Acne Mapping: How to Read Acne
Acne can, at times, feel like a guessing game. Is it hormones? Diet? Stress? Or simply using the wrong skincare products?
According to ancient Chinese belief, you may be able to determine the cause of your acne just by looking at your face. The practice is known as acne face-mapping, and it may be able to offer clues as to what may be causing your acne flareups.
Here's everything you need to know about acne-mapping, how you can use it to diagnose the causes of different facial breakouts, and what to do about those pesky pimples popping up on your face and body.
What is Acne Mapping?
Acne mapping is an ancient practice rooted in Chinese medicine that treats your face and body as a road map to pinpoint underlying issues in other parts of your body.
When there's a bodily imbalance, the skin will supposedly show this via pimples. The location of these blemishes on the face and body are said to represent the organ that's affected.
While there's no real scientific basis to acne face mapping, it's based on years of observation. Still, it can be helpful in offering insight and guidance, so we can achieve clearer, smoother skin.
How to Read Your Breakouts
Whether you're getting breakouts on your jawline, forehead, or back, here's how to read your acne.
Forehead and Nose
Also known as the T-zone, this area of the face is prone to excess sebum production thanks to the high number of sebaceous glands that lie beneath the skin's surface. According to traditional Chinese belief, if you're experiencing blemishes on this area of the face, it could be due to sluggishness in the digestive systems, which can be caused by poor diet, stress, and lack of sleep.
Between the Brows
Getting zits between your brows? We feel your pain.
According to the experts, this could mean you're drinking, smoking too much, or eating a high-fat diet.
"Cut down on rich foods, butter, cheese, and late-night snacks," advises Daniel Hsu, DAOM, LAc, a doctor in New York, NY who specializes in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. "Incorporate more exercise into your routine, and get more sleep."
It is believed that cheek acne indicates issues with the lungs. However, there's no scientific evidence to support this. Cheek acne can also be caused by lifestyle factors including not washing your pillowcase regularly enough, holding your cell phone up to your cheek a lot, and touching your face throughout the day with dirty fingers.
Jawline and Chin
According to ayurvedic face-mapping, acne breakouts on the chin and jawline is tied to hormonal imbalances. And there's even a study that proves the connection.
"This does not mean that there are hormonal irregularities in your blood," explains Devika Icecreamwala, M.D., a dermatologist in Berkeley, California. "It means that your oil glands are more sensitive to hormones that your body naturally produces." Hormones thought to incite this type of acne include estrogens, progesterone, and androgens.
Neck and Shoulders
Breakouts in these areas can be related to hormonal changes. If you suspect you're dealing with a hormonal imbalance, make sure you get it checked out.
Clogged pores are another common cause of neck and shoulder blemishes, which can occur when you don't shower after working out or occasionally because of hair products that mitigate down to the neck and shoulder area and clog pores.
Getting red bumps and whiteheads on your boobs?
Breakouts on your chest could indicate an imbalance in your liver, or an imbalance in the gut. Since the stomach meridian is said to be on the chest, chest breakouts can point towards digestive troubles, like a poor diet, bad eating habits, or drinking too many cold beverages on a regular basis.
Hormonal acne is most commonly seen on the back. However, back acne can also be related to your sweaty active lifestyle.
Alongside this, pores on your back are larger and more prone to clogging than those on the face. Avoid pore-clogging skincare products and remember to shower straight after sweaty workouts sessions to keep your pores -- and your skin -- clear.
How to Treat Your Acne
Want to get rid of those blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules popping up on your face and body? Here's how to treat your breakouts in the best possible way.
Reduce Everyday Stress
Stress has been shown to cause hormone imbalances in the body, which leads to acne breakouts. Keep your stress levels low by engaging in activities like yoga and meditation, which are proven to lessen everyday stress and boost your mood.
Eliminate Junk Food
We love pizza and cookies as much as the next person, but we know it's doing our skin zero favors. Load up on fruits, veggies, probiotics, and healthy fats instead. It can also reduce inflammation in the body, thereby preventing breakouts from forming in the first place.
Stay Consistent with an Acne-Fighting Skincare Routine
That's right. What you do on the outside matters, too. Invest in an acne treatment routine like Truly's Hemp Jelly Baby Bundle. It includes a facial cleanser, facial serum, body mask, body cleanser, and toning solution all designed to clear skin on your face and body.
Salicylic acid, exfoliating AHAs, CBD, and retinol are just some of the many powerhouse ingredients in these formulas that help to buff away dead skin cells, remove product buildup, decongest the hair follicles, and balance oil production, all while soothing and hydrating at the same time. Suitable for oily skin and acne-prone skin types.
Load Up on Antioxidants
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and quench inflammation which can, in turn, alleviate acne flareups. Get your daily dose of antioxidants from Truly's Berry Cheeky Clearing Serum.
If you have a skin condition such as eczema or rosacea, speak to your dermatologist before beginning a new routine. Those with hormonal or cystic acne may need to be prescribed topical or oral treatments, such as retinoids or birth control in order to see an improvement in their skin.