The Agony + Ecstasy Of Acne

When I think about acne, I flash back to my teenage years. I remember being so relieved when I finally entered my 20s. I had always associated acne with puberty until I broke out 
as an adult the morning just before a big photo shoot (because my body also has a sense of humor). Surely this was not the same kind of adolescent acne that surfaced in high school. So why was this happening now? It turns out there are many reasons beyond hormones that influence our skin.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to look at how to read your acne and develop a more direct relationship with your skin. This holistic tool practiced for centuries is called Face Mapping. According to the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, a breakout can offer insights to the root cause of that pesky pimple.

Let’s look at what acne on the forehead may be indicating:


Organ Connections: Bladder, gall bladder, small intestines
Underlying Issue: Stress, digestion
In Ayurveda, the forehead is governed by the dosha vata, the elemental combination of air and space. This directly connects humans to the nervous and digestive systems, hence our relationship to stress and how we metabolize food. Poor food choices like processed foods can be challenging for the body to break down properly. Likewise, engaging in late night conversations, working long days, and little or poor quality sleep can be stressful to the body. These kinds of behaviors cue the nervous system to be on high alert, which can cause unnecessary breakouts.

Practices to Clear Forehead Acne

  • Adjust bedtimes to get adequate rest. Resting the liver can be a miracle aid for rejuvenating the entire nervous system.
  • Go to bed by 10 p.m. and rise by 6 a.m. for a week.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get the majority of your fluids in before you eat or on an empty stomach.
  • Limit water intake during and up to one full hour following a meal. Drinking liquids with meals dilutes your digestive enzymes, creating work for your body to break food down properly. Also, I wouldn't recommend guzzling a ton of water just before bed. It'll most likely disrupt your sleep.
  • Nix or reduce soda; you don't need it.
  • Get outside for a 30-minute walk. In addition to getting the blood flowing and getting the heart rate up, it can help calm the mind.
  • Get rid of fake sugar and refined sugars. Limit all other healthier sweeteners (such as coconut nectar, coconut sugar brown rice syrup and honey).


Denmo is the founder and CEO of Earthbody. She is a writer, artist, therapist, and coach.

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