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Congested Skin: What is it and How to Treat It

Emoni Rochelle

Do you suffer from bumpy skin, blackheads or enlarged pores? If so, you may have congested skin. Skin congestion comes from a buildup of dirt, dead skin cells and oil within the pores and results in bumpy, acne-prone skin. Keep reading to find out how to treat skin congestion and maintain clear, smooth skin.

Is Your Skin Congested?

If you've noticed that skin texture, blackheads, and flesh-colored bumps have become an issue, you'll need to get at the root of your problem- clogged pores. Acne and breakouts can appear as a result of multiple issues- hormones, diet, allergens...etc. While there are many causes of acne, the symptoms of congested skin as described above are often due to a buildup of dead skin cells, sebum, dirt and impurities which become trapped within the pores. These issues can be exacerbated by the addition of certain types of makeup, primers and a lack of proper skin care.

The secret to clearing your skin and achieving the smooth, flawless is your ability to keep your pores clean and clear of impurities- that is, to de-congest your pores on a daily basis to prevent any buildup of unwanted substances that cause bumpy skin.

How to Treat Congested Skin

1. Keep excess oil at bay. This step is especially important for those with combination to oily skin who have to work harder to keep excess oil from becoming an issue. One way to do this is to use oil-free makeup and skin care. Your skin will naturally produce oil as the day goes on, therefore you want to avoid overloading your skin with excess oil. Look for the term 'oil free' on your makeup and daily moisturizers, particularly if you have combination to oily skin.

2. Take a break from liquid makeup and primers. This may be hard if you hold your makeup routine near and dear, although it can be an important step in helping to clear your skin. Liquid makeup and smoothing, poreless primers can sometimes add to the issue of clogged pores, making it difficult to keep your skin clear. Try taking a break from primers or using them less frequently and try a mineral or powder foundation. If you don't want to completely switch up your makeup routine, you'll need to pay extra attention to cleansing and exfoliating to prevent clogged pores.

3. Stick to Gel cleansers. If your skin is congested, then you'll want to keep your cleansers on the light side and focused on clarifying and detoxing the skin. This means you should avoid oil-based cleansers except to remove stubborn makeup (following up with a gel cleanser) as well as creamy cleansers. Look for ingredients such as salicylic acid, tea tree oil and similar ingredients that will not only clean deep within the pores, but also treat the skin for any acne causing bacteria.

4. Cleanse in the morning and at night. If you suffer from congested skin, you need to work daily to ensure your pores are clear and free of excess debris. This includes cleansing in the morning and at night. Yes, we're speaking to you water splashers! You should cleanse your skin in the morning to remove the oil that has built up over night as well as the products you used the night before. Cleansing in the morning refreshes your skin and allows you to start your day off with a clean slate--literally.

5. Exfoliate. This is perhaps one of the most important steps for bumpy, congested skin. Exfoliating detoxes your pores and helps with skin cell turnover. It also helps rid the skin of dead skin cells which is often the precursor to bumps and blackheads. We recommend using both a physical and chemical exfoliant. This means switching between your cleansing brush and scrubs (physical exfoliants) and chemical, enzymatic exfoliators. When it comes to chemcial exfoliants, look for ingredients such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and fruit enzymes such as pumpkin, papaya and pineapple which work to gently exfoliate the skin. These ingredients go a step further to clear the pores and treat any pre-existing breakouts while working to prevent future breakouts from occurring.

In all, it's important to take a pro-active approach to your skin care, especially when it comes to bumpy, congested skin. Remember to cleanse consistently, treat and exfoliate, and take out the excess oils from your makeup and skin care. Following these steps will help to ensure your skin stays clear and smooth in the long run.


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