been doing this caveman regimen for about a month now and i have to say it’s pretty good for my skin. my problem now is though that my pores get really huge and clogged up with dead skin cells and serum (i’m guessing). it might be that i wasn’t consistent enough (let water on my face when showering or stuff like that).
    what’s your opinion?

  154. james says

    I stopped using soap on my face in my late teens (now 36) and rarely use soap at all on my body, there is just no need for it I find. I am also going on four years shampoo free, I just use water and brushing and rely on the natural oils to do the cleaning. Apparently hair is self cleaning when the oils are spread around, say through brushing? I have grown my hair long to see how logical this is to suggest to women with long hair. I would say if you have the willpower to get through the shampoo withdraw stage, it should definitely be something to consider. It took quite a long time for my scalp to balance, over a year I think it was, but it felt like there was literally a layer of gunk that left my head when all was said and done. Totally worth it though, I love how my hair feels and I used to dislike having long hair, but now it looks so good I don’t think I’ll want to cut it much. Summer time can be a little sketchy with all the extra heat and whatnot, but I’ll have to wait till next summer to see how it goes. I don’t think I’ll ever use shampoo again, and I avoid soaps and I don’t use moisturizers or anything. It all just seems like a colossal waste of money, not to mention all the chemicals associated with these products.

  155. kimbriel says

    Interesting… I actually never wash my face, because it always felt yucky to do so… I wasn’t aware this was a thing. No soap, just the steam from the shower (I don’t even stick my head under the water in the shower)

  156. Ian says

    I had been doing the caveman for a few months. My skin was very dry and some red spots were appearing occasionally on my forehead. They didn’t really look like acne. They were flat, dry, not sore but itchy. Recently, whilst in a shopping centre I was able to have a free consultation with a Chinese herbalist. He said it was dermatitis. Do you have any advice on how to treat dermatitis? I have been told jojoba oil will help?

  157. Steve says

    Hey Tracy,
    Been doing the caveman for 2 months now, and I’m not even sure it has helped. I eat at least 80% whole foods, drink only green or chai tea, exercise on a daily basis, leave my window open overnight, the list goes on. I’d love to try one of the many natural treatments you have suggested but I can barely afford the cheapest chicken. For a while I believed in the ‘2 steps forward, 1 step back’, but the breakouts are endless. I had a breakout 2 days ago, it was really bad. I spent the whole day in my living room, unventilated and with my hair against my face for a good few hours. Yesterday I had my hair up the whole day and walked for a good couple hours, stayed in my ventilated room, ate 80% whole fruit/veg/meat, didn’t touch my face even once, and what do you know…. more breakouts. I just don’t know what to do, I have 0 control over my own face. It makes me so fucking mad with everybody else complaining about the fuckin dumbest things. I observe all these socially crippled people too afraid and anxious to speak to the opposite sex, swimming in buckets of money they don’t even know what to do with. Then there’s me, horrible fucking acne, massively in debt and only going deeper. I watch my housemates buy a takeaway each night that costs as much as I have to live by for a week, and the foods they leave unopened in the fridge… that they never share.

    I’m getting sidetracked. Is it healthy to say to myself that I will kickstart my ‘real’ life once my acne clears? Like right now I have no job, no girlfriend (oh yeah get this shit. sex makes me breakout so badly, I think because of all the touching and stuff, so I can say goodbye to that -_- ), not that social. And I say to myself that the moment my acne clears, I can finally do ANYTHING I want. It’s like I have this new life planned in my head, where I can leave these shitty memories behind.
    :(

    • Paul says

      Hi Steve,

      I’ve been battling major facial skin allergies or seb derm, rosacea, and acne (at times cystic and severe) for 30 some years. All of the experiences you are describing I’ve felt. I’m sad for you. I’ve also been doing the Water only/Caveman for 5 1/2 weeks. I actually tried water only several times in the past via showers. That was no better or actually was worsened my conditions so I felt I had water allergies also. I’m doing very well right now doing water only/caveman. I feel it’s working better this time around because I’m avoiding hard water, and even filtered water. The only water touching my face and scalp has been distilled. I think this is an important ingredient for many, maybe not all. But for those extra sensitive like myself, the type of water has made all of the difference. If you are allowing any water to touch your face, you might want to make sure it’s distilled only.

