By Victoria Buffalo robe

What can Face Mapping tell us about our skin?

Face mapping is an ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese medicinal technique dating back thousands of years. Eastern medicine and methodology in their infinite wisdom can track, heal and support our internal organs through meridians and acupuncture points. This ancient map of the body is how we create face mapping today. If we accept the wisdom of a thousand years of study and application and trust thousands of healers then, the face is a map of internal health. 

We will use this map today to find underlying health issues in the human body and help identify underlying issues in the many systems in the body that can otherwise be missed in our busy and often stressful daily lives. We tend to focus on external influences like oil, sweat, dead skin cells, bacteria and the environment. While this is definitely a consideration and important to address with healthy hygiene and consistent skin care routine, a more holistic view sees skin issues as an opportunity to take a look within.

Consider that the skin is renewed every 30 days and within this window is an opportunity every 30 days to recommit and support a healthier and entirely new layer of skin using food, baths, rest, treatments and the gift of sweat. 

For the purpose of understanding this blog I will break our digestion down as simply as I can, for reference.

The mouth, stomach, small intestine and large intestine are all connected and are collectively called the digestive system. For today, it is lovingly referred to as north to south. 

It begins in the farthest north, the mouth. This is rarely considered but must be brought up, because it is the first step and is used every day. For argument’s sake, our brains are the very beginning of our digestive journey, but that is too deep of a dive for this blog.

Choosing what goes in our mouth is a choice. This is a critical step in lifestyle choices. We need to choose what we eat with our wellbeing in mind. Consistently and repeatedly, no easy task.

Once you choose your wellbeing and the food that is in alignment with this, the journey begins. 

Do you think about chewing your food? Food for thought: teeth break down food physically and our saliva is the first digestive enzyme released. 

Saliva releases a digestive enzyme, amylase that aids in breaking down complex carbs and simple sugars. Chewing is a very important and underrated first step in digestion. 

After chewing well and moving south into the stomach, hydrochloric acid (HCL) and pepsin enzymes are released. Pepsin is a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down proteins. 

The acidity of HCL is how the rest of the journey south is bacteria free. HCL ensures nothing but chime from the stomach will pass into the sterile upper intestine and ensures physical longevity and wellbeing. 

The small intestine is for nutrient simulation and water absorption, and where pancreatic enzymes neutralize the stomach’s acidity and the gallbladder releases bile for the breakdown of fats.

Most of the digestion happens in the small intestine.

When this stage is complete it then moves further south to hydration station and toxin elimination, this is the large intestine job. 

The kidneys, the liver, the lungs, the gallbladder, the stomach, the upper and lower intestinal tract all need to work hard to supply the body energy. 

If we can make the digestion of food easy and graceful all systems will benefit. 

Every part of this process is important for improved energy levels, radiant skin and holistic self care.

Forehead; Small Intestine

Do you have tiny bumps on your forehead? These may be an indication that your small intestine needs some support. 

To begin to discuss the small intestine, it is important to understand the role of earlier steps in the digestion process.

The northernmost start of digestion begins in the mouth and then the stomach.

These first steps affect our small intestine greatly. It is important to identify inflammatory foods and remove them to restore proper digestive functions. Foods that disrupt our natural digestive juices by inflammation can cause a lack of acidity in the stomach. This can be very detrimental to the bacterial balance in the upper digestive system. By way of poor acidity in the stomach or lack of chewing and adequate saliva, our body can be allowing undigested foods to pass from the stomach into the small intestine. This introduces many problems, one problem is fermentation of this undigested food, resulting in gas and bloating. In addition, if the stomach has poor acidity or we do not chew our food completely before swallowing it, our food can also introduce a mix of harmful bacteria into the entire digestive system. 

When the digestive juices are working efficiently they will engage the pancreas enzymes. These enzymes are critical to neutralizing stomach acid and preventing food reactivity. If your pancreas is working and your food is broken down into the tiny amino acids that your body can absorb, the less likely for food sensitivities or reactivity like gas and bloating. 

These foods can cause inflammation:

  • Sugars
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Processed foods
  • Foods fried in processed oils
  • Alcohol
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Soy

Some helpful foods and spices to use:

  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit seed extract
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint
  • Honorable mention to fireweed

Foods that support digestive function are colorful, natural and taste amazing.

