|I managed to find a zit picture that won’t churn your stomach.
Google: a blessing and a curse.
So now, on the rare occasion when I do end up with a blemish, I pay close attention to it because I believe it’s a signal that something’s gone awry internally.
You may have heard that acne along the jawline (particularly in women of a certain age who thought they were well past that nonsense) is caused by hormonal fluctuations. But what are the causes of acne in other parts of your lovely visage?
Traditional Chinese Medicine tells us that disruptions in organ systems throughout the body leave evidence in a very distinguishable patternon your face. Ergo: if you “map” the location of the blemish, you can bring the corresponding organ system back to more optimal functioning and return to a clear complexion.
Each zone corresponds to an organ system in your body.
I recently had occasion to think about face mapping. In mid-June, I had a spot on my cheek, of all places. About a week after it began to heal, I came across an article about face mapping and saw that a spot on the cheekbone corresponded to the respiratory system. Not coincidentally, Denver had been downwind of three massive, out-of-control wildfires and had dingy, yellow skies full of smoke and particulate matter.
For days, people with delicate respiratory systems were urged to remain indoors — but I went into my office in downtown Denver every day and didn’t think much about it. I figured that my brief daily exposure to the crummy air wasn’t a problem. My skin begged to differ. The added burden on my lungs showed up on my cheek as fiery blemish.A couple of weeks after that, my husband and I visited San Francisco for a long weekend. I knew at the time I wasn’t drinking nearly enough water — nowhere near my usual capacity of 3/4-gallon daily — but I thought I’d be just fine and could make up for the deficit when I returned home. Nope. When I got home, my forehead had tiny congested bumps all along the hairline.
|I really could’ve used these water bottles ….|
Initially, I blamed the problem on differences in water softness between San Francisco and Denver … but then remembered face mapping and realized that dehydration and other kidney issues present themselves on the forehead. A day or two of serious rehydration and simple, easy-to-digest meals cleared up the congestion with no other treatment necessary. When we return to San Francisco for our wedding anniversary in three weeks, believe me, I’ll be mainlining water the whole time. I’ve learned my lesson.
Below is information about face mapping from the skincare line Dermalogica (a brand I’ve never used and have no association with). Apparently, its dermatologists use the technique to diagnose and heal the complexion. See what you think.
Forehead (Zones 1 and 3)Common Concerns•Dehydration (seen as fine surface lines)•Breakouts along the hairline•Breakouts across the foreheadChinese Medicine•Possible digestion problems (elimination/constipation)•Poor water intakeTips•Drink lots of water throughout the day (this will help with dehydration lines).•Avoid make-up or hair care products with comedogenic ingredients (i.e., mineral oil, fragrance, isopropyl mysirtate, SD alcohol, etc.).•Be sure to properly remove all makeup and cleanser (paying attention to the hairline).Between Eyebrows (AKA glabella) (Zone 2)Common Concerns•Congestion•Vertical lines•Redness/flakinessChinese Medicine•This area is typically linked to the liver•Can be linked to lactose intolerance•Can be linked to late night eating/intake of very rich foodsTips•When tweezing hairs in this area, be sure to use sanitized tweezers (and try to avoid too much touching with the fingertips, as this can increase oil production).•Since this area is prone to oiliness, apply a clay mask to entire t-zone to help reduce oil production.Eyes (Zones 6 and 8)Common Concerns•Fine lines and wrinkles•Puffiness•Milia (small, white “bumps”)•Dark CirclesChinese Medicine•Typically linked to allergies and kidneys•Can indicate poor elimination•Can indicate improper water consumption•Can indicate deficiencies in the dietTips•Drink plenty of water.•Try lying down with a cold or lavender scented eye mask to help calm irritation.•Never go without eye cream.•Completely remove make-up here (especially if you wear anything with a “sparkle” in this area).Ears (Zones 4 and 10)Common Concerns•Congestion•Sensitivity•HeatChinese Medicine•Typically linked to kidneys (possibly kidney stress)•Too much caffeine and/or salt•Not enough water intakeTips•Make certain to keep your phone or headset clean.•Be sure to properly rinse out shampoo/conditioner around this area.Cheeks (Zones 5 and 9)Common Concerns•Sensitized Skin (may be red, warm)•Milia (small, white “bumps”)•Breakouts•Broken CapillariesChinese Medicine•Upper cheek typically relates to lungs (i.e., may show problems from smoking or pollution…may also have issues here is you suffer from asthma)•Lower cheek typically relates to teeth and gums (breakouts along gumline might point to sinus or gum inflammationTips•Ensure that your makeup does not contain comedogenic ingredients.•Make certain to keep your phone or headset clean.
Nose (Zone 7)Common Concerns•Dilated Capillaries•Congestion and/or comedonesChinese Medicine•Relates to the heart•Problems above the lips are typically related to hormonal imbalances•A commonly red nose may be related to high blood pressureTips•Be careful if extracting blackheads at home. Poor extraction techniques can damage tissues and cause broken capillaries or damaged tissue.•Ensure that your makeup does not contain comedogenic ingredients.Upper Lip (Zone 7)Common Concerns•Pigmentation changes•Hair growthChinese Medicine•Typically related to reproduction•Hair and/or pigmentation problems may indicate a hormonal imbalanceTips•If using an oral contraceptive, be certain to wear a sunscreen (especially on the upper lip) every day. This can really help prevent future damage.Center of Chin (Zone 12)Common Concerns•Congestion (especially under the surface)•BreakoutsChinese Medicine•Typically linked to small intestine•May indicate a poor diet•If you continue to see breakouts here, you might have a history of digestive problemsTips•Try to avoid resting your hand on the chin.•Really focus on this area during cleansing, and completely remove traces of cleanser.Left and Right Side of Chin (Zones 11 and 13)Common Concerns•Breakouts and congestion under the surfaceChinese Medicine•Typically linked to hormones•Problems here are especially seen prior to menstruation.Tips•Avoid resting your hand here.•Ensure that your phone stays clean.•Ensure that your makeup does not contain comedogenic ingredients, and completely remove all traces of make-up during cleansingNeck and Chest (Zone 14)Common Concerns•Pigmentation changes•Signs of aging•Breakouts•SensitivityChinese Medicine•Typically relates to stressTips•If you are sensitive, avoid spritzing fragrance in this area.•Don’t forget sunscreen.• Be sure to incorporate this area into your cleansing routine…it is often overlooked.
It’s interesting to see how our internal health shows up in small and subtle ways, and to learn how we can better care of ourselves and heal more than just our skin.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on face mapping and whether it corresponds with any challenges you’ve experienced with your complexion.