Breakouts are a sucky reality for a lot of people, and trying to banish the bumps or cover them up can be a struggle. From drugstore skincare to antibiotics to chemical peels, there’s no shortage of treatments. But if you’ve tried it all, it might be time to look inward. According to Ayurveda—one of the oldest’s holistic healing systems developed in India—breakouts could be an indication of problems that are more than skin deep.
In Ayurveda, all kinds of ailments can manifest as skin reactions, and all your organs are linked to different sections of your face. “Acne is a combination of the fire and water elements in the body,” says Andrea Olivera, owner of in Toronto. By using Ayurvedic face mapping, “an Ayurveda practitioner will take a look at how is your body is metabolizing, and if your digestive fire is working too strongly,” says Olivera. “Overheating in the body, overheating of the blood, improper diet and stress can all cause acne.”
As Olivera explains, “Ayur means life and veda means knowledge.” And in the more than 30 years that she’s practiced Ayurveda, Olivera has discovered that “it’s about the science of self-realization,” she says. “We look at people through the eyes of the elements and design a diet and treatment according to each person’s unique elemental arrangement.”
Because not all breakouts mean the same thing, read on to find out what your blemishes locales could mean, and what could help make the bumps go the eff away.
Overthinking things and stress can cause breakouts on the forehead. A lack of sleep, liver issues and digestive problems can manifest as forehead pimples, too. Olivera suggests pressure point massages around the neck, shoulders and scalp to keep the mind calm. Meditation can help, too.
According to Olivera, your nose is a reflection of your heart and your blood pressure. So if you’re noticing a lot of congestion on your nose or swelling and redness, you might have high blood pressure. If that’s the case, eat healthy fats and cut out processed foods, coffee and alcohol.
Breakouts in the cheek area could be caused by a respiratory issue. If you live in a densely populated area (or if you smoke), the pollution you breathe in could be the culprit of your breakouts. Get an air purifier and drink more water. Try to touch your face less, too, and clean your phone with antibacterial wipes.
If you’re seeing spots along the lower edge of your face, chances are it’s a hormonal imbalance, says Olivera. It could also be too much yeast or starch in your diet. Try cutting dairy and processed sugars from your diet, as well as wine, shellfish and fried foods.