Hullo. So, for about a year now, I’ve been using water only on my face. If you told me a few years ago that I would now be leaving my face completely alone to do WHATEVER IT WANTS (!) I would’ve been very sceptical to say the least. My skin, from pretty much the day of my 13th birthday was spotty. More than averagely spotty. It did get a bit better as I got older but I still suffered into my late teens. I tried all the face washes and creams and even got prescribed this horrible roll-on thing from my doctor which admittedly did sort out the problem, but made my face so dry that I decided I’d rather go back!
I didn’t notice a significant change until I went vegan. A few months into my new, healthy diet (I decided whilst cutting out animal products, to actually pay attention to what I put in my body and up the wholefoods) I noticed that the problem areas I still had left were clearing up. Nowadays I would say my face is manageable. I still get the occasional one or two, but it’s no longer a concern. My skin feels on the whole quite healthy.
I don’t have a routine as such for washing my face. I’ll normally wet it when I’m in the shower (so around 4 times a week) then any other time if it feels too oily I use cold water. If I notice dryness or dead skin, I give my face a brush in small circular motions either whilst dry followed by a water wash, or I rub the wet brush over a bar of soap and apply to my face then water wash.
Unlike some branded face washes, this method doesn’t in itself hold the answers. In other words, it won’t sort out your face if it isn’t already healthy. Here are some tips for going water-only…
Eat well– lots of fresh produce, less refined sugars and oily foods. Basically eat healthily. I really notice a difference in the oiliness of my skin and usually break out after I’ve eaten badly. If you are eating well and you still have a significant problem, it’d be worth seeking advice from an expert in nutrition because certain foods affect people differently.
Drink water– same as above; water has a dramatic effect on the clearness of skin. Drinking water helps expel what your body no longer wants and fuels it to function like it’s supposed to.
Exercise– if your diet is half of the picture, exercise is the other. It all comes together and helps all the processes in your body run smoothly. You’d be surprised how getting a sweat on helps you look brighter and healthier!
phase out soaps– This stage will differ from person to person depending on what your skin has become used to. I would advise transitioning gradually though, because that way you won’t have to go through a period where your skin has to adapt to an extreme change, which could make it unpredictable. Find something a more natural version of what you usually buy in the supermarket. When that’s finished, switch to a soap bar. Then start cutting down on the number of days a week you wash your face with soap and use just water instead.
Avoid touching skin– This one is a struggle for me, especially when I’m stressed, but the less you touch your face the better. Every time you touch it you are making it dirty, so try to refrain as much as possible. Then when you do want to touch it, wash your hands first. I’ve noticed a change in my skin since I’ve been making an effort to leave it alone.
Learn what is normal for you– now that I have no products on my skin, I can feel what state it’s in, I know how my food affects it, and I have the instinct to know what it needs and when. Pay attention to what it’s doing and try and find out why. The better you know you’re skin, the better you’ll be able to give it what it wants.
As you can see from the above picture, I am not spot-free. Ditching soaps and creams was not a magical solution to all my skin problems, but if I’m honest with myself, that’s not all I wanted. It would’ve been too simple for everything to clear up just like that.
Saying that, I don’t experience anywhere near the same amount of oiliness or angry spots that I used to get. When I do break out nowadays, the spots are less aggravated, they clear up more quickly, and I can often attribute them to being in a dirty environment or not eating very well. All the tips above, have been reinforced over the last few months as incredibly important to the well-being of my skin, even if I don’t adhere to them all the time (WHY DO CHIPS TASTE SO GOOD?!)
What suits me about water-only, aside from being the healthiest option for my skin, is the simplicity. Instead of applying things to my skin for it to adapt to, I leave it and then react when my skin gets oily or dry or I break out (which is pretty rare). This passive approach to the whole thing is perfect for someone who would much rather snooze for another 10 minutes a day than faff about with my skin! #toohonest?