My Experiences on the Caveman Regimen So Far

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Last post, I told you all about the caveman regimen and how to do it. Today I’m going to tell you all about what my experiences with it have been so far (it’s been about two weeks on the hardcore “no water” caveman regimen), and also how I feel about it emotionally.

So to begin, let’s break down my skin and its problem areas.

  • My cheeks, jawline, neck, are wonderful with perfectly normal skin. These areas have never been acne prone and hopefully never will be.
  • My most stubborn acne prone area is on my chin and the areas to the sides of the chin, below the mouth. I don’t seem to get a lot of blackheads/whiteheads in this area, but I get the most inflamed acne. And when I break out today, that is where it is. This area is prone to dryness.
  • My forehead is also acne prone, but it seems to be more prone to whiteheads/blackheads, oiliness, and general congestion than inflamed acne. It also responds the best to acne treatments and external skincare, where as my chin doesn’t.
  • My third most acne prone area is to the sides of my nose and along the smile lines that go from the nose down to your chin. To be honest, this area was never a big deal and I only ever had problems with it at the height of my severe acne. It never ever breaks out or gets congested anymore.
  • My nose never ever breaks out. It seems like a different type of skin than the perfect skin on my cheeks though… in other words, it seems like it would be acne prone, but it’s not and never really has been. I don’t know why, but I’m glad!

So, these days, I have pretty good skin most of the time. I’ve noticed the whiteheads on my forehead respond really well to jojoba oil and my healthy lifestyle, so it’s usually quite smooth with no inflamed acne. But I do get minor inflamed breakouts around my mouth (to the sides of my chin, particularly the right side) which seem to come and go at random, despite having no congestion in this area. I’ll be clear for quite a while, and then bam (and honestly, this has been happening a lot more than I would like since I’ve been in Australia, so I do have some minor pink pigmentation in these areas).

Either way, luckily the breakouts are always small papules and pustules that have a quick life cycle. Normally they can easily be covered with a dab of makeup and I forget all about them. Luckily I don’t really get any nodules or really persistent “is this ever going to go away” pimples anymore.

Please note that I began this whole caveman thing when my skin was on an upswing. It was naturally behaving itself. So the test is …. will it STAY clear? Will this actually prevent acne?

What I Have Noticed My Skin Doing Since I Began the Caveman

  • The first week, I noticed nothing happening. I didn’t break out. My skin wasn’t oily, or dry, or flakey (note that it was quite hot and humid where I was). It was just normal. The “dead skin mask” of caveman lore was no where to be seen.
  • After the first week, it did begin to form, but only slightly. The dead skin mask is most apparent on my forehead because that is the most oily area of my face. My forehead also began to become kind of congested looking. Tiny whiteheads across the board. There is also a dry patch on the right side of my forehead that seemed to emerge and get flakey more than the rest of my forehead.
  • Then I noticed that my minor pink pigmentation scars around my chin began to turn more of like a brown colour than before. And then these weird little spots along my smile lines between my mouth and my nose (the ones that don’t break out at all anymore but were acne prone in the past) have popped up, formed some congestion, and turned brown too. In other words, my face looks kinda blotchy, but not red blotchy – brown blotchy. Like I have dirt on my face, but I don’t (it’s not that obvious, but it’s strange). I don’t know what the deal is, but I like to think this is a sign of healing.
  • My skin generally just feels really rough, like super fine sandpaper
  • My skin has been pretty good acne wise- a few pimples but hardly any breakouts and it might be my imagination but it almost does seem like there is some stuff around my chin that WANT to form something, but haven’t due to the lowered irritation (mind you, not ALL irritation has been eliminated because I still have my bad habit of touching and feeling my face with my fingers, especially around my chin – I gotta stop!!)
  • With the couple of pimples that have come up, I’ve noticed that they seem to go away at the same rate as usual for me, but that the pigmentation isn’t going away as quickly. Makes sense since washing sheds the skin layers faster.

Here is a picture of my skin to demonstrate:

So … in conclusion… my skin doesn’t look great at this point, but it’s not too bad. My boyfriend says he hardly even notices I’m doing anything different (although he did try to wipe the “dirt” off my face one time, so maybe he’s lying). My acne is behaving itself to the point where it hasn’t been a big issue to not wear makeup, and I doubt anyone can see my dead skin mask or would notice the dirty looking patches that seem obvious to me when I look in the mirror.

However, since this is not a controlled experiment, I have no idea yet if my skin is being good acne wise because that’s just what it decided it wanted to do right now, or if it really has something to do with this caveman thing. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

The Emotions of Letting Go of Makeup

I’m glad that I finally decided that I could do the caveman, but I wish that I didn’t have to wait until my skin was practically clear before feeling ‘safe’ enough to do it. And yeah, I say it’s going well, but what would happen if I had a big breakout? Then what? Even if it was only minor, I’m so used to being able to completely get rid of that redness in with a quick dab of makeup, but now, for the first time in my life, I can’t – and that’s new and unfamiliar territory.

