What is your acne telling you?

I always knew that the once-monthly spots that overtook my chin were the result of not-so-stable hormones. However, when my dermatologist took one look at the sudden outcrop of angry zits on my nose and asked me to get my blood pressure checked, it introduced me to a whole new (actually old) science of face mapping, which is pretty much the key to unlocking the mysteries behind problem skin.

Face mapping, which is fast taking centre stage at most clinics nowadays, combines Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine with cutting edge dermatologists’ prescriptions to explain how certain parts of your face are connected to other areas of your body. Put simply, think of your face as a map and blemishes as X’s on that landscape. Spots in different zones correspond to different problems. So, with this “map” as your guide, you can address the underlying causes of blemishes and not only make the unsightly zits vanish but also treat the underlying health problem in time.

Pretty awesome, right? Try it out: Here is how to decode breakouts in the basic areas.

1 & 2: Digestive System — Eat less processed or junk food, reduce the amount of fat in your diet, step up water intake and opt for cooling things like cucumbers.

3: Liver — Cut out the alcohol, greasy food and dairy. This is the zone where food allergies also show up first, so take a look at your ingredients. Besides all this, do 30 minutes of light exercise every day and get adequate sleep so your liver can rest.

4 & 5: Kidneys — Anything around the eyes (including dark circles) point to dehydration. Drink up!

6: Heart — Check your blood pressure (mine was slightly high) and Vitamin B levels. Decrease the intake of spicy or pungent food, cut down on meat and get more fresh air. Besides this, look into ways to lower cholesterol, like replacing “bad fats” with “good fats” such as Omegas 3 and 6 found in nuts, avocados, fish and flax seed. Also, since this area is chock-full of dilated pores, check that your makeup is not past its expiry date or is skin-clogging.

7 & 8: Kidneys — Again, drink up! And cut down on aerated drinks, coffee and alcohol as these will cause further dehydration.

Zone 9 & 10: Respiratory system — Do you smoke? Have allergies? This is your problem area for both. If neither of these is the issue, don’t let your body overheat, eat more cooling foods, cut down on sugar and get more fresh air. Also keep the body more alkaline by avoiding foods that make the body acidic (meat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, sugar) and adding more alkalizing foods like green veggies and wheatgrass juice. Another thing that most of forget – dirty cell phones and pillow cases are two of the top acne culprits and this area is what they affect the most!

Zone 11 & 12: Hormones — This is the signature zone for stress and hormonal changes. And while both are sometimes unavoidable, you can decrease their effect by getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating leafy veggies and keeping skin scrupulously clean. Another interesting point: breakouts in this area indicate when you are ovulating (and on which side).

Zone 13: Stomach — Step up the fibre intake, reduce the toxin overload and drink herbal teas to help with digestion.

14: Illness — Zits here can be a sign that your body is fighting bacteria to avoid illness. Give it a break, take a yoga class, take a nap, take time to breathe deeply, drink plenty of water and know that everything always works out!

So the next time you break out or notice dark under-eye circles, look to your face map: your skin is probably trying to communicate on behalf of the internal organs. However, do remember that, as with all medical issues, it is always best to see your doctor or dermotologist for a proper prognosis. This is just a general guide to head you off in the right investigative direction – just becuase you break out between the brows doesn’t always mean you have a bad liver!


Article source: thebeautygypsy.com/what-is-your-acne-telling-you/

Staying Sunny

It’s that time of year… the days are getting shorter and it’s getting dark sooner. Although its presence is diminishing, that big yellow fireball in the sky provides plenty of benefits:

  • Regular sun exposure can ease depression and lethargy — when sunlight becomes sparse, some doctors recommend light therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Sunlight kills infections in your body and on your skin
  • Vitamin D provided by sunlight helps build strong bones.

But be sure you take precautions:

  • Ultraviolet rays are most intense between 10 AM and 3 PM — experts advise against prolonged exposure during this time
  • Excessive sunlight can lead to sunburn and increased risk of skin cancers; lather up with sunblock, sunscreen, and a layer of common sense
  • Avoid tanning beds — one analysis found skin cancer risk increased by 75% for those who began using tanning beds before age 30.

