face mapping

If you follow any beauty accounts, you’ve no doubt heard of face mapping, a concept that correlates skin issues to specific body organs. The practice dates back to ancient Chinese medicine and essentially uses your face as an indicator to detect other issues within the body. Face mapping can be used as a way to help identify the cause of certain skin issues and provide a solution.

When Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jessie Cheung of Cheung Aesthetics and Wellness in Chicago reached out to us with some fascinating information on face mapping, we had to find out more, especially as the concept of face mapping is such a disputed technique. So we spoke to celeb dermatologist Dr. Lancer, to get his thoughts on face mapping and how helpful it can be. Here’s everything you need to know: 

What is Face Mapping?

face mappingSource: David M. Benett/Getty Images

Dr. Cheung begins by explaining, “Like acupressure, face mapping is rooted in ancient Chinese medicine, and it plays off the idea that energy flows along pathways between organs, and different zones of the face will correlate to specific organs. Pimples, redness, or dryness on the face are thus attributed to internal organ imbalances as “qi,” or energy [chi], is unbalanced along various meridians. Traditional Chinese medicine seeks to adjust the flow of qi [chi] with herbs, food, physical training, moxibustion, massage, and acupuncture at specific sites along the meridians.”

The Theory of Face Mapping

face mapping

Forehead Breakouts are Caused By the Small Intestine

According to Dr. Cheung, “Forehead breakouts are associated with your small intestine, and the area between your brows is specific to your liver.” Therefore, she suggests to “increase your fiber intake, and avoid alcohol,” which should help to improve the health of your small intestine and liver, thereby improving your skin.

Dr. Lancer also believes that “Oftentimes, this is true as the digestive track influences skin. People with digestive issues usually have more problems with complexion.” He continues to explain that “All blemishes are hormonally related, and digestive system stress can influence these hormone-generated skin issues.” However, he does also add that “This is not specific to the forehead, but the entire skin surface. The liver is part of the digestive system, so limiting alcohol helps avoid skin issues.” He also says, “Central glandular heavy skin [AKA areas with more pores] in the middle third of the face (cheeks and nose) is more sensitive to problems due to digestion.”

Skin Concerns on the Cheeks are Generated by Stomach and Lung Issues

“Cheeks are connected to your stomach and lungs so you should stay away from cold drinks to avoid upsetting your stomach and avoid smoking,” Dr. Cheung says.

However, Dr. Lancer says, “Cold drinks actually stimulate the metabolism, which is better for your complexion. As mentioned, the middle third of the face is connected to the digestive tract and often affected most.”

Temple Issues Correlate to the Kidneys and Bladder

“Temples reflect your kidneys and bladder, so avoid medications that stress those organs and stay hydrated,” says Dr. Cheung. Once again Dr. Lancer agrees; “Inflammation in the urinary tract system could lead to immune system irregularities and inflammation in the skin.” In which case, he advises to “Avoid all medications if possible because they all usually require the metabolic help of the kidney and liver. This can lead to stress, which may influence complexion.”

Breakouts on the Jaw are Triggered by Reproductive Organs

“Your jaw corresponds to your reproductive organs,” Dr. Cheung tells us and she recommends to “Keep your period regular by managing your stress.”

Dr. Lancer also agrees that breakouts along the jaw are often caused by hormones; he ass that, “Relaxation of reproductive organs will lead to reduced tension, which can relax the jaw muscles. Pelvic stress can lead to tensions and pressure in the jaw muscle structure. This often leads to regional skin complexion issues.”  Try some of our tips to stay calm and stress-free.

Can Face Mapping Really Explain Why Your Skin is Acting Out?

The practice of face mapping is rooted in the health of your organs, therefore your diet has a huge role to play in this. Dr. Cheung explains how eating certain foods could lead to acne; “Foods that break down to simple sugars will lower sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). This protein usually binds up excess estrogen and testosterone, and when SHBG levels are lowered with too much sugar, the effects of the extra estrogen and testosterone are seen in the skin as increased oil production. It’s the simple sugars in certain dairy products, such as milk chocolate and skimmed milk, that is linked to acne.” Essentially, the food you eat affects your organs and your hormones, which in turn impacts your skin.

Ultimately, these experts highlight how different organs can affect your skin, and although the changes in organs might not be as acutely targeted to certain areas of the face as face mapping charts show, the concept is still interesting and provides useful information that can help you to improve your skin.

Dr. Lancer believes that the best thing you can do for your skin is to maintain a consistent skincare routine; “It’s incredibly important to establish a consistent program that is performed daily regardless of location – even while traveling. Consistency is key as the prevention of damage to the skin is much easier to accomplish than reparation of the skin is. People often forget that frequency and regularity are the most important assets when aiming to achieve glowing and clear skin.

What do you guys think about face mapping? Let us know in the comments below.