Eat the rainbow, and introduce new vegetables often. If you cook for yourself, focus on whole foods and fill up your meal with vegetables. If you order out, choose a side salad instead of fries. Friendly reminder that what we do most of the time will create the results we are looking for.

Temple Area, Gallbladder & Liver

Bumps and deep pustules in this part of the face may lead one to assume that an oily hair line is to blame. 

While that could be a contributing factor, this area is also connected to the gallbladder and liver. The liver secretes bile and the gallbladder stores this bile. Everytime we eat, the gallbladder empties itself directly into the digestive tract, this creates ease in our elimination process and nutrient absorption. If your gallbladder is under stress or at risk of gallstones it is suggested to avoid snacking, and instead eat small frequent meals to empty the organ often.

Foods to avoid are very similar to the list mentioned above: baked goods, high fat dairy, deep fried foods, refined grains, soft drinks, and the like. 

Foods to eat are suggested as follows; healthy oils such as nut butters, flax seeds, olive oil, proteins high in omega-3 like salmon or oysters, avocadoes, citrus fruits, beets, bitter greens like rapini or arugula. Herbs and teas that include yarrow, turmeric or curcumin, dandelion, and milk thistle will support the gallbladder and liver.

Between the Brows, Liver

Having a pimple or a blemish right in the middle of the eyes is not my plan for happiness. This is another sign that the liver needs some extra support.

Oatmeal is a very healthy fiber that helps with the digestive system, including the liver. Look for steel cut oats or whole oats. Eat fatty fish, nuts and olive or coconut oil. 

A large number of foods and herbs are helpful to the liver:

  • avocados
  • beets and beet juice
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • figs
  • greens such as kale, arugula and collards
  • Lemons
  • Milk thistle 
  • Ginseng 
  • Green tea

Honorable mention to yarrow, drink as tea or add to cooking.

One of my favorite ways to detox is to soak in a hot salt and baking soda bath. 

  • One cup of Sea salt (untreated) and one cup of baking soda. 
  • Add to a hot bath and soak for 30 mins. 

The 30 min timer is important, under 15 mins you can become dehydrated, longer than 30 mins you can become waterlogged. Imagine one deep breath cycle of the skin is 30 mins. Did you know that a hot bath burns up to 300 calories? One hot soak is equal to a good workout session! Set a timer and light those candles!

Supplements that can help the liver are: Vitamin B Complex, Folic Acid, Betaine, Inositol and Choline. These act as emulsifiers, helping break down fatty deposits, detoxify and can improve liver function. Several multi-vitamins have all of these supplements included, so do some research to see which one is right for you. 

Friendly reminder that it is important to not buy too many supplements, they can be confusing, expensive and not as effective as lifestyle changes. I suggest starting with simple and clean eating daily, this can often be enough to see a change in skin texture and tone.

Eye Area, Kidneys

This area can become puffy for some people … a sign that the kidneys may need some help. 

The food we eat, or don’t eat, can affect how the body will retain or eliminate water. High sodium intake, lack of potassium-rich foods in the diet or too much carbohydrate intake will influence our kidneys efficiency. 

Fluctuating hormones, menopausal, or menstruation can also be a factor of temporary water retention. 

There are some things we can do to ease the workload on our body and improve our skin’s ability to glow. 

Some of the following foods are wonderful for the kidney:

  • Acorn squash
  • Ginger
  • Apricots
  • Cranberry juice (the real stuff not it sweet alternative, cranberry cocktail)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts and nut butters

Herbs and teas Cranberry, holy basil (tulsi), Usnea. These will support excretion of the adrenals and kidneys, tone and cleanse the bladder. Honorable mention of yarrow and Labrador tea.

Another way to help to stimulate the kidneys function and reduce water retention is aromatherapy. Try a sitz bath (fill the tub with five to six inches of bath water) and add 15 drops of juniper essential oil. Sit and splash and rinse the body, pat dry and moisturize. You can do this once a week for 10-15 minutes max.