Pucker Up

Your increased exposure to elements like sun, saltwater, and chlorine can wreak havoc on your skin, especially the sensitive layer over your kisser.

Soothe those cracked, chapped lips with these moisturizing ideas:

  • Stay hydrated. Just because you’re swimming in water doesn’t mean you’re drinking enough. In fact, it can be harder to gauge your fluid loss when you’re soaking. Make sure you’re getting enough H2O by checking your urine color — pale yellow or clear means you’re probably hydrated; dark yellow means you need to drink more.
  • Keep nutritional balance. Vitamin B and omega–3 fatty acids help the body resurface and moisturize skin cells. Eat more leafy greens, broccoli, oily fish (like salmon), avocados, beans, and sunflower seeds.
  • Try home remedies. For external relief, apply cucumbers, honey, or coconut milk to your lips, especially before bed. The therapeutic qualities have been found to reduce inflammation, close up cracks, and relieve discomfort. And breastfeeding moms might be surprised to learn that their own milk can help heal chapped lips. Gentle exfoliation can help remove dry patches, but be careful not to overdo it and irritate the sensitive mouth tissue.

Be aware that severe cracks and sores may indicate a more serious health problem, such as an allergy or even diabetes. See a doctor if symptoms persist.

Healing Beams

For years, experts have warned against the dermatological consequences of sunbathing without adequate protection against cancer–causing rays. And while UVA radiation is the greatest culprit in malignant melanoma, studies now show that too little sunlight can actually raise disease risks.

Evidence suggests that vitamin D, delivered primarily through solar energy, guards against many conditions — including kidney, colon, prostate, and breast cancers — and promotes overall immune function. Some studies reveal a connection between vitamin D deficiencies and allergies, asthma, autoimmune disorders, and mental illness.

While the research is enlightening, it shouldn’t overshadow common sense. Bask wisely with these helpful hints:

  • Have your vitamin D blood levels checked — this helps determine how much additional sunlight or supplements you may need.
  • Start gradually. If you’ve been cloistered from the sun, spend a few minutes outside before 10 AM to limit intensity.
  • Expose your arms and legs. Experts believe your skin needs sun on more than just face and hands to reap the therapeutic benefits of vitamin D conversion.
  • The naturally darker your skin, the longer you need in the sun. Build up to about 20 minutes/day 3 times a week if you’re fair–skinned and up to about 2 hours if your complexion is darker. Your best assessment tool is redness — once you burn, vitamin D synthesis ends and damage begins.

Food to Glow On

For beautiful, healthy-looking skin, hit the produce aisle. Carotenoids – naturally occurring pigments in orange-hued fruits and vegetables – accumulate in your skin, imparting a bronzy glow, say researchers from the University of St. Andrews in the U.K. How much do you have to eat? In a recent study, 35 volunteers who added three portions of produce a day, no matter how much (or little) they were eating to begin with, developed a more attractive skin tone in six weeks, reports study author Ross Whitehead. Indeed, he says, other volunteers who were called in rated the improvement people got form eating veggies as “even more of a beauty bonus than getting a tan”.

Save Your Skin

Get out there and enjoy sunny days when you can — but protect your skin, even when it’s cloudy. You can dramatically reduce your risk of skin cancer by practicing simple sun–safety habits every day.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are the most common culprit when it comes to melanoma, according to the American Cancer Society. In addition to avoiding unprotected exposure to sunlight, skip the tanning lamps and beds — they’re a known risk for skin cancer.

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention makes it easy to remember how to protect yourself — and your kids — from UV rays. They recommend thinking Slip, Slop, Slap, & Wrap® whenever you go outdoors:

Slip on a shirt. The less skin exposed, the lower your risk.

  • Slop on sunscreen. Choose a product with SPF 30. Apply it at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapply it every 2 hours or sooner as needed. Most people don’t use enough sunscreen — go ahead, slop it on!
  • Slap on a hat. Wear a wide–brimmed hat to protect your scalp and face.
  • Wrap on sunglasses. Protect your eyesight by preventing long–term exposure to UV rays — which can lead to serious eye problems such as cataracts or macular degeneration. Select sunglasses that block 99%–100% of UV rays.