5

votes

Going to try the caveman skin regime? Anyone done it?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 04, 2012 at 12:02 AM

I have tried close to everything to control my facial inflammation, but it doesn't seem to be caused by diet, (maybe some hormonal thing?) or my skin's acid mantle is screwed up from the hundreds of topicals I used back in the day. Either way the idea is that by washing your face you are stripping your face of its acid mantle and causing your pores to be unprotected and prone to infection. Often during the caveman regime you will have a layer of dead skin all over your face because you are not washing a layer of dead skin off every morning and night, and this is suppose to give your skin a rest and get your skin's PH back on track. I am sure our ancestors weren't constantly washing their face, but they did live in a much "purer" environment.

Has anyone tried this?

Also, please don't give tips and advice on what moisturizers or "natural" topicals to use on my face, because everything seems to irritate it, yes even water. I just want to hear opinions or experiences with a caveman style skin regime.

5a44ddf35ab962b11a375b94f3e7e800

(175)

on May 27, 2012
at 03:13 PM

Hmm apologies for the rubbish formatting, they WERE in list form! Sorry!

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on May 27, 2012
at 12:07 AM

I've only used water to wash my face (and rest of my body except for ass and hands) for well over a year. My skin is better than ever, and I've always struggled with acne.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 19, 2012
at 02:23 AM

Glad the moisturizer is helping you. I have a weird mix of dry and oily skin, as if my skin was dehydrated, so when I put on any type of moisturizer, natural or otherwise, it looks like there is a big slick of oil on my skin, and it doesn't seem to absorb.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:55 AM

EBG...I live on a farm, the water comes from a well on our property.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:30 AM

Yep I had the same thing. I find luke warm to cool showers helps. I shower in warm water, then for the last say 20 seconds I stand with my hands on the taps, gradually decreasing the hot and increasing the cold water until it's too cold for me. I still have to use some kind of oil (jojoba, olive, coconut etc) on my legs after shaving but in general no more itchy dry skin on my arms and legs, and no more oil slick on my face :)

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:25 AM

Have you tried luke warm to cool water? Hot water can inflame the skin.

D811808d3bfa5aebc7a1bd971fb6375b

on April 04, 2012
at 08:41 PM

It's probably not the water itself irritating your skin. If you're on city water, it's probably the chlorine or chloramine IN the water that irritates you.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:20 PM

Hmm, beta carotene really sucks IMO. Really try liver sometime (or supplement retinol if you really don't like it), it works very well. Do you consume bone broth or eat gelatin? I've been struggling with acne for a long time, but managed to reduce it really well. I don't get breakouts at all anymore, if I get a zit it's a tiny one and it often disappears before it turns into a real zit. I'm not eating oysters yet, and hope that will remove the last inflammation. Best of luck ROB!

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:13 PM

Dead sea salt sounds interesting. Yesterday night I didn't even let water hit my face, and irritation is way down. I guess I could get the same benefits by only washing every couple days.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:10 PM

Woops, tried and tired :)

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:10 PM

I tired water only for a while, but even that seems to irritate my face.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:09 PM

My gut seems solid, I don't have any of the symptoms I had pre-paleo, although I do get the occasional gas.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:08 PM

I second Bill, I have never heard of that.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:07 PM

Thanks Korion, I happen to eat a very low PUFA diet, with plenty of oysters. I don't get much calcium or real vitamin a, just a lot of beta carotene from sweet potatoes and veggies.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:06 PM

My VIT D levels have never been checked but when I supplement I feel like crap.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on April 04, 2012
at 03:00 PM

You always have a layer of dead skin on your face (and on the rest of your skin for that matter), doesn't matter how often you scrub, exfoliate, wax, or peel. Taking care of your skin is a good thing (and your skin reveals a lot about how you take care of yourself and it's an amazing indicator of general health), but doing it because of "dead skin cells" is akin to avoiding the desert because it has sand.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on April 04, 2012
at 08:25 AM

1. Interests me... could you elaborate?

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on April 04, 2012
at 07:20 AM

Grease is good! Trust me, the day you get chronic dry skin you will wish you still had the grease! Yes, wash with water every 3 days but between then leave your face dry!

