Eating for better skin
April 28, 2023

Eating for better skin

Uncover the hidden messages behind your acne through the ancient practice of face mapping.

Face mapping: What your acne is actually telling you

Tired of trying acne product after acne product, with no relief in sight? Welcome to the club. Fortunately, we come armed with a potential solution. Enter: face mapping. Yes, face mapping. In essence, it involves analyzing the location of your acne—in order to determine its root cause. Let’s dig in.

What is face mapping?

Face mapping is a traditional Chinese medicine practice. It correlates different parts of the face with specific internal organs and bodily functions. Although the science is still evolving, face mapping is based on the belief that energy (qi) flows to and from organs along invisible pathways.

Examine where your acne (typically) appears

By examining the location of your acne, you can identify potential imbalances or issues within your body. For example, if you regularly experience breakouts around your forehead and hairline, it could be a sign of either digestive problems or stress. On the other hand, if your acne is concentrated around your cheeks, it could indicate respiratory issues or allergies.

How to use face mapping to identify the source of your acne

So, how can you use face mapping to identify the source of your acne? First, take a look at this face map. Identify where your acne is located. Then, consider any other symptoms or health issues you may be experiencing. For instance, if you're having digestion problems and your acne is located around your chin, it could be a sign of hormonal imbalances.

Finding the source of your acne

As you explore face mapping, consider whether your acne is stemming from digestive woes, liver detox issues, imbalanced hormones, or food allergies.

  1. Gut: Gut health is crucial for maintaining overall wellness, including healthy skin. Research suggests that imbalances in gut bacteria, inflammation, and impaired gut barrier function can all contribute to the development of acne. Poor gut health can also lead to hormonal imbalances that can exacerbate acne. Aim for a healthy, balanced diet rich in fiber and fermented foods, manage stress levels, and avoid or limit ultra-processed foods and refined sugar.
  2. Liver: The liver is responsible for detoxifying the body and eliminating toxins, and its health can have a significant impact on the skin. If the liver is overloaded with toxins or not functioning optimally, it can lead to hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and other factors that contribute to acne.
  3. Hormones: Do you have elevated testosterone? If so, this can stimulate your pores to produce excess oil, leading to clogged pores and the development of acne. Hormonal acne typically presents as deep, painful cysts on the chin, jawline, and cheeks. To treat hormonal acne, consider working with a holistic dermatologist or functional medicine doctor.
  4. Food allergies: Last but not least, food allergies and sensitivities can trigger inflammation in the body, which can contribute to the development of acne. Additionally, certain foods may cause an increase in insulin levels, which can stimulate facial pores to produce more oil, leading to clogged pores. If you suspect your acne is related to a food allergy or sensitivity, consider eliminating potential trigger foods from your diet and monitoring your skin for improvements.

Once you've identified the potential cause of your acne, it’s time to become your own private investigator. Jot down potential triggers (diet and lifestyle). Through trial and error, you’ll be one step closer to minimizing your breakouts. You can also seek out professional advice from a dermatologist—or other healthcare provider—to help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

Learn face mapping from Dr. Alexis Stephens

It’s important to remember that skin conditions vary across different skin tones. We’re all individually unique afterall! A true gem in the dermatology space, Dr. Stephens explains face mapping for acne. Take a peek at her educational video, then grab a mirror and start mapping your way to better skin!

Eat these healthy fats for clear skin

No surprise here: diet plays a major role in skin health. Research shows that inflammatory foods are correlated to skin woes. Luckily, there are plenty of nourishing, delicious ingredients that improve skin health. Along with foods rich in vitamin C, collagen, and antioxidants, satiating fats are key. We need them for hormone health, blood sugar regulation, and clear skin. Prioritize these healthy fats for supple skin:


For healthy skin, omega-3 fatty acids are key. They fight inflammation. The high content of vitamin A in avocados can help shed dead skin cells, encouraging glowing skin.


Two Brazil nuts (per day) contain your daily dose of selenium! Selenium aids in the production of glutathione, which repairs cell damage. It also slows down the skin’s aging process. Selenium also supports the elasticity of our tissues, protects against sunburn, and fights blemishes.


More omega-3 rich foods! The fatty acids in fish can support the gut microbiome, reduce inflammation, and have been shown to help with skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. It’s no wonder many functional dermatologists recommend salmon often!


Olives are one of the best-kept beauty secrets! Olives are a rich source of vitamins A and E, both of which protect the oils on the surface of your skin from damage. Olives also help strengthen connective tissues, improving skin tone and protecting against UV radiation.


Walnuts’ rich stores of omega-3 fatty acids not only keep your skin healthy and glowing, but also reduce inflammation. Walnuts are also rich in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, reducing inflammation and the incidence of breakouts.

Seeds are also a fantastic source of healthy fats—just another reason to incorporate seed cycling into your daily eats!

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