All skin types can experience congestion and clogged pores, this can appear in the form of blackheads, whiteheads or even grittiness and bumps under the skin which cause our skin texture to appear uneven.
As a skin concern for some of us congestion can feel like a constant battle with the texture of our skin constantly feeling and appearing uneven, and for others we may just need a monthly check-in.
Whichever camp you fall in, what we do know is that if ignored, congestion can lead to a build-up of inflammation causing more breakouts and our skin can become dull, grey, and sallow.
Causes Of CongestionOur pores are there to keep our skin moisturised by releasing the skin’s natural oils and sweat to help us remain cool and aid the removal of impurities, however, they can easily become blocked, angry, inflamed and contested.
One of the causes of which is dead skin cells, which if not removed from the skin with regular exfoliation can cause blockages and prevent the skin’s natural oils from reaching the surface resulting in blemishes.
When this happens we often see the appearance of blackheads and it can result in a buildup of bacteria and inflammation on the skin, triggering painful bumps or white heads.
Our lifestyle also plays an important role in the appearance of our skin, including congestion, with factors such as lack of sleep, humid weather, dietary changes all challenging the oil levels in our skin. In particular if our stress levels remain elevated then the increased cortisol (the stress hormone levels) can stimulate and increase our skin’s oil levels.
Recovering Your RadianceIn a bid to rid the skin of breakouts and congestion there is the temptation to strip the skin's natural oils and buff away the dead skin cells, excessively exfoliating, however, this has the potential to increase inflammation, exacerbating any congestion and causing sensitivity.
To reinstate or maintain radiant skin, careful, considered, consistent skincare is key.
CleansingCleansing twice in the evening and once in the morning is the textbook number of times to cleanse effectively.
Avoid cleansers that leave the skin feeling tight, taught, and feeling stripped, and if you use cleansing balms and oils, ensure you add water to emulsify your oil-based cleansers as this lifts the impurities ensuring the skin is clean and free from dirt and grime.
Exfoliate IntelligentlyExfoliating acids will break the bonds that hold the dead skin cells, freeing them and allowing your skin’s natural oil to flow freely. Look for both exfoliating acids to help clear pores and smooth skin texture at a cellular level and physical exfoliants to gently lift and buff away dead skin cells.
Bentonite is known for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as aiding the removal of impurities, whilst Kaolin gently cleanses the pores respecting the skin's natural moisture levels and effectively removing pollution, bacteria, and impurities.
Mask RegularlyIncluding deep cleansing unclogging clays in your weekly routine can help decongest skin and tackle any impurities trapped in your pores.
Two of the most well-known effective deep cleansing clays are Bentonite and Kaolin; often referred to as the healing clay, Bentonite is known for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as aiding the removal of impurities, whilst Kaolin gently cleanses the pores respecting the skin's natural moisture levels and effectively removing pollution, bacteria, and impurities.
Including these clays into your weekly skincare routine with a regular face mask application will help you tackle congestion effectively.
Do Not TouchTempting as it may be, avoid touching the congestion with your fingers and rather use concealer wands on the area, to avoid the transfer of bacteria and further aggravation.
Keep your makeup brushes clean, be aware of your pillowcases and wash them frequently, ensure your hands are clean before you touch the skin and use a clean cleansing cloth for each cleanse.