It Does What? Your Guide to Acne Face Map
Acne. Just this word alone can bring flooding thoughts of frustration. We all need a little more self-love... If you’re like me, you might’ve first started getting acne in middle school and figured; “hey, in a few years when I’m an adult this won’t be a problem anymore!” Being in my mid-twenties now I can finally say that...I’m still dealing with it. In making and studying my personal acne face map, I have seen real progress!
So, What exactly Is An Acne Face Map?
Face mapping has been around for thousands of years and is rooted in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. An acne face map is pretty much what it sounds like, it’s a map of your face showing where acne occurs and identifies what might be causing it. But, everyone’s map is unique to them. Pimples that reoccur in certain spots have been linked to various causes:
How to Make Yours!
The first step in creating your acne face map is by paying close attention to your face. Note where pimples or irritation occur, how often, and if lifestyle changes alter their frequency and severity. It is important to see if there are patterns linking your breakouts.
Once you have your map personalized to you, you can work on correcting behaviors that are proven to cause acne. Historically, specifically in Eastern medicine individual parts of the face have been linked to irregularities in the body, but the research on its accuracy is limited. Current science suggests that external factors, as well as internal ones, are to blame.
Acne Face Map: Problem Spots
Issues here can be linked to improper removal of products like makeup, shampoo, conditioner, lotion etc. these can clog your pores and cause acne.
*This area has been linked to issues in the small intestine and bladder. These could manifest as constipation, urinary tract infections and irritable bowel syndrome.
What do phones and pillow cases have in common? They both regularly touch your cheeks ;) But really, these two surfaces are in contact with your face and rubbing your cheeks on a daily basis. Both these surfaces collect bacteria and oil that can clog your pores. Make sure to clean your phone and wash your pillowcases (and sheets and blankets) regularly.
*Acne on the cheeks has been tied to dysfunction of the liver, lungs and stomach. Smoking, pollution may damage this part of your skin as well as indicate asthma.
Chin + Jawline
Remember your hands! you might often rest on them while reading articles or watching videos. Oils and dirt from hands can also cause breakouts.
*Pimples showing up around here have been linked with imbalance in the hormonal and reproductive systems. Feelings of stress and menstrual cycles may induce pimples here.
Forehead + Nose
One day your nose is shiny and the next you’re looking like Rudolph. Why is this happening? Think about products or items that regularly come in contact with these areas. Don’t forget your glasses, these are objects we might rarely think need cleaning but again dirt and oil from ANY surface can carry bacteria leading to acne on your face.
*Breakouts in the T-zone have been said to show imbalance in the kidneys, liver, bladder and stomach. This could result from too much alcohol, fatty foods and dehydration.
There are many actions you can take to try and correct internal imbalances, here are just a few:
- Get more and regular sleep (balances hormones) - Try getting 8 hours from 10pm - 6am
- Stay hydrated (improves overall organ function) - Drinking 3.7 liters of water for men and 2.7 liters of water for women daily is recommended
- Drink less alcohol (enforces good decision making)
- Eat less sugar and unhealthy fats and eat more raw foods and probiotics (improve stomach, liver and intestine function) - Cut the soda and try a kombucha
- Exercise and meditate (reduce stress and balance hormones) - Just 30 minutes of yoga or other light exercise can make a big difference
In addition to making healthy lifestyle choices, consciously think of all the surfaces that come into contact with your face. Clogged pores are something to be very mindful of, so here are some common items that you might have forgotten to clean:
- Hats, visors and headbands
- Hair & hair products
It is important to think about the causes of acne: dead skin cells in hair follicles, excess sebum, facial bateria and plugged follicles. Dermatologist Keira Bar M.D., explains that diet has a huge impact on these factors. Refined carbs and sugar, trans fats, dairy and excessive alcohol all increase acne. This study also supports the link between diet and acne. Making simple changes could make all the difference, but don’t forget about your acne face map, after making changes record your results and figure out what works for your face. Adding willow bark extract to your diet might help!
Acne is a skin condition that affects millions of people across the globe. Fixing it does not have one clear solution but an acne face map might be able to help. Yes, internal factors like hormones, stress and diet contribute to overall acne, but in being aware of our problem areas and behavioral tendencies is something you can improve on starting right now! Cleaning your stuff and washing and exfoliating your face (properly) might just work wonders.
Written by Kiana St. Onge