Breakouts do not discriminate. They are not confined by race, sex, economic situation or age. Anyone at anytime in their life (usually the worst time!) can experience a breakout. The first step in working to control your breakouts is to determine the cause. There are many factors that can contribute to your breaking out. Hormones, stress, food allergies, product sensitivities, intestinal issues, makeup and applicators, certain medications and environmental conditions can all cause you to experience breakouts.
Chinese face mapping (known as Mien Shiang) literally translates as “face reading”. This practice is over 3,000 years old, and is a valuable tool still used today to assist in diagnosing issues in various systems and organs of the body. As your body’s largest organ, your skin acts as a control panel. Except instead of flashing lights and alarm sounds, we will experience a breakout to let us know that something is not working properly within that area of the body.
Hormones trigger the development of our sebaceous (oil) glands. As the body enters puberty, our glands mature, and the body produces an excess of androgens (male hormones) that stimulate the production of sebum (oil). Levels of testosterone rise in both males and females. Seventy percent of teenagers will experience breakouts due to these hormonal shifts in the body. As the body reaches maturity, the hormones stabilize, yet forty percent of adults will continue to experience breakouts into their mid to late twenties. Of that forty percent, statistically, 75%-85% of those still struggling with breakouts are female. While male hormone levels tend to stabilize by the mid-twenties, the female body goes through significant hormonal changes well after puberty. Menstruation, pregnancies and menopause all cause significant disturbance to the body’s hormonal balance, resulting in breakouts. Chronic stress causes breakouts by increasing cortisol and other stress-related hormone levels which in turn will increase your sebum levels, resulting in clogged pores.
Food allergies are an underlying and often undiagnosed reason for breakouts. Whether you have a full-blown allergy or an intolerance, those foods are not just damaging to the digestive system. Common allergies and intolerances that affect the skin are dairy, sugar, gluten, wheat, yeast, nuts, corn, alcohol and their by-products. It is the inflammation associated with our body’s attempt at breaking down these difficult substances that contributes significantly to those red, inflamed bumps on the skin.
Products and ingredients can cause breakouts depending on your skin’s sensitivity as well as the harshness of the chemicals encountering your skin. Fragrances/perfumes, dyes, detergents and filler ingredients are all toxic to the skin as well as other organs and systems of the body. Switching to natural skincare products and clothing detergents can help to alleviate breakouts.
Gut health and intestinal issues cause breakouts from potential allergies as mentioned above, but also our diet. Sodas/sugary drinks, artificial/processed foods, greasy foods and other junk in our diets absolutely contribute to poor gut health and ultimately breakout-prone skin. Remember the cliché “you are what you eat”? Bad diet = bad skin. No expensive face cream will keep your skin from breaking out if you are feeding it junk. Healthy skin comes from the inside out. Along with a healthy diet and adequate water intake, a good probiotic and vitamins will help establish a healthy gut balance.
Environmental factors can mean anything affecting your skin from the outside versus coming from within. Smog, pollution, pet dander, perfumes, dirty makeup applicators and improper cleansing of the skin can all cause breakouts. (See: https://theholisticskin.com/let-your-skin-breathe/)
Depending on your skin’s sensitivity, sometimes the reason for a sudden breakout can be change. Anything from the change of the seasons, moving to a different climate, adapting to a new diet, taking a new supplement, changing your birth control, or changing your products can cause the skin to “purge”. This type of breakout goes away as the natural balance of the skin settles back down.
Chinese face mapping is the ancient practice of linking certain areas of the face to specific systems and organs of the body. Generally, when you break out in the forehead, it is a digestive issue, while the lower jawline and chin area is hormone-related.
*Note the above chart is to be used as a general reference tool only and is not to be used in place of medical advice.*