I feel like I could will myself to get through 30 days of this, but then I’m itching to have the option again of covering up some spots if I need to. The idea that I’d never able to ever again is pretty uncomfortable and makes me squirm a little. But maybe that’s a good thing – facing fears and growing out of them always requires you go through some scary shit. Yes I said shit (am I allowed to swear on this blog? Sometimes I want to but I feel I should be “polite”).

Like I said, when I started this, my skin was on an upswing. It was behaving itself. Funny thing though – a few weeks before I actually started doing this, I arbitrarily decided one day that I was going to do the caveman and I was going to start that day. I don’t remember why I decided that on that day, but I happened to be breaking out a bit at the time. And emotionally, I freaked out. I lasted one day and decided I couldn’t do it because I began picturing all the things I was going to do in the next month and just couldn’t deal with the idea of not being able to cover up.

When I actually started two weeks ago, I was on vacation at a festival in the bush, and wasn’t able to wash my face anyway. Plus I was busy having fun so I couldn’t stress out about anything in front of the mirror. It was a great place to start it – and now that I’m well into the experiment and announced it to all of you, I’m much more committed to sticking it out no matter what crops up.

But the thing is – what about you? What about you ladies out there who want to try this, but have a lot of active acne? Most of you don’t yet have the option of starting it when your skin is already pretty good. But if you want the benefits, you have to expose your acne for a while. It’s kind of a catch 22, isn’t it?

Frankly, even though I still don’t know how brave I would be to go all the way and do the caveman with some nasty breakouts, I still think I’m making some progress with how I feel about “allowing” myself to not look perfect and cover up every little spot and blotch.

The thing is, before my severe acne, my mild acne was normally not any worse than my skin is now. Yet I was petrified of ever having anyone see me without those one or two or three spots covered up. Absolutely petrified. And I never questioned that – it seemed normal to feel that way. I wouldn’t get it when others didn’t have a problem with being “seen” with a few spots out.

So I still think I’m making progress, even if I’m not brave enough yet to let it all hang out forever. This is still the longest I’ve ever gone, by far, without wearing any skin makeup to cover something up. And I’m doing alright with it, so I’m still gonna give myself a pat on the back for facing my fears – even if it’s only a little bit.

Click here for the 30 day Caveman Regimen 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!

You can totally be happy, healthy and acne free!

Just grab my free gift to you, ‘7 things You Can Start Doing Right Now to Clear Your Skin’ and get started right away!

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  1. Heather says

    Hey there! I’ve been following your blog for awhile now and although, I never battled with acne too much, I still got the occasional breakouts. Not so much now that I’m older, but my skin still gets splotchy little red bumps at certain times of the month. I never really wore foundation and it’s been about 4 months since I’ve been using oils to cleanse my face. I also do manuka honey masks. Anyway, this caveman method is very intriguing to me. I think in the last post, you stated that you will still wear mascara… I was just wondering how you will wash it off if you can’t get anything on your skin. Also, do you really feel that this is an all or nothing thing for you? Re: never being able to cover up again. Do you think that once your skin is healed and assuming stays clear that if you put makeup on once in awhile, it would go back to how it was before? Thank you!


    • Tracy says

      Hi Heather!

      I kind of realized that I wasn’t clear about that bit about “never being able to wear makeup ever again”…. I don’t really expect to NEVER wear makeup again, but if I do intend to have this as my permanent skin care routine (providing it goes well), then I still won’t be able to wear makeup on a daily basis if I don’t want to wash my face every day.

      What I most likely see happening, or what I would like to see happen in the long run, is that this experiment gets me more comfortable with seeing myself without any makeup on my skin, so that I don’t feel the need to use it every day. And then only wash my face once every 3 days or something, or if I did decide to wear makeup that day.

      Although, you know, in a way, I think I’m being too strict about feeling like I need to wash off the makeup I wear on my skin every single day…. it’s only small dabs of it, and it’s never been detrimental when I go camping and don’t wash my face for three days (despite having put makeup on at the beginning of the weekend). In a realistic outlook, I could see myself just using the most absolutely minimal amount every day – like only if I really needed it on a red spot, but still not wash it off until a few days later. That way I get the best of both worlds. Less washing, but still the option to wear the bits of makeup if I want to.

          • sophia says

            I started using jojoba oil two month ago.
            Using it twice a week as a trial for now. It didn’t cause me any break out and the skin doesn’t looks oily.

      • Irishmate says

        Hi Tracy…I’ve noticed you mentioned you had dark skin patches on your face or dirt. I’m on day 16 with the no facial wash and I don’t really get acne…but I want my face to not have chemicals on it again. My pores have become smaller and some scaring seems to be healing but the dark patches around my face seem to be the spot I dont even wash. Right now I have skin mask piled on my cheeks and I’m still going strong. I was just curious with how you dealt with the dark color on your face and if it went away after u washed with water eventually?

