Have you ever wondered why our face breaks out in certain zones? No matter what our nighttime beauty routine is or what food we eat, that blemish — our natural sworn enemy, of course — always manages to return in the same spot. It’s extremely irritating, especially when it’s right before a big meeting or that sought-after first date with the cutie of your dreams. But did you know it’s actually a way for our skin to communicate with us?
It might sound odd and almost magical, but through a technique called "face mapping," observing certain parts of our face can help determine what underlying health issues are affecting us.
Master holistic esthetician, Kelli Komar of The Everly Spa says face mapping is an effective way to analyze skin and get to the root of skin concerns. While it is not a simple procedure since symptoms do not accumulate overnight, she helps clients to understand their body and skin better for lasting results.
"What it boils down to is every skin condition’s underlying cause is inflammation," Komar says, adding major manifestations of inflammation occur as acne, hormonal breakouts, eczema and premature aging.
Moreover, she suggests there is usually a pattern when these concerns worsen or inflame a location where issues begin. Prior to treatment, it's essential to analyze the primary causes that led to such conditions.
"This also involves understanding lifestyle habits," she says. "When we treat the underlying causes, we can get results that last a lifetime — we understand that we have the power to be in charge of our health and change our appearances."
While Komar shares that most clients who exhibit inflammation in their skin are struggling with some sort of digestive upset or malabsorption issue, it's all about our diets.
"When our diets cause our lymph system to be sluggish, our toxins can drain out of the skin resulting in a skin concern," she says.
With roots in the ancient Indian system of Ayurveda, this natural healing tradition regards each zone of the face as a visible reflection of our body’s internal organ system. From early practices to modern studies, "face mapping" utilizes observational analyses to reduce the signs of specific imbalances.
According to the International Dermal Institute, our cheeks are linked to our liver and lungs. If we see breakouts in this region, it's due to an imbalance of the two and often stems from pollution and allergies. Moreover, if you find breakouts or broken capillaries across the upper cheeks or near the bridge of your nose, see your doctor. While this might be because of sinus congestion, it could also be a sign that your liver is experiencing inflammation and a blockage of toxins. Consider investing in an air purifier and wiping down germs that touch your face on a regular basis, like your cellphone.
T-zone and forehead
Ayruveda studies suggest the forehead and T-zone is ruled by the "Vata dosha," which relates to our nervous and digestive system. As the principle force of motion in our body, experiencing breakouts in this precise region is an indicator of stress and an ongoing issue of breaking down foods. To reduce blemishes from popping up, try integrating more raw fruits or veggies in your diet and eliminate possible intolerances, like dairy or wheat.
A study from the American Optometrists Association suggests that a diet with poor absorption can increase the risk for poor eye health. As if that wasn’t scary enough, the Arthritis Foundation reports the same inflammation that affects our joints can also affect our eyes as small irises point to big problems. If you notice an increased whiteness in your iris, be sure to see your doctor and optometrist because it might indicate your joints are slowly degenerating.
Through the study of Ayurveda, our nose and cheeks are overseen by the "Pitta dosha," which is responsible for our metabolism and energy production. As evidenced by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the nose is closely related to our circulatory system and heart. If you discover breakouts in this region, this kind of internal flare-up is indicative of an ongoing issue with your blood pressure and heart. To reduce stress and ease pressure, try yoga and eat clean with a heart healthy diet of essential fats.
Lower lip and chin
Blemishes in this region point to probable chances of hormonal imbalances, which give free rein to stress and all it entails — especially around that time of month. Since this is more of a chill zone ruled by "Kapha dosha" in Ayurveda, it’s essential to reduce stress by giving skin extra love with face masks and getting an ample amount of sleep. Just by looking at your lips, a dermatologist or esthetician can tell if you’re anemic (pale) or experiencing poor oxygen absorption (tinge of blue). Additionally, the Journal of Clinical Medicine suggests breakouts around the lower lip and chin might point to poor digestion and enzyme function, or a possible issue with kidneys. While it’s wise to see a doctor, in the meantime, consider adding probiotics to your diet to relieve inflammation and foods that help regulate natural hormonal cycles.