Face Mapping: A Guide To Your Spots By Location

Face mapping has been around for centuries and is commonly used to understand why you might be suffering with breakouts. While many people tout its benefits, some say it’s an out-of-touch technique that doesn’t hold much weight. To find out the truth, we asked consultant dermatologist, Dr Anjali Mahto, for her advice.

A Word On Where Face Mapping Originated… 

“Traditional face mapping for acne or spots originates from ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic principles. The technique claims to address the ‘root cause’ of spots, which appeals to many of us who live in a world clouded by uncertainty. However, Western medicine doesn’t recognise traditional face mapping as an effective diagnosis or treatment tool for acne, and there is little scientific data to support its use.”

The Areas To Look At…

The Forehead

“Spots typically occur in areas of the body with the highest density of sebaceous or oil-producing glands. This includes the face, chest and back most commonly. It is, however, recognised that certain hair styling products such as pomades, gels or waxes may clog the pores on the forehead. Likewise, certain hairstyles, such as a fringe, can cause rubbing of the hair against the forehead, which in turn encourages irritation and breakouts as a result.” 

Around Your Eyes 

“It is unusual to get acne on the upper and lower eyelids, but you may find some small keratin filled bumps which are known as milia. They appear as white bumps or cysts where dead skin cells have become trapped and are different to blackheads or whiteheads. Often, milia appear when you apply too much product (like an eye cream or serum) to this area, and sun damage contributes, too, so limit your time spent bathing in midday heat. Wearing sunglasses goes without saying, too.” 

On The Nose 

“Spots on the nose is not a marker of internal organ damage, which is what some face mapping practices would have you believe. The nose just happens to have a high density of oil glands, so it’s little surprise they can form here. Sometimes these red, bumpy breakouts aren’t even related to acne, but due to another inflammatory condition called rosacea. If there is uncertainty about big flare-ups on or around your nose, always seek out advice from either your GP or consultant dermatologist.” 

Why Your Mobile Phone Matters 

“While spots on your cheeks usually occur because of large oil glands, breakouts can also be down to the use of mobile phones. Pressing it hard against the side of your face on one side can lead to acne underneath. As for the neck, chin and jaw, there is some data to suggest that acne flare ups here tie in with menstruation – this is known as ‘hormonal acne.’ However, this is somewhat inaccurate as nearly all acne has a hormonal component to it regardless of where you are in your menstrual cycle. If you do tend to suffer with spots on the lower half of your face, or the ‘U-zone’ (the chin and jawline), hormones are likely (but not the only) cause.” 

A Strict Skincare Regime Will Help

“Regardless of where you breakout, a good skincare regime is paramount, as is avoiding thick, rich, oil-based balms and cleansers – instead opt for light textures like gel or foam. Your products should include ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, niacinamide, zinc and vitamin A. If things don’t improve with these kinds of products, you should seek help as early as you can from your GP or dermatologist who can consider prescription agents. Finally, it’s worth reiterating that there is little to no scientific data that validates facial mapping. It’s a myth propagated in wellness spheres and we should be cautious of linking our facial skin to other parts of the body. Instead, take a 360° approach and look at all the potential causes, as well as treating your complexion for exactly what it needs. The ingredients above are guaranteed to help most breakouts.” 

 

Four products Dr Anjali recommends to combat breakouts…

For more advice & information from Dr Anjali, visit Skin55.co.uk.

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