I received this question awhile ago, yet I still wanted to share it with all of you as an Ask Minimalist Beauty segment since I get similar skin care related questions all the time.
Tiffany asks “Is it normal to experience small bumps around the chin and cheeks when washing with water only and toning with ACV? Also, when should I start incorporating pumpkin seed oil into my regimen? I’ve been using water only and ACV for about 1 week.” (Just in case you aren’t familiar, ACV stands for apple cider vinegar.)
Small bumps can be a sign of the skin purging toxins or it could possibly be a sign of irritation from the toner. It can also depend upon what your skin care regimen has been prior to this week compared to this new regimen to really know what may be going on. Over the past few years I have noticed that it is easier to slowly wean yourself off of a more intensive skin care regimen than it is to just stop all together and wash your face with only water.
I usually suggest washing your face with just water to give your skin a break from excessive skin care practices especially if you’ve been aggravating it with harsh topicals or exfoliants.
This was helpful for me to do over the weekend when I was in the process of moving away from an intensive skin care regimen. It helps greatly to wean your skin off of a previous regimen slowly into water only especially if your body has been experiencing imbalances internally from toxins, or you are in the midst of a healing journey during a detox. It can be a major shock to your skin to go from an intensive skin care regimen to just water only without a transition period.
If you have already detoxed your body thoroughly from the inside out, you will most likely already notice that your skin naturally glows and needs less overall to maintain that beauty.
I did not start my simple skin care regimen by just washing my face with water. I switched from using organic store bought skin care to oil cleansing with high linoleic oils which I did morning and night for many months until I felt that my skin could handle less. Then I started only oil cleansing at night while washing my face with water and moisturizing with a high linoleic oil in the morning. Before I did another detox last year in the spring, I was mainly washing my face with only water and moisturizing with a high linoleic oil. I’d also oil cleanse as needed or when I wore makeup.
During that detox I did last year in the spring, my skin went absolutely crazy during the healing process. I changed my skin care regimen up completely to accommodate it at the time and shared that regimen here. Now that my skin has calmed down, I’m back to mainly washing my face with water and moisturizing with a high linoleic oil. I still oil cleanse as needed. My favorite high linoleic oil is pumpkin seed oil, yet it is so important to find what works best for your skin.
As for using apple cider vinegar as a toner, I have tried it and even made a DIY Soothing Antioxidant Toner with apple cider vinegar and green tea in the past. As much as I liked the toner, my skin responds better when I use less products overall. I have read about many benefitting from using apple cider vinegar as a toner, yet it was never life changing enough for me no matter how much I diluted it with water or added other ingredients.
I would incorporate moisturizing with a high linoleic oil as much as you feel your skin needs it.
For some that could be 1-2 times a day, for another that could be when their face feels dry which is a few times a week. It mainly depends upon what your skin needs, where you live, and what season it is. Some feel washing your face with water can be drying to the skin, yet I have never felt this to be drying compared to using some of the face washes on the market.
My skin care regimen has always changed slightly to accommodate my skin’s needs depending upon what was going on with me at the time. When we are on a healing journey, it is extremely helpful to pay attention to the signs our body gives us and work with it. It is trial and error to some degree which can be very annoying, yet at the same time getting more in tune with yourself is beyond rewarding.
Water only skin care definitely has many benefits especially if your skin has been irritated by skin care products no matter how gentle they may be, and for allowing your skin’s acid mantle to balance and heal itself.
Washing your face with only water can really help balance sebum production in the skin as well. I wouldn’t suggest washing your face with only water to anyone who wears heavy makeup since removing your makeup properly is important. If you only spot conceal or wear very minimal makeup overall, using a soft microfiber cloth can help to remove that makeup with just water.
Lastly and most importantly pay attention to your diet, stress levels, and/or hormonal balance which can greatly effect your skin’s appearance.
Eating a whole foods diet free of processed foods and refined sugar is the main foundation of our health and the appearance of our skin. I also believe that acne is a symptom of toxicity in the body and have also shared gentle detoxing methods that have helped me. I love no longer having an intensive skin care regimen myself. I have found that with patience and internal healing and balancing, washing my face with just water has been so incredible for my skin. I hope this helps some and best wishes!
(Image by Dawn Michelle)