C513f1dba19e01bbd7e0f4f12b243a97

(670)

on April 04, 2012
at 02:22 AM

This is me! I'm at a loss because I want to gain weight, but fruit sometimes breaks me out. I think you're onto something about gut health. I'm concentrating on the bone broths and kefir for now and hopefully my skin will look better!

C513f1dba19e01bbd7e0f4f12b243a97

(670)

on April 04, 2012
at 02:20 AM

Hi Bill, do you mean to not even wash with water except every three days? I'd like to try this but I am scared of grease! :O

C513f1dba19e01bbd7e0f4f12b243a97

(670)

on April 04, 2012
at 02:18 AM

This seems to break me out a bit, but it does improve skin texture! I find olive oil works better for this

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 04, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Have you had your Vitamin D level tested?

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13 Answers

3
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 08:15 AM

I did it without realizing it, but I didn't see any big changes. There are a couple of things you should consider that actually make sense (unlike the thousands of herbal remedies and supplements that are supposed to solve it but just do nothing) :

  1. Reduce PUFA as much as possible. I just discovered fish oil does nothing for me except make me a bit more emaciated (only a bit though).
  2. Retinol. Eating liver regularly and supplementing should do the trick. Keep in mind too much retinol won't help.
  3. Oysters. Haven't tried this myself yet, but the selenium, zinc, copper and good protein should work really well.
  4. Calcium (eggshells). I'm under the impression this is the biggest reason why fat-soluble vitamins (k2 and D3) are popular.

Aspirin and gelatin are great too. I hear a lot of success stories from people that eat oysters and liver regularly. At least you don't have to buy pills. I'm getting oysters in the mail soon and will report about it.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:07 PM

Thanks Korion, I happen to eat a very low PUFA diet, with plenty of oysters. I don't get much calcium or real vitamin a, just a lot of beta carotene from sweet potatoes and veggies.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:20 PM

Hmm, beta carotene really sucks IMO. Really try liver sometime (or supplement retinol if you really don't like it), it works very well. Do you consume bone broth or eat gelatin? I've been struggling with acne for a long time, but managed to reduce it really well. I don't get breakouts at all anymore, if I get a zit it's a tiny one and it often disappears before it turns into a real zit. I'm not eating oysters yet, and hope that will remove the last inflammation. Best of luck ROB!

3
Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on April 04, 2012
at 12:45 AM

Honestly, after life long skin issues... it has never been better with "water only". That said... as Jenny J said above, it helps to take off the layer of dead skin every once in awhile as it will just end up irritating your skin. In the beginning, you will be sloughing off ALOT of dead skin, something your skin hasn't dealt with in a while so helping it along will help your skin out.

Humifidiers and dead sea salt baths help with any dryness. I would say washing every 3 days is probably good. Keep pillow cases clean too. Air dry. Get sun exposure on your face every couple of days. These things should help ease your skin into functioning on it's own without chemical assistance.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on April 04, 2012
at 07:20 AM

Grease is good! Trust me, the day you get chronic dry skin you will wish you still had the grease! Yes, wash with water every 3 days but between then leave your face dry!

C513f1dba19e01bbd7e0f4f12b243a97

(670)

on April 04, 2012
at 02:20 AM

Hi Bill, do you mean to not even wash with water except every three days? I'd like to try this but I am scared of grease! :O

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:13 PM

Dead sea salt sounds interesting. Yesterday night I didn't even let water hit my face, and irritation is way down. I guess I could get the same benefits by only washing every couple days.

2
747f9c27424619fe3ae717c7455c292e

on April 04, 2012
at 02:09 AM

Try taking some activated charcoal!

