As an esthetician, Ayurvedic face mapping has been an incredible help in understanding the root cause of acne. Face mapping is the concept that different parts of our face indicate different things about our internal health. In eastern medicine this is a common concept, as different schools of healing use the external body to diagnose what is happening inside of our bodies and the areas and points on the surface of our skin are used therapeutically. Chinese medicine and Ayurveda manipulates, massages and even punctures (acupuncture) to treat our internal organs. In beauty, the most important use of these concepts is face mapping – the different parts of our complexion are related to different doshas and organs, so when we break out in these areas it indicates what is out of balance.
Now, I have blogged about forehead breakouts and chin/ jawline blemishes – but what do pimples in the central section of our faces tell us? The central area: the cheeks and nose are governed by the Pitta dosha, known in Ayurveda as the fire element. This dosha is responsible for all inflammation within our bodies. So, it is no surprise that according to Ayurvedic medicine, breakouts in the Pitta part of our faces display internal inflammation.
The type of breakouts in this area also tend to be red, angry and inflamed. This is important to understand because many of us attempt to combat this acne by using anti-bacterial and drying products. Unfortunately, this approach is usually irritating and sensitizing, causing more inflammation and worsening our acne. Instead, we must hydrate, soothe, heal and protect our skin. When we calm inflammation with cooling skincare that guards against aggravation, our pimples will become less red, as well as prevent new blemishes from forming. So, incorporating anti-inflammatory ingredients into our regime such as aloe vera, calendula, chamomile and jojoba oil are much more effective than peroxides, peels and alcohols.
Pacifying Pitta to Clear Acne
Internally, Pitta is related to the liver and the blood system. Ayurveda explains that our blood feeds our skin, so Pitta breakouts demonstrate heat and toxins in the blood. Doing a blood cleanse is an excellent way to clear the complexion of these types of blemishes. An overworked, congested liver is another reason for Pitta acne, and this organ is known in eastern medicine to “hold heat”. It is actually said that those of us with dysfunctional livers are prone to aggravation and irritable moods. Most often if the blood is saddled with heat, the liver also is retaining excess Pitta energy (heat/ fire). Herbs that cleanse the blood and liver are often the same: dandelion, milk thistle, neem and turmeric. They all reduce inflammation in the body, and this will translate into decreasing inflamed breakouts.