It’s what’s on the inside that matters most.
The body is an incredible machine. Since the day you were born it has been running consistently, never taking a day off or calling in sick. Even when we’re asleep it’s running on overdrive.
There are millions of tiny cogs that work together to help make sure you’re a happy, healthy human being, so it’s not surprising that when one aspect of your bod’s playing up, you start to see warning signs in other areas. According to Chinese face mapping, an ancient theory rooted in Ayurvedic teaching, recurrent acne or pimples, as well as red, rashy skin on your face could indicate your internals are not in optimal health.
So if you’re always breaking out in the same place, it may not be an issue with your skin but a heads-up about a condition that’s lurking beneath the surface. Here are the most common offending areas and what they signify…
If cleansing under your bangs to get rid of persistent breakouts isn’t working, it could mean something’s a little off with your gallbladder or liver.
Ayurvedic teaching states a lack of sleep, along with too much stress and alcohol, can lead to issues with your digestive system, and these problems can then surface as forehead acne. As well as having plenty of sleep and exercise to reduce these symptoms, nutritional therapist Jennifer Young highlights the pivotal role a balanced diet plays in improving digestive health.
“Drink plenty of water to flush out any toxins. You should also eat more liver-friendly foods, such as leafy green vegetables, and cut out processed foods as well as caffeine,” says Young.
Your nose is closely related to your heart and circulatory system, so issues with redness and acne in this region could suggest you have high blood pressure, continual indigestion or bad circulation. Exercising, sustaining a healthy cholesterol level and following a nutritious diet will improve heart health and, in turn, skin clarity.
Chinese-medicine expert John Tsagaris suggests cleansing your body of toxins to help obtain a happy heart by cutting out “excess sugar, dairy products, caffeine, carbonated beverages and fried foods” and instead opting for “plenty of cucumbers, watermelon, celery, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, potatoes, cherries, pears” and unprocessed foods like “buckwheat, brown rice, mung beans, lentils and split peas”.
Tsagaris notes the possible culprits for acne on your cheeks are an immense amount of stress, poor kidney function, or sickly lungs from smoking.
“Smoking and allergies can be big factors, however I would always look at the client’s diet and lifestyle as a whole,” he says.
Getting plenty of exercise, avoiding polluted areas and eating your greens will do wonders for your lungs. As for your kidneys, making sure you’re constantly hydrated and keeping stress levels at a low will ensure they stay healthy.
Between the brows
Having an acne problem between your brows is an indication your liver is working too hard to remove excess toxins from your system. Eating healthy foods and reducing your alcohol consumption and the amount of late-night snacks you eat may be all you need to do to achieve a satisfied liver and clear skin.
Mouth and chin
Brown spots surrounding your lip can indicate you’re suffering from indigestion, irregular bowel movements, constipation and stomach difficulties. Maintaining a balanced diet, with lots of fiber and low volumes of caffeine, alcohol and fried food, will instantly improve gut health.
Tsagaris also advises remaining conscious of the ins and outs of your body to ensure your digestive system functions as intended.
“You must allow the body to function properly, without treating it as a machine, and always remember that adequate sleep, relaxation and hydration, and eating a balanced healthy diet, can help keep skin looking healthy.”
Jaw and neck
Munching down on hormone-containing meats or having a hormonal imbalance are the most likely causes for breakouts on the chin, hence we often get a few more spots during that time of the month. According to Young, acne on the jaw and neck could also be the result of eating too many processed foods.
Adequate sleep and exercise will help clear up the skin on the lower half of your face, as will “eating more fresh foods and replacing fizzy drinks with water to flush out toxins”, says Young.
Comment: What’s your top tip for maintaining a clear complexion?
Isabelle is a writer who has a hundred-and-one side-splittingly funny stories about growing up at an all-girls boarding school, with a chocolate habit that requires constant monitoring. Follow Isabelle on Twitter.