There's been quite a lot of buzz around face mapping recently, the theory that depending on the area of your face where you're experiencing blemishes, you can determine the root cause of your acne. But is it really as simple as "x" marks the spot? Well, it all depends on what type of medicinal theory you believe in. It’s a battle over eastern and western medicine, with Chinese practioners believing there's great power in face mapping and most American doctors claiming it to be hogwash. I think both portray good arguments, but personally I do agree there is a bit of truth behind it.
where does face mapping come from?
Traditional Chinese face mapping is an ancient technique used to heal your skin and body. Depending on the location of your pimple, it can give you a deeper look into what's going on in your system. Your acne could be related to digestive, hormonal, heart, liver, or lung issues. Though it sounds sort of crazy and mysterious, there is the truth that our exterior body is connected to our internal body. In a way our face can be considered a mirror that shows off what's going on inside of us.
Tired from the night before? You'll probably have bags under your eyes. Traditional Chinese medicine understands that our bodies are complex, with everything affecting one another, from the inside out. If one thing is off balance, you may experience a sort of domino effect and see the physical results show up somewhere else. There is belief in one basic principle: everything in the body is interconnected. They use several different philosophies to support this idea including , , and the . These concepts are what western medicine usually fails to understand, telling us diet, stress, or hormones aren't connected to our skin, health, and overall wellbeing.
does face mapping work for acne?
As we all are well aware, there's a million causes for acne and these face charts are more of a general guideline, it's not a one size fits all approach. If you're using the wrong makeup or skincare that doesn't fit the chemistry of your skin, using irritating body products, or living in a polluted climate, those could be huge external causations other than the internal reasons listed on face charts. I've found it to be a combination between the two, what you're putting on your skin is equally as important as what goes into your body.
That being said, I think they're on to some pretty interesting stuff when it comes to the skin being a window into the body. For example, I breakout on my cheeks and most of the causes listed are cell phones, pillow cases, low nutrient absorption, and lung issues. I can totally pin point my breakouts and relate to the cause. For me it's my cheeks, and a low absorption of nutrients I assume. I have experienced some slight ibs problems over the past few years where when I have to go, I have to go; and let me tell you I have to go a lot. When you're going that frequently your body doesn’t have enough time to properly digest food, leaving you deficient in micronutrients. Luckily, supplementing probiotics, bone broth, more greens, and digestive enzymes has really helped this problem (and in turn helped my skin).
face mapping 101
Let's take a closer look at the specific regions of the face and what they're trying to tell you about what's going on inside your body!
- Bladder and Intestines
- Gut health
- Poor diet
- Small intestine issues
- Toxin Build up
- Irregular sleep schedule
- "Pomade" acne- from haircare products or bangs
Acne on the forehead is a huge sign of an imbalance in your digestion system. Try cleaning up your diet, adding more greens, doing a detox juice cleanse, and make sure you're going to the bathroom regularly! If you feel like your gut health is to blame try implementing probiotics, drinking kombucha, and supplementing with digestive enzymes. Make sure you're also getting enough sleep and not stressing out, as these two things can also trigger poor gut health.
Between the brows
- Liver and Stomach
- Food allergies
- Fatty Foods
- Alcohol and smoking
Acne between the brows is said to be connected to your liver. If you're continuously breaking out in this region try avoiding alcohol or smoking. It can also be due to a high fat or problematic diet (even good fats). If you're seeing tiny irritation bumps you could be allergic to a food you're eating.
Ears and temples
- Excess oil production
- Poor lymphatic circulation
Acne on the temples can occur for several different reasons but its mainly said to be due to a poor lymphatic system. Make sure you are draining your lymphatic system regularly by drinking water, exercising, and giving yourself lymphatic draining massages!
Under the eyes
- Kidneys, Liver, Digestion
- Lack of sleep
- Rubbing your eyes
- Not properly removing makeup
While it's important to keep your hands off your face, this is especially true when it comes to the eye area. Constantly rubbing your eyes, as well as lack of sleep which is probably the reason youre rubbing your eyes, are significant reasons for acne under the eyes. Make sure that you're getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough water, and removing your eye makeup completely every night!
- Blood pressure
- Poor circulation
- Salt intake
Surprisingly, the nose is thought to be connected to the heart. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have heart issues but it could be a sign of poor circulation as well as high or low blood pressure. Acne on the nose could also be related to indigestion or constipated, again try taking digestive enzymes and see if this helps your body properly break down and absorb food!
- Hormones and Intestines
- Hormonal imbalance
- Reproductive Organs
- Irregular Bowels (constipation)
- Spicy or hot food
Acne around the mouth is very connected to hormonal imbalances so try to eat naturally hormone balancing foods like coconut oil and avocado. You can also add certain adaptogens like maca or ashwagandha to help resolve this issue! Try laying off the spicy or hot foods, as these can actually raise the temperature around your mouth and create a breeding ground for bacteria. Instead try more cooling foods like cucumber, broccoli, or zucchini.
- Liver, Lungs and respitory system
- Right Cheek
- Stomach Problems
- Too much Sugar
- Dirty cell phone or pillow case
Right cheek primarily has to do with external and internal allergies. Take a look at your skincare products and make sure you aren't using any irritating chemicals. With your diet look out for sugar, gluten, corn, and dairy as these are the main food groups that present the most common allergies. And of course, make sure to wash your pillow case and keep your cell phone clean.
- Malabsorption of nutrients
- Stomach Problems
- Poor air quality/ pollution
The left cheek has mainly to do with the stomach. If you have stomach problems, hold your stress in your stomach, or are overeating you may experience acne flare ups here. The left cheek is connected to gut health and a malabsoption of nutrients so make sure you supplement with probiotics, digestive enzymes, collagen, and fiber. You can even add L-glutamine into your supplement regimine if you feel the malabsorption of nutrients is due to a leaky gut! Poor air quality can be an underlying factor as well so try to implement an air filter into your home to deal with excess pollution or dust, especially if you have pets!
Chin and Jawline
- Stomach, Kidney, and Reproductive Organs
- Greasy food
The chin and jawline is most notoriously known for hormonal acne. Although that pimple around that time of the month might be unavoidable, try supporting your system with chaste tea or maca. As usual, be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid overly greasy food.
These aren't definite answers but should be seen more as guidelines. If you experience acne on your left cheek, try working on your digestive health, if it's around your mouth avoid spicy food and see what happens! Face mapping is a great technique to learn more about your body's overall inner workings and how that translates directly to your skin.
If you liked this article you can also watch my Ultimate Guide on Face Mapping for Acne video here:
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Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.