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Want to Fix What Is Really Causing Your Acne Breakouts?

06 Jun, 2017
By BeYou[tiful]
Whenever those dreaded zits appear, we are all hard wired to reach for that miracle cream or rush off to the derm for help. We want them to go away - and quickly. Well - it turns out that what's happening inside your body is more important than what you put on your pimples. And that's the simple key to fixing your acne problem - once and for all.

Do your breakouts always appear in same place on your face? It could be on your cheeks, chin or forehead. Wherever that acne strikes, it's your body's way of trying to tell you something. Everything from the type of breakout to where it is located on your face has a meaning. The trick is to work out what that meaning is.

This is where face mapping can help. By pinpointing the messages your body is sending to your face, you can find out what you need to do to help.

What is Face Mapping?

Ancient Chinese medicine teaches that if something is wrong with a certain organ or gland this can lead to breakouts in certain areas of the face. By looking carefully at where acne pops up, face mapping can help you work out the reasons for its appearance so you can take action to fix them. An increasing number of certified aestheticians and nutritionists are using this technique - now you can too.

However, it's important to know that face mapping is not an exact science. The causes of acne for each area of the face are overall guidelines and you should not jump to the conclusion that all of them apply to you. For example, don't immediately assume you have liver problems if you get acne on your forehead or cheeks.

Where face mapping can definitely help is by pointing you in the right direction. By zeroing in on the potential problem area instead of having to go through the tedious process of eliminating them one-by-one, you will get a good idea on what you have to do to fix your pimples - forever.

Understanding the Causes

Firstly, a little biology lesson (bear a little with us here!) on some of the reasons why we get acne when something is going wrong. A number of imbalances in the body can lead to breakouts - but the main ones can be linked back to the following.  
 
  • Digestive system: An unhealthy gut is the root cause of a lot of health problems, including acne. If the good and bad bacteria in your gut are out of balance, this causes systemic (all over) inflammation of your body which can lead to multiple problems, not only acne.

    The pancreas (part of the digestive system) does two important things which can have a direct impact on your skin health. Firstly, it releases enzymes into your intestines to further help break down your food, and it also produces the hormone insulin which regulates sugar levels in your body. You can expect skin problems if either of these functions are out of whack.

    If you have ever had any digestive problems (like constipation, indigestion and bloating), a condition known as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or food allergies, these may also be causing your breakouts.

  • Liver function: Your liver is the workhorse which eliminates all those nasty toxins - from what you eat and drink, and even the polluted air you breathe. When it goes into overload mode and can no longer break down these toxins, your body looks for other ways to get rid of them. Yes, you’ve guessed right. One of these ways is through your pores.

    The liver together with the gall bladder produces another important digestive enzyme, bile, which works together the pancreatic juices to help break down food in your intestine. And if it’s not working well, your gut health can go backwards.
     
  • Hormones: The three main culprits which can cause acne are androgens (testosterone), insulin (which regulates blood sugar) and cortisol (the ‘stress’ hormone). When any (or all) of these are out of balance, out pop the pimples.

    The relative levels of testosterone increase during a woman's period so you if you experience monthly breakouts, this hormone is probably the cause.

    The key function of insulin is keeping blood sugars stable - the wrong foods as well as bad eating habits can cause it to fluctuate wildly and result in chronic inflammation. This leads to acne (and other health problems).

    Cortisol helps with both the body’s metabolism as well its ability to manage stress. An overload of stress (and the release of cortisol) over an extended period of time results in increased blood sugar levels and digestive problems (amongst many others), both of which lead directly to breakouts.
     
  • Lymphatic system: The lymph system is very basically designed to detoxify, nourish and regenerate tissue, filter metabolic waste, and keep up a healthy immune system. When it’s not working right, it sends all that excess waste right to your skin.
Related: All About Acne: Myths, Facts and Best Advice

Pinpoint Your Problem

Time to play skin detective to find out the causes of your acne. Remember that skin mapping is not an exact science. And before you get hung up about which organs or hormones are the culprits, see if any of the causes like diet and lifestyle apply to you and address these first.
 
Forehead:
Breakouts in this area can suggest problems with your digestive system (you could have a hard time breaking down certain foods), imbalances in your gut or a troubled liver. Too much sugar, refined starches, alcohol and the build-up of toxins (external and internal) in your body could be the problem.

If you are a worry wort, have a quick temper, are permanently stressed (when those cortisol levels go through the roof), and get poor or very little sleep, this can also lead to breakouts on your forehead.

If you feel any of this applies to you and you need help on what to do, check out the details on gut health, sleeping problems and stress here.

Also, make sure food triggers are not a problem. The forehead is where you are more likely to manifest acne as a result of food allergies (like dairy) so pay particular attention to this if you are allergy prone.

A few things you can do. Cut out sugars, refined starches and alcohol. To reduce inflammation caused by an imbalanced gut, add probiotics to your diet and take a zinc supplement. Avoid fizzy drinks and slug back lots of water to flush out the toxins. Try starting the day with lemon water or dandelion tea to help support the liver. Also get lots of exercise to sweat out the bad stuff. And find a way to reduce your stress levels so you can sleep better.

Protect your skin from external toxins (AKA polluted air) by using products which include that wonderful free radical fighter, Vitamin E. We recommend the Nivea Clear & Perfect and IQ Dermaquench ranges both of which contain powerful anti-oxidants to protect your skin.

And don't forget to check the less obvious causes like a fringe, hair products and headgear coming into close contact with the forehead.

