health

What your breakouts can tell you about your reproductive system

By Stephanie Nuzzo January 19, 2018
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Apparently, they’re a lot more closely linked than you might think.

Unless you’re one of those annoyingly lucky people who has been blessed with A-grade genes that give you consistently blemish-free skin (ugh, I hate you) chances are you’ve had the joyful experience of dealing with breakouts at some stage. 

As many of you will know, there are a whole lot of possible factors that could behind those pain-in-the-a pimples: diet, hormones and bacteria are probably the ones you’re most familiar with. 

What you may not be as aware of, however, is that you can often tell what is causing your breakouts by the location of them. For many skincare professionals, this is where a process called face mapping comes in.

As Emma Hobson, Education Manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica describes it, face mapping “combines the best practices of both Western skin diagnose techniques and Eastern methodology … it reviews that various aspects of a person’s skin, from the cause such as lifestyle issues like stress, to the effect such as breakouts or other skin concerns.”

And one of the things the process can apparently tell you about is the health of your reproductive system. 

When it comes to fertility, Emma said one of the most important areas is your chin:

“Reoccurring monthly breakouts on the sides of your chin are not surprisingly in Eastern Chinese face reading a correlation to the functioning of the ovaries,” she revealed to smooth. 

“Many adult women get breakouts around the time of ovulation, typically a couple weeks before the start of their period and these tend to be localised to the area around the sides of the chin. 

“These breakouts are most likely due to the surge in luteinizing hormone [a hormone that helps the function of your reproductive system] that is seen at this time. You may notice that the breakouts occur on opposite sides of the chin each month in unison with the particular ovary that happens to be ovulating.” 

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Interesting, right? 

So, then. What does it mean if you don’t see breakouts on alternating sides of the chin from month to month?

Hobson explained that this may not necessarily indicate that you’ll experience fertility issues:

“It's not a reflection of only one ovary functioning, it may be one is simply more susceptible to the hormonal imbalances at the time of ovulation,” she said.

However, there are cases in which this could be a sign of certain conditions:

“In the occasional person, it could perhaps be a reflection of a disturbance with the ovary e.g. a cystic ovary.”

On the age-old process of face mapping, Hobson said your skin can be used almost like a mirror “that reflects the internal health, stresses and challenges your body is facing both from a long-term as well as a short-term perspective”.

This "mirror" can hint at stress, respiratory problems, digestive issues or yes, the state of your reproductive system. However, Hobson stressed that while “Dermalogica skin experts are trained to coach and provide general advise on health and wellness in relation to the skin” they are still “not experts in the medical arena".  

She went on to clarify that if the team feels a client is in need of the opinion of any kind of specialist they will advise them to seek that out.  

You can read on about the face mapping process here

Image: Getty