What Are the Signs of Skin Congestion? And How to Treat It

What Are the Signs of Skin Congestion? And How to Treat It

Are you struggling with breakouts, dullness and uneven skin texture? You may have congested skin. Let's explore what causes this issue and how the right skincare products & routines, home remedies and professional skin treatment can clear it up.

Let’s ask first: What is skin congestion?

Congested skin happens when pores get blocked by sebum or the oil produced by the skin, dead skin cells, and sometimes makeup. This blockage prevents oxygen from reaching the pores, creating a perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive. It can manifest in breakouts, bumps, dullness, and an uneven texture.

Now, what are the causes of congested skin?

The causes of congested skin are varied. Hormonal fluctuations can be a culprit, as these can increase oil production and lead to clogged pores. Genetics can also play a role, as some people naturally have oily skin or overactive sebaceous glands, making them more prone to congestion. Do you have an unhealthy diet, particularly one high in processed foods & sugars? That can aggravate the issue. You might have it worse if you lack sleep and experience a lot of stress daily.  

Of course, a lack of an inconsistent skincare routine can also cause skin congestion. With no regular exfoliation, dead skin cells can build up and clog your pores. Finally, you have to be careful when shopping for new skincare products. That’s because using skincare products and makeup items that are not suitable for your skin type or that are comedogenic or pore-clogging can cause congested skin.

What are the signs of skin congestion?

Skin congestion is a common concern that can leave your complexion looking less than its best. Here are some tell-tale signs that your skin might be congested:

  • Whiteheads: Small, flesh-coloured bumps.
  • Blackheads: Dark spots from oxidised pore debris.
  • Cystic acne: Painful, inflamed pimples that occur deep within the skin.
  • Rough, bumpy skin: A texture that feels uneven to the touch.
  • Dull appearance: Lack of radiance and a tired-looking complexion.
  • Visible pores: Enlarged pores that can become more noticeable when clogged.

In addition, clogged skin can be categorised into three primary types: 


Imagine your pores as tiny gateways to healthy skin. When these gateways get blocked with sebum, dead skin cells, makeup & other impurities, papules and whiteheads, or closed comedones, make an unwelcome appearance. These small, flesh-toned bumps signify pores that have sealed shut, making it a tad more challenging to clear them. Still, you can gently coax these pores open by using products enriched with salicylic acid and topical retinoids. 


Blackheads, or open comedones, share a similar origin story with whiteheads but take a different path. Here, the pore remains open, and when sebum and skin cells meet air, they oxidise and turn a telltale black. While entirely preventing blackheads might be a tall order, a regimen of soft exfoliation and targeted treatments can significantly reduce their presence, keeping your pores clean and clear. 


    These small, pearl-like bumps arise not from clogged pores but from keratin trapped just beneath the skin. Unlike their comedone counterparts, milia form independent of pores and are most often seen gracing the areas around the eyes and cheeks. They’re a bit more stubborn, often requiring a professional’s touch for removal. What causes milia? These bumps are often linked to factors like rich dairy intake, too much sun exposure, or using heavy, pore-clogging skincare products.

    What about skin congestion treatment?

    When treating congested skin, there are several approaches you can take:

    Home remedies for skin congestion

    Embrace the power of natural ingredients to soothe and clear your skin:

    • Natural Exfoliation: Discover the softening effects of honey and ground almonds. Honey’s antibacterial properties can diminish breakouts and acne, while almonds gently buff away dead skin cells. Read our blog titled ‘How to Properly Exfoliate Your Skin at Home’ for more home exfoliation tips. 
    • Hydration: Never underestimate the power of water. Hydration is key to flushing out toxins and balancing oil production. So, even if you’ve already heard this tip a lot of times, we’ll still remind you to hydrate!
    • Facial Steam: Facial steam can open up pores and help release trapped dirt and bacteria. Follow it up with a facial mask. Your skin is particularly receptive to products after steaming, so it is the ideal time to apply your favourite mask.
    • Dietary Changes: Support your skin health from the inside out. Refrain from a diet low in processed foods and sugars. Instead, eat food items high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.

    skin congestion treatment

    Over-the-counter skin care products for congestion

    If you want more immediate results, give these skin congestion products a try.

    • Exfoliators: Products containing salicylic acid or lactic acid can help exfoliate the skin, promoting cell turnover and keeping pores from becoming clogged.
    • Serums: Looking to add a serum to your skincare routine? Serums with active ingredients like retinol can boost skin elasticity and reduce congestion.
    • Cleansers: Congested skin can often result from oil, leftover makeup, sweat, and other impurities clogging your pores. So, use daily cleansers with gentle exfoliants to help keep your skin clear without over-drying.
    • Moisturisers: Moisturisers are essential to your skin, but make sure to choose non-comedogenic moisturisers to hydrate your skin while avoiding further congestion.

    Professional treatment for clogged skin

    While home remedies and over-the-counter treatments can be effective for mild to moderate congestion, professional treatments may offer more comprehensive solutions for severe cases. Consult a dermatologist or skin care professional to determine the best course of action for your specific skin concerns. They may prescribe retinoids to promote cell turnover and reduce congestion. You may also be asked to incorporate high-grade chemical peels into your skincare regimen to exfoliate your skin more deeply than over-the-counter products. 

    Facials and laser treatments can help, too. A professional facial can cleanse, exfoliate, extract, and hydrate the skin in one session. On the other hand, laser skin resurfacing can stimulate areas with clogged pores and improve overall skin texture. 

    Final thoughts

    In our busy lives, it’s easy for our skin to take a backseat until it demands attention, usually in the form of congestion. While skin congestion can be frustrating, understanding its signs, causes and treatment options empowers you to take control. 

    Start refining your skincare routine with Jericho Skincare Australia’s gentle and natural skin care products, and you’ll achieve clear, glowing skin in no time!

    What are you looking for?

    Your cart