Related: You Need to Know How Diet Can Actually Help Clear Your Acne
 
Temples:
If you have pimples on your temples, you may have problems with your lymphatic system or your gallbladder. A diet too high in fat and too much processed food just makes the problem worse.

Reduce the amount of unhealthy (AKA trans and saturated) fats in your diet and cut out all those junk foods. Add healthy fats and Omega 3's to your diet. Best of all, start cooking with coconut oil, drink it (you can even add it to your coffee) and slather it on your skin - true multitasking magic. Find out all the gen on the rest of the good foods to eat here.

If you suspect your lymphatic system may need some help, try exercise, deep breathing, massage, dry body brushing and alternating hot and cold showers.

Monthly hormones can also put stress on your liver resulting in breakouts around the temples, eyes and between the brows.
Between Brows:
Another area where acne is associated with an OD of greasy fatty foods is between the brows. Cut out those oily junk fast foods and eat lighter fats which are less rich - like oily fish, butter and cheese. And avoid late night snacks.

Other possible causes are alcohol and smoking. So if you find you are regularly breaking out after a hectic night out, you know what to do.
Nose:
Do you suffer from constipation, bloating or indigestion - or all three? If pimples regularly pop up on your nose, your digestive system could be trying to tell you something. This can be made worse when combined with a poor diet.

Zero in on the right treatment for you by reading up on gut health and food triggers. In the meantime, reduce your intake of red meat, salt and spicy foods and go for a brisk walk every day to get your system working and lots of fresh air.
Cheeks:
Acne on both cheeks can potentially be traced back to digestive problems whether these are a result of eating too much or overdosing on sugar and junk foods.

Face mapping also links two other organs to each cheek. If you have spots on the left cheek the cause could be traced back to your liver (an overload of toxins in your body), while your right is associated with your lungs (allergies may be a problem here - check with your doctor).

To fix both digestive and liver problems, cut back on sugar (the absolute worse culprit), high glycaemic foods (all the 'white' starches) and excess fatty and junk foods. Also give your liver a little bit of a break by limiting your alcohol intake.

The best thing for an imbalanced gut is to up your intake of probiotics - either through fermented foods like natural yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, or a supplement. Zinc can also help reduce inflammation caused by gut problems. Learn more about which foods to avoid and which are the best to sort out your gut health.

Stress can also be a trigger for cheek acne. Aside from trying to avoid those things which raise your stress levels, make sure you exercise regularly (even if it's taking long walks), take up yoga or meditation and are getting a good night's sleep.

And don’t forget to sort out any cell phone or pillowcase hygiene issues just in case these are making things worse.

Related: Why a Healthy Gut Is the Key to a Happy Skin, Body - and Life

 
Lip Area:
This is another area where your breakouts may be caused by constipation, made worse if you are a lover of hot and spicy foods. Eat more good fibre, include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet and cut back on the heat. Check out other useful tips to help you on the path to a healthy gut.

And if you are one of the very few who has a reaction to certain products, try changing your toothpaste, mouth wash and lip balm.
Chin and Jaw:
Are you one of those who regularly breaks out at that time of the month? Hormonal changes (and other gynaecological problems) are one of the main cause of those pimples on the chin.

There's not much you can do about the testosterone levels that lead to those monthly breakouts.  Supplements such as magnesium (where most of us are deficient) and B vitamins can help balance them out and women can also reduce its effect with contraceptive pills. And please see your doctor if you have more serious problems.

However, these hormones are not the only ones you should worry about. Chin acne can also be a result of what you eat and the impact this has on another hormone - insulin.

The good news - there's quite a bit you can do to sort out your insulin levels. Cut out high glycaemic foods (all the 'white' foods like bread, flour, rice, etc.) and junk foods which spike your blood sugar levels, sending your hormones into a tailspin and triggering inflammation - both of which are major causes of acne. Stock up on your supply of Omega 3 rich foods like fatty fish, walnuts and flaxseed. Or take a good Omega 3 supplement. Also drink green or spearmint tea. Check out all the gen on hormones and food triggers for more helpful tips.

To help your skin, any product with salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory which helps unclog pores, is your first option. We recommend the BioNike Acteen, Eucerin Dermo Purifier, Bioderma Sebium and Garnier Pure Active ranges. Exfoliate regularly with gentle enzymes - anything with lactic acid, honey, papaya or pineapple. Retinol can also help maintain and restore skin elasticity and argan oil has tons of skin-healthy omegas.

And if you have a habit of touching your face or resting your chin on your hands - don't. This can transfer oils and bacteria onto your face and make matters worse.

Related: Expert Advice On How to Finally Get Rid of Your Acne
 
Just as everyone's skin is unique and different, so too are the underlying causes of any problems. There is no one size fits all here. It's important to realise that the causes and solutions suggested by face mapping are just suggestions that may or may not apply to everyone.

So you need to research all the options before you embark on any course of treatment. And if you are still not sure, please seek help from your doctor. There are a number of tests that can be done to track down some of the underlying acne triggers.

Face mapping can be a useful tool to help you zero in on those problem areas of your face. While it's not guaranteed, it's certainly a good starting point. Many of the solutions to sorting out your acne problems actually lie in a good diet and lifestyle habits. Just by changing these can set you on the path to getting rid of them - once and for all.
 

A cautionary note:

The information provided here is of a general nature and is not intended to be a substitute for the advice given by your doctor or any other medical professional. If you suspect you have a medical or health-related condition of any kind, you should contact your doctor immediately.

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