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Acne Face Map: What Your Acne is Telling You About Your Health

Did you know the location of your acne could tell you something about your health? This is what an acne face map is used for!

Face mapping is used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It comes from the idea that acne is caused by a problem with one of the internal organs. The acne face map determines which organ in the body is effected.

This post explains what area of the face is linked to which organ, as well as what you can do to help clear your skin.

Acne Face Map

Acne Face Map

Acne and Traditional Chinese Medicine

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the location of acne on the face is linked to issues with an internal organ.

Practitioners of Chinese medicine use acne face maps to find out which organ in the body has a disruption of chi energy when making a diagnosis.

This form of medicine is influenced by a Taoist practise called “Mien Shiang”, and it has never been proved by science.

According to The Face Reader by Patician McCarthy, “Mien Shiang” is 3,000 years old. It literally means “face reading”, and was used as a diagnostic tool.

Acne Face Map Table

The table below shows which organ of the body is linked to which location on the face, as well as the possible conditions that could lead to acne forming there. 

LocationOrgan Cause of Acne
ForeheadDigestive SystemA poor diet
Intestinal disorders
EyebrowsLiverToxins in the body
A poor diet
Negative emotions
Kidney or bladder infection
Medication side effects
CheeksRespiratory system
Stomach inflammation
Sinus problems
NoseHeartHigh cholesterol
High blood pressure
Stomach ulcer
Eating too much cold food
Reproductive system
Menstrual Cycle

What Each Location Means on the Acne Face Map

Acne On Your Cheeks


In Chinese medicine the cheeks represent the respiratory system, stomach or spleen. If you have acne on your cheeks it is recommended you eat cooling foods such as melon, cucumber or green beans.

According to Western medicine however, having cheek acne may be due to bacteria on your pillowcase, mobile phone or make up brushes.

Remedies for Cheek Acne

  • Wash your pillowcases at least once a week
  • Wipe your mobile phone with an anti-bacterial wipe once a day
  • Regularly wash your makeup brushes
  • Eat cooling foods such as watermelon, cucumber, lettuce.
  • Drink dandelion root tea, chrysanthemum tea or elderflower tea
  • Try to breathe fresh air
  • Avoid spicy foods
Acne On Your Jawline And Chin

Jawline And Chin

Both Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine agree that acne on the jawline and chin is connected to hormones. Breakouts in this area are normally due to an increase in hormones that stimulate the oil glands.

 In Chinese medicine, the chin and jawline represent the reproductive system and hormones. Acne in this area is connected to the menstrual cycle, or stress.

Remedies for Jawline Acne

  • Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables
  • Eat less processed foods and dairy
  • Try supplementing with Evening Primrose Oil to balance your hormones
  • Take additional magnesium, selenium and zinc
Acne On Your Ears


Acne on the ears or temples could be linked to a kidney or bladder problem. Too much salt or caffeine in the diet could cause problems on this area of the face according to Chinese medicine.

It may also be linked to a hormonal imbalance. Hormonal acne usually appears on the jawline, however acne breakouts on the ear can also be a result of excess oil production caused by male hormones.

Western medicine states that acne in this area may be due to a build up of bacteria, pore clogging hair products, or stress. It could also be caused by bacteria on your cell phone, or dirty pillowcases.

Remedies for Acne on Ears

  • Drink more water
  • Reduce your salt and caffeine intake
  • Use non-comedogenic hair care products
  • Avoid touching your ears or temples
  • Eat a healthy diet with less junk food
Acne On The Eyebrow Area

Eyebrow Area

In Chinese medicine, the space between the eyebrows is linked to the liver. Any spots that appear in this region could be linked to a buildup of toxins in the body.

A diet which is high in fat, processed foods, and alcohol can cause acne on the eyebrow area, as well as persistent negative emotions.

According to Western medicine, acne in this area may be caused by plucking your eyebrows, an irritated hair follicle, or ingrown hair. It can also be caused by makeup or brow styling techniques.

Remedies for Acne on Eyebrow Area

  • Take turmeric supplements
  • Drink more water
  • Use non-comedogenic makeup products
  • Practice meditation and focus on happy thoughts
  • Eat less fatty or processed foods
Acne On Your Forehead & Nose (T-Zone)

Forehead & Nose (T-Zone)

In Chinese medicine the forehead represents the digestive system, and the nose represents the heart. If acne appears on the t-zone it is often a problem with excess oil.

Acne in this area could be linked to stress, poor diet, intestinal disorders, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. It could also be linked to a lack of sleep. Being frequently tired has been linked to an increase in acne on the t-zone.

To reduce this type of acne you could also try taking probiotics to improve gut health.

Remedies for Acne on Forehead

  • Eat more fresh ginger or peppermint in your diet to aid digestion
  • Avoid touching the face
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Acupuncture
  • Use kaolin clay masks to control oil
  • Skincare treatments that include salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or glycolic acid
Acne On Your Hairline


Acne around the hairline is not linked to an internal organ in Chinese medicine. Instead one of the most common causes for acne in this location is oily hair products.

Pomades, gels, oils and waxes that are used in hair products can clog the pores and cause the skin to break out. Hairline acne is also sometimes called “pomade acne”.

