This is the first time an article published on this blog was written by someone other than me. So excited to introduce you to our new content marketing intern, Lindsey Whittaker. She will make regular appearances on the blog!
When I was much younger, I never had an issue with acne. Without even blinking, I ate what I wanted, exercised when I wanted and wore the kind of makeup that I would never even consider putting on my face now. Despite not actually doing anything to deserve it, my skin was one of my greatest beauty achievements.
However, the minute I turned 25 the universe had a cruel way of making up for lost time. Painful and embarrassing breakouts became a regular occurrence. I’m not talking about your routine blemish that can be easily hidden with a slab of concealer. I mean full-on breakouts. Big, huge, and gross deep-under-your-skin-has-it’s-own-heartbeat type pimples all over my face, neck, and even my back. I went from trying almost every over the counter solution-promising (and expensive) product to mixing up my own DIY concoctions at home and nothing seemed to work – at least not completely.
Had I fallen victim to what is known as adult acne? All I could wonder was why, universe, why would you do this to me?!
As it turns out, the universe had little to do with it. While I have managed to get it under wraps even just a little bit, I’m still left wondering why this all happens to us women. Aren’t there a million other things we’d rather do with our time, money, and thoughts? I, for one, sure think so.
You may have heard of something called face mapping. The concept derives from the simple notion that what is happening on your face is directly linked to what is going on inside your body.
According to Adina Grigore, author of Skin Cleanse and owner of skincare line SW Basics, notes that there are so many ways that your skin can be affected and it’s not just about the old adage, you are what you eat.
“In order to really understand what’s going on with your skin, you need to look at the whole picture of who you are. Until you tune into you, into what makes your particular body your own, you cannot attribute one blanket cause to your symptoms,” she says in her book Skin Cleanse.
Grigore looks at what she says are the three main factors that affect the state of your skin: background, lifestyle, and diet. These three things are what make up the “whole picture” of who you are. She’s also a proponent for face mapping, as she shared on her blog.
“People email us all the time asking about very specific break outs and what’s causing them. Usually I’m not a fan of stuff that’s too hippie to explain what’s happening in someone’s system, because it distracts people from what’s really happening (like you eat terribly or you’re so stressed out you barely function). BUT. This face map is awesome, and I think it’s right on.”
Of course, there are many external factors to why you may be breaking out. As Adina points out, diet and stress can play a huge role but I thought, maybe there is a method to all this acne madness. Let’s take look at this face map and see if maybe our bodies could be trying to tell us something.
Zones 1 & 3 are linked to your bladder and digestive system.
What to do: Try drinking more water and eating greens to help streamline your elimination process.
Zone 2 is linked to your liver which is responsible for keeping your blood clean and storing glycogen.
What to do: Limit the number of alcoholic beverages you consume. Or just say no altogether to those post-work margaritas. We know – so hard.
Zone 4 &10 are connected to your kidneys which filter your blood to create urine. Fun stuff.
What to do: If you’ve ever had a pimple in your ear – it’s literally the worst feeling. I’m going to say it again (and probably a few more times after this) drink plenty of water and cut out coffee and alcohol.
Zone 5 & 9 are a nesting ground for big mean breakouts on the faces of smokers or people who suffer from allergies.
What to do: Limit your exposure to cigarettes and if you struggle with allergies, try keeping everything that comes into contact with your skin extra clean. Wash pillowcases and towels regularly.
Zone 6 & 8 are not necessarily linked to acne per se but if you have dark under circles it could have something to do with your kidneys.
What to do: Stay hydrated and eat whole foods to promote better elimination.
Zone 7 breakouts can be due to high blood pressure, bloating, constipation, gastrointestinal imbalance.
What to do: Limit your sodium intake, take vitamin B, and stay hydrated.
Zone 11 – 13 is the most common break out area for those who experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome), which can be linked to hormonal imbalances.
What to do: stress-reducing practices, like meditation or yoga can be helpful. During your period, reduce your dairy intake (it increases estrogen), try to eat plenty of greens and drink water.
Zone 14 is prone to breakouts simply because it’s an often forgotten area in your cleansing routine. Don’t forget to take care of all of your skin throughout your entire routine.
The funny thing about all this, is we usually know the answers to our own questions. I know that I should drink more water, be more active, and stop stressing so much about the little things. We know that when we stop doing all the things that are bad for us – it works. So, I will definitely be trying to be more mindful of this the next time I feel defeated by my skin. Instead of freaking out and wondering what I did to deserve it, I can check-in with myself. Have I been extra stressed lately? Did I forget to drink water today? Have I been eating my veggies?
What about you? What are your problem areas for breakouts? If you have any stories or tips, I’d love to hear them. Sound off in the comments below or join the convo on our Facebook page.
*Disclaimer: This is not to be considered medical advice. If you are experiencing painful acne, unmanageable stress, depression, or irregular periods you should make an appointment with your doctor to check hormone levels.