The odd spot, or severe cystic acne conditions, are expected in your teens. When hormones start to stir, then rage – leaving sebum production and the skin’s ability to turn over skin cells, forget what they’re meant to do and go bonkers. Ipso facto: spots.
But what if you thought you were past all that? What if, in your 20s, 30s or older, you’re still struggling with cystic acne and can’t pinpoint the cause?
L’Oreal, a brand known for its affordability for an older demographic, recently released a new range of face masks. However, as most acne strugglers who have tried just about everything will know, the masks, like every other product, will most likely end up as another ⅘ full pot gathering dust on the bathroom counter, before being reluctantly thrown in the dustbin.
Described as an ‘epidemic’ by Dr.Stefanie Williams, leading dermatologist at European Dermatology London (Eudelo), our generation has seen a 200% rise in adults suffering from acne conditions. According to the British Skin Foundation, 63% of acne sufferers feel that their condition affects their daily life.
Thus, the question stands louder than ever: Why are we getting spots? If traditional Chinese medicine is anything to adhere to – and, coming from a Chinese writer, that isn’t always the case (yes, they gave us acupuncture, but neither crushed deer antlers nor powdered rhino horns will make anybody more virile) – apparently your skin is trying to tell you something.
Chinese remedies for spots thus depend on where on your face you get them. Subscribed to by major skincare brand Dermalogica, facial mapping divides a face into zones. Breakouts in each zone transmit messages from your inner organs, through angry red spots, that something isn’t right.
Rather than treating the acne topically through miracle-promising masks, lotions and potions, face mapping attempts to treat acne from the inside: zeroing in on what you’re ingesting (eating, drinking or smoking) and unearthing the cause. So, according to the chart, this is what your face is trying to tell you:
Zones 1 and 3 (essentially, the forehead):
Cause: Linked to the bladder and digestive organs, breakouts in this area could be caused by poor diet, lack of hydration and insufficient fibre.
Cure: Drinking more water and eating whole foods regularly will improve your body’s ‘flow,’ easing the congestion in the forehead.
Zone 2 (between the brows):
Cause: This area relates to the liver, so breakouts here could be caused by drinking too much alcohol, eating rich foods or a food allergy.
Cure: Hydrate regularly to flush out the liver, and try to eat cooling, cleansing foods like green vegetables, berries and chicken soup.
Zones 4 and 10 (the ears):
Cause: The ears are a highly sensitive tell of what’s going on with your kidneys, so breakouts in these zones are due to kidney stress.
Cure: Drink a lot of water, and cut out caffeine and fizzy drinks.
Zones 5 and 9 (the cheeks):
Cause: Congestion, or even broken capillaries, in this area, gives an accurate glimpse of respiratory distress.
Cure: You may have allergies to something airborne, and need to take antihistamines. If you’re a smoker, stop. Your lungs are angry at you.
Zones 6 and 8 (the eyes):
Cause: Acne around the eyes is very rare, but the eye area is also related to the kidneys. Insufficient hydration, poor digestion or exhaustion can lead to dehydration and poor drainage in this area.
Cure: Drink more water and get enough sleep.
Zone 7 (the nose):
Cause: Redness and congestion in the nose can be due to high blood pressure or early signs of rosacea.
Cure: High blood pressure should be treated by a doctor. Rosacea is a genetic skin condition where the skin is prone to redness and flare-ups. This can be calmed and treated topically.
Zone 12 (the chin):
Cause: Acne in this area is common right before your period, as it’s linked to your hormones. That’s why acne on your chin can also be triggered by stress, poor diet, and even food allergens.
Zones 11 and 13 (the jawline):
Cause: Spots around the jawline can be caused by extensive dental surgery, but many experience acne in this area prior to or during a period, because it’s linked with the ovaries.
Cure: Some women try The Pill to balance hormone levels. Avoiding caffeinated and sugary products, which mess with hormone levels, may also help control breakouts.
Unfortunately, one person’s hanging liver may be completely silent while another’s may be sprouting angry red moons between his or her brows. Your jawline acne could possibly be cleared up by starting The Pill, whereas other people’s will worsen.
Everyone’s skin is different. However if all else fails, some of this might be worth a try.
Does any of this ring true? Or is it just a “medical” way to convincing us to drink more water, drink more water, sleep more… oh, and drink more water? (Drinking more water does help, though.)
Words: Mimi Davies
Tags: #Adult #Acne #Face #Mapping #Cause #Cure #Beauty #Skincare