face map garance dore photos

9 years ago by

Recently, I’ve been breaking out and freaking out (that’s what you do when you have a pimple, right?)…

Growing up, I was lucky; I had minimal acne. But recently it’s been a different story – pimples have been popping up on both cheeks. It’s like everything I avoided in high school has decided to join for the reunion instead. Lovely.

One of my friends suggested I try face mapping. It’s a traditional Chinese technique where they divide the face into different sections and each section corresponds to an internal factor. Like a map, they break down areas of your face and, for lack of a better analogy, treat them as separate countries with their individual issues that need to be dealt with in order to attain flawless skin. Break outs on the jawline indicates a hormonal flux, the nose is linked to the heart, the forehead to the stomach… and the cheeks?

I decided to call Dr Dan Hsu who, aside from being Oprah’s expert on traditional Chinese medicine (and I love Oprah), is the best in the business. I knew if anyone could help me get my face back to its normal, relatively clear complexion it would be him. If he could tell me what, internally, was causing my break outs, then I could tackle it and say sayonara to those pimples.

I floated into his office on a cloud of optimism. The first thing he told me was that I was a “real New Yorker” who “drank too much coffee and wine and didn’t sleep enough”. Ok, this guy is the real deal. He knows.

“But, aside from that, everything internally is fine.” Fine. FINE? But the huge pimples on each cheek that couldn’t be disguised even by my potent concealer-powder-long hair all over my face combination?

“That’s from talking on your mobile phone too much.”
I’m not kidding, that’s what he told me.

I started to think about how filthy my phone is, how I never clean it. How I leave it on any surface, drop it on the floor, give it to strangers to take photos (come on, we all do it) when I don’t know where they’ve been, what they’ve touched or when they last washed their hands…

He told me it’s actually something he’s seeing more and more frequently now that everyone is so reliant on their phones. It’s really affecting people skin – and is that really a surprise? I’ve started cleaning my phone every day now (his recommendation) and now I’m only using my headphones to talk on the phone – it’s never too late for one extra 2015 resolution!

And face mapping? He said that, of course, it can still be taken into consideration (maybe the coffee and wine judgement was a lucky guess?), but that there are more advanced ways to look inside the body now. On the surface, a lot of the breakouts have a logical explanation. For me, he suggested less talking on the phone (aka emergency headphones in my bag at all times now), more water, less coffee (ha!) and less wine (double ha!).

I suppose a girl can try. First things first, the phone.

Is this something you’ve ever noticed – a breakout from using your phone? What do you think about face mapping?


Add yours
  • Oui j’ai le même souci avec les lunettes, maintenant je les lave tous les 2 jours, ça me dégoute de savoir que j’ai transpiré du nez, que je les ai enlevées puis remises sur mon nez 15 fois dans la journée, avec mes mains pas fraîchement propres.
    Alors le portable, c’est clair que c’est un nid à microbes. Par contre, je n’ai jamais vraiment su comment le nettoyer, pour le moment je n’ose passer qu’un mouchoir légèrement humide, rien de plus. L’alcool 70% a déjà bousillé mon précédent portable…
    Si vous avez des conseils de nettoyage je suis preneuse !

  • Moi je nettoie mon portable avec des lingettes nettoyantes pour lunettes :)

  • Yes, it’s true! This happened to me years ago and it was terrible. Especially as I can’t always carry my headphones around or use the speakers, I developed a way of holding my phone so only the top part closest to my ear is touching, and the rest is held about a cm away. Now it’s second nature and the dirty part doesn’t touch my cheek,

  • great post, interesting.
    Passa a trovarmi VeryFP

  • Well my dear Garance, it may not have happened to me because I rarely use my mobile phone for phonecalls!
    You may text, whatsapp, snapchat, skype or email me, but never, ever call me.

    Maybe that’s an alternative solution?

  • Who talks on their phones? Haha. I’m all text, baby.

  • Yes! I looked up that same map not too long ago myself with similar questions. I also am guilty of the tendency to rest my face/ chin on my hands…! Which is a huge no no and probably what causes little break outs from time to time in that area. It is sooo hard to not do this though… my head is heavy! sigh’ haha But in all seriousness, it’s hard to break that habit when you are working at the computer or desk. solutions?