          • Irishmate says

            Thanks for your time and response Tracy it means a lot to me! Any suggestions as to when I should remove my dead skin mask or how I should exfoliate my skin? I’m thinking about holding out for at least two months and then removing the dead skin mask but I’m not sure how to go about it and I don’t want to screw anything up. Any tips are very much appreciated. =-)

  2. says

    Hi tracy! I’m glad you don’t break out a lot from this experiment. It’s reassuring to me cause i’m only in my second day of the caveman! I still feel pretty uncomfortable without makeup but I just try to don’t look at myself to much in the miror… Hope I’ll get used to goind around like so without anything to cover my acne! Do you feel like your face is not comfortable? (I don’t know if you can say that in english.. XD)

    • Tracy says

      Hi Noemie,

      Not comfortable… like… you mean, just not feeling comfortable with having my face so exposed?? Hmm… sometimes, yes. It’s mostly been okay, but I’ve had a couple freak outs.

      I broke out a bit yesterday (although it’s actually healed a lot faster than expected and is hardly noticeable already! And note that I think this is just a normal breakout and not because of the caveman), and I flipped out. I’m mostly scared because we’re staying at my boyfriend’s parents house because we’re flying back to Canada from Australia on Sunday, and his sister is having this big 21st birthday party tomorrow, with tons of people and all of my boyfriend’s family and a bunch of our friends. This is the first “event” in my whole life that I’ve ever gone to without any makeup, and …. yeah. It’s going to be testing.

      I think for me too it’s a bit of a thing like …. I don’t want people to talk to me about my job and website (“I’m the acne guru!”) and then start scrutinizing as to why my skin looks so weird and flakey and blotchy! But that’s just the type of negative, ego thinking I need to work past. I can’t read their mind, and who cares if that’s what they think anyway.

      • says

        Ho yeah that should be an other stress factor for you because of your job… But honestly tracy, when I saw your picture on that article, you were pointing the little details like a dry spot and other spot that seemed dirty (to you!), but the only thing I noticed, was how a beautiful blue your eyes are!! So don’t worry about that party, I’m sure your boyfriend’s family will only see the exact same thing ;)I don’t see anything you should not be proud of on that picture :)

  3. Devin says

    So awesome Tracy! I have always been petrified of anyone seeing me without makeup on when I have spots on my face. I put makeup on as soon as I’m done with my manuka honey mask in the morning and it doesn’t come off until I go to bed. So to me, you are a superhero. I mean, I’ve always had a lot of respect for you since I’ve been reading your blog, after seeing that you posted pictures of your acne at its worst. You are very courageous and I look up to you a tremendous amount for that. I long to be able to go without makeup. It’s actually my long term goal for my skin and you putting yourself out there has made it a little less scary to do so myself. Thank you so much for posting about this caveman regimen. I hope you see wonderful results and wish you the best of luck on your caveman journey! Looking forward to the next post…

  4. Jeff says

    I’m hoping for the best! Thanks for putting your skin on the line partly for the blog’s sake 😉

    I think that since there’s no inflammation coming from inside your body anymore, the manuka honey or other natural products will probably just speed up any healing of marks etc. — it won’t necessarily prevent any acne because … there’s nothing much to prevent in your case! But for other people, I think that any artificial creams/products will definitely just mask the root cause of acne.

    Btw – found this interesting [but long] article discussing vegetarianism. It ties together Traditional chinese medicine (I’ve been looking more into that the last week or two) and modern medicine.

  5. Jeff says

    ^^ adding on, I’m beginning to lean away from a more “one diet fits all” sort of idea (even with primal living) and adopting a more “listen to your body” individual kind of attitude toward food.

    we’ll see how this goes. it’s exciting! :)

  6. Rachel says

    I am going to try this because I have tried and tried and nothing I do seems to help the situation. I have severe acne, the red bumps and cysts and tons of scarring. I’m off for spring break next week and originally planned on going without make up for those just those 5 days since I’m just staying home and relaxing but then I decided what the hell! The going without makeup is going to be torture for me the next 2 days at school and when I’m at work but then again you can still tell that I have acne with makeup on so it shouldn’t matter anyway but I am kinda stressing about going to school fresh-faced tomorrow.

    • Tracy says

      Be careful though… if it’s going to stress you out beyond belief to go to school bare faced, you might get more breakouts due to stress! So you have to wager here whether you can handle it or if it’s going to end up being a crisis.

      When my acne was bad, I decided that the caveman wasn’t worth it at that time – that the stress was too much and that probably wasn’t helping my skin.