Cheek Area, Stomach

The cheeks are a signal of stomach issues. If tummy aches are frequent or you experience heartburn, a few herbs that will help are ginger, chamomile, peppermint or licorice. These herbs taken on their own or in tea blends can help soothe the stomach, reduce bloating, and aid in the south side of digestion. Honorable mention of fireweed.

If your heartburn is frequent and you have not had success with antacids, according to naturopathic medicine, you might have more success with increasing the acidity in the stomach. A complete digestive enzyme supplement taken with food can help to aid in nutritional uptake. Another issue HCI enzyme can clear is the possibility of a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Bacteria flowing backwards in the digestion is bad news bears. This can force the upper sphincter of the small intestine open and introduce bacteria into the stomach by way of inflammation. A word of caution, there are some bacterias like H-pylori that cause heartburn and ulcers, this can be treated. If there are concerns of stomach ulcers, and possible concerns of an underlying systemic issue, please consult a doctor or a naturopath before trying enzymes.

Enjoy the following to soothe the stomach:

Soothing herbs and teas




Pineapple weed


Yarrow (relieves gas, supports downward flow (north to south))

Raspberry leaf 

Lower face, Large Intestine

Skin issues on the lower part of the face may show issues related to the south end of our digestion. The colon is where we absorb water and eliminate toxins, as well as harboring millions of bacteria which help us break down foods and allow waste to pass. However, imbalances in our daily lives, like lack of movement, whole foods, lack of dietary fiber, medications and dehydration can cause problems. One of the most common and frequently suggested health foods for our digestion are probiotics. Healthy bacteria is critical for the assimilation of vitamins and minerals, and healthy bacteria is needed to break down the foods we eat so we may benefit nutritionally as well as, efficiently pass it. Healthy bacteria is managed when the foods we eat are unprocessed whole foods, rich with fiber and pre-biotics. These subsequently feed the healthy bacteria and balance the gut flora naturally.

Honorable mention to grains. Some grain is highly processed and has caused an uptick in food sensitivities, to full blown allergic reactions. However, there are some ancient grains that are high fiber and are a great alternative to highly processed breads and pastas; quinoa, faro, amaranth, oat groats are some examples of these grains. 

If there is a concern with constipation or impaction, I suggest easily digestible meals for one day a week. On my hydration day I eat hot cereal with blueberries in the morning, yogurt and a piece of fruit for a snack, a smoothie with lots of greens for lunch, and a stew or soup for dinner. These easily digestible and highly nutritious meals will be gentle on the body, will rehydrate and relieve any impaction without the use of laxatives. If done once a week for 30 days, your lower intestinal system will recover from dehydration and begin to function very well. 

Get ready for your skin to glow!

Sagging Skin, Lungs

Sagging skin can be due to a lack of oxygen. Are you breathing? Are you breathing deeply? Iron is a vitamin that serves to deliver oxygen through red blood cells. One way you can gently increase your oxygen intake is yogic breathing. Taking low impact yoga classes will help decompress and encourage deep breathing. This will help with your overall mood and create space for mental and emotional health, all of which helps lower stress levels and that is always great for the skin! 

If you are more active and love to sweat, another way to support tighter skin is exercise and weightlifting. Exercising, along with a diet that is founded on whole foods, will influence positive lifestyle changes and can make huge impacts on our health, how we feel, and as a result transform skin. Exercising and consuming whole foods 80% of the time can be transformative. 

Incorporate more of the following to support your lungs:

Bell peppers 






Honorable mention to Fireweed for its anti-inflammatory qualities for respiratory issues.

Another very important aspect that has not been mentioned enough so far is sleep. We spend 26 years of our whole lives sleeping, and 7 years just to get to sleep!

Having great sleep hygiene and keeping your restful space consistent is a game changer in overall wellness. Try 30 days of a consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine. You can expect changes in everything from hormonal balance to reduced stress levels. It can also occasionally lead to higher tolerance to the “all time high ‘fuckery” of the planet, a higher libido and even more smiling.

The chin, Gynecological problems

Pimples in this area are often caused by hormonal fluctuations during a monthly cycle for women. Ladies, I feel you. Here is my best strategy to help ease this pain.

