Your inner health is written all over your face.

Some things in life can’t be explained (like, why isn’t Jamie Dornan your boyfriend yet and what ever happened to cronuts?), but your breakouts just aren’t one of them. According to Emma Hobson, education manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, your pimples are a clear reflection of your inner wellness, and by employing the art of ‘face reading’ (a form of Chinese medicine), you can use the location of spots to identify certain health issues. On top of that, knowing what’s causing your breakouts makes treating them a cinch, so use this face map to score your glowiest skin.

Between the brows
Known as your ‘wine and dine’ zone, breakouts between the brows can indicate intolerances to certain foods such as dairy, wheat and processed sugars, or over-consumption of alcohol. To kick zits to the curb, fill up on good ol’ H2O and nosh on skin-loving leafy greens, oily fish and nuts.

Always congested around your schnoz? Check your ticker. “In Chinese face reading, the nose corresponds with the heart, so this may re ect current circulatory problems such as high blood pressure,” says Hobson. Keep your heart (and your skin) in fighting form with regular sweat sessions and a diet rich in wholegrains, fruit and veg, and limited saturated fat.

According to Hobson, the upper part of the forehead is linked to the bladder, so congestion in this region could be a sign you’re suffering (or have suffered) from a bladder infection, or something similar. Best to get yourself checked out! Otherwise, there could be a few more factors at play. Poor cleansing or not wiping o all your beauty products could be to blame for troublesome spots, and stress can also have a big effect. Ensure you’re being nice to your mind and bod by taking time to relax and recharge.

The ears are associated with kidney and bladder function, so if they become a blemish hotspot, pencil in a visit to your doc or go-to naturopath. “These two organs are also the places where the emotions of fear and fright are housed,” adds Hobson, which means your anxiety might be manifesting itself on your ears. Make friends with meditation to keep your worry in check and treat yourself to a pamper sesh to boost happy (skin-friendly) feels.

The lower cheeks are associated with your back teeth and gums. “Breakouts may be related to dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, gingivitis or irritated wisdom teeth,” explains Hobson. Besides buddying up to spot treatments, Hobson reckons a trip to the dentist might be your best bet at clearing up congestion.

Chin and jawline
If you’re currently cursing that under-the-skin pimple between your jaw and neck, thank your hormones, says Hobson. Got some new friends on your chin? That’s the hormones, too. “Reoccurring monthly breakouts on the chin directly relate to the functioning of the ovaries,” says Hobson. Thankfully, you can balance hormonal breakouts with the right products and diet, so arm yourself with oil- balancing cleansers, overnight clearing gels and a healthy plate.

This story appeared in the January 2017 issue of Women’s Fitness.

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