acne face mapping

Tell me where your pimples pop up, and I’ll tell you what’s causing them.

It’s not a bad Facebook quiz. It’s the theory behind Acne Face Mapping, an ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medical tradition.

If it’s true, it’s the answer to all our prayers. Think about it: if a BigMac is to blame for that huge zit between your eyebrows that always pops up before a first date, eat salad the day before and you’ll wake up with no nasty surprises.

Is it too good to be true? Is Acne Face Mapping really science… or just science fiction?

What Is Acne Face Mapping?

The name says it all. Acne Face Mapping is a map for your acne.

Each part of your face is linked to a specific organ/body system. When this organ is out of balance or sick, your skin lets you know by making a pimple spring up in the corresponding face area.

Here are a few examples:

  • Between the eyebrows: Liver problems, usually because of junk food or too much alcohol.
  • Cheeks: Respiratory problems, pollution or allergy.
  • Chin: Hormonal/menstrual cycle.
  • Forehead: Digestive problems poor sleep or stress.
  • Nose: Heart problems/blood pressure.

If you ask me, that chin breakout is totally spot on. Who doesn’t get a pimple there during that time of the month?

It’s likely a coincidence. You’ve guessed it: there’s NO scientific proof Acne Face Mapping works. And yet, ancient Chinese and Indian doctors weren’t totally making this up…

When your skin breakouts, it IS trying to tell you something….

Struggling to put together a cost-effective skincare routine that gets rid of acne? Download your FREE “The Ordinary Anti-Acne Skincare Routine” cheatsheet to get started

What Your Pimples Are Trying To Tell You

Chinese doctors were right about something: everything in your body is linked. When something on the inside isn’t working properly, it usually shows up on the outside in some way:

  • When your liver is too inflamed, your skin can turn yellow (jaundice).
  • When you drink too much alcohol, your skin gets drier.
  • When you have a leaky gut, you’re more at risk of rosacea.
  • When your hormones are out of whack, your skin breaks out.

Take for example, hormonal acne. The changes in your body increase the levels of testosterone in your skin. More testosterone = more sebum.

The extra sebum can’t flow freely out of the pores anymore. It gets stuck inside, where it mixes with dead skin cells. These clogs attracts P.Acnes, the bacteria that infects skin and gives you pimples.

Diet plays a part in this as well. Dairy, sugar and processed foods are the worst culprits. They can trigger changes in your hormones that make skin pump out too much sebum. You know where this is leading now…

Worse, these foods can kill the good bacteria in your gut and cause inflammation. Research is only at the begging here, but already a leaky gut with a poor bacterial flora has been linked to rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and acne.

These breakouts tend to appear always on the same spots. Coincidence?

Related: I Went On The Low Glycemic Diet And It Transformed My Skin

What The Location Of Your Pimples Really Mean?

You can breakout all over your face. But have you noticed pimples tend to appear more in some areas and less in others?

The t-zone is the most common breakout zone. Why? Simple: you have more sebaceous glands there. If that BigMac or pre-exam stress triggers the overproduction of sebum, it’s only natural pimples pop up where pores are more likely to get clogged!

But, sometimes, the location of your pimples can help you figure out what’s behind them. Here are a few guidelines (NOT gospel!):

  • Cheeks: Think about all the things your cheeks get in contact with everyday. Like your pillow. Your phone. Your hands… All those extra impurities it picks up from them can clog pores and give you acne.
  • Chin: This is usually hormonal. During that time of the month, your body pumps out too much testosterone, a hormone that triggers the overproduction of sebum.
  • Hairline: Check your haircare products. Chances are, there’s something in there that gives you acne.

If you’re experiencing a breakout in this area, these are the first things to check out. Often, a change in conditioner or pillow can do the trick.

Related: How To Treat Hormonal Acne

The Bottom Line

There’s no evidence that Acne Face Mapping works. But there are scientific reasons why your breakouts are always popping up in the same spots. Usually, it’s your cue to change your diet or haircare products. Don’t ignore them.