Have you ever wondered why you are prone to those dreaded acne spots in certain areas? Or why you break out all over your chin once finals come around? Well, recently I learned about a skin secret that put my questions to rest. “Chinese Medicine’s skin mapping” is a little gem that moved me to research relentlessly about new skin and body care I had never explored. Skin mapping is a process in which your face is sectioned into several different areas that correlate to a different internal part of the body. Basically, our faces work with our internal organs like one happy family to deal with our health issues. These areas are as follows (see diagram above):
1 & 3 Forehead
2 In between the eyebrow
6 & 8 Sides of the eyes
4 & 10 Ears
5 & 9 Cheeks
11 & 13 Lower cheeks, Jawline
Besides the common causes for acne and skin issues (like irritants, stress and hormones) there are internal relationships between your body and face that cause breakouts due to a lack of care in certain areas. Below, I’ve listed each zone and the body part it is connected with, along with solutions for these issues.
First I want to bring up a few important factors in great skin care to start us off, I will introduce my great friend, Water. Water is the most important factor in good health and beautiful skin. This goes for all the zones and their partners. Hydration is important for the functionality of the entire body. Dehydration can cause dry skin, oily skin and discoloration (including those dreaded dark circles). Not only that, it’s the cause for bad moods, tiredness, bloating, insomnia and tons of more unpleasant side effects; all of which effect the skin. Also pay attention to the products you are using, this includes make up. If your foundation or concealer is very rich and thick, it could be clogging your pores and causing breakouts or abnormalities. Make sure you have a good skincare regimen that is appropriate for your skin type. Actively washing your face and moisturizing according to your skin-type are so extremely important. You are never to young to be proactive with skin care. My grandmother looks 15 years younger than she is because she has used the same daily skin-care routine and has followed it religiously since she was in her early 20s. That does not mean that every woman needs to follow the same thing every day for the rest of their lives, especially in today’s changing world, but I just stress the importance of having a routine that works for you and is best for your skin, and stick to it. Seeing a dermatologist can be very handy for this because they can medically examine you and inform you of your exact skin type. I’m sure they will even give you lots of important information and things you never knew.
The Face Zones:
The forehead (zones 1 and 3): This part of the face is connected with the digestive system, the bladder and the heart. If you are seeing an abnormal amount of breakout in this region, it can be due to poor digestion health, like in the small intestine. This can be caused by poor diet, constipation or the heavy consumption of alcohol. Ways to fix this are bettering your diet and, once again, WATER. Less processed foods, reduce fat intake, probiotics are extremely good for digestion, more veggies and, once again, WATER.
The eyebrow (zone 2): This area is connected to the liver and heart. Stress also shows up here, the second most common area on the face after the chin. Ways to fix this are cutting down on or all together (depending on severity) alcohol, greasy food, spicy food, and dairy (things that are acidic). Light exercise and adequate sleep are also very important to the liver.
The sides and under of your eyes (zones 6 and 8): WATER WATER WATER. If you are breaking out in this zone, it’s most likely caused by poor kidney health; which can be due to dehydration. Maybe the shift in weather isn’t only to blame for those dry patches that you get near your eyelids. Dark circles are also caused by lack of SLEEP AND WATER. Hydrate, sleep, repeat.
The nose (zone 7): The nose correlates with the heart. Since this is close to the eyebrow area and the forehead, can you start to see the connections? Poor heart health doesn’t have to be serious, it can simply mean you need to slow down on the green chile and margaritas. Your blood pressure could also be too high or you could be suffering from Vitamin B deficiency, check for all of these. Cut down on meats, get more fresh air, check your cholesterol. Get more good fats and less bad ones, increasing your Omegas 3 and 6. Eating foods like nuts, avocados, fish and flax seed will assist this. Broken capillaries or redness across the bridge of your nose can be caused by alcohol abuse or excessive worry or stress; but if you are noticing an extreme abnormal discoloration in your nose, you should see a doctor. If you are doing major de-stressing by hitting happy hour, dinner hour, then late-night happy hour, you seriously need to find another method. Meditation, exercise, diet and HYDRATION can all serve as alternatives. This is also an area to think about checking your makeup. Your nose is a big spot to get clogged with heavy foundation, so look out for this.
The ears (zones 4 and 10): Your ears as well as the sides of your eyes are connected to the kidneys. What does this mean? Maybe you’ve caught on by now, but WATER. Hydration is not only drinking water, but cutting out or back on coffee, sodas and alcohol; anything high in sodium, sugar or salt, and that includes natural sugars.
The cheeks (zones 5 and 9): Have you ever noticed that when you become winded, short of breath or break out in a coughing spell that your cheeks become red or sometimes slightly purple? Well your cheeks are closely connected to your respiratory system. If you smoke or have bad allergies, this can be the cause for cheek breakouts. Either you need to take better allergy meds or you need to quit that bad smoking habit. Avoiding acidic foods and adding more veggies can also help this. If these issues are non-existant for you, think about your cell phone or your pillowcase. Your cell phone is rampant with germs, dirt and makeup. Don’t act like you didn’t know. We use them ALL DAY. And, unless you are wiping it down with a lysol wipe every 3 minutes, your cell phone is just as dirty as everyone else’s. Your pillowcase can also be the culprit. Make sure you are washing your face diligently before bed and then sleeping on a clean pillowcase. Your skin gets attacked by toxins, pollutants and filth all day, so if you don’t wash it before you sleep for 8 hours (or 3 to 5 in some cases, cough, cough) your letting that dirt incubate and clog your pores. If you wash your face but then sleep on a dirty pillowcase, you are defeating the purpose of washing your face. Some say that a satin pillowcase is the best, for skin and hair.
The lower cheek and jawline (zones 11 and 13): This area can be connected to the same things as the cheek, but also is the largest hot spot for your hormones. So if this occurs once a month and eerily on the same day as Aunt Flow comes to town, there’s not much you can do about that (sorry ladies). But if it happens all the time, look into de-stressing methods and, once again, cell phones and things that touch your face. Another large factor can be your hand, stop leaning your head on it. As much as you may think you wash your hands, they are still too oily and dirty for your face. This will also help your posture as well, and clearly we’re all about multi-tasking at this point.
The chin (zone 12): Your chin is closely related to your stomach and your hormones. That may sound unrelated, but it’s not at all. When you’re stressed out or upset, your stomach turns right? Butterflies, loss of appetite, nausea? We are all more connected than we’d think. Lowering stress, sleep, leafy greens, fiber and probiotics (such as yogurt) can help this. If your breakouts aren’t being caused by too much estrogen, it probably means you need to eat clean, sleep better, or hydrate (maybe all of the above, as I know I need to).
The neck (zone 14): The neck is most commonly connected to illness. No, not serious illness, just colds or viruses. Blemishes on the neck can mean that your body is fighting a bacteria and pushing it out in the form of acne.
Narrowing this down, we all need to drink less, hydrate more, be more active, sleep better and improve our diets. No one will ever be perfect at all the above, but making a conscious effort to stay healthier will also prove helpful to the skin. I hope this answers some of your skin questions. I know this new information not only served as a new research project for me, but drastically helped my skin and the rest of my body. Lets be serious. Who doesn’t like killing two birds with one stone? And, who doesn’t want to look 40 when they’re 55?
Until next time,