We’re so excited you’ve brought balancing products that will take you from congested to clear! Stick your new congestion-fighting skincare routine on your bathroom mirror and follow along daily from Monday through Sunday to kiss blocked pores goodbye!
But first, let’s take a deep dive into why your skin might be congested and what products could complement your skincare ritual.
What Is Congested Skin?
Congested skin is as common as low-rise jeans were in the early 2000s, we’re looking at you Britney Spears. If you have congested skin your pores are clogged with a combination of oil, dead skin cells, sweat and dirt. As this debris builds up, it’s unable to escape so becomes trapped which leads to blackheads, uneven skin texture and a dull appearance on your T-zone.
What Causes Congested Skin?
Our bodies produce natural oils through the sebaceous glands to nourish and moisturise our skin however, overactive oil glands can cause a build-up on the skin. This can be triggered by monthly menstrual cycles as hormones increase the production of sebum. Gut health and a poor diet also elevate blood sugar levels which can increase acne-causing hormones, excess oil and increased cell production. Take it easy on processed foods and limit refined sugar by prioristing a healthy lifestyle as part of your self-care habits.
It can be tempting to touch your face but you’re also constantly touching things like your phone or EFTPOS machines so you’re transferring that bacteria right onto your skin. Add minimal or no skincare routine to this and you could be damaging your skin without even knowing it! Change your skincare routine by cleansing once in the morning and twice at night, we know it sounds like a lot but hear us out. The first cleanse is to remove makeup and SPF while the second is to get deep into the pores to remove the day’s debris and built-up oil.
Congestion VS Acne
They both seem to sound the same with pimples and blocked pores, right? Well, not quite so listen up! Congestion is just that, topical and irregular blockages that are likely brought on by poor skin health and lifestyle choices.
Acne is a consistent skin condition that occurs in all skin types, even dry. It’s a form of inflammation and irritation that affects the deep layers of the skin with red and irritated breakouts. This is all thanks to oil glands becoming infected as they continue to excrete into clogged pores, creating a full pustule where bacteria can’t escape or be flushed out naturally.
Can Sweat Cause Acne?
We’re busting the myth wide open on sweat and pimples! Sweat doesn’t cause acne, it’s actually your best friend when it comes to flushing toxins from your body as long as you have clean skin before that sweat session. The only problem you might see here is if you bask in your sweat and don’t cleanse your face, this can attract dust and dirt that settles on the skin which can lead to sweat pimples.
How Can I Decongest My Face?
You might reach for a harsh scrub but steer clear of anything that strips the skin of its natural moisturising qualities. Choose The Uncomplicated Cleanser plus Charcoal for a gentle cleanser that carefully removes all traces of makeup and impurities. It’s packed full of detoxifying charcoal to draw out toxins from deep within pores while aloe vera calms and heals inflammation. This creamy product is ideal for skin types that are prone to congestion, breakouts and large pores.
Dehydrated skin can lead to problems that result in skin congestion as your skin will try to compensate for the dryness by overproducing oil, taking you right back to where you started.
Seal in moisture to congested skin that’s been cleansed and exfoliated with esmi’s Detox Hydra-Fluid Moisturise to restore balance to oil-prone areas. The right moisturiser won’t leave your skin feeling heavy or greasy so choose this weightless gel to protect against environmental stressors and pollutants. It’s also formulated with lactic acid to increase cellular turnover for smooth skin and carrot root extract to promote cell regeneration.
Not that we want to add more to your laundry list but not changing your pillowcase and bedding can cause your skin to break out even if you’re double cleansing every night. Your pillowcase carries dirt, sweat and built-up products from your hair and hands so we recommend changing it every few days. While you’re at it, why not give your makeup brushes a wash so they aren’t clogged with dead skin cells, dried makeup and dirt? Putting time and energy into a skincare routine just to top it off with dirty makeup brushes is totally counterproductive! Make this part of your weekly beauty routine so you’re on your way to glowing skin again.