      Don’t give up.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Steve,
      I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. I feel you, for sure. Not sure what the best path is for you to clear your skin, but I don’t know… maybe it’s a case of needing to let go and stop trying to control it, as I can tell that pushing back against everything that’s happening, getting angry, mad at everyone else, and the situation is making you super stressed and may be preventing anything from working. Don’t worry – I TOTALLY understand, it’s not like I haven’t been there and it’s not like it’s easy to just let go, but … yeah. Most people say that when their bad situations are over that’s when they’ll start living again, but sometimes it’s like a shitty paradox… where you have to accept the situation as it is now in order for it to go away. One of my favourite quips is “If I could make peace with my disease even if it never goes away, then I can do anything”

  158. Paul says

    I’m now on day 56 of Caveman. Until 11 days ago, I would splash my face with distilled water. Now over the past 11 days, no water has touched my face.. so tough though the first few days.

    It’s easier now. Although I’m still dealing with this dead skin on face and scalp, it feels more natural, more blending in. I still do get some pimples, but small and aren’t much of an issue. I haven’t had a cystic pimple since beginning this regimen – for me amazing since I’ve always gotten one or 2 in certain locations. Skin is less patchy, more even texture, less sensitive. I still do get a bit of, well almost like a rash with flaking and redness below my lip now and again, but try to see this as part of the healing process and be patient.

    I sweat everyday from working out and leave it on. I feel leaving the sweat on is helpful, part of the acid mantle I’m trying to re-build, and it even feels good once it absorbs. I feel like the longer I go, the stronger and more protective my mantle is getting.

  159. Teri says

    What about those oily stinky places, like under your lip and the ‘creases’ of your nose? I can’t imagine…

  160. says

    I just wanted to comment that I tried the no-wash skincare method after my acne was under control with diet and the OCM, and it got worse and worse, eventually getting bad to a nightmarishly uncontrollable state. I waited for it to go away, and it just never did. There was no “worse before it gets better” state, there was just a “worse before it gets worse and worse” state. Previously, I had been oil cleansing my skin with grapeseed oil, castor oil, and a few drops of tea tree oil, but wanted to see what would happen if I did nothing to my face at all. I had to give up this method, and it took several months of anti-inflammatory diet with ZERO dairy, almost no carbohydrate, and *GASP* chemical exfoliants (dun dun dunnnnnnn) to decongest my skin and get it functioning normally again. I don’t know if it’s my polluted environment to blame or what, but this method did not work for me.

    • says

      It definitely doesn’t work for everyone. For me, it didn’t work either, but gentle regular cleansing (with oatmeal, honey or natural oils) did ;)

    • Paul says

      How long did you try before stopping? Usually you have to be prepared to do this for at least 1 month. For some, it takes 2 months to get good results, but different for everyone.
      Did you do no water at all?
      If you did the water only method, did you use tap water? Tap water is loaded with chemicals and minerals that can irritate your skin.

      • dscully says

        I did this for 3 months before I gave up. I was exposed to water sometimes when bathing, but it wasn’t really touching my face much. I have never had problems with tap water in the past, and I drink distilled spring water. I think it’s idealistic to think that our bodies are entirely self-cleaning. Obviously I don’t advocate stripping off natural flora and oils with harsh detergents and chemicals, but leaving the daily run of crud and pollutants that modern humans are exposed to on the reg seems silly to me, too. My brother for the past year has been on a “bathing is bad for you” kick, and he smells like a barnyard. Confining that ideal to just one’s face is equally silly. Maybe it’s worked for some people because previously their skin was being irritated by harsh chemicals and detergents and a break was all it needed to be healthy.

