First, there was the no-poo method of cleaning your hair (using honey, clay, or one of several other natural products). Now, the internet is buzzing with discussion about the caveman method of skincare.
So, what exactly is this new way to clean your skin? The caveman regimen of facial care is an easy, all-natural way to clear up damaged or acne-prone skin. Here are the key facts you need to know.
1. Your skin does best when it is left alone
The main idea behind the caveman regimen is that you should do as little as possible to care for your skin—essentially, this approach is a busy person’s dream come true. Your skin will be its healthiest in its natural state, so make like a caveman regimen and leave it alone. This means you need to…
2. Let your skin breathe
Part of leaving your skin alone is not covering it up. This can be hard to do, as popular beauty standards teach us that imperfect skin needs to be corrected and covered up. But whether you’re caking on makeup or slathering on moisturizer, covering up your skin can actually do more harm than good. This is because…
3. Conventional skincare products actually harm your skin
Most commercial skincare products are full of chemicals and surfactants that can actually do more harm than good. They dry out your skin, throw off its pH balance, over-exfoliate it, and generally move it further and further away from its natural, healthy state. One of the biggest reasons to avoid them is because…
4. Your skin needs its natural oils
The natural oils produced by your skin form sebum, a thin layer that protects against environmental damage, hydrates dry patches and heals scars and acne. When you remove your sebum with conventional cleaners and toners, you actually dry out your skin and leave it less healthy. Skin also needs…
5. Lots of hydration
Dehydration can lead to skin problems, such as dryness, fine lines, and breakouts. Drinking a lot of water (averaging around 100 ounces a day) will help your skin stay hydrated and healthy.
The strict caveman regimen
The strict caveman regimen is an extreme method of skincare in which you put nothing on your face—no cleaners, moisturizers or makeup, and not even water! This is intended to let your skin fully and naturally heal itself of any acne, scarring, dryness, or eczema.
Most caveman regimen practitioners report that their skin develops a layer of dead skin and oil (called, unfortunately, the “dead skin mask”) during the first few weeks and that this layer can look a little dirty.
Some also find that they experience acne breakouts in the first few weeks. Eventually, however, the dead skin mask falls away, revealing the healthy, clear skin underneath.
The modified caveman regimen
For those who find the strict caveman regimen too extreme, it is possible to do a modified version of caveman skincare. This can take different forms, such as:
- rinsing your face with water only
- using a small amount of natural oil to exfoliate away dead skin
- wearing some makeup but always removing it with a damp facecloth
- using a single natural skincare product (such as rosewater or a vitamin C serum)
Though a modified regimen is less strict, the principle remains the same—leave your skin alone as much as possible so that it can produce its own oils and heal itself without interference from chemical skincare products.
Whichever version of the caveman method you choose, you’ll find yourself spending a lot less time and money on skincare, and (hopefully) you’ll end up with clearer, healthier skin as well!