Chin and Jawline Break Outs: What is Your Acne Saying about Your Health?

 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.  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, 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.

40 responses to “Chin and Jawline Break Outs: What is Your Acne Saying about Your Health?

  1. Nel

    Your articles are so informative, truly! Is there a post you already did about break outs on your cheeks or in the middle of the face?

    • kristen

      I will do a bog post on the cheek area on Friday! I am so happy ppl are interested in face mapping. I find it fascinating.

  2. Tatiana

    I am addicted to face mapping concept. Last year, as per Kristen’s advice on conquering jaw/neck acne, I tried a candida cleanse. Astonishing results were no surprise but me being a carboholic (dating an Italian certainly doesn’t help either) brought me back to square one. This season I will try again and this time moderate myself, the results are well worth it, you literally see your pores purge and shrink and fine lines – diminish.

    • kristen

      Amazing Tatiana! I find face mapping effective too. It just shows how connected our skin and internal bodies are.

  3. How do you do a candida cleanse? Do you have to buy those boxes at the health store? I am so scared of those. Is there any way to do the Candida cleanse without the use of those boxes?

    • kristen

      Jacqueline, you can start with simply following the candida diet of no sugar, yeast, fermented foods, wheat… And, if you see a naturopath, they can prescribe a blend of herbs that kills candida but is specifically tailored to you and your body.

  4. Thank you! Do you have a naturopath you can recommend?

    • kristen

      If you look at my “Kristen Loves” page there are a few listed. But email me at kristen (at) pureandsimple.ca and I can recommend one that is specific to your needs!

  5. Carly

    Wow. I feel like I am reading a description of my entire life. I have terrible cystic acne on my neck (and back) since the birth of my second daughter, and it is timed exactly to my cycle each month. I’ve also battled chronic candida issues, which thankfully I’ve largely cleared with a daily dose of keifer.

    Kristen, I can’t thank you enough for this. I’m literally sitting here with tears in my eyes. Now I just have to work up the courage to make some major changes in my life.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • kristen

      Oh Carly, that is beautiful! I’m so glad I could help.

  6. Ashley

    Hi Kristen

    I (stupidly & regrettably) tried the OCM method thinking it would do wonders for my skin. For the first week or so, it did. Then, I broke out into a terrible burning, rash-like acne ONLY on my chin. There were little tiny bumps everywhere. Aggravated by too much stress from work, this broke out into terrible cystic acne on my chin. I have been going to Pure & Simple for years, so I am trying to keep it hydrated with oils but I am also using clay masks & steaming with lavender water. Funnily enough, I recently changed my diet. I am sugar-free and grain-free. So this is really frustrating. I exercise, I eat well, I sleep well. Can you give me any advice on how I can treat this break out properly? There is so much conflicting advice out there. I don’t want to use antibiotics if I don’t have to.

    • kristen

      Ashley – that can happen with the OCM method – and it sounds like you have made a lot of changes along with are stressed: the perfect environment for a breakout. My first advice is not to pick at it. Steam your skin everyday this week followed by using your clay mask. Here is a post I did with directions on how to do this: http://www.holisticvanity.ca/steamy-nights-for-the-cleanest-pores/

      Also, if you can, get an Aquabrasion – this treatment had been fantastic for clearing up break outs. Shari at our King location has been getting dramatic results for her acne clients in particular.

      Lastly, avoid caffeine, alcohol and spicy food until this passes and hydrate up. These are stimulating and you don’t need any more stimulation, aggravating inflammation in the form of another break out.

      • nj

        even OCM did same thing acne breakouts and yes have hormonal imbalance so pimples around jawline…..

  7. Megan

    This post says it all! I am so glad someone understands! I have deep cystic acne on my jawline and neck and it is taking over all aspects of my life! I have cut out dairy, wheat and eat a very clean diet along with several herbal supplements- what else can I incorporate…. Do you accept new patients? Even via Skype?

