Why Your Face Is More Than Just A Face


The detox diet plan I am having these days has inspired my interest in chasing down the root cause of my breakouts.  Modern research has confirmed there is relationship between our inner body and skin health.  A lot of American websites regarding “Chinese Face Mapping” are different from the ones that Chinese websites describe. Huangdi Neijing, or Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon, is referenced in many of the Chinese websites (it is an ancient Chinese medical text on dieting and lifestyle dated back to more than two thousand years ago), hence a more reliable resource (even though there is no scientific proof for the theory that one part of our face relates to a specific organ).  A table is made for reference only.


As a Chinese, I have always known that our face reflects our internal health.  (Unfortunately,) I never really studied it.  But then, I thought to myself: since my detox diet plan is an experiment to explore healthier dieting routines and lifestyle, since Chinese culture is famous for having a sophisticated dieting philosophy for more than two thousand years to take care of the body, and since this particular dieting philosophy enables us to diagnose potential problems from symptoms on our face and suggests treatments afterwards, why don’t I take this opportunity to explore Chinese dieting philosophy a little further and add it to my current experiment?

So here I go. I am excited about embarking on this journey where I get closer to ancestors’ wisdom and learn more about my own culture.

Googling “Chinese Face Mapping” returns 22K search results and confusion. I found that people are mapping the face differently, meaning the same spot on the face points to different organs according to different sites. I then went to Chinese websites: hospitals, forums, Baidu, medical associations, pharmaceutical sites and health e-magazines (in case you were curious, I have listed all the Chinese websites I visited at the very end). There is still a little bit difference here and there. But it is not difficult to diagnose a general pattern. What’s interesting is that Huangdi Neijing, or Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon is also introduced in many of the websites – it is “an ancient Chinese medical text that has been treated as the fundamental doctrinal source for Chinese medicine for more than two millennia”, as written in Wikipedia.

As I am a “chart” person (I enjoy sorting out information into a chart or a table), I have come up with a table to summarize what has been commonly discussed in those Chinese websites. The theory that one part of our face relates to a specific organ does not have scientific proof yet. However, modern research does confirm the relationship between gut and skin health.  The table below is like a mini version of “ Wikipedia”, collecting information from multiple sources for reference only. Isn’t it amazing and interesting that by looking at our face, we may know what is going on within our body? By keeping an open mind, we become more proactive in taking care of and being in control of our own health.

P.S. I could only find two English websites whose face mappings are closest to what Chinese websites describe: Organic Apoteke and Acnecea.


Face Part(s)

Innate Organ

Potential cause(s)

Diet treatment(s)

Non-diet treatment(s)

Forehead Liver
  1. Toxins in liver
  2. Bad temper
  3. Mental burden like stress
  1. Drink water
  2. Eat clean (no pungent foods)
  1. Establish a routine (sleep early and get up early)
  2. Do light exercise for 20-30 minutes in the morning (preferably outdoor), have a good rest and relax
Temple Gallbladder
  1. Too much fast foods and oily foods
  1.  Drink bitter melon juice
  1.  Have a good sleep (deep sleep mode from 11pm – 1am a because it is when gallbladder is cleansing itself)
Between eyebrows Heart
  1. Heart problems like heart beat too strong or too weak
  2. Chest discomfort
  1. Quit smoking, alcohol or pungent foods
  1. Get good sleep
  2. Do not over exercise


Nose Stomach, intestines, lung
  1. Too much fried and pungent foods
  2. Stress
  3. Staying up late at night
  1. Have more bok choy, white radish, loquat (a type of fruits), tremella fuciformis (a type of fungi)
  1. Deep breathing
Left cheek Liver and blood circulation
  1. Pressure from work and life
  1. Quit smoking
  2. Have less salt
  3. Remove pungent foods
  4. Have more liver-detoxifying  foods like grapefruits, bitter melons and chrysanthemum tea.
  5. Other foods include (but not limited to): spinach, carrots, tomatoes, oranges and sweet potatoes
  6. Drink a lot of water
  1. Establish a routine (sleep early and get up early)
  2. Take care of your eyes (rest your eyes for five minutes for every hour’s work)
  3. Control your temper and be happy
  4. Get a good sleep (deep sleep mode from 1-3a because it is when liver is cleansing itself)


Right cheek Lung
  1. Toxins in lung (if you also experience coughing)
  1. Consume a lot of fruits (apple is a good choice but no mango)
  2. Have “white foods” like: white radishes, yams, almonds, pears and lily bulbs
  3. Avoid mango, taro and seafood
  4. Drink honey water
  1. Sweat a lot: workout, hot bath (with ginger and mint essential oil)
  2. Quit smoking
  3. Get a good sleep (deep sleep mode from 3-5a because it is when lung is cleansing itself)


Around the lips Stomach and intestine, ovulation for women (above the lips)
  1. Constipation
  2. Too much pungent and oily foods
  3. Alcoholic
  4. Too much sweet
  5. Not eating enough vegetables
  6. Issues in reproductive system issues (above the lips)
  1. Consume fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber
  1.  Massage stomach
Chin and jaw Stomach and hormone
  1. Eating oily foods
  2. Over-eating
  3. Not resting enough
  4. Hormonal imbalance
  1. Consume fruits and vegetables
  2. Eat fewer cold and raw foods
  3. Reduce pungent and oily foods
  1. Take a hot bath or foot bath
  2. Acupuncture




















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