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Spiritual Causes Of Acne: What Your Skin Is Trying To Tell You With Your Breakouts

Celestyna Brozek
Author: Medical reviewer:
Updated on August 24, 2022
Keira Barr, M.D.
Medical review by
Keira Barr, M.D.
Board-certified dermatologist
Keira Barr is a dual board-certified dermatologist and founder of the Resilient Health Institute.
Last updated on August 24, 2022

Your acne is your body expressing itself: It's one way the body communicates internal disorders and issues.

Instead of reacting to a skin issue with a harsh exfoliator or "miracle" cream, we must respond from a place of curiosity, openness, space and control.

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Take a moment every day to look at your face with curiosity and kindness — every blemish is a gentle note your body has left you.

So what's your skin telling you? Here are three common acne patterns, how to "translate" them, and how to "respond."

Congested forehead

Appearance: Many rash-like, tiny bumps all over, with or without white or blackheads. Maybe barely noticeable, more felt than seen. (You may hear it called "sebum plugs.") May extend to temples.

  • Message: Acne on the forehead often indicates too much stress or increased stress. The forehead is the Vata portion of the face, and anxiety or stress are typical Vata imbalances. (Read more about the Ayurvedic doshas here.) This type of acne can also indicate dehydration or constipation 1since the forehead is linked to the colon (vata dosha) and the nervous system.
  • Response: Your body is telling you to drink more water to flush the body and helps with elimination. Dealing with stress is hard, but incredibly important because if you're stressed, your entire hormonal balance gets thrown off, digestive issues increase and you open the floodgates to every health challenge that aggravates acne. If you need help finding your secret to dealing with stress, this might be a good place to start.

Cystic acne

Appearance: Usually around jawline or chin/lower cheek area. Pimples are usually large, sit deep under the skin, can take weeks to heal and are sometimes painful to touch.

  • Message: This type of acne indicates hormonal imbalance, which can be caused by any type of hormonal imbalance (estrogen or androgen dominance, PCOS, adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, etc.). The lower third of the face is the Kapha region, and the fluid-retaining, swollen characteristics of these pimples reflect the qualities of Kapha. If the acne is under the jaw and ears toward the back of the neck, that's where some of the largest cranial lymph nodes are located. You can be pretty sure breaking out here indicates some lymphatic stagnancy and congestion related to poor liver detoxification.
  • Response: With hormonal acne, an adjustment in diet and lifestyle is needed (do your best to eliminate sugar, dairy, and high glycemic foods). You can take your time adjusting diet and lifestyle so it's a pleasurable experience and you can create a sustainable lifestyle for you. Sleep and exercise are also important. If you're not getting enough sleep,2 you don't give your body enough time to detoxify properly, in addition to messing with your hormones. Exercise is crucial because cystic acne is almost always also related to lymph stagnancy and if you're not moving, the lymph fluid isn't either.

Acne around the mouth and nose

Appearance: Red, inflamed acne and puss-filled whiteheads around the mouth and nose

  • Message: In Ayurvedic face mapping, this area corresponds to the stomach and digestion. Acne like this can indicate digestive inflammation, stomach hypoactivity or food sensitivities.
  • Response: It can be pretty easy to identify food sensitivities if you take a test. Then there is no guesswork involved. Alternatively, you can try an elimination diet. If you suspect your stomach acid is low and your food isn't digesting properly, then try taking digestive enzymes. Other things to try are taking a good quality probiotic and getting lots of supergreens. If you're not up for eating a pound of veggies a day (which is ideal because it crowds all the worse food off your plate) then try spirulina or chlorella.

The takeaway

If all of this sounds like a lot of overwhelming info, that's normal.

You can't be fluent in the language of acne after just one lesson! Stay curious about your skin, keep trying to heal it and simply do your best.

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Celestyna Brozek
Celestyna Brozek

Celestyna is the founder and CEO of moss, a luxury natural skincare collection created for rebel skin. Through moss (which stands for modern organic sacred skincare) Celestyna’s mission is to revolutionize the way adult acne is healed. Celestyna brings her unique expertise in astrophysics, fashion design and yoga therapy to transform her own personal relationship with acne into a beautiful and meaningful offering to the world.

moss is much more than a skincare line. It is an exclusive hub for world-class content, advice, inspiration and enlightenment centered around the themes of clearing skin holistically while discovering the nowness of beauty and love. moss products are powerful talismans of metamorphosis, transforming both the health of the skin and the health of an individual’s relationship to their beauty. moss also offers a unique healing philosophy centered around personal pleasure and empowerment. moss coaching clients work from the inside out to transform diet and lifestyle for clear skin - but do so luxuriously and sustainably, with an emphasis on bliss.

To clear your skin holistically and happily, book a consult, experience the skincare, read the beauty blog, or pick up a copy of Celestyna’s newest e-book: The 10 Best Natural Supplements for Clear Skin. Celestyna is inspired by wellness and entrepreneurial podcasts, surfing, New Mexico, Ayurveda and the wisdom of the wild. She is supported by her wonderful fiancé, the conviction that she has found her authentic work, her two sweet dogs and her wise and beloved parents.