Acne can tell you a lot about your body and lifestyle.

There is an ancient Ayurvedic tradition that says specific areas on our bodies reflect the inner health of specific organs. This tradition is where “acne-mapping” stems from. Acne mapping is the act of “reading” one's face to determine what is causing your acne.

With that said, this is how you can identify what is causing your acne based on its placement on your face.

Jaw and Chin Acne Acne on the jaw or chin are usually hormonal in nature. An excess of androgen leads to excess oil production that clogs the pores and causes breakouts along the jaw and chin. Photo: Kjerstin Michaela Haraldsen / Pixabay

Jaw and Chin

Acne on your jaw and chin area are most likely hormonal in nature, and these breakouts are usually seen in the days leading up to your period. This is due to an excess of androgen, a male hormone that overstimulates your oil gland, thus producing excess oil on your face and clogging your pores. This, in turn, leads to breakouts in this area.

Another likely culprit for acne on this area could be if you recently switched to a different type of or started using birth control.

Edge Of Face

Acne on the edge of your face is usually caused by hair and beauty products building up in the less reached area. The edges of your face could be prone to acne because of remnants of beauty products that weren’t properly washed off. Additionally, acne on this area could also be caused by your hair products. When you wash your hair, it’s unavoidable that your hair products come into contact with the edge of your face. However, this could be what’s causing your acne as the hair product you are using may not agree with your skin and could be causing breakouts.


Forehead acne is usually caused by stress or a lack of sleep.  However, it could also mean trouble in your digestive system. This type of acne could mean that you are having trouble digesting certain foods and could also be an indication of a liver problem.

To rule out what is causing your forehead acne: get enough rest, take note of what you ate before you broke out, and seek medical advice if you are prone to breakouts on the forehead.

Cheek Acne Cheek acne is usually caused by environmental factors and dietary choices. Bacteria from your phone and your pillowcase, which are two things that come into frequent contact with your cheeks, could be to blame for this sort of acne Photo: deanjames938 / Flickr


Environmental factors and dietary choices are the top culprits for cheek acne. Breakouts in this area are usually caused by germs and bacteria found in things that come into contact with your cheeks frequently including your phone and your pillowcase. Another habit that could be causing cheek acne is touching your face. Our hands come into contact with a lot of things on a daily basis, and when we touch our faces, we could be unknowingly transferring bacteria onto our faces.

T-Zone Acne T-Zone areas are usually caused by excess sebum production in the T-Zone. Another likely culprit could be a diet rich in greasy, fatty foods Photo: Morlawars Doctor / Flickr


Oil is the main culprit for T-zone acne. Your t-zone could be prone to breakouts because of excess oil production clogging your pores. Additionally, having greasy, fatty foods could also cause you to break out in this area if consumed in large amounts.