Acne face map: Science or myth?


Are those pesky pimples trying to tell you something? An alternative medicine technique called acne face mapping aims to get to the bottom of it. An acne face map uses blemish location to assess the health of internal organs. But does it really work? And is there any science behind it?



The complexion speaks volumes about your general health. Dull, itchy skin can be a sign of dehydration, and sickness may leave you looking pale. Acne face mapping takes this one step further: here, the location of your acne is believed to reflect the condition of your internal organs.

Acne face mapping emerged thousands of years ago in Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine. Practitioners use the positioning of breakouts to check for imbalances and diagnose underlying health issues.


Reading acne face maps the traditional way

An acne face map in Ayurveda divides the facial region into multiple zones.

Here’s what acne in three facial zones might say about your internal health:

1. T-zone
  • Forehead breakouts are caused by tension. Exercise and rest are recommended to ease stress levels.
  • Flares between the eyebrows signal issues with the kidneys, stomach, spleen, or liver. The Ayurvedic solution? Cut down on alcohol or cigarettes, and consume more high-fibre fruits and veggies. 
  • Pimples on the nose are linked to heart and lung issues. Some Ayurveda practitioners may recommend consulting a doctor.

2. Cheeks

  • Breakouts on the cheeks are associated with lung or liver imbalances. One approach is to exercise more, as well as avoid smoking, drinking, and spicy food. 
  • When the flares are closer to the nose, the acne face map pins the blame on problems with the small intestine. Should this be the case, cold beverages should be skipped entirely. Food and drinks should be consumed at room temperature.

3. Jawline

  • Blemishes along the chin and jaw could point to imbalances of the large intestine, colon, spleen, or kidneys. Hormones and reproductive organs may also cause acne on the jawline. The Ayurvedic approach calls for more fruit and vegetable intake. Some practitioners may recommend checking the hormone levels.


Acne face maps: A science-backed reading

Many dermatologists view acne face mapping as a pseudoscience. Research does not yet confirm that acne location is indicative of internal health. But an acne face map can still offer useful insights. Let’s consider the three facial zones once again.

1. T-zone: The highest number of oil-producing sebaceous glands are located here. That makes the T-zone very oily. Aggravating the issue are sweat, hair styling products, and dandruff. How do you cope? Rinse your face when it gets sweaty, use only non-comedogenic hair products, and regularly wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo.

2. Cheeks: Dirty pillowcases are a common culprit. So is your trusty mobile phone. Luckily, there are easy fixes here: Wash your bed linen once a week, and wipe down your phone at least once every day.

3. Jawline: Hormones are usually to blame for flares along the beard area. High levels of androgens such as testosterone stimulate sebum production and lead to hormonal acne. Your family doctor, gynaecologist, or dermatologist could prescribe the right treatment plan.


Main causes of acne

Acne face maps suggest internal causes for surface blemishes. But that may not always be the case. Modern scientific research has identified the main causes of acne. 

  • Excess oil: When the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, the pores get clogged with dirt, dead skin cells, and excess sebum. This creates the perfect setting for breakouts. 
  • Bacteria: Acne-causing bacteria reproduce in the clogged pores. Soon, the body’s immune cells arrive to fight off the bacteria. The skin gets inflamed as a result and pimples form.
  • Hormones: High levels of androgens stimulate oil production by the sebaceous glands. The skin gets greasy, the pores get clogged, and acne erupts along the jaw.
  • Genetics: Did either of your parents have oily, acne-prone skin? Then you may be genetically prone to breakouts as well.
  • Environment: Hot and humid environments make you sweat more. The skin feels sticky constantly, and acne is always around the corner. 


    Solve your acne problem in 4 easy steps

    An acne face map can be a handy tool for decoding your acne. However, to lose the zits, you must commit to skincare.

    1. Begin with a deep-cleaning formula like Clearica Anti-Acne Cleanser that does not strip away vital moisture.
    2. Swipe on your go-to toner and let the product absorb into the skin.
    3. Fight visible signs of acne by applying Clearica Anti-Acne Cream.
    3. Finally, hydrate the skin by massaging in your favourite moisturiser. 


    And that’s it! There is no quick fix for acne, but a consistent skincare routine can work wonders in keeping you blemish-free.




    Disclaimer: This page is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a recommendation or for diagnostic purposes. Please consult your dermatologist or doctor before acting on any of the information provided here.