More Acne Self-Experimentation

This post from the self-experimentation forums deserves to be reprinted in full:

After being plagued with acne for years, I took a job which caused me to work in remote bush camps for short periods in the far north. My acne would invariably disappear within a few days of exposure to this. When I returned to the city, the acne would return with a vengeance. Did not know why.

My theory: Soap residue left after washing my face with hardwater was the true acne culprit. Washing my face with ultrasoft lake water in bush camps leaves little or no soap residue, so no acne. Soap residue stimulates excessive skin oil secretions which leads to increased acne. A rich diet aggravates the problem by feeding the oil secretions.

My self-experiment
: I experimented with different types of soap and different concentrations of soap in hard and soft water.

Conclusion
: Soft and slightly soapy water only (a very mild soap) produced the least amount of acne. Never apply soap lather directly to your face! If you have only hard water to work with, then no soap at all is the best choice by far. Compensate for the lack of soap with hotter water.

Added benefit: Washing your face with no soap causes acne lesions to heal much faster – a couple of days compared to a week or more with soap.

Great work!

The same technique applied to cold sores.

7 Replies to “More Acne Self-Experimentation”

  1. Soap seems to be a holdover from the days when people used to bathe in cold or lukewarm water and share bathtub water (several people might bathe in the same tub of dirty water). In addition to once a week or once a month baths — Nasty. My experience is that you do not need to use soap or shampoo at all in a modern hot water shower unless you are unusually dirty.

  2. I’m surprised about this post because I learned from my parents never to use soap on my face when I was about three years old. (I still never do; water only.) I had always assumed this was something that all children learned, like putting your trash in the trashcan. This may be a cultural difference. (I live in Germany)

  3. I think soap is both the cause and the cure of skin problems. Chemical soaps cause problems and natural soaps cure.
    Soap should be simple and free of chemicals or any complicated words in the ingredient list. The base of soap should be Lard as this is the most similar to human skin. Simplicity is generally the best solution and with something placed on your skin daily, you need to trust that your soap is naturally pure and clean and will therefore make your skin clean and natural as well. If your soap cleans up your skin and doesn’t leave any chemicals on it, then it can finally get clean and be clear of acne.

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