  7. Runi says

    I commend you for trying this! It’s an interesting experiment. I think it’s certainly interesting. I tried something like this with just water before, (when I was really desperate, I tried almost everything) but it didn’t last, haha. :)

    Personally, I’ve managed to finally find a product that changed my skin for the better, (Now Foods Vitamin C and Manuka honey cleanser) my acne is finally calm now and my skin is acting healthier.
    I also wouldn’t the caveman method for many reasons, but mostly because I absolutely believe in wearing sunscreen for myself. Maybe it’s vain…but I want to starve off wrinkles as long as I can. I need to wash my face with SOMETHING to get the sunscreen off. Granted, the sunscreen I use is pretty natural, zinc oxide based, but it still needs to come off.

    Also, something that bothers me is that there are so many pollutants and grime and stuff in our air now, air isn’t as clean/fresh as it was when cavemen were out in nature. I just find it kind of disgusting to leave that STUFF sitting on the skin to be honest on top of already problem skin. To me, this is kinda like if you started using the same cup or fork and over and never washing it. Nasty. I don’t see the point in doing the same to your skin I guess.

    I would urge people to stop using such harsh products (cleansers, makeup, etc) (I went natural and things have gotten so much better) focus on better diet, adding things like probiotics, drinking more water, etc. I think that can start to give you better results without feeling so nasty. @_@;

    About the make up, I’m not really sure because I don’t really wear makeup except acne makeup. I had bad acne, but I didn’t believe in wearing foundation to cover it up even when my face was really red. But my acne wasn’t near as bad as other peoples so being exposed from makeup luckily doesn’t really effect me.

    I dunno, please don’t think I’m ragging on you or the method too much. To each their own, but ick. >_<;;;

    • Tracy says

      Hi Runi,

      Yes I agree that if you are going to put something like sunscreen on your face, you should wash it off. And as for pollution… yes, that is a concern, and I don’t know how that effects the experiment. I’m not in a particularly polluted part of the world and don’t plan to be any time soon, so I’m not sure how this would affect people in big cities.

      Although MAYBE the pollution is only a problem for our skin because we are stripping our acid mantle all the time, which is what would protect us from it?

      Anyway… I understand how this whole concept may seem disgusting, but I do believe we are all pretty conditioned to believe that the world will implode if we don’t wash. I really don’t believe that anymore.

  8. Brett says

    i wish that one day my skin is as clear as yours…i’m prone to break out on my forehead, cheeks and jawline..:( i dont know what to do anymore..i was considering accutane but i dont want to go there but i just feel helpless…so depressed…acne is holding me back from everything i want to do in life..its got me by the neck i hate life :( mind you i had clear skin before i finished high school…but ever since i finished school my skin has become worse and worse every year.

  9. Lori says

    Tracy, you have beautiful skin! It’s often hard to believe when people tell us our skin looks good when we’ve had troubled skin for so long and most likely developed a nasty habit of zooming in on our “problem” areas or feeding ourselves self-destructive thoughts when someone looks at our faces. You look great, and I’m certain the other followers of your blog (at whatever stage they are in their journey to clear skin and confidence) look much better than they think they do. Keep up the awesome work, and thumbs up for working toward releasing the comfort you once found so strongly in makeup!

  10. skinchic says

    I am thinking about taking the baby step towards caveman by giving up washing with tap water. I just wanted to share today because I was thinking that maybe for some readers this might be an easier alternative baby-step too. For all those worried about the makeup/city grime factor with the Caveman routine I think a great gentle alternative to try is to “cleanse” by gently swiping a cotton pad saturated in your fav. oil over your face, (jojoba, grapeseed, almond, apricot…) see Tracy’s previous post about great oils. This removes all makeup and surface grime, gently moisturizes, leaves your acid mantle intact, doesn’t expose you to the dryingness of water nor the harsh chemicals in our tap water. Another good alternative to cleansing without washing is to create your own micellar water. Micellar water literally translates to oil in water. You wet a cotton pad with the micellar water and gently swipe it over your face removing all makeup and impurities and that’s it. Easy breezey. The kinds of micellar waters on the market are pricey, and most I’ve found have synthetic ingredients. I discovered it’s incredibly easy to make your own natural version, all you need is two parts water, (distilled water, pure spring/mineral water, or floral water) to one part of your favorite cleansing oil (jojoba, grape seed oil, almond oil…) you can even add a touch of aloe or vitamin e, argan oil or anything else you please. I’ve found you can go to a thrift store and buy an old cotton flannel shirt or pillow case, wash it well, and cut it up to make your own re-usable/washable facial cleansing pads. not caveman, but simple…

    • Tracy says

      Hey there! Thanks for these suggestions… I know not everyone is ready to make the full on plunge (or even if they should… still gotta see how the experiment turns out), so I think these are probably really helpful

  11. Katka says

    Hi Tracy, thank you for this article, it is really interesting. I decided to give it a try – today it is my third day of caveman regimen. My skin is quite good, but I worry a little bit because of the oiliness on my face (mainly on the forehead). So I just wanted to ask whether I should leave it so, or it would be better to pat it gently, for example with a towel or handkerchief. Thanks for your answer.
    And by the way – you look great without makeup … really.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Katka,
      If your skin is really oily, I don’t think it would a problem to just blot off the excess until your skins starts to down regulate it’s sebum production

  12. Amy says

    I would try this but living in london the air is just not clean enough to not wash my face at least once a day.

