Holistic Aesthetics

Functional Face Mapping: What Your Skin May Be Telling You

Face mapping is the ability to see the reflection of the body’s organs on each part of the face by observing the face’s complexion — such as luster, dullness and color [and breakouts!] — as well as the tongue and face expression.

What’s the meaning of face mapping, and how does it work?

It’s an ancient theory (but not a scientifically-proven process) based on the belief that symptoms that affect the face are indicative of deeper health issues.

Acne face mapping is one of the most popular application. While face mapping differs depending on the origin, most practitioners believe that acne on the forehead represents a kidney or digestive issue, while acne on the chin and jaw indicates dysfunction of the intestines and colon, as well as hormonal imbalances and high stress levels.
Chinese face mapping (or face reading) is based on the idea that poor functioning of the liver, kidneys, stomach, spleen and intestines are responsible for many problems that develop on the skin, due to how they disturb the body’s flow of energy.
Dermalogica face mapping is one popular program that’s available in certain locations, including spas and salons. Dermalogica is a company that offers skincare advice based on a combination of ancient Chinese face mapping diagnoses and science-based knowledge.
Some of the most common recommendations that consultants make based on face readings include:
Avoiding irritation caused by fragrances and skin/haircare products
Removing makeup and pore-clogging cosmetics/toxins
Preventing sun damage
Staying hydrated
Resolving stress
Eating a balanced diet
Addressing food allergies
Avoiding bacteria from contact with cellphones and dirty pillow cases

Functional Face Mapping

From our most gorgeous glowing days to our worst breakouts, our skin is constantly communicating with us about the ways our diet, health and habits impact our bodies as a whole. Face mapping is an incredibly useful tool for interpreting the “messages” behind our common complexion concerns, providing valuable insights that can help us bring greater balance to our skin and our lives.

Face maps can differ somewhat depending on their origin, but most divide the face into at least 10 different zones.

Here is a basic face mapping chart that can be used to help indicate underlying causes of skin problems:

  • Blemishes on your forehead —  impacted by the small intestine and bladder; may be tied to unmanaged stress, poor digestion and sleep deprivation
  • Breakouts between/above your eyebrows or nose area — said to represent an imbalance in the kidneys, stomach, bladder or spleen. When acne develops near the nostrils, it may also be tied to gut-related problems and inflammation of the small intestine.
  • Lines/wrinkles between your eyebrows on the right side — can indicate that you are repressing emotions such as anger. This may be tied to poor liver function and require acts of forgiveness, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • Lines/wrinkles on the left side of your eyes — may represent problems with functions of the liver and spleen
  • Breakouts or lines above the eyebrows — represents a problem with heart function
  • Puffiness under the eyes — said to be connected to poor kidney function
  • Acne on the chin, around the mouth and on the jaw — said to be due to imbalance in reproductive system, as well as the large intestine or colon and stomach. When acne forms below the lips and lower chin, it may represent that the whole digestive system is not functioning properly, including the spleen and kidneys.
  • Red cheeks — can be tied to dysfunction of the stomach, liver and lungs; may also indicate an immune response, respiratory issues or allergies
  • Red nose — may indicate heart-related issues like high blood pressure and inflammation
  • Irritation on your neck — can be representative of stress that affects the immune system


Three Major Root Causes of Acne & How to Heal Them

Environmental Toxins

If your skin issues are caused by environmental toxins, you might see blemishes between the eyebrows and on the temples, in the eye area, and on the apples of the cheeks crossing over the nose. In this instance, your body could be telling you that your liver is stressed. This can cause inflammation around the temples, your kidneys or thyroid are imbalanced which can lead to eye puffiness and darkness, or your vascular system is under pressure which may be connected to the flare-ups on your cheeks.

What you can do:

  • Focus on aiding your detox system through movement, deep breathing exercises, & nutrients
  • Remove excess toxins & inflammatory foods from your diet/lifestyle
  • Talk to a practitioner about in-depth testing & detox protocols

Hormonally Affected

Hormonal acne can also show up between the eyebrows, on your temples, and around your eye area because of hormonal changes that happened each month, which can stress the liver. Cysts that appear from the corners of the mouth and directly down to the chin could represent imbalance in your colon, and can manifest as excess mucus clusters and angry, red cysts.

What you can do:

  • Aid your liver & hormone organs with increased water intake, leafy greens, & other nutrients
  •  Calm your mind and make sure you are getting at least seven hours of sleep.
  • Adaptogens such as maca powder or rhodiola can help even out mild hormonal imbalances.
  • Talk with a practitioner about getting to the root cause of your hormonal imbalances & create an action plan specifically for you & your body.

Imbalanced Gut

The gut is the root of lots of health problems, including acne. An imbalanced gut can show up on the forehead (which might indicates problems in the small intestine); below the cheekbones, from nostril to ear lobe (this could suggest a stomach imbalance); or the upper lip (another sign of possible stomach woes).

What you can do:

  • Aid your gut with vital nutrients, hydration, & whole food probiotics
  • Address deep gut imbalances such as stomach lining and acidity

Occasional blemishes, redness, or lines in any of these zones is no reason for panic! If you do have skin issues or deep lines that concern you, consider functional medicine. Holistic practices such as acupuncture or PRF facials are great at reducing stress and facial lines as it improves your body’s circulation and promotes collagen production. Herbs are a great complement to strengthen organ function and regulate hormones.

For in-depth testing to accurately get to the root of your skin issues, contact our office & schedule with one of our functional clinicians!



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