What Your Breakout Really Means
The real reasons behind your pimples and how to prevent them.
We’ve all been there: you arrive to that first date only to realize that somewhere between your front door and the strategically chosen hip-but-not-too bar a pimple the size of Goliath has decided to chaperone your face. You then spend the entirety of the evening trying to simultaneously charm your potential future partner, while artfully blocking the asteroidal blemish with your menu/fork/hand/wine glass. Sound familiar?
While you can curse the summer humidity and that one night of neglected face cleansing all you want, there’s more to your breakouts than the exterior pollutants. That’s where face mapping comes in: an ancient practice rooted in Eastern medicine, face mapping links those facial flare-ups to the health of specific bodily systems. “In Chinese cultures, face mapping correlates different parts of the face with their corresponding internal organ,” says Ling Chan, aesthetician, holistic wellness specialist and founder of Ling Skincare. “By looking at someone’s face you can tell about the health of that person’s body.” In other words, your eyes may be the windows to your soul, but your breakouts are the window to your Saturday-at-3 AM Big Mac runs. It’s okay, we shed a tear there, too.
For more of the physiological 411 and Chan’s sage advice, read on.
— Forehead —
As anyone who has ever had bangs for a hot second knows, the forehead can be a troublesome and sensitive area. “Usually forehead breakouts are due to external problems such as hair products like gels and sprays,” says Chan. On top of that however, the forehead is also linked to your gall bladder, liver and overall digestive system. So the above-mentioned Big Mac? This is where that’ll hit the hardest. To aid this, try reducing the amount of fat in your diet and staying clear of alcohol-laden hair products and processed foods.
— Between the brows —
“[The area] between the brows correlates to the liver and kidneys. The kidneys can also be found [to effect] underneath the eye area, so a bluish color underneath the eyes can signal a problem relating to your kidneys,” explains Chan. The cure? More sleep, less sangria.
— Nose —
Your nose is closely connected to your circulatory system, lungs and heart, so people with high blood pressure often suffer from more breakouts in this area. Try substituting meat, salty and spicy foods for items rich with Omega 3 and 6, like avocado, fish and nuts.
— Cheeks —
“Cheeks correlate to the lungs, which can make your cheeks appear red in color. Usually smokers have breakouts or fine lines on their cheeks because smoking reduces collagen production,” says Chan. On top of avoiding that cigarette, regular workouts and aerobic or breathing exercises can help to strengthen your lungs and reduce cheek blemishes.
— Around the mouth —
According to Chan, the mouth area has to do with the intestines, stomach and digestive system. So similar to avoiding forehead and cheek breakouts, swap out the Sriracha and fried foods for fibrous fruits and veggies.
— Chin & Jaw —
“[Breakouts in] the chin and jaw area have to do with hormones in the body,” explains Chan. And just in case your time of the month wasn’t already fun enough? “Some Chinese doctors believe that breakouts in this area for women relate to when they are ovulating,” adds Chan. Thank you, Mother Nature.