Are you only breaking out in one area of your face?
On your chin? Forehead? Nose or hairline?
Since we apply our skincare everywhere, can the cause of our blemishes be simple product choices if they cluster in a single area?
Not according to Ayurveda - in fact, the concept of face mapping offers a view to the state of our health.
A commonly understood concept in Eastern Medicine is that our external bodies reflect and connect to our internal bodies.
In Chinese Medicine, practitioners treat out-of-balance organs through puncturing or stimulating different points on our skin (acupuncture and reflexology).
In Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and other Asian Health Sciences, a doctor's diagnosis comes primarily from examining our tongues, nails, hair and skin.
So, it comes as no surprise that much credence is given to the idea that where we break out is a reflection of our health and potential health issues.
In fact, I use face mapping in every skin consultation I perform.
Last week I blogged about how forehead congestion displays Vata-imbalance, and today I will explain the presence of pimples in the lower part of the complexion.
What Jawline Break Outs Mean
The bottom portion of the face, according to Ayurveda, is governed by the Kapha dosha.
Kapha is an energy that is represented by the elements of earth and water. It is the moist, heavy and storing qualities found within our bodies.
Like earth and water, Kapha is stable and wet, so it governs accumulation and growth, along with our body's fluid.
This dosha is essential for staying hydrated and youthful and also governs fertility. But, in excess, it can lead to such ailments as weight gain, water-retention, yeast and fungus (candida) and cysts.
This is why most of the breakouts on our jawline and chin are large, deep, sometimes cystic pimples.
These blemishes are full of fluid (pus) and can be painful to touch. Some of them are blind pimples - break outs that are not very visible - and are deep-seated, uncomfortable and take a long time to clear up (due to Kapha's slow, stable characteristics).
The blackheads in this area also tend to be bigger, deeper and more oily than those in the other sections of the face.
Even the texture of our skin in this area is thicker and has more fatty tissue than the Vata (air and space dosha) area of our forehead (which is thin and boney).
Kapha and Acne
Kapha breakouts on the chin are said to be related to our reproductive system and hormones. Many women find that they get cysts in this area around their menstrual period.
Blemishes on the jawline and chin can also be caused by candida; a candida-fighting diet is essentially a traditional Ayurvedic Kapha-balancing diet.
This entails cutting out heavy, creamy, damp, fermented, sweet foods such as sugar, yeast, wines and vinegars (and all other fermented foods), dairy and flours (Kapha needs to manage their carb intake). This also helps those with excess Kapha manage their weight. Surprisingly foods such as bananas, shellfish and soy also need to be eliminated. However, it is important not to self-diagnose or drastically overhaul your diet without consulting a health professional.
Many of my patients who have chronic breakouts on the chin and jawline try this or a modified version for two to three months and see a drastic improvement.
But beyond diet, those of us with excess Kapha need to be stimulated. Cardiovascular exercise, Kapha yoga, waking early and measures to move our blood and circulation are important.
This sometimes also helps water-retention and puffiness (which is often worst in the morning). Morning happens to be "Kapha time" - when Kapha energy is at its peak for the day.
So, when frustrated with chin and jawline pimples, think beyond your choice of topicals. Often it is our body telling us that we are out-of-balance and need to take simple rebalancing measures.