THE BLOG

Face Mapping: What's Your Acne Telling You?

08/01/2016 16:58 GMT | Updated 07/01/2017 10:12 GMT

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Do you suffer with persistent blemishes in the same place month after month? We've all been told that the once-a-month outbreaks on our chin are down to hormones but did you know that it's said that different areas of your face are connected to other areas of your body?

Face mapping is an ancient technique of Ayurveda teachings and Chinese medicine which can help you identify the root cause of your blemishes by dividing up different areas of your face into "zones" which connect to specific organs therefore giving you the chance to confront underlying health problems and get clear skin for good!

N.B I have found face mapping to be extremely helpful in my quest to combat and understand my problem skin and have found it extremely accurate. However, they are guidelines and may not apply to everyone. For example, if you have consistent breakouts on your temples, it's doesn't automatically mean that you have liver problems. There are many other factors that can be responsible for acne including chemicals in skincare products, pollution, allergies, hormones and genetics. However understanding the concept of face mapping may give you an idea of an underlying health concern which could be the root of your skin problems.

WHAT'S YOUR ACNE TELLING YOU?

Zone 1: This area can be linked to the digestive system. It may be worth doing a review of your diet and seeing if there's any foods that could be causing problems with your digestive system. If you are suffering from blemishes on your forehead try upping your antioxidant levels with green tea, eating more alkaline foods such as dark green vegetables, make sure you are drinking plenty of filtered water and getting plenty of fibre. If your diet is in tip top condition, it may be worth checking out the ingredients in your hair products which could potentially cause irritation within this area. I often get congested in this area after getting a bit too overzealous with the hairspray!

Zone 2: These areas are linked to the liver. If you suffer from regular breakouts in these areas it may be worth reducing your alcohol intake, also undiagnosed food allergies could be the reason for persistent spots in these areas. Light exercise, plenty of sleep and reducing acidic foods can also help to improve liver health.

Zone 3: The eye area is said to link to you kidneys. Dehydration is usually the cause for blemishes around this area (as well as dark, under eye circles). Make sure you are drinking 8 glasses of filtered water and cut back on caffeine and salt to minimise outbreaks here.

Zone 4: The right cheek is linked with your lungs. Many Chinese Medicine practitioners recommend doing aerobic and breathing exercises first thing in the morning and give up smoking to strengthen your lungs. It's also said that outbreaks and blemishes on your right cheek are connected with high sugar intake. Cut back on the sugary foods if you think this might be the underlying cause of your outbreaks.

Zone 5: Your nose is connected with your heart. If you regularly suffer from outbreaks on your nose it may be worth checking your blood pressure, de-stressing and making sure you're getting enough vitamin B and omegas-3 & 6. It's also worth noting that spots on your nose could be due to clogged pores - so make sure you clean your make up brushes regularly! Other explanations for spots on the nose can include high stress levels and too much salty and spicy foods.

Zone 6: Your left cheek is said to be linked with your liver. It's recommended that you try consuming more alkaline foods, these include broccoli, beetroot, cucumber and ginger and reducing your intake of dairy and sugary foods. It's also important to remember that mobile phones and pillowcases can hold a lot of grim - particularly if you have oily skin - so make sure you clean your phone with rubbing alcohol and wash your pillowcases regularly!

Zone 7: This area is connected to your large intestines. Make sure you're getting plenty of fibre and not eating too late at night. It's also a good idea to take some good quality probiotics to balance your gut to assist digestion and keep your bowels functioning at their best. You may also find that a simple tummy massage may aid digestion. To do this, place one hand on top of the other and slowly massage your abdomen in a clockwise motion.

Zone 8: If you suffer from breakouts around your mouth, this can also be diet related. This area is associated with digestive organs such as the liver and intestines. Reduce spicy and greasy foods and make sure you're nice and regular by taking lots of natural fibre! Again you can try a daily abdomen massage to keep your bowels running smoothly!

Zone 9: This area is linked to hormones and stress. Although hormonal outbreaks can be the toughest to conquer, make sure you're getting plenty of good quality sleep. lots of water, leafy green veggies (darker the better) and a great skincare regime to ensure you are giving you skin the best possible chance of being blemish free. If you constantly suffer from hormonal breakouts, you may find taking a DIM supplement with Agnus Castus and Evening Primrose oil daily will help balance hormones - though don't be put off when you don't see instant results. Agnus Castus can take up to three months before results are seen. You can read more of my hormone balancing tips here.

Zone 10: Let's not forget our necks! This area relates to the immune system. If you find you are suffering from spots down the sides of your neck this could be a sign that your body is trying to fight off illness or you're super stressed out! I know it's much easier said than done, but the best thing you can do is look after yourself and just relax! Try yoga, meditation or a warm bath to help you relax and perhaps make up a flask of my lemon, ginger and turmeric tonic to help keep those bugs at bay!

I recently discovered the blog of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner Karen Kurtak L.Ac Dipl. Ac. She's written some really interesting segments on face mapping and I wanted to share something she's written which I found really valuable:

"The complexity of the digestive system is truly mind-boggling. It contains its own nervous system, its own immune system, its own microbiome and an array of glands and organs. It is the primary site for production and storage of neurotransmitters and is our first line of defence against a constant influx of bacteria, viruses and things that simply don't belong in a human being. Cumulatively it is referred to as the gut. It allows the Earth to become our body. If the gut isn't happy and thriving then the body isn't happy and thriving.

Most skin disorders, including acne, appear when there is a fairly significant breach of the gut's immune system. This can happen for two reasons. First, the amount of inflammation generated by the immune system of the gut can begin to spill over into other systems that cannot eliminate it. As a result, inflammatory chemicals overload the lymph system and deposit in the skin. This is common in cases where hormonal fluctuations make acne worse. When hormone levels rise they compete with our body's detoxification pathways especially the liver. Interestingly, "bad" bacteria in the gut can reverse the detoxification processes of the liver leading to an overload of the entire system.

While acne sufferers often experience a worsening of symptoms with hormone fluctuations, this is rarely the root of the problem. However, it can provide wonderful clues of underlying causes. One common scenario is a backup of the detoxification pathways of the liver. The liver is responsible for clearing all organic-based substances from the blood. This includes gasoline fumes, medications, solvents, alcohol and even our own hormones. If acne symptoms are worse when hormone levels change or rise, it is likely that the problem is coming from an overwhelmed liver."

Amy Saunders is an expert in natural beauty and founded her holistic skincare blog 'Get That Glow' after suffering from acne for over 13 years. Amy delves deeper into the root causes of acne, proving you don't need harsh chemicals to achieve a flawless complexion.

Find Amy on Twitter, Instagram and on her blog Get That Glow