What Is Congested Skin (& How To Clear It Quickly)

While some people can get through life without ever having to deal with clogged pores, dull complexion, and annoying breakouts, the majority of us are not so lucky.

Having congested skin is a harmless but annoying cosmetic condition that is particularly common in young adults while going through hormonal changes.

But that is not always the case as also adults that have left the problematic puberty changes far behind often struggle with having congested skin and pesky breakouts.

We all want our skin to look flawless and feel smooth, but there are days where it just seems like whatever we do to take the best care of it, it just keeps playing with us in return.

With that being said let’s get right into elaborating what is congested skin and how to clear it up.

how to clear congested skin

NB: If you’re someone with oily/acne-prone skin, you need my new book “The Ingredients Handbook for Acne-Prone Skin“. Download it here.

What Is Congested Skin?

If you are someone that often gets acne breakouts and your complexion appears dull and uneven with whiteheads and blackheads popping out of nowhere all the time;

You probably know how big of a challenge it is to make your skin look something even close to “okay” on a good day.

Yeah, I have been there for the majority of my life and it is pretty much how you can recognize that your skin is congested.

Blackheads or also known as open comedones and basically mean a clogged hair follicle (pore) in the skin.

They are small bumps that appear on your skin when the hair follicles get clogged due to an accumulation of excess sebum and dead skin cells.

Blackheads are the mildest type of acne that usually form on the face, but they can also appear on the back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders. They turn black on exposure to the air.

Whiteheads are also known as milia (or closed comedones) and they are formed when sebum is trapped in the hair follicle but there is no surface opening due to an overgrowth of epidermal skin tissue.

They are more common on dry skin and typically appear below the eye or along the cheekbone.

Whiteheads, blackheads lead to clogged pores and they can be the result of a few factors such as excess sebum production, excess fat and accumulated toxins in the skin.

What Causes Congested Skin?

What Is Congested Skin (& How To Clear It)

Dull and uneven complexion can be caused by more than one factor that makes your skin appear yellow or brown in tone, especially on the face.

Vitamin deficiency – especially certain vitamins such as vitamin C, which is essential in acting as a protective shield against environmental aggressors and pollution.

Smoking and dehydration kind of go hand in hand when it comes to depriving your skin of oxygen and making it dehydrated due to the build-up of damaging toxins such as carbon monoxide gas.

Caffeinated beverages and alcohol intake can severely dehydrate the skin, making it appear dull and sallow over time.

Stress can take its toll on your body and overall health in a number of ways, and it is also detrimental to your largest organ – your skin. Stress often manifests itself on your skin in the form of breakouts and can even exacerbate the aging of the skin.

Pollution and dirt can enter open pores contributing to congestion by creating a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive on your skin and cause breakouts and infections.

Dead skin cells have their fair share of contributing for your skin to appear sallow and dull and not as vibrant as it should. In addition, they can clog the pores and cause congestion.

How To Clear Congested Skin

Following an adequate skincare routine can help correct and detoxify congested skin types.

Wash your face daily:

This removes dirt, oil, bacteria, grime, and pollution from your skin and it is especially recommendable to wash your face before bed.

A gentle cleanser that won’t irritate your skin can significantly improve your dull and sallow complexion by removing the build-up of toxins laying on the surface.

Exfoliate Regularly:

This aids the natural process of shedding the build-up of dead skin cells on your skin.

This natural process often becomes obstructed due to environmental aggressors such as prolonged sun exposure and the damage caused by the UV rays as well as excess sebum production.

The result is uneven and dull-looking skin as well as clogged pores and congestion.

Using a gentle exfoliant that contains alpha-hydroxy acids can accelerate the process of cell turnover and make your skin appear more radiant and hydrated.

Apply A Moisturizer

A great moisturizer acts as a barrier that traps water into your skin so it remains hydrated.

Lack of water dehydrates the skin and this makes up for the sallow complexion while well-hydrated skin looks more radiant.

Use Sunscreen Everday

It’s a highly efficient way to protect your skin against detrimental environmental aggressors such as the UV rays that produce harmful free radical molecules and increase damage inside your skin.


Congested skin is very common and can potentially bring on even peskier conditions such as acne breakouts.

Luckily, there are ways to treat and detoxify your skin and it is easier than you might have thought.

It is important to know what congested skin is and what can cause it so you can better understand how to go about treating this condition.

OILY SKIN PRONE TO CONSTANT ACNE-BREAKOUTS?

simone sydel licensed esthetician

I've coached hundreds of clients just like you helping them tame their oily and acne-prone skin.


I've had my battle with acne. I know what it's like when your skin seems to be conspiring against you


The good news is, I can now show how to manage it!


My new book will help you understand your skin better so you can make informed decisions about what products would work best for your specific needs.

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