  161. Pet says

    Hey,
    I’ve tried the caveman regimen back on November and noticed that this thing really worked. But, the thing is, I washed my face with water (only) every now end then because I go to school (I don’t know if it’s the real caveman thing or I did it wrong). I did it every Monday and Thursday to not look shiny, due to the oiliness. I did it for 2 months and noticed that the effects were likely happening. My acnes somewhat popped out on their own without leaving red marks, my oiliness was lessened and I can feel that my face is eager to have moisture.
    On January, I noticed that when I took off most of the dead skin on my face (especially on the sides of my nose and the skin on the middle of my eyebrows), I saw red marks that are really sensitive to touch. As the days passed by, it had gotten really itchy. Soooo itchy that I started to think about stopping the caveman regimen.(And my mom got angry because of what i’m doing :D)
    And, like any other concerned people would do, I’ve visited google and hopefully find what it is. I found out that it is eczema. I tried for treatments like coconut oil, exercising, and eating fruits. But, it’s still there. My face has gotten worse, add it up with the cold weather and the air pollution. Jeez, I got soo ashamed I go to school looking downward every time (as well as going home). The red and itchy skin started to scatter on the sides of my lips. And because I couldn’t handle the itchiness, I’ve stopped the caveman regimen and started to wash my face with mild soap.
    After a week of washing my face with the soap, my eczema somewhat toned down, but it is still visible afar. My acnes are returning and my face is extremely dry. I still apply the coconut oil (2-3 drops) everyday.

    I would just like to hear your advice.
    Should I continue to wash my face with mild soap or should I return back to the caveman regimen?
    I’m too lazy to wash my face every morning. I want to go back to the caveman routine, but the eczema thing.. ughhh T_T btw, im 17.

    And, even though the regimen didn’t quite work for me, still, THANK YOU Tracy!!

    • says

      Hi Pet,

      in your case, please stop the caveman regimen! It really sounds as if you have seborrheic eczema, which will only get worse and worse if you don’t wash your face!

      You could try to wash it with slightly diluted apple cider vinegar. Many people with seb derm have success with it. It’ll sting in the beginning and your face will become a little red after application, but it’ll pass after a week or two.

      You could also try this honey treatment:
      http://www.rosaceagroup.org/The_Rosacea_Forum/showthread.php?20789-Seb-derm-Treating-seborrheic-dermatitis-with-raw-honey-and-virgin-coconut-oil

      • Pet says

        Well, that sucks. I do want to continue the caveman routine, but oh well, eczema sucks more.

        Thank you , Svea. I hope this thing will work for me. :D

      • Pet says

        Hi Svea,
        So I’ve been using the apple cider vinegar as a drink everyday. I did wash my face with (diluted and pure) it but it was only for a week. Felt the sting on the first try then nothing on the next tries. Didn’t see much of an effect, I still get red and the bumps are still visible. And, I’ve stopped putting coconut oil on my face.

        As for the honey treatment, I haven’t seen any raw honey in our city. The only honey they offer is that of the super markets.

        One thing that have worked was sulfur soap. Dr. Kaufmann’s to be exact. However, it makes my face too dry. What moisturizer could I use? and what natural cream could I use for the scars?

        THANK YOU!

        • says

          Hi Pet,

          I’m sorry to hear those natural methods didn’t work. But yes, sulfur is indeed a treatment option! I’m unsure to suggest you a moisturizer. Usually that stuff makes the whole situation worse, also natural oils (especially those with a high amount of oleic acid). There is only one oil that contains almost no oleic acid: meadowfoam oil. Maybe it could be worth a try, but I cannot promise you that it’ll actually help… On the internet there are also reports that for some sea buckthorn oil does the trick…

          • Pet says

            Sigh.
            I have totally no access to those oils. It seems like giving too much attention to my skin would make things worse.

