There are numerous skincare regimens that center around the theory that “less is more”. We’ve discussed the Oil Cleansing Method here, showing that most of us use far too many products in our daily skincare regime that strip the skin of its natural oils and encourage breakouts. But what happens when you don’t use any skincare at all on a daily basis? That theory is referred to as the caveman approach to skincare and we’re here to explain what it is, how you implement it, and the results many people are receiving.
What is the Caveman Regimen?
Most people have heard about the Paleo diet, where people are choosing to eat like our ancestors (natural food of the Earth) and this diet is also associated with the caveman approach to skincare that focuses not on what you put on your face, rather what you don’t put on your face. The Caveman Regimen is a skincare routine that isn’t much of a routine at all. The idea that “less is more” is the basis on which those that use this method practice the maintenance of their skin. By not washing the skin or applying any serums, creams, or topical treatments, this is said to allow your skin to ‘heal’ and ‘rebalance’ naturally, without interrupting it’s pH and oil balance with products that weaken and dry out the skin. Since we can’t know for sure how exactly caveman looked, this theory considers that perhaps they never struggled with acne. In present day, we are faced with an abundance of ointments, treatments, and literature on how to keep our skin clear, but what if these chemicals and face creams are the exact reason why modern day man has a problem with acne? There’s only one way to know for sure and testing the “caveman approach” to skincare is exactly what we wanted to discover.
How To Implement the “Caveman Approach” to Skincare?
Much like this blog post discusses, this approach centers around our skin’s “acid mantle”, which is essentially our skin’s protective barrier. This is made up of an acidic film that keeps bacteria out of our skin cells and contains a mixture of secretions and inoffensive bacteria. Modern day man has been encouraged to strip the skin of its natural oils with drying agents and oil fighting cleansers advertised at most drugstores. If the skins outer layer, or acid mantle, is temporarily removed by harsh soaps, the skin then becomes susceptible to breakouts, dryness, and infection. Instead of treating your skin with wipes, creams, and ointments to prevent acne, you’d literally leave your skin alone to take care of itself. We know what you’re thinking “Gross! So I just let all the dirt and bacteria sit on my skin?” Essentially in this method, yes.
Does It Actually Work?
The Caveman Routine is practiced in many different ways. Some believers in this method think that splashing water on the face is an acceptable form of skincare maintenance, while others don’t allow anything to touch their face since water is said to dry out the skin. That means no makeup, no shaving (except beard trimming is allowed), and anything else that touches the skin that can disrupt its acid mantle. It is said that not allowing water to touch the face builds up dead skin cells over time and that acts as a protective mask to heal and restore the skin. There are two problems with this approach. The first is that not everyone’s skin is the same and the second is that we aren’t living in an age where environmental influencers are identical to cavemen’s time. Cavemen lived in entirely different climates without dealing with pollution. They also didn’t sleep on pillows or use cell phones, some of which can attribute to acne in today’s society. They also didn’t wear makeup.
Although some fads go to extremes, the caveman approach is on the right track. While most people run to their drugstore to find an instant cure in the form of topical treatments for acne, the caveman approach suggests that these options only dry out and weaken our skin, opening us up to more breakouts. Using a simple, chemical free oil cleanser and moisturizer is often enough to maintain clear and healthy skin.
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