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How to cleanse to clear congestion
Regimens are all the rage these days. If you’re not working with a seven step skincare routine and four different foundations, social media will tell you you’re barely a beauty buff. You can be packing on all of the proper products; a serum for hydration, a moisturiser for blemish control, an eye cream for dark circles; and still have your day ruined by pesky blemishes. Why is this happening when you’re applying all of the right things? The answer is actually in the question - whilst the multiple layers you’re applying each day could all be tackling specific skin concerns, they can still lead to a lot of build-up being left on your skin. It’s this build-up that when not cleansed correctly can lead to the ultimate acne invitational: congestion. Think of your skincare routine as a circle of life – when one thing moves on, it makes way for another (yes, we’re making face philosophy a thing). Your products aren’t meant to sit on your skin forever; they should be applied and absorbed, with any remaining residue removed to clear the surface for the next round of ingredients. We’re breaking down how clearing congestion can help you banish blemishes for good – after all, your poor pores can only take so much.
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What is congested skin?
Congestion occurs when your pores (those tiny - or sometimes, sadly, not so tiny – dots you see on the surface of your skin) become clogged. Blocked pores are one of the most common starting points of blemishes – blackheads and whiteheads are how your skin shows that there is oil, debris or product still trapped beneath the skin’s surface. Blocked pores also lead to bigger pores, as when clogged they start to stretch and appear larger and more prominent on your face. Not ideal.
What's causing the congestion?
Blocked pores can be caused by a bunch of factors – pollution, oil, dead skin cells, skincare and makeup can all contribute to congestion if not cleansed away thoroughly at the end of the day. If you’re noticing clogged pores or an unsightly uplift in blemishes, your cleansing routine is definitely a skincare step worth taking extra time with. Don’t worry about wasting your pricy products; by the time you’re at cleansing stage the ingredients in your topicals have already been absorbed by your skin and are working away beneath the surface, so removing residue isn’t an issue.
How to combat the congestion
Try double cleansing in the evening to effectively dislodge surface dirt and dead skin, making sure the day is truly washed away. Effective cleansing is all about knowing which ingredients to reach for – when it comes to combatting congestion, hydroxy acids will be your greatest ally. Try a combo of AHAs and BHAs for best results, as AHAs (such as Lactic Acid or Glycolic Acid) exfoliate by loosening dead skin cells on the surface and BHAs (like Salicylic Acid) delve deeper to dislodge any dirt and debris from within the pores. By pairing the two together, you’ll be left with a fresh face, clear pores and a complexion ready and waiting for the next application of skincare magic.
Have you experienced congestion? How did you clear out your pores?