            I have one thing in mind though. The Candida Cleanse.I don’t know if it would work but I think the root cause of my eczema is within. It’s one step of completely eliminating my eczema. Would I give it a shot?

            • says

              Hi Pet,

              yes, the root cause is definitely within! Often symthoms get even worse, if we pay too much attention to them. It’s like giving the disease a “reason” for being there. Somtimes, a letting-be-attitude helps! Nutrition or gut problems are a big factor as well. I wish you lots of luck with the cleanse!!!

  162. Paul says

    Hi Pet

    As Svea states, it doesn’t work for everyone. I have Seb Derm and Rosacea, really bad – scalp and face, and because of this, I have huge amounts of dead skin that most likely will never stop, so I’ll have to try to control it the best I can. I cannot use ACV, even heavily diluted, I’m trying to use heavily diluted sea salt in distilled water then rinse off, so we’ll see how that goes. I really can’t rub my skin so even using oatmeal might not work for me. You really have to find something that works for you based on your skin condition. I still believe less is better (no cleansers, soap, tap water, exfoliation etc..)

    Take care

    • Pet says

      Thanks too, Paul.

      Sorry to hear about your condition(well, our.. somewhat), but I hope you would finally find a possible solution.

      Thanks again ! :D

  163. Ian says

    Hi Pet, you might want to try a cold pressed oil such as jojoba oil. Its great for eczema and dermatitis and will help with acne as well. It’s ideal to use as a gentle cleanser. Try rawgaia.com their products are excellent and 100 percent natural. Good luck, Ian

    • Paul says

      Careful about jojoba oil for those with Seb Derm. Fungus loves oil, also oleic acid is a possible irritant topically (backed up by a scientific study) for many who have Seb Derm. Jojoba Oil has about 10%, not a lot compared to other oils, but still..

      • Paul says

        One thing I must mention:

        For those with Seb Derm like me, the caveman only will not likely work.. because we have a yeast/immune response to the yeast disorder. Caveman type or doing less which I do(purified water only) is good, but we have to also try to control the yeast. I recommend organic raw honey mixed with 10% (very important) purified water (non-chlorinated) as a mask and daily cleanse to help control the yeast and condition the skin barrier. For those with SD, our skin barrier is bad due to the yeast and our out of control immune response.
        http://www.rosaceagroup.org/The_Rosacea_Forum/showthread.php?20789-Seb-derm-Treating-seborrheic-dermatitis-with-raw-honey-and-virgin-coconut-oil
        Good luck!

        • Paul says

          Also, very important for anyone with Seb Derm.. would highly recommend not using oils to moisturize, especially those with oleic acid, and probably not a good idea to use coconut oil since that was used in a study to grow the yeast responsible for SD and it has 6% oleic acid..

  164. Salice says

    Hi, tracy.. Im salice, going 21years old this year.. So i wanna ask you,How long u didn’t use make up on your face during caveman? Just only 30 days or what? Im just doing this no wash method, and going breakout.. Im also using make up when i needin, which is 2-3 times per weeks too. When put make up on, i never wash face before, just tap my face with microfiber cloth and after it ,microfiber gonna remove all makeup without makeup remover and i wash with honey..
    How long you breaking out after caveman? How long you clearing your skin?
    Does makeup( im just using foundation) irritate or change my ph?
    What should i do? Need your advice so.. Does im wrong to manipulate this? Because my skin got tiny pimple on forehead which is never breakout before. Im never being brave to show bare face when hangout. And looks so so crinkly without it.. Just wanna clearing my mind and be live with faith, but im so confusing what should i do.

    • Salice says

      Hi, Svea
      Thanks for replying my questions.. :) so, tracy never wash her face even she use make up while sleeping? does it irritate skin if make up dont removed?
      i never try before, but when im wear some foundation to cover on, my skin go irritate when i removed it, like blackheads are coming and some whitehead-ready to burst.
      which better in your experience? removed make up or sleeping within?

