From The Straits Times    |

Image illustration: Sharmaine Khor

Periods are such a pain – and we’re not even talking about the bleeding and bloating. The hormonal havoc and sebum stimulation during those 28 days can foment a flare-up of epic proportions.

Happily, you needn’t resign yourself to a marred mien for a month. Enter Chinese face mapping, which I’ve found to be the alchemical solution to my accursed acne.

But what is it? Simply put, Chinese face mapping is an ancient Ayurvedic approach that treats the bumps on your face as signposts for what’s ailing other parts of the body. Translation: Pimple on Facial Point X equals Problem Y somewhere else. Incredibly intriguing, right? But first, some crucial caveats to note. For one, face mapping is much like your daily horoscope; that is, it’s far from an exact science. Also, this story should never be a substitute for regular tune-ups at your go-to skin doctor.

Now that we’ve got the tedious T&Cs out of the way, here’s a handy roadmap for cracking the zit code. See if your period plus other assorted ailments are causing you to break out on the following facial regions:


If generations of TCM practitioners are right, pimples on your forehead might point to problems in your gut. More specifically, your blemishes are besmirching your bladder and you’re probably inundating your body with too much caffeine. The solution? Try cutting back on your daily java quota and see if that helps.


Blemishes between your brows? Booze may be to blame. Spots in this hotspot are said to be symptomatic of a stressed liver. Try abstaining from absinthe shots at the club, and hydrate with lots of (non-alcoholic) fluids.


Zits on your honker may be a sign of stress-induced high blood pressure. Do all the usual calming stuff, like meditating, power walking and yoga; a firmer bod will be an entirely welcome beauty bonus.


TCM is huge on left-right dichotomies; in this instance, acne clusters on your right cheek might point towards lung-related woes. In the vaguely mystical vein of this story, try “training” your lungs by signing up for evening tai chi lessons at the nearest reservoir park.


Ladies, lumps on the left cheek probably means you’re hot, and not in a good way. Try “cooling” down by downing cucumber juice, winter melon broth and the like.


I tend to get cluster-bombed by painful pimples on my chin, so this is of personal interest to me. According to TCM aficionados, chin cysts are caused by hormonal imbalances, like the kind provoked by your period. If you find yourself breaking out during your menstrual cycle, this might just explain things.

And we’re done! Bookmark this page and have fun sharing this story with fellow beauty buddies. Cheers!

Want more? If you’re sick of strangers commenting on how tired you look, check out this brilliant hack to bust the bags under your eyes virtually instantly, and try not to bite your nails in despair when you discover exactly why your gel manicures may be giving you “old lady” fingersGet your daily dose of beauty at