  • same thing here!!

  • I use teatree oil… it’s amazing!!
    XOX, Gap.

  • Et ca coute combien la consultation avec le docteur grugru pour apprendre que oui, mettre son téléphone contre son visage apres avoir joué a candy crush aux toilettes peut donner des boutons?

  • Hahhha, more water and sleep, what a ground-breaking advice from an expert..wish to know what he would tell me, considering I ve been having this kind of a skin condition for some 15 years by now and I am everything but glued to my phone, trying all kinds of (im)possible to have my complexion in normal, healthy shape..recently I ve reckoned that life is simply not fair and some people have an amazing skin no matter what no-no things they do to it, while the others -like me- don’t, no matter how dilligent they are when it comes to sleep/water/nutrition/cosmetic regimen. now how to deal with it??..

  • I agree!

  • Never heard of face mapping before! Benzoyl peroxide is pretty much the best for acne.

  • Ana @Champagnegirlsabouttown February, 19 2015, 10:43 / Reply

    I can totally relate. I used to have a clear skin when I was a teenager and only started to gets bouts of cystic acne when I reached 28. It’s really annoying- I wish I got acne like everyone else in the high school! Back then I wouldn’t stand out that much. I only realise how filthy my phone is when I look at it and see my daily make up on it!

  • Two years ago I used to live in China during 1 year. Pollution, stress, changes in my food routine provoqued the biggest acne crisis of my life. It has lasted for 2 years and I am currently just getting out of that nightmare… I learned that : Girls (and boys) when you suffer from breakouts, change your pillowcases at least every week, wash your make up brushes after every use, use sanitizing wipes to clean your phone, tie back your hair (even if you’s rather prefer to hide behind^^), use little towels that you change everyday… and you’ll be better soon :)

    Kisses from a french every day reader

    (and Neada: try the famous pressed lemon in warm water every morning, that is not a myth !)

  • super interesting comment because I lived in China 1,5 years and I had an amazing skin there, even though I was really scared that the pollution would do the opposite to me!
    No more butter and milk, very little chocolate because the good one is expensive there- and tons of very weird spicy soups and vegetables, dim sum, and very little sugar: my skin (and weight) loved it!
    And I was so paranoid about not getting my skin too dry in Beijing winter, that I used a lot of thermal water for my face, not too hot water for the shower, Avene products only…- it really helps!
    But maybe if I had stayed longer the pollution would have caused breakouts eventually! Many Chinese people have acne… people say it’s because of the meat..I would say it is hormones in the meat yes, and the pollution.
    Interesting subject. I got the flu this week, and my skin went from flawless to terrible. Sometimes the reasons are clear…
    I will clean my phone for sure!

  • Very appropriate to make resolutions today: I think it’s the chinese new year.

  • I changed my hormonal birth control a year and a half ago and suddenly got all kinds of acne my cheeks (yes I have stopped using the birth control that caused it but the hormones stay in your system for varying times). I tried EVERYTHING from benzoyl peroxide (disaster, two months of acne AND red skin AND flaky dryness) to like, herbal infusions (no result) and Chinese medicine (inconclusive). A few things really did make a difference, one was definitely not touching my phone to my face and generally becoming way more aware of stuff I touch a lot like my laptop, camera, etc. I eventually tried oil cleansing and BAM real improvement. I used rose and jojoba for a while which definitely helped but after a few weeks I began to mix the oil with different cleansers until I settled on https://www.lush.co.uk/products/cleansers/aqua-marina et voila, skin like it used to be, not perfect, but not hideous either. Good luck! Try lots of things, you never know what will work for your skin until you try it :)

  • Hi Garance! Eve Lom Rescue Mask is the bomb, I swear. I battled a bout of horrible acne for six months after taking some medicine; after trying everything else, I got a sample of this mask and my skin cleared up immediately. Now I use a dollop every week and it keeps my skin bright and clear, so simple/no pimple! <3 Annaliese

  • Yes, the phone! I had similar issues in high school and then later in my twenties at work. I was in reception and always on the phone. We cleaned them but obviously not enough. Thanks for reminding me to clean my phone.
    I don’t know anything about face mapping but I found great products. And someone I trust to help with those and combate the issues as they arise. Plus a good Derm in case thing get real ugly! Good luck!