  13. Joanne says

    It’s really interesting!

    I don’t think I could try it because I work out almost every day with sweat dripping down my face and I need to wash it after working out or it will get itchy and I will smell (it’s true that you don’t have BO when you eat healthily – unless you work out hard, then you still smell, haha).

    As for make-up, I like to wear it occasionally but I don’t feel uncomfortable if I don’t wear it. I never put anything on my skin, if I put on concealer my skin peels off after 30 seconds because it dries it out so much. (Same with foundation, even if I mix it with extra moisturizer).

    Seeing as I’m the only one in my family who moisturizes her skin and also the only one without wrinkles (looking ten years younger than my age), I don’t think moisturizer is something I could give up. Although, after watching your videos I will definitely switch to an organic one.

  14. Anne Marie says

    I would LOVE to do this, I do not care about the way my skin appears even though it is covered with a lot of really red scars and break outs, but since I work at a hotel, my appearance is really important, and for those who never had to deal with acne look at it as ‘unclean’ or a result of someone not taking care of themselves…
    If it wasn’t for my job, I would totally be doing this :/

  15. Audrey says

    I am totally with Runi on the sunscreen issue, lol. I try to wear some form of it everyday & not just on my face, but my neck & the back of my hands too. It’s completely for vanity reasons & even though it kind of sucks right now when people mistake me for being 18 (I’m 28), I know that in 10 or 20 years I’ll be glad that I used it so routinely.

    Anyways… I’m on day 6 of the caveman. I’ve splashed water on my face 3 or 4 times in the shower & may continue to do that sporadically. I had 2 GIANT pustules form w/in 24 hours. These were some record breaking sized zits & I was mortified! I, ever so gently, got the bigger one to ooze (eewwww) and left the other one alone. They both went away after the following 24hrs – thank god! Now I’m dealing with several colonies of whiteheads & pustules on my forehead & chin. They’re really tiny, but there’s a lot of them, some in areas where I almost never break out.

    Normally, I probably wouldn’t dare try this regimen. But over a year ago, I spent 2 weeks in a major depression & I didn’t shower once – so gross, I know! While I did not get my face wet, I probably did wipe it with a cloth at some point. I remember thinking in that 2nd week, “wow, my skin looks really good, I can’t believe my face hasn’t broken out yet!” Week 3, I was back to washing & I totally broke out. I just assumed it was my skin seeking revenge for the previous 2 weeks, but now I’m not so sure.

    So far my skin is reacting differently than it did a year ago, but I still want to continue. My only concern is that I’m leaving for Puerto Vallarta on Wed & I’m worried about the sunscreen issue. Seriously, the sun is crazy strong down there & while I won’t be sunbathing, I’ll still be exposed. I’m not sure if I should just tough it out for the week or lightly apply something.

    Is there an all natural sunscreen that works well with acne prone skin?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Audrey,

      If you are on vacation somewhere where the sun is really strong and are going to be in the sun a lot, I would wear sunscreen on your face…. normally I just wear a hat and try to stay out of the sun and that works totally fine, but I went to Queensland on vacation a few weeks ago and the sun was so strong, and I somehow ended up burning the bottom half of my face :( I do regret that. Although maybe if you make sure to wear a really wide brimmed hat you could get away with it…. the brim on my hat wasn’t good enough I think.

      Unfortunately, I still don’t really know of any sunscreen in particular that is guaranteed not to break you out.. normally I complete avoid putting it on my face for that reason.

      • Audrey says

        Thanks for the reply! I’ll probably be using a zinc stick that I’ve worn before with no problems. I’m curious to see how the humidity will effect my acne while I’m on this caveman routine. It’s day 9 & things are not looking too awesome, lol. No big pustules or anything, just a LOT of activity on a small scale. I was ready to give up this morning, but the frustration passed & now I’m gonna try avoiding mirrors as much as possible, haha! Thanks again for your input, I very much appreciate it!

  16. Quinn says

    Hi Tracy,
    I love your blog!
    I had a couple of questions:
    You said you use honey to wash your face? I was wondering what kind of honey,how you use it to wash your face and how that has helped? I have had severe acne since my early 20’s (I’m 30 now) it is mostly on my cheeks, near my mouth and smile lines. I can totally relate to the emotional devestation acne causes. You are so lucky you don’t have any scars! Anyway, Do you use natural deoderants and toothpastes too? I was told that possibly any and all chemicals could be worsening acne. My husband and eat a mostly Paleo diet but we “cheat” a lot. I plan to do a candida cleanse when I’m done nursing my baby. ANYWAY,I give you props for going without makeup..that is my some day feel that I don’t NEED makeup to leave my house.