Around one week before a period cycle, begin a whole food and high fiber diet to eliminate the possibility of toxin load in the intestinal tract. Knowing that whole foods with high fiber and clean oils can support digestion, an additional fun fact is the uterus and the lower intestine sit terribly close together. Relieving the toxic load in the lower intestine before our period comes, can help to relieve cramps leading up to and during the flow. 

Herbs and teas that support uterus health and tone; stinging nettle, yarrow and green, chaste berry, raspberry leaf and chamomile or pineapple weed. Foods to eat; vegetables, hummus, soups and stews for warming, berries and nuts. Watch your iron intake at this time and add proteins (meats or legumes) accordingly, fiber can help eliminate excess estrogen in the body; hot cereals and steamed vegetables will soothe mood swings. Hydration is key, drinking plenty of water will help ease the move of fiber and relieve bloating or gas. Honorable mention to yarrow tea or taken whole in a supplement for downward flow, or north to south flow. This can relieve excessive wind during a period and surprisingly relieve it quickly, just in case you have a date, take it the day before. You’re welcome.

Continuing to move your body by way of gentle stretching will keep vibes high as well. If you have the energy to exercise this will help immensely. I always do best when I push through the ‘blah” during the first three days, it always seems to get easier after a good workout. 

Finally, a friendly reminder to rest, often. In my teachings a woman’s period is traditionally a time of ceremony and it is ok to say no to people and things for a week and take care of yourself instead; bathe, read a book, watch a show or a series. Just flow, it is your time!

Under the Chin, Lower Intestine

The large intestine is the subject of this area, directly under the jaw line. We have already discussed much of what can be done to support this organ. It works hard at absorbing water and eliminating toxins, as well as harboring millions of bacteria which help us break down foods and allow waste to pass. It is of the utmost importance to ingest foods that support the overall function of the organ. 

Absorbing water: here we need to drink lots of water, but in addition to this we can aid in having an easily digestible meal plan for one day a week. Soups, smoothies, and hot cereal with berries are among my favorites.

Eliminating toxins: This is where we introduce fiber like ancient grains and vegetables, healthy fats in sea foods. Water is still important here. All of this can keep our movements steady and reduce any impaction.

Harboring millions of bacteria: Fermented foods with probiotics like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kombucha. The bacterial biome can also be supported with eating pre-biotics, and that means, you guessed it! Whole foods! 

Some pre-biotic foods below:


Jerusalem artichoke

onions and leeks






wheat, barley, and rye



chia seeds



dandelion greens

A Note on Diet vs lifestyle

Diets do not last and making lifestyle changes takes time. This is frustrating because it is a challenge to make changes permanent. It helps to have constant reminders but that can get annoying and now with social media it can also be ineffective. 

A motivational tool I have learned is to find your, why? What is your motivation, and this can be tricky. It has to be tangible, visible, meaningful, and it has to mean something to you personally. The “why” must be tied to something that is one of your core values. Outlining your values around the lifestyle changes you want to make in your life can be the key to staying committed to them and making lasting change. 

It is important to take everything one step at a time. Start by considering one thing in your daily diet that can be removed or replaced with a healthier choice. Make one positive change for 30 days or find healthy alternatives to one inflammatory food for 30 days. 

Some suggestions: choose a drink with less additives at the coffee shop and stick with it for 30 days, make one condiment from scratch like salad dressing, add a handful of greens to every meal, only add half of the sugar called for in a recipe, take one thing that you buy for lunch or a snack and make it at home. Maybe you can make it even better with fresh ingredients? 

Making small and practical changes in slow and consistent ways can lead to transformations in your daily life.


Functional health is a mainstream view of using water, food, exercise, sleep and spirit for optimal health and wellness. They say, try a 30 day food challenge of eating only proteins and vegetables. What’s the worst that could happen? You might get gassy. lol

Take good care of yourself, because you are the only you, and because you deserve it!

Final note, get used to forgiving yourself. 

It is normal to want change and then find comfort in what is familiar. Your first 30 day challenge might be more like a 14 day challenge, or a 7 day challenge. That is ok! Just make sure you try again and soon! What we do most of the time is what creates lasting change. Your skin will thank you! You might even live longer too, but that’s another blog.

Reach out to learn more!

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