Finding yourself repeatedly breaking out in the same place? This isn’t a coincidence – acne never is! It’s also something you do not need to be putting up with.
Look in the mirror, listen to your body and save your skin!
If you’re repeatedly getting spots in the same place you’ve probably found a way to cope already: applying concealer to the area, crying maniacally, squeezing the life out of your spot and letting the sadness seep out or just refraining from leaving the house.
However, it’s time to learn about face mapping.
Where, when and WHY!
Grab a mirror, turn on your light and take off your makeup.
The best way to plot your skins fluctuation without being bias is to take photos: one every morning before you shower with the natural light hitting your face. Chances are this image won’t be the prettiest but it will help map where your skin gets oily or dry and what your breakouts are like.
Face Mapping is a traditional Chinese method of medicine: the theory suggests that the location of your acne can present clues of what’s causing it. The medicine maintains that weaknesses and toxicity results in flare-ups of the skin – and some clever detective work can help you go from spotty to care free in no time!
I will stress that not all acne can be remedied this way, though I have found this method to be helpful for smaller breakouts. However, (as my acne was severe) I did complete a course of Roaccutane, my experience on the drug may be helpful for some of the more severe sufferers!
FOREHEAD: It’s time to take a look at your digestive system – you may not be breaking down all those secret snacks as well as you think!
Just because you aren’t piling on the pounds does not mean that your body isn’t struggling to cope. This area can also indicate liver problems, stress or a dysfunctional sleep schedule – it’s time to turn off Netflix and listen to your skin!
BROWS, BROWS, BROWS: Did you enjoy some fast food yesterday, maybe after a night out?… Let’s talk toxins! Greasy, fatty foods can be connected to acne – especially when consuming large amounts infrequently – aka, binging. This includes alcohol – too much alcohol. If you find pimples here after a night out where you consumed a few drinks, that may be your issue. Try drinking water in between shots and cutting down on those greasy foods!
Alternatively, it may be the exact opposite and you worked out at the gym (where do you find the motivation?!) – sweat seeping into your pores can have the same effect in the same area – wash your face, but not too much!
CHEEKS: This one isn’t always so easy to rectify! Polluted air is the answer here and it isn’t always much you can do about it. Maybe you spend hours in the city every day or have to sit inside your hot car in traffic everyday, you might even just sleep with the window closed when your skin is begging for you to leave it open! Your skin needs to breathe.
If you think the ‘bad air’ affecting your skin is in your home or office work space then crack open the window and buy a plant – they clean the air around you and look cute while doing so. Try driving with your window slightly open. Do not be fooled into thinking that air conditioning is your savior – it’s not, it’s recycling those germs and blowing them all over your face.
Pressing your cell phone to your skin. Touching your face with your hands often. Surrounding yourself with ‘bad air’. No, no, no!
Change your habits and your skin might just change with them. This area is all to do with germs and pollution, the number one rule here is:
cleanse, cleanse and (you guessed it) cleanse!
CHINNY-CHIN-CHIN (SOMETIMES MOUTH TOO): Is it your time of the month? Or do you just touch your face, a lot? Chin pimples often come around because of changes in your hormones – they can often come big, bad and yellow. Start mapping your hormonal cycle and taking extra care of this area before and during your period – stop moisturizing this area for a few days, the drier the skin the harder it is for pimples to make themselves at home. Also, consider eating foods that help regulate natural hormonal cycles.
If this area is affected all month, or you haven’t got a vagina, then be sure you’re not resting your chin in your hands when bored or tired, as this can transfer oils from your fingers onto your chin, which can cause pimples.
Let’s talk: WHEN?
It may seem like a silly thing to say but most people forget to wonder – when did these new spots appear?
If they’re appearing first thing in the morning then there is a good chance that you’re not taking your makeup off properly or completing a full skin care routine before bed. When acne is bad it’s good to get into the habit of changing your pillow covers twice a week and spraying them with tea-tree/seaweed sprays (these helps fight acne and cleanse skin). Wash your makeup brushes often. ALWAYS remove makeup before bed. Finally, stop eating just before you sleep – it’s not only your tummy that likes time to digest.
Sleeping with a glass of water beside your bed can also increase your chances of, shock horror, actually drinking water which is always a plus point for your skin!
Maybe it’s midday and these spots have just appeared? You can feel that uncomfortable bump starting to grow under your skin and you know what’s coming – a spot storm. This isn’t unusual, skin flare-ups during this time of the day can be due to hormones or even your makeup. Starting your day with a fresh face and ending it slightly spotty is a sign that your skin is reacting badly to something – hormonal, cosmetic or air pollution. Bad, bad, bad. To try to help your skin try finding products that don’t include mineral oil, propylene glycol and dimethicone.
I would highly recommend The BodyShop’s product SeaWeed Day Cream I’ve used it as a primer for over half a decade and found it’s incredible for protecting your skin against makeup. All of their seaweed range has been a skin-saver for me for a very long time!
Evening: Did you wash your face after work? After your exercise routine? After cooking your food? All day, your skin is subjected to pollution and contaminants in the air, not to mention makeup. Give your skin a helping hand and wash your face the first chance you get – it will appreciate it! Also, don’t wear makeup on days you don’t need to, it’s more comfortable and your skin will love just one day off a week!
Face Mapping is not the definitive way of treating acne, but it helps for those regular break-outs and is a useful tool to have. Listen to your body and it will answer your cries!