      • says

        Hi Salice,

        well, Tracy applied only tiny dabs of makeup. Your skin’s natural sebum removes a part of the makeup all by itself during the day. And I don’t think that very tiny spots of foundation will inevitably irritate your skin. It’s best to wear the smallest possible amounts of it only, and maybe your skin is irritated especially after having removed the makeup. Maybe removing makeup irritates your skin even more than putting it on?

  165. Hannah K. says

    Hi Tracy! Love your blog, it’s been so helpful. To provide some background on my experience with acne: I started using ProActiv when I was 16 due to a couple of bad breakouts on my chin. It cleared me up, until I was 18 and decided to stop using it because I didn’t want to continue relying on it. Needless to say, I have been struggling with acne since, probably because getting off ProActiv abruptly caused a BP withdrawal and I have been jumping from product to product. I cleared up about 98% while on a topical Retin-A gel called Veltin, prescribed by my derm, and washing with Cetaphil twice a day. This past winter, I stopped using the Veltin and began using coconut oil instead due to dryness. I remained mostly clear. However, two months ago I began studying in Morocco for the spring semester, and steadily began breaking out really badly. I had switched to Noxzema in an attempt to save room in my suitcase (I figured the big tub would last me the semester) at the same time. So, I tried switching to natural methods, including honey, black soap, and OCM with all kinds of oils (I live near tons of different oil shops so had the opportunity to try all different kinds). Nothing improved the acne, so i decided to try the caveman. I have a feeling that it may have something to do with the hard water in Rabat, where I’ve been residing since the acne began. Also, I am usually a paleo eater, and have been living with a host family here, therefore I’m constantly fed white bread. Maybe it’s caused by an extreme spike in blood sugar?

    I’m on day 19 of the caveman regimen and it seems to be working well for the most part. I can feel the dead skin mask forming especially around my eyebrows and chin, where it’s super flaky. I’ve gotten some whiteheads and congestion on my forehead, but it seems to be getting better. My really bad pustules that wouldn’t go away before have turned into hyperpigmentation or congestion. In the last few days, though, I’ve started getting little tiny zits, mostly not terribly visible or look to be turning to whiteheads, on my laugh lines, chin, neck, and in a tiny cluster on my right cheekbone. I am wondering if it is normal at this stage (third week) to be getting these little zits? Are they congestion or what? When did the congestion go away for you? Should I be concerned? Would love your opinion on my description of my progress on the caveman! Also, if the congestion isn’t gone by 30 days, do I keep the dead skin on my face? I am considering using a soft cotton wash cloth and some filtered water to remove it, then just removing it again when necessary but not on any set date.

    Thanks! <3

    • says

      Hi Hannah,

      Tracy is without internet access right now, but personally, I wouldn’t be too concerned about these little zits you’re having right now. Your only 3 weeks into the regimen, so I think that the reaction is pretty normal. If you keep on leaving your skin alone, it’ll pay off for sure! Our skin usually has a 4-6 weeks cell renewal cycle and it’ll take at least this time for your acid mantle to reform.

      I wish you lots of love and stregth, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll get through it. You’ll be pround of yourself in the end!

  166. Portia says

    I have been doing the regime for about a month now, am I am really impressed by the results! I have totally given up my facial lotions and creams (I was addicted to them) and even though it was a hard break up, I’ve been ok. I have combination skin, so my oily areas have improved, but my dry areas showed slow improvement. It sounds gross, but I just took tweezers and peeled the flakes off rather than exfoliating. I’m glad that I didn’t give into my creams because the flakes have since reduced and they are almost undetectable.
    My skin is also very red and blotchy (I’m a recovering OCD skin picker, but that’s another story) and even my scarring has greatly reduced. I don’t really get breakouts anymore, either. I do get pimples, but its only a couple at a time and they surface quickly and heal very, very fast now. I’m sure if I watched my diet more closely, I would be darn close to break-out free.
    I do still wear make-up, but it is very light concealer to help my scars, and just a dust of powder to blend everything together. I used to wear five or six cosmetics a day to hide the acne, but just a little concealer and powder is plenty now, considering how much my skin has healed.
    I had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I was probably causing my own acne by using “acne fighting” products and obsessing about the condition of my skin, but it’s been really liberating just to let my skin be and watch it finally heal itself. Thanks for helping me realize that sometimes the best medicine is no medicine at all. It’s made a huge difference in my skin!