    • Tracy says

      I used to use raw organic honey, then I started using manuka honey… throw that into the search bar at the top of my website for more information on it. Also, yes, using chemicals on your skin is similar to eating them – I use natural toothpaste, and I don’t wear deodorant because if you don’t eat garbage you don’t stink like it :)

  17. May says

    Hi Tracy
    I have been reading your blog for sometime now and i found it very helpful and feeling that i am not alone..
    I´d love to try this Cavemen regimen but i live in a big city and all the dirt in the air.. So i am not so sure..
    However the no make up thing is also make me worry, i know i should love myself the way i am but every time i look up to the mirror and see yll those redness and scar the the acne left behind its very hurt me.. Do you think the scar would ever get better without any surgery?? I son´t want it to but someone told me that is the only way can remove it..
    Thank for your wisdom and sorry for my English i´m from Thailand
    Sending you love

  18. Ali says

    Hey Tracy I stumbled upon this blog a couple onths ago and I absolutely love it! I’ve already started my journey of “no poo” and it’s still in the icky stage…lol. Currently I am just using Manuka honey on my face…this though, sounds very intriguing and liberating, but I have a question..How would I go about this if I exercise and sweat every day?

    Thank you!!!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Ali – you just leave the sweat on your face. It’s part of the acid mantle, I guess. I know it might seem counter-intuitive, but that’s what this regimen is all about

      • Ali says

        Okay, thank you so much Tracy! You’re such an inspiration to me since I’ve started on my holistic journey!

  19. Sarah says

    I have tried the caveman and water only method off and on a bunch of times over the last 5 years, and it is truly when my skin behaves the best. Then of course I get the urge to be perfect and wear makeup everyday and take good care of my skin and wear a sunscreen so I try to find a cleanser and moisturizer to get it all off. Every cleanser ends in irritations, dryness, redness, tightness, and just being plain uncomfortable. Then moisturizers either made me blotchy, greasy, pimply, or I was allergic to them. These are even products designed for people with allergies and super sensitive skin. The first time I stopped using all products and just splashing my face in the morning with tepid water was a complete miracle. Redness and pimples completey gone and my skin was smoothe, clear, and even toned for almost a year. Life was eaaaaasy! Then I got the itch to try new products and wear makeup so I began the process all over again. I have completed this vicious cycle several times, and somehow always seem to forget that for my skin less is more. The first time my skin had little to no trouble adjusting to the caveman regimen, but each time I have strayed and come back to minimalism has been a little bit more difficult- including the famous dead skin mask that really doesn’t go away until it is scrubbed or washed away and then you are back where you started. I wear mascara that rinses off really easily with water, so I just use a little bit of water in the morning only to wash that off and then maybe splash 3 times, pat dry, and that is about it.

  20. Stella says

    Left a comment in another post where I said that I wanted to try this regimen and now I want to share my experience.
    I did it for 5 days, no water, nothing. The first 3 days were awesome, my skin looked really good! After the 4th day I felt weird, like there was something going on under the skin, you know? It’s hard to describe. But my skin still looked good. HOWEVER, on the 5th day I noticed little bumps, and overall itchiness. I couldn’t wait any longer and washed/exfoliated with oatmeal and a manuka honey mask. After I’ve rinsed with water my skin looked terrible – the dead skin mask was gone but lots of bumps, comedones, black heads had formed underneath. I couldn’t believe it.
    It’s been a few days since then and right now I still have small pustules (haven’t had these for weeks!), clogged pores, small bumps on my forehead. The sad thing is that my skin looked almost clear before the caveman (thanks to new diet and manuka, I’d say). Really frustrating. Maybe it just wasn’t the right thing for me because I’ve never had “real” severe acne, just lots of clogged pores, blackheads and the occisional small pustules to beginn with (comedonal acne). I guess exfoliating is key for me and I can’t go without it. Bummer to be honest, because the first 3 days it felt so good!! Wah, I really really hope it’s getting better FAST. I try not to concentrate too much on it but it’s so hard.

    Would you recommend a steam bath for the face to open the pores?!

    • May says

      Hi Stella,

      The face steam would help, maybe try extra virgin olive oil on your face and steam your face then wipe the oil off with wet warm towl.


    • Tracy says

      Hey Stella,
      my face got quite blotchy/congested during this experiment, full of whiteheads etc (where I normally don’t have a problem with them), but now they have gone away and most of my skin is looking great. I somehow knew they were a sign of healing though and had faith they were going to go away (after 25 days though, I was like….. hmm ARE THEY going to go away?… and then they did!)…. but anyway, I have no idea how this experiment would go for others, so I’m sorry if it didn’t seem to work for you. I hope your skin recovers!

  21. Nicole says

    I wish I had your guts. I used to just use banana masks on my skin, after stopping that my skin has improved a lot which amazed me but I think i’d have to have a holiday to ween off make-up. Without bareminerals i’d be so stressed.