    • kristen

      Megan – for some reason the comments on this post stopped feeding to my email as they usually do! My great, great apologies. I would be happy to give you indepth advice tailored to your individual constitution and skin. email me at kristen (at) pureandsimple.ca

  8. Marie

    Is it normal for pimples to get worse when starting the diet mentioned above? I’ve cut out yeast, flour, sugar, fermented foods etc. for a few days now and I’m breaking out more than usual; more whiteheads, larger, redder pimples. I wasn’t expecting instant results but I wasn’t expecting this!!
    It’s very discouraging :(

    Thanks.

    • k

      @marie, yes. you should research candida die-off symptoms. it’s probably what you’re experiencing.

      • kristen

        Marie! I’m so sorry I missed your comment – you can email me any time if you dont get a reply (see contact page). Thank you so much k for replying with a great succinct response. I agree! How is your skin now Marie?

  9. jules

    i’ve recently developed acne all over my jawline/upper neck area. could it have been linked to a bout of thyroiditis i suffered recently? and how do i get back on track.

    • kristen

      It can be Jules! In order get back on track you probably want an in-depth assessment. Are you in Toronto?

  10. jules

    No, i am in the usa. i’ve tried asking my regular dr but he just referred me to acne topical treatment (benzyl peroxide & salicylic acid). while they seem to mostly control what’s happenng on my face (so long as i slather my face with them), they are not doing anything for the jawline, upper neck area.

    • kristen

      Jules, you are welcome to conduct a Skype consultation with me – or you can look for a local Chinese Medicine Doctor or Naturopathic Doctor. I definitely think that you should explore the internal aspect of your chin breakouts since the topicals are not helping. I wish you were in Toronto as I have many excellent practitioners in my community as well as my own input.

  11. Lucy

    I have been breaking out for the last three years around the same time. I tend to start breaking out in november and then it will not clear out until may or june. I am not sure if it is stress or it is a seasonal breakout. I am on Alesse right now (birthcontrol) I have been on it for about 1 month and a bit and also on an anti biotic. To be honest I do not see much improvement and I am starting to get really frustrated. I have tried a lot of tropical treatments and even Acutene but nothing has cleared me up. I am trying to stay positive but in all honesty I am really hitting a low point where I do not want to socialize or go out for that matter. My doctor does not seem to know much. I am not sure if it is the Canadian weather but I am not figuring out what is causing my breakout since in the summer my face is almost cleared out with little imperfections. I really need your help.

  12. Shil

    Wonderful explaination. May i was looking for this. I will try skiping Dosa, Sweets, banana and all you mentioned above

  13. Maren

    I loved this article. Putting on my make-up this morning I noticed how my skin had cleared from a very targeted and unusual period of jawline acne. I decided to google it, and your post came up. I’m just starting menopausal changes with some weight gain–exactly as you describe kapha characteristics. I had already begun some natural hormonal balancing, some intermittent fasting for cleansing, and waking early in the morning to exercise. These are exactly the things you mentioned as kapha balancing and they coincided with my jaw acne disappearing. I am the poster child for your article–exactly as you describe it.

    • kristen

      This is an amazing comment! I am so glad to hear about your success using natural measures. Its always wonderful to hear when people benefit from a holistic approach to beauty.

  14. Alicia

    Hi Kristen,
    Thank you for posting this information. I’ve been having acne on my lower cheeks, jawline and neck for the past couple months. I think it might be related to a Plan B pill I took about 2 months ago. I eat super clean – mostly vegan, gluten free, and exercise. I’m at a healthy fit weight.
    I just stopped by The Organic Pharmacy and bought a bottle of Clear Skin Tincture (homeopathy drops) to help balance my hormones. I’ve been using tea tree oil wipes on my skin and that’s been helping clear up most of the problem, but I still have deep painful pimples on my jawline and upper neck.
    What else do you recommend? I live in Los Angeles, so it’s easy to find natural treatment. Thank you!

    • kristen

      Alicia, the best thing to do is email me as I have more questions!

