Beauty is only skin deep, right? Well, depending on how you approach it, that’s not quite true. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) your breakouts and skin changes can be linked to internal health issues. The Ancient Chinese held a belief that skin is a reflection of your inner health. They mapped out areas on the face where certain ailments would show up as skin conditions. In TCM, health and skin are interconnected and understanding what is happening internally can help us address what we see externally. In the beauty industry, acne is one of the biggest concerns of men and women of all ages. Whether you’re a teenager or experiencing adult acne, looking inward can actually help you find the root cause of your acne.
Face mapping came about in multiple ancient traditions to better understand the direct connection between internal and external signs. There are many different schools of thought regarding face mapping: Taoist Monks began using Mien Shiang (face mapping) to determine illnesses of the body, mind, or spirit. The Ayurvedic school of thought is that there are about 21 marma points on the face. Marma is translated as "vital energy point", the places on the skin where energy and matter come together, where the mind and body communicate. www.oxygenetix.com. The ancient Chinese believe that a person’s skin is a reflection of their inner health.
No matter what school of thought you subscribe to, the basic regions of the face that correlate to certain organs or systems remain the same. But not all breakouts are linked to internal issues. In our modern world we have to consider BOTH internal signals as well as basic daily lifestyle choices. Here’s a simple breakdown of the different face mapping regions and modern day considerations for the cause of your acne.
Forehead = Digestion. The forehead is linked to the digestive system and can be affected by poor diet, digestive system imbalances, stress and lack of sleep. When looking at your skin, you need to consider your diet and gut health before reaching conclusions about the cause of your acne. Remember, we also have to consider the hairline and products we put in our hair daily. Products always travel down and could easily cause clogged pores and congestion resulting in breakouts. TIP: Cleanse your hairline often and avoid heavily oiled hair products, look at your diet and overall gut health and decide which direction you need to go to alleviate your acne symptoms.
Cheeks = Lungs. Ancient traditions believe the cheeks are directly related to the lungs. However, a modern day approach would be to consider environmental factors like a dirty phone on your cheek, dirty pillow cases, hair & cosmetic products and dirty makeup brushes. Tip: clean your makeup brushes weekly in a good solution designed to not harm the bristles.
Nose = Heart Health. In TCM heart blockages, cholesterol and blood pressure concerns will show up as pimples or blackheads. This is not to say that blackheads mean you need to run to the doctor in fear of a future heart attack. Common blackheads occur because our noses are susceptible to clogged pores. In the modern world simply try gently exfoliating in the evenings a few times a week and see if your blackheads lessen.
Chin & Jawline = Hormones and Reproductive Health. Ancient medicines and modern day approaches all come to the same conclusion about the jaw line; it’s always about hormonal imbalances. These can be addressed with supplementation, diet and lifestyle change, or a more traditional approach of acupressure, reflexology and seasonal skincare regimens.
If you remember that acne is a symptom and not the cause you can start to better understand your skin condition. Studying where your breakouts occur will help you discover what road to take for freedom from acne and congestion. No matter what the root cause, acne needs proper skin care products to help clear up the congestion or breakouts topically. For overall skin health try haia’s Microbiome & Oil Balancing Collection. With sebum controlling, balancing and anti-inflammatory ingredients; healthy, radiant skin is not far away. When you’re ready to exfoliate, reach for haia’s Multi Fruit Enzymatic Exfoliant. Experience a chemical and mechanical exfoliation in one step that will quickly reveal soft, bright and smooth skin after your first application.
Whether you take a modern day approach to your acne or follow the more traditional routes, face mapping can be a helpful jumping off point into clarifying the cause of your breakouts. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. If changing up your lifestyle and routine doesn’t help, talk to your dermatologist about creating a treatment regimen to help you achieve the skin goals.
Written by Jennifer Sposato