**WARNING** Make-up free pictures ahead…
Got Acne? Or other annoying and downright embarrassing skin issues like eczema, rosacea, allergic rashes, dry or oily skin?
You’ve tried everything, right?
…But have you tried doing… NOTHING?
I’d heard of going “No poo” for your hair, but it was only recently that I’d heard about a similar approach to treating (or rather un-treating) skin problems.
It’s called the Caveman Regimen, where you basically do nothing… Intrigued by the results others were getting I thought I’d give it a go…
I’m now a month into my caveman experiment and I thought I’d report on the results so far…
My Acne Story
The only time I ever had totally clear skin was in the first 12 years of my life. Now, at 42 I still suffer from disheartening skin issues… even after two years of going raw.
Over the years I’ve had acne, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea. I tried antibiotics, the contraceptive pill, ointments, careful cleansing routines, professional facial treatments with varying success.
At both 15 and 21 years old I went on courses of Accutane, which seem to work well for a certain period of time, but of course my acne always returned… because I had never addressed the root cause of the problem.
In actual fact, I now believe Accutane had a huge role to play in developing the liver autoimmune disease that I now live with… (If you are considering Accutane – DO NOT DO IT)
I now understand that a combination of food allergies, poor digestion and toxic emotions played a role in my skin problems.
Every time I ate wheat products tiny bumps would appear all over my face. Every time I ate chocolate I would get eczema all around my nose. To this day too much fat in my diet (that is, higher than 10% of my calories from fat) always makes me break out.
And once I had a pimple, or several, I just couldn’t help myself… I’d stand at the bathroom mirror and try to make the pimple go away faster by squeezing it. The irony of that action was that it always made it stay WAY longer.
The Principles of The Caveman
Did you ever wonder why most men seem to have such lovely skin without ever doing anything to it?
That’s the basic principle of the Caveman Regimen. We need to get out of the way and allow our skin to do what it does best: protect, heal, breathe, and detoxify.
By irritating our skin with hot water, soaps, chemicals, and harsh exfoliants, all we are doing is stripping the skin’s acid mantle, it’s protective layer, and inviting all sorts of rubbish in through our skin.
By picking we are introducing more toxins and bacteria, irritating our skin and creating scar tissue which distorts and disfigures our pores, making it all the more difficult to eliminate toxins in future.
What to do (or rather, what NOT to do)
Don’t do anything. At. All.
- No cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, make-up or sunscreen.
- No use of anything “natural” on your skin (including jojoba oil, olive or coconut oil, honey or clays)
- No water (if you can)
- No picking or touching your skin.
It’s near impossible not to get water on your face, if you shower rather than bathe. But try to avoid it as much as you can:
- Only shower once per day (or less)
- Face away from the shower.
- Use only warm water.
After a few weeks you may notice some skin build-up or flaking and you can (very gently) exfoliate this with nothing but your finger and some warm water.
Do NOT Pick
Easier said than done, right?
If you’re anything like me then you find it downright near impossible not to touch your face. And yet it’s by far the worst thing we can do to our skin.
Picking irritates your skin even more, damages your pores and creates more pimples.
Knowing this can help motivate you to keep your fingers away, but sometimes you need more help with the underlying reasons for picking…
If this rings true for you then I encourage you to check out the following resources.
The first is the website stoppickingonme.com where you can find out all about compulsive skin picking, why we do it and how to stop.
You can also download an excellent free ebook, called “Skin Deep” by Dr Grossbart, a Boston based psychologist who specializes in compulsive skin picking disorders and has a program for curing it. Check out his website www.grossbart.com, and scroll down till you find the link to his book.
But I can’t go without makeup!
In the first few days of my experiment I was terrified of letting the world see the state of my skin.
It took courage and self-acceptance to decide that it didn’t matter what the world thought.
The first day I went off to teach as a casual High school teacher I was really worried about what other staff and students would think of my blemished skin.
But at some point during the day I completely forgot that my skin was exposed for all the world to see, and no-one even seemed to even notice…
No one pointed fingers and sniggered. No one studied my face. They clearly didn’t even notice…
After that, I’ve been going out every day without makeup for the last 4 weeks. If I’m a bit self-concious about a pimple I might put the tinest bit of coverup on the pimple itself, but nothing else.
And I don’t wash it off at the end of the day. It seems that the washing was causing way more problems than a tiny bit of cover-up on a pimple once or twice a week.
So, if you feel you really need it, you can dab a tiny bit of makeup on a zit. But don’t wash it off. Just dab and leave it alone.
What to Expect
My skin felt awful and rough after a week or two, and I was about to abandon the experiment when, in weeks 3 and 4 all of a sudden it became much smoother, with fewer breakouts and a more even tone.
I went out to a birthday lunch yesterday wearing just lipstick and a dab of cover-up on a couple of tiny blemishes and that was it. My skin tone was so much more even. It almost looked like I was wearing foundation.
Of course, everyone’s experience of the Caveman Regimen will be different. I have heard that, if you don’t use any water for a month, your skin will develop a crust, which you have to gently exfoliate with your fingers after 4 weeks.
I’m so excited about the improvements I’m experiencing on the Caveman regime so far that I’m going to keep it going for another month and let you know what happens.
Here are some photos of my skin before starting caveman regimen, and today…
BEFORE Caveman – I also had a cold that day, so my nose and eyes don’t look so great. 🙁
AFTER – One month after beginning Caveman Regimen. My skin is not blemish free, but my tone has improved and the white bumps under my jaw are visibly reducing. The bigger blemishes below my lip and on my cheek are the ones that I couldn’t help but pick. L This month I’m really going to try to not pick anything.
Understanding Skin Problems
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Its acid mantle protects our internal organs from invasion, but it’s also a primary organ for elimination of waste.
The other pathways for elimination are through your kidneys, bowel, eyes and vagina. Your liver is a primary organ involved in detoxification.
If you have a sluggish liver, as so many people in contemporary western society do, then chances are elimination through your kidneys and bowel will be limited, and your skin will be forced to assist in the process.
So skin problems are a sign of toxic overload – whether from food and poor digestion, allergies from food and environmental toxins, or toxic emotions.
The last one on this list is frequently overlooked, but is just as important as other sources of toxic waste.
A wonderful website I found is by a girl called Tracy Raftl who found out how to heal her severe cystic acne. One of the methods she uses is the Caveman Regimen. Here’s a video in which she talks about her experience…
Conclusion – Have you tried the Caveman Regimen to heal your skin? If you’ve tried it, please comment below and let me know how it turned out for you.
If you haven’t tried it, do you think you’ll be brave and give it a go? I’d love you to join me on this journey and share your experiences here…
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Anthea Frances is an author, raw food health coach and host of the Raw Life Summit series. Grab a copy of her free Balanced Raw Vegan Nutrition Checklist and start improving your health today!