Forget the fortune teller; the fastest way to tell if your complexion will turn out to be a trick or a treat is with facial reading. “When you look at a face, you can tell a lot about major organs like the lungs, heart and liver, as well as what may be happening emotionally and even in the brain,” explains Patrician McCarthy, founder of the The Mien Shiang Institute, who teaches the ancient Chinese Taoist practice of facial reading. We know it sounds about as realistic as a long-lasting Hollywood marriage, but it’s a science that’s been practiced for over 3,000 years, so there must be something to it (right?)! She tells us why a wrinkle isn’t always just a wrinkle:
Forehead lines Read it: “The forehead is linked to the liver, which represents passion, stress, anger and emotion. Deep lines could mean a history of depression or anxiety. Every one of these lines is proof that you’ve done the work associated with the emotion—they don’t come easily, but they show how you’ve grown as a person,” says McCarthy.
Treat it: “Since forehead lines are dynamic wrinkles, those caused by the expressions you make—even subconsciously—your best bet is Botox since it blocks the movement that’s causing the wrinkle to form,” explains Anne Chapas, M.D., medical director of Union Square Laser Dermatology. At home, try a product that rebuilds collagen to plump up those grooves. Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, helps in that department, while also delivering a potent dose of antioxidant vitamins C, E, and L-ascorbic acid to protect against the oxidative stress that saps skin’s elasticity. Bonus: Once it’s absorbed, it can’t be washed off or diluted when you apply other products and makeup.
Nose acne Read it: “The top and tip of the nose show emotions of the heart, so I can always tell when someone has just had a breakup. The redder the acne, the more it has to do with an inflamed heart and big emotions. Colorless pimples are related to grief or emotions that have been cut off. A greenish tinge means there’s anger with the heartache,” notes McCarthy.
Treat it: Why is the nose prone to zits and blackheads? Location, location, location! Nose skin is chock-full of oil glands, larger pores, and hair follicles, making it too easy for dead skin cells and over-the-top oil production to clog everything in its path. The solution? Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! “Keep pores clean and clear by using a product with salicylic acid twice daily,” advises Chapas. TryLaRoche Posay Effaclar K Daily Renovating Acne Treatment. It also delivers a dose of micro-exfoliating LHA for maximum clearing so pores appear smaller.
Laugh lines and nasolabial folds (the parenthesis that run from your nose to the outside corner of your lips) Read it: “Laugh lines are purpose lines. You want to have them because they’re an indication that you know your purpose in life, your spiritual and creative path," says McCarthy. "But nasolabial folds are a sign of not breathing properly, often because of stress or uncertainty. When you’re living the life you’re supposed to live, you breathe in and out in a healthy way. The stress of not knowing what you’re doing can make you hold your breath or sometimes forget to inhale.”
Treat it: Though fillers like Juvederm are the gold standard in smoothing 'round-the-mouth lines, StriVectin's WF Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler, has a cult following thanks to its instant, injection-free results. It's full of natural skin tighteners that form a network on your skin's surface, then retract, giving you a visibly firmer look. Apply directly to clean skin, and you'll see the tightening effect in minutes. And don't forget the sunscreen, says Chapas. "Deep lines are exacerbated by sun exposure."