Are you only breaking out in one area of your face? On your chin? Forehead? Nose or hairline? Since we apply our skincare everywhere, can the cause of our blemishes be simple product decisions if they are only clustered in one area? Not according to Ayurveda – in fact, the concept of face mapping offers very clear ideas to what is happening with out health.
A commonly understood concept in Eastern Medicine, is that our external bodies reflect and are connected to our internal bodies. In Chinese Medicine, practitioners treat out-of-balance organs through puncturing or stimulating different points on our skin (acupuncture and reflexology). In Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and other Asian Health Sciences, much of a doctor’s diagnosis comes from examining our tongues, nails, hair and skin. So, it is not surprising that it is believed that where we break out indicates what is happening in our health. In fact, I use face mapping in every skin consultation I perform via skype or in-person. Last week I blogged about how forehead congestion displays Vata-imbalance, and today I will explain the presence of pimples in the lower part of the complexion.
What Jaw Line Break Outs Mean
The bottom portion of the face, according to Ayurveda, is governed by the Kapha dosha. Kapha is an energy that is represented by the elements of earth and water. It is the moist, heavy and storing qualities found within our bodies. Like earth and water, Kapha is stable and wet, so it governs accumulation and growth as well as our body’s fluid. We need this dosha as it allows us to stay hydrated and youthful, as well as it governs fertility, but in excess is leads to many ailments. Excess Kapha can lead to weight gain, water-retention, yeast and fungus (candida) and cysts.
This is why most of the break outs on our jawline and chin are large, deep, sometimes cystic pimples. These blemishes are full of fluid (pus) and can be painful to touch. Some of them are blind pimples – break outs that are not very visible – and are deep-seated, uncomfortable and take a long time to clear up (due to Kapha’s slow, stable characteristics). The blackheads in this area also tend to be bigger, deeper and more oily than those in the other section of our face. Even the texture of our skin in this area is thicker and has more fatty tissue than the Vata (air and space dosha) area of our forehead (which is thin and boney).
Kapha and Acne
Kapha break outs on the chin often relate to our reproductive system and hormonal imbalance. Many women find that they get cysts here around their menstrual period. Blemishes on the jawline and chin can also be caused by candida, and a candida-fighting diet is essentially a traditional Ayurvedic Kapha-balancing diet. This entails cutting out heavy, creamy, damp, fermented, sweet foods such as sugar, yeast, wines and vinegars (and all other fermented foods), dairy and flours (Kapha needs to manage their carb intake. This also help those with excess Kapha manage their weight. Surprisingly foods such as bananas, shellfish and soy also need to be eliminated. Many of my clients who have chronic break outs in the chin and jawline try this for two months and see a drastic improvement.
But beyond diet, those of us with excess Kapha need to be stimulated. Cardiovascular exercise, Kapha yoga, waking up early in the morning and other measures to move our blood and circulation are important. This also helps with water-retention and puffy eyes (which are worst in the morning. Morning also happens to be “Kapha time” – when Kapha energy is at its peak for the day).
So, when frustrated with chin and jawline pimples, think beyond your choice of cosmetics and skincare – often it is our body telling us that we are out-of-balance and that we need to detox, eat clean and take simple stimulating measures.
If you need assistance in understanding your acne, Kristen is available for online, phone and in-person consultations.