face mapping: linking breakouts to your body

have you heard of face mapping?
Face mapping is an ancient practice rooted in both traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic teaching. It's based around the idea of "mapping" out areas of the face and linking skin issues to larger internal ones.

It's important to note that scientific evidence only supports the link between hormonal imbalances and breakouts along the chin and jawline. What we're sharing in this article is what traditional face mapping theory has to say about common breakout areas and what they might mean, but it's up to you to determine if this practice is something you wish to believe or not!

but first, what is Mien Shiang?

In Chinese, Mien Shiang literally translates into “face reading.” This Taoist practice has been used for over 3,000 years to assess personality type and traits, behavior, and health. Ancient Taoist philosophers use five elements — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water — to explain relationships between human beings and the world. If practiced correctly, believers say that the art of Mien Shiang can reveal a lot about a person’s character, fortune, and even destiny.

what is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda, which originated in the Indian subcontinent, is a holistic whole-body system of medicine that dates back more than 5,000 years! It is founded on the idea that a balance between mind, body, and spirit is the key to health. Similar to Mien Shiang, practitioners believe that there are five basic elements in the universe that make up every person — air, fire, water, earth, and ether.

These elements combine in the human body to form three doshas, or energies, which must be balanced to ensure health. Some believe that the three doshas are balanced when they are all equal to each other, while others believe that every individual has a unique balance of doshas, which defines their personality and temperament. Ayurvedic treatments include an assessment by an Ayurevedic practitioner, who takes into account the patient’s doshas and energy balances, and puts together a specific panchakarma, or cleansing, for the body.

The face mapping system that many use and rely on today often incorporates elements from both Mien Shiang and Ayurvedic practices.

according to these theories, breakouts in specific areas can be generally attributed to specific internal causes.

if you break out on your….


the theory: your digestive system is stressed out

Have you been eating too much sugar? Too many processed foods? Are you dehydrated? Any of these factors can cause stress on your digestive system, which in turn, can affect your forehead area.

When your digestive system is out of whack, toxins that should normally be eliminated from the body can build up in your system and show up on your skin - in this case, on your forehead. Holistic and Western practitioners alike recommend drinking plenty of water to help flush out toxins, promoting a healthy balance of bacteria in your system by incorporating probiotics into your diet, cutting back on processed foods and intoxicants, and practicing good sleep hygiene and calming practices, like meditation and yoga.

between the brows

the theory: you have an excess of toxins in your liver

Acne between the brows has been linked to the liver, which is the body's largest gland. The liver produces all of the chemicals needed for proper digestion and detoxification. Overwhelming the liver with too many unhealthy foods and beverages can result in breakouts, redness, dryness, or an over-production of oil in between the brows.

Our number one recommendation here? Though it's difficult, it can be extremely helpful to cut back on processed sugars, dairy, and/or alcohol. Reducing your intake of less-than-healthy substances will allow your liver to take a break, by giving it fewer toxins to break down. It can also be helpful to incorporate liver-friendly foods like garlic into your diet!


the theory: cardiovascular issues

Most face-mapping theories attribute nose breakouts to cardiovascular issues. These issues can be caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, too many "bad" fats, or not enough essential fatty acids. Cardiovascular issues have also been linked to high stress and intense emotional duress, like prolonged grief, depression, and anxiety.

Holistic practitioners recommend avoiding overly fatty and spicy foods (which may negatively “heat up” your system and skin), while increasing your omega-3 and omega-6 fat intakes with lots of fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Also, exercise, meditation, or getting a massage can be helpful - any activity that helps calm you and bring your stress levels down!

left cheek

the theory: more liver issues!

Traditional Chinese medicine places some emphasis on the difference between the right and left sides of the body. Mien Shiang practitioners often specifically associate skin issues on the left cheek with liver and digestive trouble. They recommend eating “cooling foods” like melon and cucumber, and following a diet that is generally anti-inflammatory.

You can also try loading up on antioxidant and fiber-rich foods, and avoiding excess sugar, refined vegetable oils, and processed meats. Detox that liver, people!

right cheek

the theory: lung issues

Face mapping theories attribute breakouts on the right cheek to respiratory issues. The respiratory system is the group of organs and tissues that takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. The lungs, sinuses, trachea (windpipe), and diaphragm are all part of the respiratory system.

This system can become irritated by allergies, indoor or outdoor air pollution, asthma, or smoking. We know that not all of these factors are avoidable, but just do your best to take good care of your lungs, so your lungs can take good care of you and your skin!

chin and jawline

the theory: your hormones are imbalanced

Eastern and Western practitioners generally agree on this one. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by any number of things - stress, menstruation, diabetes, medications that contain hormones, poor diet, lack of sleep, etc. And chin and jawline breakouts are almost always associated with hormonal issues.

If you are regularly experiencing breakouts on your chin and jawline, getting your hormone levels checked by a doctor, assessing your diet, making sure to get good sleep, and working to reduce your stress levels as much as possible can all be beneficial. Of course, we also always recommend seeing a dermatologist for persistent and or severe breakouts. 

To treat breakouts with cocokind, we recommend using our turmeric tonic or turmeric stick (and/or layer our chlorophyll mask on top!) and checking out this post on how to use our products on acne-prone skin

Thanks for reading! Comment below if you have any questions!

- team cocokind