The Caveman Face Regimen: Treating Acne Naturally

May 31, 2023 By Isabelle Sophie Martinet

Ever get so tired of trying so many unsuccessful acne treatments that you consider just not washing your face at all? Well, believe it or not, not washing your face may be the best treatment for your acne! Not washing your face is often called the “caveman regimen,” and many acne sufferers have found great success with it.

How could not washing your face clear your skin? For many people, skincare products–even the gentlest ones–only worsen acne by upsetting the skin’s natural PH balance and removing its protective acid mantle. When we leave our skin alone (no makeup, no soaps or moisturizers, and even little or no water), our skin naturally reverts to a slightly acidic PH. This acidity is protective as bacteria have a harder time growing in an acidic environment. However, most cleansers tend to be slightly or even very alkaline. In order to try to restore it’s acidity, your skin produces sebum (oil), which ultimately causes acne if it is overproduced. Thus, you may be better off simply not washing your face at all and letting it do what it naturally wants to do.

If you’d like to try the caveman regimen, there are several guidelines you’ll want to follow:

  • Don’t use any products. This means no cleansers, moisturizers, oils, or any other products.
  • Don’t use makeup. Aside from the fact that it contains chemicals, you’ll need to wash it off somehow, which, of course, you can’t do. If you must use some makeup, use only eye or lip makeup, which you can safely remove without affecting the surrounding skin.
  • Don’t even let water touch your face. Even water will upset your skin’s PH balance and acid mantle. This can be a bit challenging, especially in the shower. Just do your best. A little water won’t hurt–just try not to soak your skin.
  • Be patient. When you first start the caveman regimen, you’ll likely experience a breakout. When you start the caveman regimen, it’s like your skin is getting off a treadmill. It has grown accustomed to producing extra oil to replace all the oils your cleansers strip away. So, even when you’ve stopped using cleansers, your skin continues to overproduce oil, and things may be a bit greasy for a while. But take heart, your skin WILL eventually learn that it doesn’t need to produce so much oil. Give your skin 3-6 months to rebalance its oil production.