If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the face is the window to what is going on in your body! You can tell a lot about someone’s food and lifestyle habits by looking at their skin — a practice even dermatologists use while analysing your skin issues. Face mapping for acne, to be precise, is the science of identifying and locating breakout clusters on certain parts of your face and what it means. This helps a dermat, or even you at home, to figure out the cause behind your acne flare-ups and then choosing a course of action to deal with it. We took the inputs from Dr Rashmi Shetty, Aesthetic Dermatologist, and here’s what she had to say about it…
As seen above, face mapping can tell you a lot about what is going on in your body. This expert-approved guide will help you figure out how to map your face for acne. All you need to do is tie your hair back and sit in the front of the mirror to examine your face. The mapping will be done based on which part of your face has the most concentrated acne clusters, what does it mean and how to deal with it. Let’s begin…
If your acne is concentrated on the forehead, along the hairline and the sides of your temples, it indicates puberty triggered oily skin, dandruff on the scalp and an improper hair care routine. According to Dr Rashmi, “The best way to deal with this is to keep your face and scalp clean. As for your hair routine, limit your use of styling gels, and conditioner build-up should be taken note of. Even your weekly champi might be causing folliculitis breakouts.”
“Take a note of your hair cleaning habits, scalp hygiene habits and your hair and scalp care products. Change, alter or use different approaches to fix the side-effects of these habits and products. Face washes with AHAs/BHAs, and BHA-based shampoos, can help keep your skin and scalp clean,” she advises.
The T-zone also comprises your forehead, but here we want to focus on the nose, the mid- cheeks and the centre triangle of your face, which is the oiliest area. Excessive oiliness in this area can lead to clogging of pores, skin inflammation and breakouts. “Acne in this region is also a form of familial acne, which means the people in your family have the same kind of acne, making it genetic in nature. The area also develops rosacea, which is more of inflammation (redness) than an infection,” said Dr Rashmi.
“Seek a dermatologist’s help to figure out the right skin routine for you,” she advises. “Acne in this area can also be food-related, mostly caused by spicy food, meat, sugar or dairy. Identify the foods that are causing your breakouts and avoid them. Also, avoid washing your face too many times as it can further irritate your oil glands and make your skin greasy. Do not ignore acne in this area as it doesn't go away on its own and needs a dermatologist's intervention.”
The jawline is where you notice cystic and painful acne flare-ups. They can extend down to your upper neck, all over your cheek and are especially painful and irritating on the chin. This is the window to so many things happening inside you. “A starting sign of PCOS, indicates thyroid disturbance, male and female hormonal balance and insulin resistance. In addition to acne, indications also include hair fall, weight gain, pigmentation on the neck, and difficulty in losing weight,” she explains.
Please make sure to consult your doctor as home remedies can make it worse. Don’t touch, squeeze or pick at the jawline. If your jawline acne is associated with oily skin, use a face wash with salicylic or glycolic acid to eliminate the excess oil. But, if it is associated with dry/sensitive skin, use light face washes and mild moisturisers to help your skin heal and stay healthy.
Expert recommended acne-fighting ingredients and supplements
Here are some ingredients and supplements recommended by Dr Rashmi that can help deal with acne:
01. Common acne-fighting ingredients - Ingredients like tea tree oil, salicylic acid, vitamin C, and benzoyl peroxide for oily skin as they help zap excessive oil. Those with dry skin can use adapalene antibiotic ointments prescribed by a dermatologist.
02. Supplements - Dietary supplements that tackle inflammation and oxidative damage can help deal with acne. Add nutrients like curcumin, ginger, piperine in your diet in the form of food or supplements. Products with antioxidants like vitamin C, E, glutathione, astaxanthin, and CoQ10 can help with post-acne pigmentation. Nutrient deficiency of Vitamins like B1, B2, B6, B3, C, D can damage your skin, so add a good multivitamin to your daily diet.