  22. Kim says

    Hi Tracy,
    I lLove your blog about the caveman regimen an have decided to try it! I have light acne with roseasia and seborrhic dermatitis.. I feel like ive tried every topical there is and am fed up! Im on my 3rd day of the regimen and already it seems lk my skin tone is evening out! I have one new pus head today!! Im so tempted to pop it:0
    I was wondering how do you wash your hair w/o getting ur face wet?

    • Tracy says

      I switched over to having baths instead of showers, and I just dip my head back in the water and try to avoid getting my face wet. It usually gets a little wet, but… yeah. I’d say washing the hair is the trickiest part of the whole thing.

      • Kim says

        Lol, ok thanks so much for the tip.. How about shampo? What kind do u prefer or recommend?
        Thanks a million!

          • Kim says

            Thanks so much for the link!! Unfortunately the video is blocked for me now.. So is it a tablespoon of baking soda instead if ur normal shampoo and how much apple cider vinegar? I have very long hair it is past my backside.. I have never cut im excited about going even more natural:)
            Thanks… Btw you are very beautiful!

  23. Tracy says

    @ Kim – I don’t know, it’s not exact… a couple of tablespoons of baking soda or as much as you need, mixed in with a cup of water and then pour it on your head and massage in, rinse. The conditioner is like… maybe 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of water. Just a touch of the ACV will do, you don’t want too much or you’ll end up smelling like vinegar

  24. Serafina says

    Hi Tracy!

    I absolutely love your videos and blog, and think you are totally gorgeous. This caveman regimen seems interesting to me, so I would like to try it (I had SEVERE acne for like 8 months up until the middle of May). The thing is though, that even though I don’t have acne anymore, I have scarring that I find to be pretty severe, and it is summer. So there is a lot of sun and, hence, pigmentation can for quicker and stay, well, not forever, but still. So I wonder if you know if this regimen would be a safe thing to do in this situation. Thank you very much in advance.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Serafina, yes I do and think you can do it if you want to, but I’d make sure you only get 10 to 15 minutes of sun on your face per day… just wear a big hat that covers your face the rest of the time

      • pam says

        Hi Tracy –
        does the acid mantle contain a natural sunscreen?
        I listened to the “overexfoliation” link you provided, and she seems to indicate this.

        • Tracy says

          You know… I don’t know. But I suspect it must have some kind of inherent sun protection in it, because I tend to hear that what makes you more susceptible to burns is the integrity of the fats in your skin – so if you eat stable saturated fats and Omega 3s and other good fats, then you have more natural sun protection and don’t burn as easily (I can attest to this). If you eat polyunsaturated and damaged trans fats all the time (which most do) then you burn easily.

          And anyway… since the acid mantle is made of sebum and sebum is made of fat, I would deduce that… yes. It does have some protection. LOL – this is a guess though!

  25. albert-88 says


    I started the only water thing like 2 months ago. Before i cleaned my face with cleansers and creams, and my face was always red and with some pimples. Now i havent almost pimples on my face, maybe 1 or 2 but really tiny. Red skin blemishes have reduced a lot. Only problem is the dead skin layer or dead skin mask i have in my face. Sort of flaky skin that covers my face. I have read that it goes away on its own, some say that if you exfoliate it gently (even with your clean fingernails) its fine.
    So here is my question, whats the best way to get rid off this dead skin layer, that almost all the people that are really curing their acne after using chemicals have.

    • Tracy says

      Yay! I’m glad it’s improved things for you so much. For me, I simply wet my fingers and moved them around my face in a circular motion. Other suggest a soft, wet muslin cloth. Just be gentle, whatever you do. Good luck :)

      • albert-88 says

        Once you did removed your layer with the circular motion, did the dead skin came back? After doing so, was your skin red or irritated, with new breakouts? I think i have been enough with this dead skin layer, more than a month now, so i think i have to remove it now, but i dont know.

        Thanks for your interest.

        • Tracy says

          It came back only very slightly, and then I exfoliated again after two weeks, and then it never really came back. My skin seemed slightly red and irritated after, but not too bad… no significant breakouts…. over all, I only exfoliated about two times, and once the dead skin mask didn’t come back, I never exfoliated again, so no worries about irritation

          • albert-88 says

            Ok i removed the dead skin mask yesterday gently.
            However i feel my face now quite red, with tiny red zits that i hope they will heal up fast. Do the zits after removing dead skin heal faster? Will the redness in few days decrease?

  26. Januaryice08 says

    Hey Tracy, I love your dreadlocks and you have really beautiful skin too:) Im just starting the whole no face wash regiman, its been about 2 weeks now. Um so far Id say its going alright, the dead mask has already started though and its driving me batty lol. Im going to stick to it, Im determined because I strongly believe that in the end itll be better for my skin. Im also doing the co-wash method on my hair. I have epilepsy so I think the less chemicals I use on my body the better, I still need to start eating better and exercising more..I wont lie Im lazy lol. Anyways just wanted to say thanks lots for the cool blogs and youtube videos!!!