What Ingredients Are Best For Congested Skin?
The best treatment for your skin is using naturally antibacterial ingredients that deeply clean pores and clear congestion without being abrasive to the skin’s surface.
Glycolic Acid For Acne
Derived from sugarcane, glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that boosts moisture retention, reduces the appearance of scars, treats hyperpigmentation and brightens skin. It’s a potent exfoliator that removes dead cells from the topmost layers of the skin, preventing the overproduction of oil that leads to breakouts. It also stimulates fibroblasts in the dermis to produce collagen which leaves your skin feeling plumper with fewer fine lines.
Activated Charcoal For Acne
We know you can find activated charcoal in lattes, smoothies and toothpaste but what about your skincare? It’s basically wood burnt down to an absorbent powder, composed of carbon and ash that makes for a gentle exfoliant. Activated charcoal works like a vacuum for your pores with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that minimises the nutrients that congestion feeds on, leaving you with a full face glow.
Bentonite VS Kaolin Clay
Any skincare products that use clay naturally purify, cleanse and detoxify your skin with absorbent properties that draw toxins and oil.
Bentonite draws heavy metals, impurities and chemicals from the skin to leave you with a clear and balanced complexion. Coming from volcanic ash, it has slightly more powerful oil absorption properties than kaolin clay which makes it perfect for extremely oily skin.
Kaolin Clay is the best option for sensitive skin that’s typically normal to dry. With gentle absorption properties, the mild white clay evens out skin tone and reduces redness while absorbing oil without affecting your skin's natural oil level.
What To Avoid When You Have Congested Skin
It’s best to avoid products with ingredients that are known to irritate your skin and potentially cause breakouts. Our skin specialists recommend skipping comedogenic makeup and skin products while avoiding mineral oil, isopropyl myristate, propylene glycol, lanolin, alcohol and artificial colours. If you’re still not sure, book a consultation or start a live chat with our qualified skin consultants to receive a personalised routine or product recommendation.
What Products Are Good For Congested Skin?
This is where we come in, say hello to your new esmi skin treats and start your daily ritual off with these naturally clearing products that will keep your pores clean and refined.
Green Smoothie, But For Your Face
Our Anti-Redness Green Smoothie serum is the best product to treat skin redness, reduce puffiness and calm damaged skin. You’ll find it packed full of Tasmania lanceolate extract, a powerful antioxidant that speeds up healing along with anti-inflammatory arnica. It’s suitable for all skin types, although can be especially healing for acne-inflamed or damaged skin.
Buff The Bad
Excess dead skin cells are to blame for congestion so for a clearer complexion, our lightweight Detoxifying Exfoliating Charcoal Serum draws out underlying congestion while buffing away dead skin cells. Glycolic acid also loosens and breaks apart the bonds of skin cells to encourage your softer side. Simply drop it onto a charcoal brush or your fingers and massage it into freshly cleansed skin! Don’t be alarmed if your skin purges afterwards, just keep using it after your impurities have said hello to help the healing process.
It’s important to note that over-exfoliation will cause your skin to fight back, leaving you with more breakouts and redness so stick to once a week and have rest nights to let your skin recover and reset.
Say Hey To Clay
If you feel the need to squeeze any blemishes, use our Charcoal Clay Booster Mask instead! We love it because charcoal acts like a sponge to draw out impurities from deep within, soft kaolin clay regulates oil production and creamy bentonite clay neutralises harmful bacteria to buff away dead skin. The powerful combination of charcoal and clay refines and purifies for soft skin so apply a generous amount across the whole face or to just a few pimples.
It takes time for skin-clearing ingredients to kick in so be consistent with your treatments and give congestion treatments at least four weeks to do their thing. If you’re just getting started on your skincare journey, why not refresh and refine unbalanced skin cells with our Congested Skin Solution Bundle?