In acne face mapping, hairline acne is sometimes considered to be forehead acne, but in this post I have classed this type of acne separately.

Remedies for Hairline Acne

  • Use non-comedogenic hair care products
  • Avoid using products which contain: shea butter, cocoa butter, petroleum, silicone, mineral oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil and lanolin
  • Cover your face when using hair sprays
  • Use a clarifying shampoo regularly to detox the hair and scalp

Acne Face Map and Western Medicine

There is no scientific evidence that backs up traditional Chinese face mapping, so in this post I am also including a Western acne face map.

In Western medicine, acne on different parts of the face can be corrected with lifestyle changes, or skincare treatments that clear the pores and remove dead skin cells.

The map below shows the possible causes of acne on different zones of your face.

Acne Map and Western Medicine

Causes of Acne According to Western Medicine

Causes of Acne According to Western Medicine

Acne Face Mapping: Understanding the Complexion Code

Acne is more than just pesky pimples; it can be your body’s way of communicating potential health issues. Understanding the connection between the location of acne on your face and internal health can be a valuable tool for addressing skin problems and promoting overall well-being.

Acne Face Mapping in Ayurvedic Medicine

While Traditional Chinese Medicine has its own take on acne face mapping, Ayurvedic medicine also offers valuable insights into the relationship between acne location and health issues. Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine from India, attributes acne to imbalances in the body’s doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). These imbalances can be linked to various health issues such as poor digestion, hormonal changes, and dietary choices.

Ayurvedic face mapping involves associating different areas of your face with specific causes of acne. For instance, acne on the forehead is often connected to digestive issues and excessive Pitta dosha. Similarly, chin acne might indicate imbalances related to hormonal changes or reproductive health.

Scientific Perspective: What Modern Medicine Says

In stark contrast to ancient Eastern medicine, modern medicine takes a more evidence-based approach to understanding the causes of acne. Scientific research has shed light on various factors that contribute to acne, such as:

  • Hormonal Changes: Hormone levels, particularly excess androgens, play a significant role in acne development. Hormonal changes can stimulate the sebaceous glands and hair follicles, leading to increased sebum production and clogged pores.
  • Genetics: Your genetic makeup can influence your susceptibility to acne. If your parents had acne, you might be more prone to it.
  • Diet and Digestive Issues: While not as straightforward as traditional face mapping suggests, diet can indeed impact acne. Certain foods, such as dairy and high-glycemic-index items, may exacerbate acne in some individuals. Digestive issues, like irritable bowel syndrome or poor bowel movement, can indirectly affect skin health.
  • Skincare and Cosmetic Products: Acne cosmetica, a type of acne caused by cosmetic products, can affect different parts of your face, especially if these products contain pore-clogging ingredients. It’s essential to choose non-comedogenic skincare products.
  • Stress Hormones: Stress can lead to hormonal imbalances, increasing the risk of acne. The lower third of the face, including the jawline and chin, is particularly prone to stress-related breakouts.
  • Prescription Medications: Some medications, including birth control pills and prescription medications for other health issues, can impact hormone levels and potentially cause acne as a side effect.

The Best Way Forward

So, what’s the best way to approach acne face mapping in light of both ancient Eastern and modern Western perspectives? Here are some actionable steps:

  1. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Regardless of the specific causes, a healthy lifestyle can promote clear skin. This includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and managing stress.
  2. Consult a Healthcare Provider: If you have persistent or severe acne, consult a healthcare provider or a board-certified dermatologist. They can help pinpoint the specific causes of your acne and recommend an effective treatment plan.
  3. Skincare Routine: Establish a skincare routine that suits your skin type and concerns. This might include the use of topical retinoids or other dermatologist-recommended products.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help maintain skin hydration and overall health.
  5. Avoid Trigger Foods: If you suspect certain foods trigger your acne, consider eliminating them from your diet and monitoring the results.
  6. Be Mindful of Hair and Cosmetic Products: Use non-comedogenic hair care products and ensure that your cosmetics are suitable for your skin type.

In conclusion, acne face mapping offers valuable insights into the potential health issues related to acne location. While ancient Eastern medicine and modern Western medicine have different approaches, a holistic perspective that combines the best of both worlds can guide you toward effective acne management and improved overall health. Remember that consulting a healthcare provider is often the most reliable way to address persistent or severe acne issues.

References and Sources

In our quest to understand the intricate relationship between the location of acne on our faces and underlying health concerns, it’s crucial to rely on credible sources and references. All the articles listed below are reliable sources and contain useful information on acne face mapping.

This Post was About Acne Face Maps

Thank you for reading my post about acne face maps. If you have acne on a specific area of the face it may be connected to another condition. Try taking steps to improve your overall health rather than focusing on an acne treatment. Please feel free to leave me a comment below if you have any tips on how to achieve clear skin.

What causes break outs on different areas of the face? Find out why you get acne in certain areas and not others as well as which Chinese remedies could help. Face mapping is used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It comes from the idea that acne is caused by a problem with one of the internal organs. The acne face map determines which organ in the body is effected. It can be used by men and women. tcm