January 11, 2016

The Magic that Happened when I Stopped Washing My Face.


I eat a super-clean, high-antioxidant, plant-based diet.

I exercise almost every day. I don’t smoke cigarettes and I rarely drink. I take pro-biotic supplements and start every morning with a glass of warm lemon water. I have a virtually stress free life.

So why does my skin look like this? It’s red, blotchy, dull, dry and oily and breaks out frequently.

What’s really bad is if you looked really close, you’d see that all of my pores are clogged. I can actually see the junk in there and can squeeze it out if I want to; it’s definitely disgusting.

Oh, one thing I always do too that should lend itself to super healthy skin is that I cleanse, tone and moisturize my face twice a day.

The healthy lifestyle habits I listed up top are new things and some of them I’ve only been doing for a year, but I’ve always been good about washing and treating my face.  And interestingly, I’ve always had the same skin problems. It’s a very curious thing!

They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results and to tell you the truth that goes through my mind every time I treat my face.

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I’ve tried all kinds of ways to treat my skin woes from expensive cleansers and creams, natural remedies like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil and of course special treatments like pore strips, masks and spa facials. That’s just to name a few; I’ve tried them all.

Nothing ever makes a difference. My skin stays exactly the same. Lifestyle changes obviously haven’t helped it either.

So I’m ready to try something really different. I’m ready to consider that all the stuff I’m using to clean and treat my face, no matter the recipe, is what’s causing my problems.

I recently read an article online about the Caveman Regimen, which basically entails never washing your face—ever.

Crazy, I know, but many people who have tried it say that it clears up acne and makes your skin glow-y and beautiful.

I learned that when we wash our skin we remove a natural defense system called the “acid mantle,” which is a very fine, slightly acidic film that acts as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other potential contaminants that might penetrate the skin.

Of course, when washing, we also remove the natural oils which is why we then need to follow up with moisturizer. It really makes sense to me now that all my efforts to have baby soft skin could have been undermining my body’s own attempts at staying healthy and beautiful.

I believe that the body has the power to heal itself. I eat a very nutrient dense diet and I’m ready to trust that if i leave my skin alone it can repair the damage done by all the years of “treatment” I have put it through.

I’m thinking of it as a face detox. My face will see nothing but water, air and love. Oh and eye makeup—I can survive without foundation, but not my mascara. I’ll use coconut oil to remove it at night.

My results:

Woot! The pictures below speak for themselves! It only took a few days for the redness and oily appearance to subside. My pores are still clogged, no improvement there, but I really don’t care since I’m saving so much time and money by not washing, toning and moisturizing twice a day.

I am really surprised my face didn’t break out at all during this process. There wasn’t even a rebellion period where my face got all screwy as it adjusted to no washing. It was almost like from day one it was just relieved to be left alone for once. From day one, the blemishes started diminishing.

And since I lost the habit of treating my face at night I even fell asleep with my foundation on quite a few times when I did wear it. No breakouts! On days that I do dab on some foundation (rarely) I wash with a mild toner (sometimes the morning after), but absolutely no cleanser or moisturizer except for sunscreen that I sometimes put on my nose and chin.

Needless to say, I’m keeping up the caveman regimen!


author: Lealyn Poponi

Image: Author's own

Editor: Travis May

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maryannallin01 Nov 28, 2018 12:23pm

Congrats on the lovely skin! I am 60 years old and never wash my face with soap or cleansers. Just a wipe off with warm water. I do use a serum and moisturize and this has left me with skin the looks less that 40 years old, no blemishes and very few wrinkles. It gets noticed!

Nancy Tripp Nov 28, 2018 10:04am

I haven’t washed my face with anything other than water since I was in my 20’s. I’m almost 70 now, and people tell me I look like I’m in my 50’s. Truthfully q I rarely get suntans either. It wasn’t a conscious thing, I was just to busy working and taking care of my family. I’m glad now and really encourage others to just give water a try. Plus it’s a whole lot cheaper!

Kathleen Lane Nov 28, 2018 9:50am

I love ej. It’s diverse and puts out great info and articles I’ve never even thought about. It’s the best thing on Facebook.

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Lealyn Papaya

Lealyn Papaya is a curious lover of life who lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. Recently she “consciously uncoupled” with her husband of 9 years and now enjoys pondering and studying the art and meaning of love by diving into the teachings of OSHO, Rumi and Thich Nhat Hanh. She is challenging herself and others to drop limiting beliefs about love that have been passed on for generations. In addition to writing, she enjoys practicing circus arts, eating vegan food, starting cuddle puddles and causing a scene. To find out more about Lealyn, please visit her website.