    • says

      That’s lovely Portia! I’m not Tracy – she’s without internet access right now, but I’m sure she’ll be extremely glad about your comment!
      Lots of love!

  167. Salice says

    Hi again.
    Im on 3 weeks! Im still believing while no improve on my skin, even worse! I read some article that jessica walsh do not wash her face, she’s still putting make up, and 2 months while she started acne became worse. But then her skin amazing.
    My problem is.. Bad habits to pop in out and touch acne.. With clean hand after soaping. Lol
    Not too often, rarely..
    Oh, i need your advice.. Im trying egyptian magic cream for wound on my face. Its natural.. Do u recommended it?
    And im gonna trying acne scar reducing like dermatix.. Can i? The ingridients is cyclic polymeric siloxones and vitamin c ester. Does it safe or not?
    Thanks! Your advice give me more hopes! :)

    I’ll give my update soon again! I believe my condition gonna be better!

  168. Nico says

    Please be careful when trying this method. I went four weeks without letting anything touch my face, and I built up a huge accumulation of junk on my face. I thought it was just the dead skin that I could later remove, but it turned out to be something else that was extremely hard to get off. My face was left swollen and worse than when I had started. Some areas of my face were less red, but the resulting disaster that occurred everywhere else made it not worth it. Now I am on a wide variety of topicals and antibiotics. Please take caution when approaching this method.

  169. salice says

    hi im going sharing my experience so far. im on 2 months dont use any soap.
    and my skin now going heal better itself.
    im still using make up on. just remove it with microfiber cloth, and wash it with water.
    im using dermatix for the scars.
    first 2 months it became worst, but then my skin going better and better.
    somedays i dont use make up, but before i sleep i wash my face with water. inspired by jessica walsh.

    the important things is keep mind and soul healthy. means dont stress, just let it.
    focused on right thing, not your skin. avoid look in the mirror excessive.

    just give your body time to adapt. the instant things never good.

    im thank to tracy and svea for both any advice. ;)

  170. Brynne says

    Great article! I wish I had found this about 6 years ago.

    I stumbled upon the “caveman regimen” by accident when I broke my wrist a couple of years ago. I felt too ill to do any face washing and my cast made things logistically difficult for about 3 weeks. I noticed that my face was much clearer! Once I got the cast off, I returned to my daily regimen of washing my face morning and night with a tea tree oil face wash. The acne immediately returned.

    I ended up having surgery on the same wrist about a week after the cast got off. Once again, I felt too bad to do much face washing and my acne was greatly reduced after a week. I finally made the connection that my face did better when I didn’t wash it.

    Since then my face has completely cleared up. Having said all of that, I think this regimen works best for people that are past the teenage, hormonal age when your face is already creating too much oil. I was 27 when I figured out all of this. I had bad jawline acne. I think I started using products to control my acne as a teenager and I never stopped. Stripping the oil from my face morning and night simply irritated my skin and made my face overproduce oil.