  27. machreni says

    thank you..with this caveman my face it’s start free acne ..i started this regimen 3weeks ago..i have very oily skin and big pore….in 1st-2nd week my face look iritated and itch ,the dead skin most appear on my cheek..but in 1st-2nd week, i use antifungal cream just on my iritated cheek..because it’s very2 itch..and disappear in 3 i stop use antifungal cream..and continue pure caveman regimen…Before i didn’t know this regimen..I have
    had severe acne since my early 18′s
    (I’m 29 now)..thank you for your post tracy..god bless you

  28. clr693 says

    Hi Tracy!
    I am currently on day 3 of the caveman regimen! I had mild acne before beginning (a few red bumps) but my main problem is blackheads on my chin, nose, and forehead. The caveman is going well so far–no dryness or flakiness and my skin tone is great! I can’t believe I have given up all of the harsh chemicals and even natural products that I have been using for so long! My only complaint at this point is that is seems like all of the blackheads and gunk in my pores is coming to the top- it feels kind of like sandpaper on my chin and nose like you said you had experienced. Did this clear up after a few weeks for you on it’s own, or would you recommend I begin using a small amount of jojoba oil on these areas this early in the regimen?

    Thank you! Enjoy your posts!

    • Tracy says

      Hi there – yes, my skin got really congested and bumpy and that disappeared on its own. I would wait for at least a month or two or even three before introducing anything to the regimen

  29. Steve says

    I’m trying the Caveman technique now but not full-on as I let water hit my face a little here and there. After I play a sport I just have to wash my face.
    Finding the balance is tricky. I’ve had two whiteheads since starting this and I’m not sure the exact cause. Did I touch my face? Was it lack of washing? I don’t know. It’s been about three weeks without any benzoyl wash.

    My basic plan has been to only let a little water, aloe gel(on just a spot or two) and jojoba oil (just a spot or two) touch my face. I probably should exfoliate with a rag but haven’t really.

  30. Steve says

    Well, I got another little whitehead after using the benzoyl wash. It was a smackdown between trying to maintain and build my acid mantle or blasting everything dry with benzoyl.
    On another issue, it would be great to know how to get your skin flora back in balance after topical and oral antibiotic use.

    Balanced skin flora and a healthy acid mantle seem to be what works in the caveman skin regimen.

  31. Steve says

    Well, I had to go down the benzoyl path and do a bunch of popping. It’s not going to well and I want to get back to less is more approach but am stuck. New pimples everyday.

  32. tabu says

    m doin this since 3 months but i never cont for a whol month… i used to exfoliate every week….. which gave me kinda peeled out look . but i rarely get pimple now….. in btw i tried cetaphil thinking its mild but it let my face damn irritated…… today is my day 7 since i l last washed .. only i can see the dead skin.. m not gonna disturb it this time coz i left my classes…… i cant face d world cos of this,.. next 14 days m at home .. sis engagement after that… my exp till now.. plzz do not remove the dead skin by rubbing o scrubbing…… n try sleeping on your bac… n diet i dont think thers any relation…. cos of dieting i look so skinny now:((:((

  33. Lotus Flower says

    Hi Tracy, I’ve been lurking reading your blog for a couple months now and you have given me new inspiration for getting back onto my healthy diet and exercise lifestyle. I first “converted” almost a decade ago but in the last couple years have fallen off the bandwagon and my acne curse has returned with new vengeance.

    Anyway I am intrigued by this Caveman regimen as I’d never heard of it before and think I might give it a try. After my first skin healing I never went back to wearing makeup so it’s not a psychological fear of going “naked” that is holding me back from trying this; but the thought of accumulating that much oil on my face is scary! The longest I’ve ever gone without washing (1x daily) is two, *maybe* three days tops when I’ve been off work, at which point it feels so utterly gross even if the rest of me is clean and I swear I can smell the built up grease slick on my face, lol! Does anyone have any tips on how to get over that mental block?

  34. 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.

  35. Sofia Ríos says

    Hi, Tracy. Hey, what about sunscreen? I have sensible skin and i need susunscreen come days. My question is if i can use it after caveman regimen. I’m from Mexico City.

    • Tracy says

      Well, for me, I mainly just wear a hat and try to avoid too much sun on my face (a little I feel is fine)… if I have to put on sunscreen on my face, I just put it on and then either rinse my face with water later or just not. If you find a good, not irritating sunscreen that you like and know doesn’t break you out, I figure it’s fine to use in combination with the caveman once in a while. I wouldn’t say the caveman really jives if you are planning to use sunscreen every day.

  36. Sofia Ríos says

    I need sunscreen some days, sorry. Oh, i almoust forget it, before caveman regimen did you use some cleanser or anything? I don’t have several acne, just some breaks. Thanks for all your posts, you’re an inspiration.

  37. Anonymouseeee says

    This sounds amazing but I’ve just started with the manuka honey though….is there any way I can still do the caveman regime while using manuka honey??

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