Congested Skin: What is it and the best ways to treat it

We have all had a blemish that nearly stopped us from leaving the house. Whether you suffer from skin concerns on the daily, or once in a blue moon, it is important to understand congestion and how it plays out on the skin’s surface.  

The truth is, congested skin can affect anyone, not just teens or hormonal women. There are many factors that can affect the appearance of your skin, from environmental issues, excess oil productiondead skin build-up and more. Your skin is constantly under attack! 

Let’s explore what congested skin is, to help you better understand your own skin and look at ways to combat it and achieve  happy, healthy skin!  

What is congested skin? 

Congested skin simply put is clogged pores that cause breakouts and the appearance of dirty or dull looking skin 

Congestion can occur when our sebaceous glands overproduce sebum (the technical term for oil). This can lead to our pores either overfilling which causes whiteheads, or opening, which causes dead skin cells to become trapped producing blackheads.  

Other ways congested skin can occur is from hormonal imbalances, dead skin build up, lack of a solid skincare routine, sweat, eating foods that trigger your glands to overproduce oil and lack of regular exercise.  

What are the best ways to treat congested skin? 

  1. Sweat it out 

I know what you are probably thinking… sweat can cause congested skin but it is also a way to treat it… weird? We know, it can get a little confusing, however getting your body moving and your blood pumping is vital for health skin. It is key to know that sweat can cause skin to breakout when it is left sitting on the skin until it dries. It is always best to exercise with no makeup on and to wash your face directly after.  

An increase in blood flow, by exercising, helps to nourish skin cells and keep them alive. This added blood flow helps to flush out waste products, including free radicals, from active cells.   

  1. Keep up a well-balanced diet 

Eating healthy and avoiding certain foods can help reduce the likelihood of your skin becoming congested. We recommend stacking your grocery basket with foods rich in zinc, vitamin A and E, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.  Some examples below:  

High in Zinc:  

  • Red meat  
  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils)  
  • Nuts (cashews, pine nuts, peanuts and almonds) 

High in vitamin A: 

  • Beef liver  
  • Salmon 
  • King Mackerel  
  • Sweet potato  
  • Kale  
  • Turnips  
  • Carrot 
  • Mango  
  • Grapefruit  
  • Watermelon  

High in vitamin E: 

  • Sunflower seeds  
  • Almonds 
  • Hazelnut oil  
  • Avocado  

High in Omega 3 fatty acids: 

  • Mackerel  
  • Salmon 
  • Oysters 
  • Sardines 
  • Flax seeds  
  • Chia seeds  
  • Walnuts 

As for foods to avoid, studies have shown that dairy products can increase oil production and lead to blocked pores. And it is no secret that oily fast-foods and sugary foods can also negatively impact your skin.  

  1. Invest in quality beauty products 

It is important for you to research and shop around to find the best products suitable for your skin, a solid skincare routine can do wonders for the health and appearance of your skin.  

We recommend finding products that contain hempseed oil and kaolin clay. Both hempseed oil and kaolin clay help balance the skin’s oil production without clogging pores.  

  1. Exfoliation  

Exfoliation is KEY to clearing and preventing congested skin. Exfoliation gently rids the skin of excess oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, residual makeup and other nasties that get caught in your pores and lead to congestion and breakouts. We recommend the AHA enzyme exfoliant as it gently dissolves dead skin cells, rather than using a physical element to abrasively scrape away debris which can cause sensitivity and damage the skin’s protective barrier. 

Tip: You should only exfoliate 2-3 times a week. If you over exfoliate, your skin can actually kick oil production into over-drive, leading to even more congestion!  

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