  15. Brisa

    I’m kinda confused, does cutting out sugar mean fruits? Or just processed sugar and carbs such as what pasta? bread? Rice? Potatoes? Also what does that mean to only eat veggies and legumes if you are vegan? Also I found that wheat makes me break out even more so I have already cut that out of my diet(7months), as well as meat and dairy. Also I do not eat processed foods mostly fruits and vegetables and I am transitioning into a raw till 4 lifestyle so far my acne which is on my jaw line and where my jaw and neck meet has become better but not fully cleared up should I take probiotics to help clear it up? Because I read that that could also be why I am still breaking out. I know that exercise has a lot to do with it also and I’m starting to incorporate more lymphatic flushing exercises into my daily routine. Also how do you know if you have candida? I haven’t taken bc or antibiotics in over a year and a half now and have been improving my lifestyle habits since that time could I still have candida and back to the probiotics could they help with returning my gut back to normal and get rid of candida?

    Sorry so many questions I have been trying to get at least 95% clear for such a long time and since I found out that wheat was what was causing me to break out mostly I had hoped that I would be clear by now 7 months after becoming wheat free I am mostly clear but I still have a bit of acne and now I’m not quite too sure what it could be I know that it could also be my sleep patterns but it is difficult to pin point it thank you for this post I appreciate it so much.

    • kristen

      Sugar as in all sweeteners but also high sugar carbs. It sounds like you are following a Kapha diet as you also are cutting out dairy and meats. Candida is a form of kapha imbalance. If you are vegan you can still have quinoa, amaranth and a few other starches along with legume, seeds, nuts and veggies. Probiotics can help with battling candida but the kapha diet (which also includes cutting out fermented foods) is key. I hope this helps! I offer online consults if you need more individual guidance – email me if you are interested!

  16. suzan

    Hi Kristen

    I too have candida on my jaw lines these are really painful

    Could you asssit to draw out a diet plan that is suitable

    • kristen

      Suzan, you can follow the Ayurvedic diet I outline in that post. Just search “Ayurvedic Diet” on my blog – you will want to follow the Kapha guidelines. Also, I offer online consults to tailor plans to each individual. Jaw acne can be a bit complex so you may want a specific individualized plan.

  17. azure

    Hi kristen,
    I have the exact same problem as Alicia. Hardly had any breakouts before I took 2 plan B pills.. Please help.

    • kristen

      Azure, I would be happy to help but I need more details about you. Email me – I do online skin consults that include an in-depth total body assessment.

  18. Niamh

    Thanks for sharing such an informative article on jawline acne. It helped to remind me of the candida connection which I totally over-looked recently. Thanks again!

    • kristen

      My pleasure! I’m glad it brought together a few schools of thought! Universal wellness :)

  19. Miranda

    This is amazing information and exactly what I was looking for. Earlier this year I started taking digestie enzymes, which cleared up all my acne but on my jawline. I have clear skin EXCEPT for this bizarre cluster of pimples only on 1 side of my jawline — I knew it had to do with diet but I wasnt sure what exactly I had to do. This article makes so much sense, because in the recent summer months, I have been eating a lot of ice cream, and more pancakes/pasta/pizza than normal — which is all carbs, dairy and sugar. 2 months ago, I trained for 2 weeks for a 10k run and was running like crazy — people commented on my nice skin — so clearly I need to get back into my intense cardio routine, as you mentioned. Its going to be tough to manage my diet, but its worth it, Im sure! Also, if you can provide recipes that would be amazing!!

    • kristen

      Great idea Miranda! Thank you so much

  20. Brittany

    I am so glad I discovered this site! I am a avid exerciser, eat super healthy (no gluten, red meats, sugars, coffee, etc. ) but I still suffer horribly from the same type of acne along my Jawline and I am searching for answers!

    I love my sauerkraut and plain fat free Greek yogurt which I sadly think is the culprit :( Are these foods really that bad for you? or do you think something else could be the cause??

    Thank you for posting this useful information!! I am so glad I am not alone on this :)

  21. Katie

    I have this jawline pimple thing real bad and I have been eating a lot of sweets ice cream etc…and reaching menopause my skin looks horrible and it’s starting on other side what should I do to help this to go away help please

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