As an esthetician, Ayurvedic face mapping has been an incredible tool for treating 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; different schools of healing use the external body to diagnose what is happening internally and the areas and points on the surface of our skin are used therapeutically.
Chinese medicine and Ayurveda use the external body to rebalance the internal through manipulation, massage and even punctures (acupuncture) to treat internal organs.
In beauty, an important use of these concepts is face mapping.
Here, the different sections of our face correspond to different doshas and organs and, when we break out in these areas, it indicates what may be out of balance.
What do red, angry pimples in the central section of our faces indicate?
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, according to Ayurvedic medicine, breakouts in the Pitta part of our faces would indicate 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, causing more inflammation and worsening 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 and we prevent new blemishes from forming.
So, incorporating anti-inflammatory ingredients such as aloe vera, calendula, chamomile and jojoba oil into our regime is often much more effective than peroxides, peels and alcohols.
Pacifying Pitta to Clear Acne
In Ayurveda, Pitta is connected to the liver and the blood system.
Ayurveda explains that our blood feeds our skin, so Pitta breakouts demonstrate heat and imbalances in the blood. This may sound arbitrary but remember this medicine is thousands of years old. Now, we understand how liver metabolism is imperative to our health and how the blood carries hormonal messengers. This is why so many of you have already read about the liver and hormonal affects on acne.
An overworked, congested liver is one reason we develop Pitta acne, and this organ is known in eastern medicine to "hold heat".
It is said that those of us with imbalanced livers are prone to aggravation, getting "hangry", PMS and irritable moods.
Usually, if an Eastern Medicine practitioner finds that the blood is saddled with heat, the liver is also retaining excess Pitta energy (heat/ fire).
Herbs that are traditionally used to cleanse the blood and liver include: dandelion, milk thistle, neem and turmeric.
These are said to reduce inflammation and can therefore help to decrease red, angry, inflamed breakouts.