It’s beauty week at HC Villanova, and we’ve got some skin secrets for you!
We live in a world where new is synonymous with best. Think about it – we all want the newest technology, clothes, shoes, and even skin care products because we think they’re better than their predecessors, right? While it’s true that improvements are generally made–and always welcomed–in new products, we shouldn’t forget that sometimes it’s better to revert back to your roots. Ancient roots.
I give you: face mapping.
In ancient China, certain medicines were prescribed to people based on the belief that different areas of the face correspond with internal areas of your body. Essentially, your breakouts were indicators of much bigger problems, and solving those problems solved your skin issues too! This belief still holds true today, and various dermatologists and reflexologists swear by it.
So, what are your breakouts telling you?
First, there are different zones: the forehead, temples, between the brows, left cheek, right cheek, lip area, chin and jawline, and neck.
Zone 1: Forehead
Causes: Digestive system, stress, irregular sleep schedule
Cures: Eat less processed junk food – your body might have a hard time breaking down the sugar, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush out toxins, and put yourself on a regular sleep schedule!
-Reach for a cooling food like cucumber or melon as a snack.
-In the words of the Olay commercial, your skin “works differently” at night. Though it’s difficult, you should at least try to hop into bed around 10:30 – 11, and wake up earlier than you normally would.
If you’ve recently switched shampoos/conditioners/gels etc and have suddenly seen a much higher increase in forehead acne, it’s very possible that your new hair product is the cause of your breakout! Also a possibility – unclean hats/helmets (if you’re an athlete), or dirty bangs – anything that’s touching your forehead for a prolonged period of time should be clean to begin with since it is a very sensitive area and the pores clog more easily.
Zone 2: Temples
Causes: Lymphatic circulation, kidneys, diet too high in fat.
Cures: Regulate the amount of processed food & fast food in your diet (yes, this includes Wawa food too), reduce the unhealthy fat, and make sure you don’t forget to wash your makeup off.
-Adding in avocado or fish into your diet is a good idea – they contain the “healthy” fats.
-Like with the forehead, cooling foods like cucumbers and melons are really beneficial.
Dehydration is also a culprit when it comes to skin issues around the eye (including bags or dark undereye circles.) Make sure you’re keeping yourself hydrated!
Zone 3: Between the Brows
Causes: Liver, too much alcohol/tobacco
Cures: Cut back on alcohol, smoking, and greasy food.
-Maybe don’t get so wasted at the Courts.
-Avoid late night snacks
If you’ve just tried a new food recently, acne here can indicate an allergic reaction.
Zone 4: Nose
Cures: pay attention to your blood pressure, cholesterol & vitamin B intake
-Spicy food can also increase acne here
-Those “healthy fats” mentioned before should also be added to your diet- avocados, fish, flaxseed, nuts etc… anything rich in Omega 3 & 6.
Make sure that your makeup is not past its expiration date or is formulated so that it doesn’t clog pores! The pores on the nose tend to be larger, so they are more affected by dirt and oil.
Zone 5: Left Cheek
Causes: Liver, stomach issues, overeating
Cures: Maintain a balanced diet with three meals a day – no binge eating!
Breakouts in the lower cheek area also signifies irritation in the gums & teeth, so make sure you keep up proper dental hygiene!
Make sure you wash your pillow cases and makeup brushes regularly. Also try not to hold your phone up to your ear for a long call – opt for the “speaker” option, or headphones. Phones, especially touchscreens, get very dirty very quickly, so clean them with rubbing alcohol.
Zone 6: Right Cheek
Causes: Lung & allergy issues, stomach problems, high amounts of sugar.
Cures: Getting more fresh air is one of the simplest cures for a weak respiratory system. Smoking could also cause acne particularly in this area.
-Avoid large intakes of food that causes high acidity in the body – excessive dairy, alcohol, caffeine and sugar, for example. So instead of grabbing that donut in the Pit, try some veggies.
Like your left cheek acne, pillow cases and dirty cell phones are big time culprits. Don’t let something so simple throw off your skin.
Zone 7: Lip Area
Causes: Irregular bowels/constipation, stomach problems
Cures: Eat some more fiber, and drink herbal teas – they soothe the digestive system.
-Too much spicy/fried food can contribute to spots around your lips. Next time you’re at Connelly, instead of going for the chicken tenders, try out a grilled chicken sandwich with some lettuce! Your body will thank you later.
-Toothpaste that irritates your skin or doesn’t rinse off all the way could also be affecting your lip area – even if you might not realize it!
Zone 8: Chin & Jawline
Causes: Hormonal problems.
Cures: Unfortunately, this stuff is sometimes unavoidable. There are things that can help – keeping skin particularly clean, or not leaning on your hands or touching your face as often are simple things that will at least help you out a little. And if your hair is long and hasn’t been washed in a few days, make sure you keep it tied up and away from your jaw area as the dirt/oil/grease can transfer fairly easily.
-Eating leafy greens, fresh fruit & vegetables, and foods high in Omega 3s can help reduce the effect of your hormones.
We’ve all heard of “stress breakouts” and they’re particularly prominent while you’re hormonal. Take some time out of your day to unwind – head over for a free yoga class at Davis/Jake Nevin, exercise for 20 minutes, take a nap if you can afford to do so. Just make sure this week you relax.
Zone 9: Neck
Causes: Occasional acne on this area is almost always an indicator that you’re fighting off an illness or bacteria.
Cures: Keep hydrated and maybe invest in some cold meds.
-OJ is always a good investment when you’re sick, so grab some down at the Sparket or 2nd Storey
-A lesser known but incredibly effective cold medication: Zicam. If you take it at the first sign of a cold, it rapidly fights the bacteria and you’re on your way to a quick recovery. I personally use it every time, and it always works (even if it might taste a little gross.) Just make sure you take it on a full stomach!
The same rules apply when you’re hormonal: stress can only hurt you not help you. Take deep breaths, go for a walk, write in a journal, listen to music…anything that will help you unwind.
Remember – there are many different causes for acne including genetics, poor hygiene, and even outside irritations, and these don’t necessarily apply to everyone. However, it never hurts to try! Everything in your body should be kept in balance to maintain good health, and good skin. So before you buy something new, try something old!