Pinpoint the Root Causes of Your Breakouts & Get Radiant Skin the Natural Way
Read Time: 5 - 6 Minutes
We all know that last night’s cocktails and curly fries won’t be doing our skin (or our liver, or our gut…) any favors. But did you know that there’s a whole school of thought centered on analyzing acne as a way to recognize and treat deeper underlying health issues?
Face mapping—based on ancient Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, a natural healing system dating back 2,000-5,000 years with roots in Vedic Indian culture—allows us to look past the surface (literally) and focus on the deeper origins of those pesky zits.
For instance, that spot between your eyebrows that flares up every few weeks? It might be due to more than just one too many happy-hour appetizers—it could also be a sign of too many toxins in your system. Keep in mind, occasional blemishes aren’t necessarily indicative of more serious health problems, but if you’re having chronic flare-ups in one or two specific areas, it’s worth delving further.
Image via beautybets.com
In this post, we show you how to identify the root causes of breakouts using the acne face map and explore easy, natural ways to achieve clearer skin and a healthier, more mindful lifestyle.
Forehead — Digestive System
First, make sure to keep extra oil and sweat that accumulate along your hairline or beneath your bangs under control, and then take a look at your diet. A congested forehead can be a sign of an unstable digestive system.
Aside from increasing your fluid intake, add probiotics to your diet, which will help balance your digestive tract bacteria. When there aren’t enough “good” bacteria to outweigh the bad, our digestive systems weaken. Probiotics help remedy this and are easy to find in many foods. Yogurt, tempeh, miso and Kombucha are all loaded with beneficial bacteria. Sticking to a plant-based diet will also help calm a disrupted system and in turn clear up your forehead.
Adding some herbal tea to your routine is a good way to aid digestion. Fennel, for instance, is a carminative herb, which means it prevents and remedies indigestion. It not only aids in the movement of bile, but it also relaxes our digestive tract muscles, helping food and gas pass through our systems and reducing acid levels in our stomachs and intestines. Plus, its Essential Oil contains estrogen, which prevents muscle spasms. Wild, right? (Office workers, take note: it can even help a case of the hiccups).
Stress and lack of sleep—both of which affect our digestive systems—can also contribute to forehead breakouts. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night, and be sure to stick to a fairly regular routine. Sleeping in on weekends for more than an hour or so past your usual wakeup time will throw off your body’s internal clock, making it harder to get to sleep and wake up during the week. To offset stressors, try committing to yoga a few times a week or take a walk in the park after work. Just being around nature has been shown to decrease stress levels.
Between the Brows — Liver
Blemishes here can be a sign of too many toxins—whether from food or your environment. Try cutting back on processed foods and alcohol, get fresh air and regular exercise, and step up your fruit and veggie game. Use this as an opportunity to explore new recipes and experiment with new flavors. Eating vegetarian is a great way to get out of the usual protein-and-a-side dinner rut and get to know some new ingredients. Between-the-brows blemishes can also be a sign of food sensitivities or allergies. Try keeping a food journal and taking note of what triggers bad reactions.
Be sure to drink water throughout the day, and try starting each day with a cup of warm, lemon-infused water. The lemon juice acts as a diuretic, helping flush toxins out of the body, while the citric acid from the juice maximizes enzyme functions that aid in liver detox.
Here’s another tip we know you’ll love: get yourself to the sauna. The heat will help you sweat out toxins that are hanging around in your fat and muscle cells.
Around the Eyes & Ears — Kidneys
Breakouts near the eyes or on the ears can be a sign of issues with the kidneys, which balance our bodies’ fluids. Whether it’s blemishes or those dreaded dark circles, dehydration is often to blame for under-eye concerns. Make sure you’re getting enough water, and incorporate hydrating foods like celery and cucumbers into your diet. Juicy watermelon, which is 90% water, also helps flush out toxins, as does cabbage.
We all crave some salt once in a while, but if you’re indulging in too much sodium—which usually means too many processed foods—this could also be contributing to dehydration that leads to breakouts around the eyes and ears. Stick with the fresh stuff. Sugar can also be a culprit here. It’s not just the obvious candy and soda we have to watch out for—seemingly innocuous foods like salad dressing and tomato sauce can also contain high amounts of sugar.
Nose — Heart
Flare-ups and redness around the nose can be a sign of poor circulation, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. Here’s another opportunity to try out some new veggie recipes and give the meat-based meals a break. Focus on the “good fat” found in foods rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6, such as nuts, fish, eggs, avocados and chia seeds and try to cut down on salty snacks and alcohol.
To keep your blood pressure stable, foods rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium will do you good. Think whole grains, bananas, white beans, sweet potatoes and kale.
Upper Cheeks — Lungs
Environmental factors like pollution and first-or second-hand smoke can cause puffiness, redness and acne on our cheeks. If you suffer from asthma, this may also be the source of your cheek-related troubles.
Try adding more antioxidant-rich foods to your diet, such as red bell peppers, kiwi, leafy greens like kale and spinach, and strawberries, all of which can help remedy inflammation in the respiratory system. Apply Vitamins C and E directly onto the skin to help create a barrier against pollutants.
Aerobic exercise and mindful breathing techniques can also help improve your lung function. Count that as one more reason to make it to the gym tomorrow morning.
Lower Cheeks — Dental Hygiene
Lower cheek acne is tied to dental health issues, especially involving the gums. If it’s been a while since your last dentist appointment, now’s the time to go. When you brush those pearly whites, make sure you’re doing so for at least two minutes. Set the timer on your phone if you have to; anything less won’t provide a deep clean. If you’re hooked on lemon water, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing, as the citric acid in the fruit can erode your enamel. Brushing immediately afterward will worsen the effects.
If you’re battling gum issues and gingivitis, floss is your best friend to help prevent further damage. An electric toothbrush with rotating-oscillating bristles may also be a good investment. These have been shown to better remove plaque than manual brushes and electric brushes that spin in only one direction. And of course, limit your intake of sugary snacks, candy, and soda.
Chin & Jawline — Hormones
Blemishes along the jawline are often caused by hormonal imbalances or stress and can also flare up around your period. Take advantage of stress-reducing activities like yoga, journaling, and meditation, and try your hardest to get a solid 7-9 hours of sleep.
If you’re suffering from the pre-menstrual munchies, you’re not alone. Our gut and our hormones are actually intertwined in interesting ways—when we indulge in greasy, “bad”-fat-laden food, our bodies don’t digest it well, so they produce more cortisol (hormone alert!) and therefore throw other hormones out of whack.
To help combat acne in this area, nutritionist Lula Brown recommends moving away from frozen, cold foods like smoothies and enjoying warm, cooked meals instead. “The digestive system is like a fire,” she says, “and we need to keep it burning with warm foods to keep digestion moving along. Eating cold foods is like throwing ice on it—it stops working. It takes so much energy to bring cold food up to digestible temperature that our systems slow down, get stuck and stagnant, and that comes out in breakouts along the jawline and chin.”
In addition to cleansing thoroughly daily, changing pillowcases regularly, and wiping down the phone after talking, it’s important to truly listen to our skin in order to get in better touch with our overall wellness. Using the acne face map, we can look past the immediate to identify the root causes of our breakouts and better focus on long-term, natural solutions—leading not only to glowing skin, but also to a more balanced life.
Try incorporating our Aknari Brightening Youth Serum into your skin care routine. Containing Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Argan Oil, and Bulgarian Rose Essential Oil, it’s great for acne-prone skin. Rose Oil, which is high in antibacterial properties, is a true powerhouse ingredient—not only does it help kill bacteria on the skin that contribute to blemishes, but it also helps balance hormones.