What is face mapping? Face mapping, or mian shiang in Chinese, has been a part of Chinese medicine for thousands of years. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, a weakness or toxicity in a certain organ in the body can result in acne showing up in certain areas of the skin.

As they say, “Great skin starts from the inside-out.” So what pops up on your skin can be an indicator of something not working properly inside.

Upper Forehead

Let’s start with the forehead, specifically the upper forehead. The upper forehead is linked to the digestive system, large intestines, and the bladder. A breakout in this area means there’s a buildup of toxins in these organs, or that your body is having a hard time breaking down food.

To help eliminate toxins, the best thing you can do is to drink enough water to flush out toxins—research has shown it’s best to drink at least 8 cups of water a way. It also helps to consume food and drinks that are high in antioxidants. Like green tea, warm water with lemon, fruits and berries, and superfoods like chlorella which has amazing detoxification properties. Matcha is also a superfood that’s packed with antioxidants, and we have a simple DIY face mask recipe you can follow.

To help your body break down foods, bitter herbs and digestive enzymes are recommended. Dandelion tea is an excellent cleanser for your body. Fruits like pineapple and papaya are high in digestive enzymes.

Lower Forehead

The lower forehead is associated with the mind and spirit. Culprits responsible for pimples in this area are stress and irregular sleeping patterns.

If you have pimples popping up in this area, it’ll be best to sleep earlier, ideally around 10-11pm. When you get enough sleep at night, you will wake up feeling well-rested and have less stress throughout the day.

You can also find ways to decompress and destress by practicing gratitude and positive thinking, for example, writing down 3 things you’re grateful for before you go to sleep every night; smiling more; taking a long hot shower or bath; making yourself a cup of tea and watching your favorite show or movie—that’s Friends and Crazy Stupid Love for me.

Good foods to eat to combat stress are leafy greens, yogurt, blueberries, nuts, dark chocolate, and avocado.

Between Eyebrows

Let’s keep moving down to the area between your eyebrows. This spot is connected to your liver. A diet high in saturated-fats, basically all the things that taste good like fast food, fried food, greasy food, junk food, sweets; dairy; and alcohol—sooo you basically can’t eat anything.. We went into why dairy and sugar can cause you acne in another article.

Well, there’s plenty you can eat but they’re just not as fun. So of course it’ll help to reduce alcohol, dairy, and greasy fatty food intake, but what would help even more would be by swapping in healthier alternatives like not drinking, choosing dairy-alternatives like almond or soy, and picking something like Chipotle over McDonald’s—namely, fresh, minimally processed foods over highly processed foods.

30 minutes of light exercise a day and a good night’s rest would be good too. According to the Chinese “meridian clock,” each organ has a time of day or night where it does its thing. The liver is “most active,” meaning it’s performing it’s bodily duties like detoxing your body, from 1-3am. You should definitely be in bed during this time.


As the wise, bearded ancients used to say, “Your nose is the window to your heart.” You’ve never heard that before? No? Well it’s because I just made it up. But really, blemishes on your nose is a reflection of your heart caused by high blood pressure or stress.

So how to combat high blood pressure and stress? Find time to wind down, calm thy heart, and let go. While your mind’s racing, take a step back, detach, and watch your thoughts. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Realize you don’t have to be a prisoner of your own thoughts, and go make yourself an avocado toast.

Foods high in good fats like nuts, avocado and fish help with cardiovascular health. Also, it helps to incorporate more natural and superfoods into your diet like spirulina, chia seeds, and cacao.

Forehead Corners

The corners of the forehead, by the temples, represent the kidney and bladder system. Dehydration along with excessive salt and caffeine intake can cause an inflammation pimple party in your forehead corners.

This one’s easy. Drink more water, cut down on carbonated and caffeinated drinks, and reduce sodium intake. Swapping sea salt for table salt helps too.


Acne on the cheeks is tied to our lungs and respiratory system. It could be caused by allergies, pollution, respiratory stress, smoking, or too much sugar in our diets.

The most obvious one: it’s best to avoid smoking and smoking areas. Did you know that indoor levels of pollutants may be 2-5 times—and occasionally more than 100 times—higher than outdoor pollutant levels? That’s wild. To combat this, vacuum and dust regularly, open windows when you can, and invest in a good air filter.


Our mouths and the center of our chins’ linked to our stomach and small intestines. Pimples in this area means too much fast food or irregular bowel movements.

Eat fresh foods high in fiber like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Chia seeds and flaxseed help A LOT if you’re struggling in the bowel movements department. Just saying.

A lot of research is now being conducted on how our gut health affects our skin and overall health. To keep your gut health in check, probiotics (yogurt, miso soup, pickles, tempeh) and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi are powerhouses that will nourish and aid in balancing the bacteria in your gut. Pumpkins are high in vitamins A&C, potassium, and fiber which can benefit gut health – here’s a healthy drink recipe you can make.

Side of Chin

And finally, the sides of our chin. This area is connected with the reproductive organ and kidneys. Hormonal imbalance, kidneys working overtime, and extreme stress could all be causes for acne in this area.

Relax, get adequate sleep, drink enough water, eat leafy greens, and keep your skin squeaky clean.

Give the superfood maca a try! It’s especially known for aiding in balancing hormones. A lot of bloggers have attributed maca, along with other lifestyle adjustments, to finally beating chronic acne.

Detox Your Body From the Inside Out

Keep in mind that having a pimple or two in one or many of these areas doesn’t automatically mean you have a serious health issue. If you have chronic acne that you just can’t seem to shake no matter what products you’ve tried to cover up or mask the breakouts, it’s worth trying out these more holistic and natural ways to detox your body from the inside out. Not only will your skin improve, so will your overall health. Or it may be worth asking your doctor to look into potential internal links.

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