Neeyaz Zolfaghari is an Integrative Nutritionist, Lifestyle Coach, and Founder of Unspoken Nutrition
Our skin is a reflection of us—our stories, our experiences, our lifestyle. This makes the skin, our largest organ, a complex story, and a unique tool for understanding what steps in our current routines may or may not be working for us.
Enter, skin mapping.
Skin mapping, also known as mien shiang, is a 3,000+-year-old Chinese practice that views the face as a map connecting to different organs in our bodies. The belief is that depending on where blemishes on the face are, it represents the organ(s) that are affected. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda use skin mapping as a method to look beyond the surface and treat the underlying cause of a skin condition.
Our forehead is linked to the liver and gallbladder. Digestive issues can show up here in the form of blemishes or lines, so make sure to eat foods that help support both liver and gallbladder health such as bitter greens like dandelion, beets, milk thistle, and artichokes. Herbal teas like spearmint and water are also key.
Temples and Brow Line
The temples represent the kidneys and bladder. If you find that you experience frequent urinary tract infections, the signs could be showing up here too. It could also mean that you’re dehydrated, so focus on foods with high water content such as leafy greens, cucumber, and watermelon and superfoods such as berries and algae.
What’s also known as our third eye point, this area is linked to our stomach and liver. Poor digestion and toxic buildup can manifest here as blemishes and congestion. Increase liver supporting foods and reduce your intake of sugars, alcohol, and caffeine.
Under the Eyes
This area represents your stomach, kidneys, and liver, as well as bodily fluids. Stress or lack of adequate water can lead to puffiness, dark circles, or bags. Drink plenty of water, reduce salt, alcohol, and caffeine, and get quality sleep.
The nose represents the heart, with the left side representing the left side of the heart and vice versa. Make sure that you are intaking healthy fats that are packed with omega fatty acids, to help boost your HDL cholesterol and reduce your LDL cholesterol. Foods such as fatty fish, avocado, olives, flax seeds, and chia seeds.
The middle of your cheeks is connected to the stomach and respiratory system. Red or flushed cheeks could be a sign of stomach inflammation, which is usually a cause of food sensitivities or allergies. Reduce your consumption of common allergens such as wheat and dairy and begin alkalizing your body by eating plenty of green vegetables. Unrelated to traditional Chinese skin mapping, blemishes on your cheeks could also be influenced by air pollution and bacteria, especially from unwashed pillowcases and cellphones. Make sure to wash your bedding often and give your phone screen a wipe with an antibacterial wipe or white vinegar spray.
The mouth is also connected to the stomach. If you find yourself eating a lot of cold raw foods, consider eating more warm cooked foods. Foods such as oatmeal, soups, and stews and stir fry.
Jawline and Chin
These areas are represented by the hormonal and reproductive systems. In women, breakouts tend to happen here during the menstrual cycle. While menstruating, women should include more greens and hydrating foods and doing best to keep stress levels under control.
And lastly, your neck and lymph nodes are related to stress and can determine if your body is fighting off an illness. Our lymph nodes swell when they are fighting off bacteria – our bodies are amazing! If your glands do feel swollen or bothersome, take time to unwind and rest. Anything that can reduce emotional and physical stress, will help your body’s natural healing process.
As with anything else related to health, be sure to discuss with your doctor or healthcare professional before trying any new regime. Direct your skin health concerns and questions to a trusted professional such as a Board Certified Dermatologist or Medical Aesthetician, so they can help guide you towards discovering the underlying cause(s) of your skin blemishes. Skin mapping is a unique and specific technique. Balancing your health, improving your immunity, and finding an approach that works for you is key.