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!