How To Fix Congested Skin

Congested skin is a real pest. 

So, once again we’ve turned to Go-To founder Zoë’s Longtime Facial Wizard, Natasha Tchernobryvko, to tell us everything we need to know about it (What causes it! What stops it! What star sign it is!) and guide us to soft, healthy, clear skin.

What actually is congested skin?
Congestion happens when our sebaceous glands overproduce sebum (“oil”). This leads to our pores potentially overfilling, resulting in closed comedones (aka whiteheads) and open comedones (aka blackheads). 

If bacteria gets into pores full of sebum and dead cells, this also can result in infection and angry red pimples. 

Got it! And what causes it?
Lots of things can cause an overproduction of sebum, and therefore, congestion. These are the most common:

- Not cleaning your skin properly. Double cleansing (starting with an oil cleanser) is recommended in the evening to get rid of makeup and sunscreen. Then you need to follow with a water-based cleanser (which could be a gel, milk, or mousse cleanser depending on what you like and suits your skin best). 

- Heavy makeup can also result in congested skin. If your skin is prone to congestion, try to use oil-free makeup or light tinted moisturiser to prevent your pores from being clogged.

- Nourishing creams and oils are very much needed to feed our skin, but overusing rich skin care products can also result in comedones or congested pores. Always follow product instructions to ensure you’re not overusing them. And try to stick to light, thin face oils instead of heavy ones. Ingredients like lanolin or cocoa butter should be avoided if the skin becomes oily, and if your skin is prone to congestion, please try to find non-comedogenic (“pore-clogging”) products. 

- Last but certainly not least, over-exfoliating can cause congested skin. Twice a week is more than enough for exfoliants (be it physical, chemical, or enzyme). 

What’s the best way to treat congestion?
If you have a particularly angry blind pimple, you can find a very helpful step by step right here. But to keep pores clear and stop congestion from coming back, we must stop the sebaceous glands overproducing oil on the surface of our skin. This can be done with double cleansing and regular exfoliation.

The quickest and most effective way to decongest the skin though, is through extractions. These should always be done by an experienced and professional facialist (“not at home”), and then maintained with a healthy diet, along with suitable skin care products and makeup. 

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