You may be still having issues with your gut - standard issue paleo didn't quite do the trick for me. I found that fruits and nuts seemed to be triggering acne. Paul Jaminet suggested it might be the sign of ongoing dysbiosis/leaky gut, and suggested that I try taking activated charcoal or another detox aid like bentonite clay (didn't agree with me) or chlorella (more expensive, haven't tried). The activated charcoal alleviated my symptoms in the same way that avoiding fruits and nuts did - a sign that my problem is being triggered by something that it's absorbing.

The interesting thing is, when I avoid fruits and nuts (or take charcoal) my skin has a very different quality - much less oily.

The charcoal isn't a long-term solution, but it might be good to know if you still have issues in your gut.

I second the water only approach as well - my skin improved years ago when I stopped using medicated cleansers and creams, then improved again when I stopped using face washes all together.

Fruits are by far the biggest culprit for me though - but I'm working hard at healing my gut!

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:09 PM

My gut seems solid, I don't have any of the symptoms I had pre-paleo, although I do get the occasional gas.

C513f1dba19e01bbd7e0f4f12b243a97

(670)

on April 04, 2012
at 02:22 AM

This is me! I'm at a loss because I want to gain weight, but fruit sometimes breaks me out. I think you're onto something about gut health. I'm concentrating on the bone broths and kefir for now and hopefully my skin will look better!

2
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 04, 2012
at 12:17 AM

I don't use anything to wash my face, but I do find that if I don't rub it with a wet wash cloth every few days my skin gets a little "ruddy". I would try it, but keep in mind that it can help to slough off a layer every once in a while.

1
5a44ddf35ab962b11a375b94f3e7e800

(175)

on May 27, 2012
at 03:12 PM

I can only say what I've tried. I've got pcos so prone to acne especially along jawline (deep cysts when it gets really nasty).

Good things:

gentle massage in warm water with facecloth occasional use of mild soap 9maybe once a week, or less, just randomly when I feel a bit icky) occasional "oil cleansing" or dab of coconut oil - I realised too late that CO clogs pores! concentrating diet on fatty ruminants - cattle, sheep, goats etc NOT fish surprisingly. I think I need the sat fats. no make up "powdered paper" for dabbing off oily bits (maybe a bit girly ;) )

OK things: Oil cleansing regular moisturising with CO mineral make up

Bad things: Collapsing into a bad diet, especially overdoing coffee and sugars and dairy Honey wash/scrub (feels lovely straight away but came up REALLY oily after this interestingly) Commercial moisturisers, creams, including sun cream and spot cream Commercial make up

Have you tried massaging your own oil around your face into the dry areas? It was drummed into me not to touch my face, but gentle massage does seem to help. You can look up various "anti ageing" massages if you like! :D

5a44ddf35ab962b11a375b94f3e7e800

(175)

on May 27, 2012
at 03:13 PM

Hmm apologies for the rubbish formatting, they WERE in list form! Sorry!

1
943fcce34d989e048efbb587205c6592

on May 26, 2012
at 10:34 PM

I wrote an entire blog post on this subject! Read and enjoy :) http://katieboule.tumblr.com/post/23804722907/caveman-skincare

1
7ac8e67cfe1d5baae4124f1f807180f5

on April 04, 2012
at 07:31 AM

Sorry to crash your party, but I have a couple of thoughts:

  1. You might be having an autoimmune reaction within the layers of your skin. Its not common but it does occur.
  2. There could be deficiency of EFAs, consider essential fatty acid (fish oil) supplementation, if you haven't tried it yet.
  3. Always try to think of the skin as an organ of elimination, in the clinic I often find the skin state of health is reflective of the intestinal wall health.

Just some thoughts,

Shawn Soszka, ND, LAc.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on April 04, 2012
at 08:25 AM

1. Interests me... could you elaborate?

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:08 PM

I second Bill, I have never heard of that.