    Best of luck to all!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Brynne, funny how that works! Lots of people discover the caveman through things like that… going camping, or whatever. Glad you found out about it :)

  171. Ramy says

    Hey there!
    I’ve been suffering from acne for awhile now, used the most expensive products tho nothing works! I regret spending all that money but I’m glad to read this blog, I’m definitely going to give it a try! makes alot of sense :).But I’ve stumbled over a little predicament, how do I not wash my face if I workout/exercise daily and sweat so much? I heard that when sweat dries on your face it’s a feeding ground for acne causing bacteria? not sure haha btw I’m a male and 17 years old, need my acne gone asap as my modeling course starts soon :/

  172. Jule Clear says

    Im on this regimen and i smoke an e cig.I dont know if its because of it but my piples stay on my face foe too long and my face in the morning is like relaxed and not that pink but then it gets like night it become oily and redish and whith everyuday i get whiteheads i take showers every 2nd day i dont wash my face with anything i dont know what to do anymore and i exercise everyday and drink like 2.5L and still get pimples i just cant …Can you help me?

    • Steve says

      Try using manuka honey once or twice a day as a cleanser. It’s expensive but it helped me when the caveman only made things worse. I personally need to use soap on my face once a week as there is still a little bit of a build up of stuff and if I leave it, I will breakout bad. The oily and redness could be because of eating oily foods. Again personally, I use the honey every 12 hours and make sure that the second is after I eat my dinner in which I normally eat somewhat oily foods. Take this advice with a grain of salt, because this is my regime and it may not work the same for you.

  173. Shandra Grace says

    I was sick a couple years ago for a couple weeks and too fatigued to wash my face. My skin was TERRIBLE. It was soo dry and flaky. After I washed and moisturized when I was better it improved remarkably! And whenever I do not wash my face at night I break out the next day. So I don’t think this method would work for me, unless I tried not washing for 28 days. But I don’t think I could do it, the dry skin was to unbearable.

    • says

      Hi Shandra! Yes that is a normal experience, it’s going to be pretty dry and flakey and yucky at first. Unfortunately it’s just a phase you have to go through with this!

    • Rumu says

      Hope its not too late to reply but please dont do it if u have any doubts, i thought the dry flakey skin was normal but the dry skin, the mask made me break out so much. If u want to simplify ur regime try just washing ur face every two days with manuka honey or ur cleanser and moiserize. Hope this helps xx

  174. Ying says

    Have you ever gone to dermatologist? Sorry, I’m not doubting you but it looked impossible for the acne to went off ( from the picture that you posted about your condition before you have clear skin) without any singe touch on your skin.

    • says

      Hi Ying :)
      No I really didn’t use anything from the dermatologist, or any acne / skin care product or anything. I totally understand your attachment to the skin care products. I used to feel the same way about benzoyl peroxide. You can do this holistic journey any way you want, and if you want to stick with your skin care products you can go do it :) Whether they are actually making your acne any better than if you used natural skin care products, well I can’t say. But often these harsh creams and washes aren’t making things better, they’re actually making things worse since they’re very irritating. But everyone is different, and you can choose whatever path you want to take. I am not an acne treatment dictator :)

  175. Jule Clear says

    My pimples are hurting is it bad or good ?And i keep getting whiteheads with everyday ..HELP ME?

  176. Ana says

    For anyone out there… be careful… this ruined my face! I tried to do this last summer for 3 weeks, my skin freaked out and HAD THE WORST BREAK UP EVER. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. The worst part was the scarring and 40 + pimples. This is dangerous because every skin is so different and reacts so different- just be careful if you follow her advice. I read about it, was convinced because dahh it makes sense but then I regret it every second! I haven’t been on this blog on ages but received the email update about the new book and decided to finally write something about this “caveman” miracle, that I deeply regret. I wish I would have done more research about it before deciding this is the miracle cure!