    Don’t give up the wine!

  • Cloroxing my phone at the moment!! I swear by Burt’s Bees blemish stick for bumps and blemishes. I like that it’s natural and doesn’t make an already irritated situation worse!



  • camille reddress February, 19 2015, 12:51 / Reply

    (all that is true… just to add ,i got really bad cheek spots in my twenties. they cleared up as soon as i stopped taken my birth control pill.)

  • Thanks for the great tip! I never think about where my phone has been. Face mapping sounds so interesting, and it sounds like a natural way to find out exactly what your face needs in different areas. I am going to give it a try!

  • Wow, I learn something new everyday. I’ve never heard of face mapping. My dermatologist told me to change my food intake & facial products 5 years ago and it has worked wonders for my face. I am one of those people who didn’t have issues with my face in my teens and college years until I hit 28 and all hell broke lose on my face. So I stopped drinking coffee, seriously went from 5 cups of coffee/day to 1 cup/week. So now I drink a cup of black tea in the morning to help me with the wake up process and then drink at at least 3 cups of green tea through out the day. Make sure I drink my 2 Liters of water, my 5 servings of fruits & vegetables, stopped eating my daily intake of french fries, no artificial sugars, so no sodas, juices or desserts, and of course started using plant based products for cleansing my face. I don’t wear foundation or powder or anything that requires a sponge or brush! Of course I still get the weird menstrual break outs, but only for the 3 days then my skin is back to normal.
    My dermatologist also recommended using a humidifier in the winter. I just started doing that this winter and I can definitely tell the difference.

  • Laurence D February, 19 2015, 2:32 / Reply

    J’ai eu aussi un problème envahissant d’acné il y a quelques années. Il avait envahi les joues après avoir été longtemps seulement sur la zone médiane plus grasse. Ma généraliste m’a conseillé d’essayer d’arrêter le lait de vache (et tout ce qui est à base, fromage, crème fraiche, etc). Spectaculaire! Du jour au lendemain quasiment! De temps en temps je m’octroyais une petite infraction. Le pire c’était le café crème. Mais après plusieurs années de ce régime, depuis cet été je peux en consommer à nouveau sans problème. Il parait que l’organisme peut se désensibiliser…

  • I know how filthy my phone is, and yet, this specific connection I never noticed! Thanks for this post Neada; something to be more conscious of, and perhaps, the key to all my skin woes!

  • I don’t know about having a doctor do an analysis of your skin’s breakouts because… it wasn’t very in-depth. Those were conclusions anyone could’ve reached on their own. I like the idea of face mapping and that different features are associated with different internal factors. But what if its around the mouth?! (Ew). So if it’s allover, you got a lot going on, huh?

  • I’ve had breakouts continuously, to varying degrees, since the age of 13 (I’m now 45). It infuriates me when women get hysterical about the odd spot!
    Face mapping is a load of rubbish – acne is about oil clogging pores and bacteria, so it makes sense you will get them where you touch your face more or where it is excessively oily! The best thing I have found is products that contain salicylic acid – French drugstore brands do some of the best!

  • Hello!
    I’ve read so much about the face mapping technique recently and must say, there are pimples all over my face even though I feel pretty good physically…I’m quite a healthy lifestyle psycho, meaning I exercise daily, eat nutritionally balanced food (no restricting) and somehow work on both physical and mental health to have a reason to smile every single day. Let’s be honest, if there is not a reason to smile, why not to create it? :) Anyway, the fact is that during my teenage years I had pretty much good skin what was surely influenced by birth control pills. I skipped on the pills, but that’s another story. Unfortunately, right after skipping on a birth control, my condition has exploded literally and it was not a few months situation since my mother suffers from the same issues (at age of 47). So I somehow try to take care of my complexion in the best way possible – remove my makeup every evening, use au naturel products (I recommend French ones, French people know what they do) :) and just not to put too much pressure on it. On the other hand, if I stopped drinking my morning coffee, I would honestly become a modern Xanthippe. Trust me, nobody wants that :)….Anyhow, what I was trying to say is that genetics plays its role (sometimes more than might be able to admit) and it’s sometimes worth it to accept and work what has been given :).