1
793d5410141153932ed5654382a41730

(213)

on April 04, 2012
at 01:33 AM

I have tried this but I had to stop because my face was just too oily. Does anyone else have a very oily face but DRY hands, knees, elbows, feet, etc? It seems like my face is stealing all my natural oils.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:30 AM

Yep I had the same thing. I find luke warm to cool showers helps. I shower in warm water, then for the last say 20 seconds I stand with my hands on the taps, gradually decreasing the hot and increasing the cold water until it's too cold for me. I still have to use some kind of oil (jojoba, olive, coconut etc) on my legs after shaving but in general no more itchy dry skin on my arms and legs, and no more oil slick on my face :)

1
Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

on April 04, 2012
at 01:14 AM

Switching to water only, and specifically luke warm to cool (never hot!) has been the best remedy ever for my skin issues. I do need to gently massage with a wash cloth or I do start to feel congested and yukky. If my skin feels a bit tight or dry I also mix in the palm of my hand a few drops of oil (coconut, jojoba, rosehip, olive, whatever is on hand) with some witch hazel or lavender water or similar.

It did take a while to have a really noticeable effect, I'd say about 3 months, and this was after being on a paleo diet for about 3 months prior to that. My change in diet alone definitely helped, but going water-only took me that much further.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:10 PM

Woops, tried and tired :)

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:10 PM

I tired water only for a while, but even that seems to irritate my face.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:25 AM

Have you tried luke warm to cool water? Hot water can inflame the skin.

1
Eef729e2b64c2350a713b0e751688d98

on April 04, 2012
at 12:52 AM

Have you tried washing it with oils? Our culture screams for oil free stuff, but I am in love with washing my face with a mix of coconut oil and a VERY small amount of tea tree oil.

C513f1dba19e01bbd7e0f4f12b243a97

(670)

on April 04, 2012
at 02:18 AM

This seems to break me out a bit, but it does improve skin texture! I find olive oil works better for this

1
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on April 04, 2012
at 12:43 AM

I've had to do this for most of my life. I have a number of skin issues related to a genetically damaged immune system, so I never wash my face with anything that would scour or scrub it, and I don't use soap on any part of my body (though during the summer, I do occasionally use the liquid from soaked soap-nuts every few days). Unfortunately, though it DOES reduce the incidence of flares, it doesn't seem to have stopped my dermatitis, roseola, and psoriasis completely... they just don't get as bad as when I was using cleansing products on my skin.

0
B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

on May 27, 2012
at 12:58 AM

The only time I wash my face is when I shower, and I go two to three days in between showers. Since I don't tend to stink, I base when I shower after how greasy my hair gets XD

I've tried facial cleansing a few times with "expensive" cleansers and the like and it seemed to always either a) dry out my skin too much or b) just forget to do it!

In the shower, I only use handmade soap on my face, and have done so for years.

0
E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 19, 2012
at 01:29 AM

I've been struggling with skin stuff too, and have gravitated towards the "caveman" regimen over the last 2 months. It hasn't been a magic bullet for me but I don't think I've healed my leaky gut yet.

I wonder, do you have dry skin or oily skin? I know you said "Don't recommend moisturizers" -- and I understand how annoying it is when people who've never had serious problems with their skin just throw names of topicals at you, as if there's some magic product you've just been stupidly ignoring, when of course you've tried so many things already.

FWIW, for the last 2 months, I gave up all products and stopped washing my face, although once in a while (about twice a week) I have wiped it off with a wet paper towel. (I will confess to one or two honey-and-salt scrubs during this two-month period as well.) Washing my face in the past always made my face really red and inflamed afterwards, sometimes for as long as 30 minutes, but this no-washing thing did not really do that much for me. My skin was still breaking out and seemed to be harboring some inflammation.

In the last week however, I started moisturizing when my face felt dry. (Not recommending any particular moisturizer!) And my skin has started to look a lot better. The tone is not red, and there's a nice sheen to the surface. I am still not washing it, but I think for me, even with no soap and minimal water exposure, my skin still needs a moisturizer to prevent inflammation. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on April 19, 2012
at 02:23 AM

Glad the moisturizer is helping you. I have a weird mix of dry and oily skin, as if my skin was dehydrated, so when I put on any type of moisturizer, natural or otherwise, it looks like there is a big slick of oil on my skin, and it doesn't seem to absorb.

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