How does face mapping work?

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Skin Health Advisor
Ask Felicity

21 August 2017

What does ‘face mapping’ mean?

Traditional Chinese medicine has long demonstrated the belief that different internal areas of your body are linked to the different ‘zones’ of your face – there are approximately 13 zones in total!

If that internal part of your body is struggling, either due to toxins or added pressure, then the result may be that you experience a breakout of acne or blemishes in the corresponding area of your face. Most of you will probably have noticed that you tend to get spots in the same area repeatedly. However, what these zones represent can vary from source to source.

Of course, this theory isn’t proven but it’s certainly an interesting one to consider, especially since your skin often reflects your internal health. Aspects of your diet, liver function and digestive system usually play a key role in stimulating a breakout, so it might be interesting if you could use ‘face mapping’ to get an idea of what might be going wrong.

The digestive system, bladder and stomach – zones 1, 3 & 12

According to traditional Chinese medicine, zones 1 & 3 are located around your forehead while zone 12 refers to your chin. Any blemishes or breakouts here usually indicate that something is wrong with your digestive system or bladder.

It could be related to your diet –too many transfats, sugar, refined carbohydrates and not enough water can impede your body’s ability to remove waste, meaning that more toxins are trapped in your body and have to be eliminated through your skin.

It definitely wouldn’t hurt to consider your diet in any outbreak – so much of what we eat can have a real impact on our skin! Increase your intake of fruit and veg, cut out the refined sugars and drink more water. It might also be useful to consider a prebiotic and probiotic to help improve your gut environment – Molkosan Original is an excellent prebiotic that contains L+ lactic acid, helping to promote the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut!

Finally, you could try our Digestisan remedy, which has been known to help support your digestion and relieve the irritating symptoms of indigestion.

Liver function – zone 2

Zone 2 is located between your eyebrows at the top of your nose. Have you ever experienced a breakout here after a night out?  Blemishes in this area can indicate that your liver may be a little bit under the weather. You may not realise it but your liver is absolutely crucial for your skin health – after all, it’s your liver is responsible for breaking down toxins.

If your liver isn’t able to function properly then toxins may be eliminated from the body via your skin. Usually consuming too much alcohol or rich foods can upset your liver; however food intolerances such as lactose or gluten may also have an impact. I would try and cut down on alcohol, dairy and processed meats and instead focus on ‘cooling foods’ such as melon and cucumber.

Eat plenty of salads and consider a complex such as Milk Thistle, which has been known to support healthy liver function! You could also try replacing caffeine with cleansing teas, such as peppermint or our own Golden Rod Tea, which can help to remove impurities!

Kidneys – zones 4, 6, 8 & 10

Zones 4 & 10 are located close to your ears, around your temples while zones 6 & 8 cover your eyes. Each zone is believed to be linked to your kidneys. Your kidneys, similar to your liver and your gut, play a role in filtering toxins and eliminating waste. In this case, the real danger you need to watch out for with your kidneys is dehydration.

When you become dehydrated, it can interrupt how your kidneys filter waste. Have you ever noticed dark circles under your eyes followed by breakouts around your temples?  If so, the chances are you may be dehydrated and your kidneys will be struggling to eliminate waste via urination.

Drink plenty of fluids – not only will this help to support your kidneys, drinking water can also hydrate your skin which is especially good if you’ve noticed any dry, rough patches! Cut down on caffeine and fizzy drinks and instead opt to replace them with a herbal tea such as Golden Rod, which can help to remove impurities from your system.

Cardiovascular system – zone 7

Your nose, or zone 7, is thought to be connected to your cardiovascular system – think high blood pressure or an overload of fatty foods. Of course, your nose is an extremely common place for pimples to appear – plenty of nice open pores for bacteria to linger in!

I’d take a look at what type of make-up and make-up brushes you are using. Dumping a bunch of artificial chemicals on open pores is never a good idea. Instead go for organic make-up options as they generally contain fewer toxins and fillers. Change your diet from focusing on fatty foods to healthy fats such as avocados and coconut oil. An omega-3 supplement might be a good idea and you could try to include more antioxidant-rich fruit and veg in your diet!

It may also help to exercise a little bit more. Exercise can give your circulatory system a nice boost and reduce your blood pressure. If you have good circulation, it will increase the flow of nutrients to your skin! You could try a little of Biotta’s Organic Carrot Juice. Not only is it chockfull of antioxidants to help support your skin, it’s also been known to have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health too!

Respiratory system – zones 5 & 9

Your cheeks, zone 5 & zone 9 are traditionally associated with your respiratory system. Now this doesn’t mean you have to have a serious respiratory problem, sometimes spots on your cheek can linked to consuming too much refined sugar!

You may also notice that you breakout here if you smoke. Smoking, as well as being just terrible for your body in general, can have a real effect on your skin; it can breakdown collagen, a structural protein, and it can promote inflammation.

My advice would be to look at your sugar intake and consider getting a little more exercise out in the fresh air. Aerobic exercise in particular can support your lungs whilst other forms of exercise such as yoga or tai chi can teach deep breathing techniques  that are useful for strengthening your lungs as well as regulating your stress levels.

If you do smoke and want to quit, there are a number of excellent programmes you can look into – for more information, please check out

Hormones - zone 11 & 13

Zone 11 and zone 13 are located around your lower cheeks near your mouth. It’s no great secret that your hormones can have an impact on your skin – women probably notice that they’re more prone to breakouts close to their periods. However, stress can also have a noticeable impact on your skin and affect this area as well.

If you do suffer from bad PMS symptoms, I’d consider a natural herbal remedy like Agnus castus to regulate your hormones. This remedy is good for gently balancing your hormones and can reduce symptoms such as bloating and mood swings, which can have a positive effect on your stress levels!

You could also try a gentle form of exercise such as yoga, which can also lower your stress levels. If you are struggling to cope with feelings of anxiety though, it might be worth having a look at one of our natural stress remedies such as Avena Sativa.

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