So ever since I moved back to my extremely hot and humid tropical home country after 4 years of school in Illinois, acne increasingly became a problem. I would get those nasty red bumpy ones...it wasn't pretty.
I started using this great bar soap (Nubian Heritage African Black soap) for my face in Illinois (which I still use) but it wasn't stopping this new acne wave.
Then I bumped into a friend's blog where she talked about how she overcome her own acne problems...with WATER! (Apparently she found out about this while she was reading Audrey Hepburn's Wikipedia page). I've been following her advice (the past 2 weeks) and it has worked like magic. I swear no new nasties have popped up ever since.
So this is what I do. First I use the same soap on my face. Then I rinse it with VERY HOT water around 20 times or more. Sometimes I would re-soap my face after rinse number 10 just to make sure. Just make sure its not too hot that it burns!
I've always washed my face with water and never had acne. That might be a coincidence, or it might not!? I believe soap gets in the pores and is difficult to rinse out, hence the spots. I can't say I have any scientific evidence to back this theory up though, just musings that were passed down from my parents I guess.
I too have been using less product and more plain water. I do have a clarisonic brush and that seems to help. I use my homemade soap, but I also kill the bacteria with a daily facial peel.
My peel is a mix of glycolic, salicylic, and TCA. All of these can be bought on Amazon. I have had good results with the company Skin Obsession. I leave my peel on and go about my day, so I use the lower strength peels cut with distilled water.
I've been "water only" for skin and hair for several months now. My skin is clear and no longer so itchy or sensitive and my hair is not greasy and has a lot more natural waviness. When you think about it from a biological perspective, humans are probably not supposed to use much of anything other than water and our skin microbes are supposed to keep things like acne and odor in-check. Why do we constantly disrupt them with soaps, detergents, and man-made chemicals. (Of course I use soap for hand washing to prevent colds and flu etc. but as long as my face and body and are healthy I'm not messing with them!)
The gal at paristogo.com has experienced similar results if anyone is interested.
Acne is related to genetics and hormones. Likely it wasn't the water that "cured" your acne, your body's hormone levels simply fluctuate so you have periods without acne and periods with it. I used to prescribe Accutane for patients with cystic acne and that stuff was a miracle for them. Their acne not only cleared but it never recurred. If you have large cystic type acne, you might consider Accutane in the future when your breakouts recur. Stay out of the sun, wear a non-comedogenic sunscreen and a hat when you are in the sun, and avoid greasy products on and around your face. I recommend one of the alcohol-free non-abrasive face cleansers to wash with, they are fairly inexpensive at the drugstore. I'd never tell a patient to wash only with water if they are prone to bouts of acne.