    • says

      Hey Ana, sorry to hear that. Really I am. I know everyone is different and I am truly sorry if this didn’t work for some people the way it has helped me and many others. love x

    • Rumu says

      Omg if i only did more research too :( iv been doin it for two months nevr had acne jus occasional spots due to products and thot it migt work bht since doing this i have been breaking out every day since the day i started and las noght i got the biggest pimple on the sode of my nose and it looks skin deep, not to mention the fine lines and wrinkles. So anyone wanting to give this a go please please research properly if u have any doubts dont go thru with it. It may seem like its working but actauuly the dry skin masks hides the reality of whats happening underneath. Hope ur well. Please give me an update on what u did and how u overcame this? Best wishes x

  177. Ariadna says

    100% agree :) I had acne for about 8 years, the first time I heard about this regimen was from Tracy :) I had also REALY VERY oily skin. My doctors told me to wash my face more, at least twice a day . This cavemen stuff sounded like a nonsense to me but after all those years I was so desperate I gave it a shot. If I could remember the date when I first came across her website I would have made it my personal Victory Day :D :D I also found some information on her website about the chinese face maping. I had acne on cheeks, so I tried no to eat meat and milk, within 3 months like half of the trouble diseappeared. Then I stopped washing my face and 5 months later my acne WAS GONE! And of course I improved my body image because I found out that I actually thought that I was ugly without makeup and went through EXTREME stress every time I had to be without makeup. You need to read about these issues, think about it, pray, ask the Universe and believe it WILL help you :) But without Tracy I would have never made it !!! :) Just by reading her blog, watching her videos, being brutally honest with myself I cured all that hell. When I remember all the money and despair without no stable positive outcome :D :D As Tracy says, it´s ALL in your head! :) But overall acne taught me some valuable lessons, it definitely made me more sensitive to others and in the end I hope that less shallow person :D So you really need to learn to love it and listen to it because all illnesses are great teachers, I know that now :)))

    • Misty says

      I do not know what to do with scars. In my humble opinion,
      I am thinking that to heal the scars one must heal the acid mantle.
      Just a thought, but maybe we could put oils and creams and etc on the scars, but if the mantle isnt in tack, maybe the skin cant heal properly.
      With that being said, there are topicals you can use…
      I did find an oil by Forces of Nature called Scar Control. They claim it will heal acne scars or you get your money back…its a sesame seed oil base.
      Lavender also helps, but I dont know how it affects the acid mantle..

  178. Jule Clear says

    Guys i wanted to say that my acne is getting off little by little!! It is better from Jan,Feb to Today.I drink lots of water and green tea + When i go out ( Its summer here) I put sunscreen and wash my face with water in teh morning and before sleep .Hope i help and i dont touch my face !!!

  179. carol says

    I started Caveman 2 weeks ago. Very dry, flaky skin, but coping. My chin looks like its molting. But, like Tracy said, it looks worse in the morning and seems to somewhat subside or lessen as the day progresses.

    I was wondering if broken capillaries heal with this regimen as well. I have many on my cheeks. And, I’m hoping that by not disturbing them with washing they may begin to heal. Any success out there?

  180. Olivia says

    After how long did you do the caveman regimine did you begin to wash your face with honey? Would I get the same effect of the caveman regimen if I just used the honey or do I need to quit cold turkey and use nothing? And I know this had probably been asked a lot but what do I do if I wear makeup? I know I shouldn’t but I’m in high school and I don’t think I can go without make up

  181. Jule Clear says

    UPDATE: My acne is kinda gone.My face looks crealer comparing to last moth may april … THIS REGIMEN WORKS YOU JUST HAVE TO DONT USE MAKE UP AND DONT TOUCH YOUR FACE CLEAN IT WITH ONLY WATER MORNING AND NIGHT AND IT WORKS !!!!!!! AFTER 2 YEAR MY FACE IS DIFFERENT <3 Im leaft with scares and still get whiteheads but its mostkly ok compared with my face last year

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I went onto YouTube today to see if anyone was doing anything similar to what I am trying right now. As it turns out there is a whole skin care routine called the “Caveman Regiment”. Basically the only thing you use on your skin is water. But the hardcore people don’t even let water touch their face. There is a whole “scientific” theory behind it. I found a good article about it earlier to day. I’ll put a link here. [...]

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