If left unchecked humidity, sweat, sebum, dead skin cells and environmental aggressors can wreak havoc on our pores, leading to blockages and ‘congested skin’. But what exactly is congested skin and how do you treat it without exacerbating the problem?
What is congested skin?
Uneven skin texture, ‘bumps’ underneath the skin, blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and a dull appearance are all characteristics of congested skin. Whilst there are many factors that can contribute to this skin concern, it’s mainly caused by the build-up of dead skin cells and skincare product residue.
How to remedy congested skin…
Keeping your skin congestion-free can sometimes feel like a never-ending process and can be quite frustrating at times. It helps to go ‘back to the beginning’ and try to understand what might be causing your skin to become congested in the first place. Some of the most common triggers are overactive sebaceous glands, hormonal fluctuations, a less than healthy diet, not being consistent with your skincare routine or using products that are not suited to your skin.
To get you back on the path to a healthy complexion, I always recommend following the ‘skincare 101’ basics of a gentle yet effective cleansing routine and correct hydration. Regular cleansing is the key to balanced skin, so where congested pores are concerned, using a gently, deep cleansing product to remove the blockages is a must. However, a word of caution – When I say a strict cleansing routine, I don’t mean go exfoliation-crazy (although, that might seem like to way to go initially!). Aggressive exfoliation might look like it’s working in the short term, but by constantly stripping your skin of its natural oils will quite likely cause it to fight back and produce even more sebum to compensate – Leaving you with more clogged pores, redness and breakouts than you had in the first place.
I can’t stress enough that working with your skin rather than fighting it, is the way to go to remedy any skin concern you may have. Aim to support your skin’s protective barrier by reinforcing it with antioxidants and look for skincare products containing hydrating and soothing ingredients to protect your complexion from pollution, bacteria and outside aggressors.
6 of the best ingredients to treat congested skin…
Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract – Known to relieve inflammation, tighten pores, and cleanse skin of excess oil. However, you might want to give it a miss if you have dry or extremely sensitive skin as it can cause irritation.
Citrus Limon (Lemon) Seed Oil – Rich in linoleic acid, this oil can help soothe inflammation and reduce breakouts.
Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract – Has antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, soothing, and toning properties. Helps to relieve congestion around pimples.
Epilobium Fleischeri Extract – A natural prebiotic for treating acne. Proven to decrease excess sebum production by inhibiting the production of 5 alpha-reductase, the enzyme responsible. Skin is visibly clearer, mattified with reduced pore size.
Crataegus Monogyna Fruit Extract – A potent antioxidant, Hawthorn extract is great for stressed out skin. Also known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil – Rich in linoleic acid that balances out the oleic acid that’s naturally abundant in sebum, this extract can help heal an inflamed skin barrier in acne sufferers.