  • C’est souvent vrai que ce qu’on qualifie de “maladie” et pour lequel on cherche des medocs peut être mieux géré si on considère ça comme des messages de notre corps concernant des choses qui ne lui conviennent pas. J’ai résolu bcp de petits problèmes comme ça: rien qu’une question de point de vue!!

  • I know I have more acne now then I did as a teenager. I use khiels facewash and it’s amazing


  • Séverine February, 19 2015, 6:22 / Reply

    J’ai essayé l’homéopathie pour mes problèmes de peau et ça fonctionne!
    Bisous de Nouvelle-Calédonie

  • J’ai une peau à tendance acnéique. Lorsque j’étais ado je faisais de l’acné. Présentement, ma peau n’est pas parfaite mais je l’aime déjà plus qu’avant, j’en prends bien soins. Il y a un moment donné j’avais des boutons juste un côté de mon visage et j’avais lu quelque part que c’était dû au cellulaire qui n’était pas propre. Depuis, je nettoie mon cell et j’utilise tout simplement mon main libre. C’est beaucoup plus facile!

  • I had similar but from my sunglasses! It took me a while to figure out, then I started cleaning then everyday and the problem went away!

  • After I have excluded milk from the menu and limited all dairy products, stopped eating sweet snacks (you know – a Snickers here, raisins in chocolate there) and I started sleeping more, the pimples just disappeared. A lot of acne problems are related to food intolerance, too much refined products, stress, alcohol and not enough sleep, quiet time. The face mapping sounds quite logical. Good luck with anti-pimple battle!

  • Get thee some headphones – stat. I believe everything your doctor said. I’ve learned just the way you have with adult breakouts (and freakouts) that a lot is common surface contact & skin ritual while the rest is definitely all about your internal wiring. Good reason to skip a cup o joe and grab some extra ZZZzzzs. Good luck!

  • I read it in a magazine two months ago and now I try to clean my phone at least once by week with alcohol.
    I do not know why I never thinked about that before!!

  • same thing, i ve never had acne as a teen and at 26, my skin started looking like that of a 15 years old. My dernatologist said it was ‘cosmetic acne’ and i got rid of all my make up products, cleansing oils, cleansing creams, hydrating milks, exfoliants etc. I also clean my pillow case and towels more often. Things are getting better but i noticed the direct impact of junk food on my skin condition. I am glad to read cleansers recommendations in thr comments. I am still on a quest for the perfect cleanser at an affordable price!

  • Bonjour,

    La maping du visage peut être intéressant comme complément d’informations, notamment quand une personne a des boutons tout le temps au même endroit. On surveille bien notre régime a alimentaire pour connaître leur cause, pourquoi ne pas regarder aussi le maping.
    Le maping renvoie a des causes physiques, comme tu l’écrivais chaque zone du visage est relié à un organe, une zone du coprs, mais il existe aussi des liens plus psychiques.
    Celui qu’on connaît toute, sans faire attention, les pommettes des joues sont rattachées à nos émotions, d’où le fait qu’elle réagissent en cas de timidité, tristesse, etc, des gens trop sensibles peuvent aussi avoir plus de problemes de peau a cet endroit.
    Le menton est connu pour être une zone lié au “reste”, les archaïs, les choses qui demandent encore a être travaillés analytiquement notamment.

    Mon commentaire est assez long comme ça, je vais m’arrêter, si tu as besoin de plus de renseignements n’hesites pas.
    Bon courage, c’est assez désagréable lorsque son visage est agressé comme cela.


  • Methedrine February, 23 2015, 5:48

    Merci pour ton commentaire qui apporte des informations tres interessantes!

  • Fran Kerr from highonhealth is the only treatment that ever worked for me and I tried everything!!

  • I’ve definitely noticed that my face breaks out more when my phone is dirty. I recently got a little UV sanitizer(https://www.phonesoap.com/) for my phone and it’s been helping! It’s a little nerdy, but I really like having a clean phone.

  • nice and amazing style

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