I always knew that the once-monthly spots that overtook my chin were the result of not-so-stable hormones. We all have those days, right girls? 🙂 However, when my dermatologist here in Ankara took one look at the sudden outcrop of angry zits, it introduced me to a whole new (actually old) science of face mapping, which is pretty much the key to unlocking the mysteries behind problem skin.
Your skin often reflects your internal health, so by analyzing where you get pimples and “mapping” where acne pops up on your face, you can understand what’s causing your acne and prevent the zits from forming! Face mapping, combines Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine with cutting edge dermatologists’ prescriptions to explain how certain parts of your face are connected to other areas of your body. Put simply, think of your face as a map and blemishes as X’s on that landscape. Spots in different zones correspond to different problems. So, with this “map” as your guide, you can address the underlying causes of blemishes and not only make the unsightly zits vanish but also treat the underlying health problem in time.
Pretty cool, right? But remember that this is just informative. The acne causes listed for each facial region are general guidelines and may not apply to everyone. For instance, just because you break out on your forehead, doesn’t automatically mean there’s something wrong with your liver.
While Chinese medicine practitioners and reflexologists believe that certain zones of your face represent certain internal areas of your body, face mapping for acne is not an exact science. While internal problems can be one of the main reasons for acne, especially if you get cystic pimples, there are several other factors that can be responsible for breakouts. These range from skin care products, hygiene, hormones, allergies, genetics, etc. However, understanding what it means when you get pimples on certain facial zones is a good place to get ideas about how to clear your skin.
Here is how to decode breakouts in the basic areas.
1 & 2: Digestive System — Eat less processed or junk food, reduce the amount of fat in your diet, step up water intake and opt for cooling things like cucumbers. A problem area in this location may also indicate a food allergy.
3: Liver — cut out the alcohol, greasy food and dairy. Do 30 minutes of light exercise every day and get adequate sleep so your liver can rest.
Zone 4 & 5 and 7 & 8 Kidneys — Put down Mocha Latte. If your eyes (zone 4 and 10) feel hot or swollen the inflammation may be due to dehydration. Cut soda, caffeine and alcohol. The same goes for dark circles found in the zones (6&8).Hydrate and catch some Zzz`s.
6: Heart — Check your blood pressure and Vitamin B levels. Decrease the intake of spicy food, cut down on meat and get more fresh air. Besides this, look into ways to lower cholesterol, like replacing “bad fats” with “good fats” such as Omegas 3 and 6 found in nuts, avocados, and fish and flax seed. Also, since this area is chock-full of dilated pores, check that your makeup is not past its expiry date or is skin-clogging.
7 & 8: Kidneys — again, drink up! And cut down on aerated drinks, coffee and alcohol as these will cause further dehydration.
Zone 9 & 10: Respiratory system — do you smoke? Have allergies? This is your problem area for both. Take control of your health and commit to quit. Acne in the lower part of your cheeks may also suggest dental issue like gingivitis. Another thing that most of forget – dirty cell phones and pillow cases are two of the top acne culprits and this area is what they affect the most!
Zone 11 & 12: Hormones — this is the signature zone for stress and hormonal changes. And while both are sometimes unavoidable, you can decrease their effect by getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating leafy veggies and keeping skin scrupulously clean. Another interesting point: breakouts in this area indicate when you are ovulating (and on which side).
Zone 13: Stomach — Step up the fiber intake, reduce the toxin overload and drink herbal teas to help with digestion.
14: Illness — Zits here can be a sign that your body is fighting bacteria to avoid illness. Give it a break, take a yoga class, take a nap, and take time to breathe deeply, drink plenty of water and load up on your vitamins. And at the end know that everything always works out!
So the next time you break out or notice dark under-eye circles, look to your face map: your skin is probably trying to communicate on behalf of the internal organs. However, do remember that, as with all medical issues, it is always best to see your doctor or dermatologist for a proper prognosis. This is just a general guide to head you off in the right investigative direction!