What Causes Congested Skin and What Contributes To Acne Breakouts?
Clogged pores, congested skin, blackheads and pimples are some of the most common skin problems people want help to treat. There are a number of contributors to problem skin.
With the right treatments and prevention, however, there is a lot you can do to keep those pimples and blackheads at bay.
Why do we struggle with skin congestion?
Skin is your largest organ, and like ALL of your organs, is impacted by your lifestyle as well as your genetics (inherited traits).
Healthy skin requires a healthy nutritional plan and overall healthy living. Even then, sometimes pollution, over-active oil glands, genetics and even hormones can leave you with breakouts.
So you’ll end up with breakouts over time because environmental factors AND your lifestyle combine to cause a number of skin ailments.
Everything you eat or drink, everything you put on your skin (skin care products or even clothing or perfumes) and every activity you do will tend to have some impact on your skin.
Often, there is the misconception that congested skin only occurs among young adults, because their skin is more prone to acne and other issues. However, this is not true at all.
Skin can get congested at any stage of life and therefore, you should watch out for its signs and symptoms.
What causes skin congestion and pimples?
Pimples and blackheads form when the skin becomes congested (or inflamed).
Skin congestion is more commonly termed “having blocked pores.” That’s because the small openings in your skin (pores) becomes clogged OR fail to work properly to release your skin’s natural oil production (and some skins produce more sebum, or oil, than others).
Sebum is produced by your sebaceous glands.
Sebum helps to keep your skin and hair adequately moisturized.
Whilst sebum (essentially your skin’s natural oils) might seem problematic in terms of keeping your pimples at bay, sebaceous glands & sebum production are necessary to help keep your skin adequately protected as well as keeping moisturised.
Without enough sebum, your skin would fail to protect your underlying tissues or help fight off bacteria.
What is sebum?
Sebum is a light yellow, oily-feeling substance that is secreted by your sebaceous glands. Sebum is made up of a variety of substances that healthy dermal tissue produces naturally, including triglycerides, free fatty acids, wax esters, squalene, cholesterol esters and cholesterol.
Seeing your way CLEAR of skin congestion: blocked pores
Congestion thereby occurs when your skin’s natural sebum (oils) gets blocked from being fully released from your glands (pores). This often occurs when debris (topical pollutants) such as makeup, smoke pollution or dirt, grime and bacteria – mixes with sebum and gets ‘trapped’ in your skin’s pores.
It can be easier to prevent than to treat, but some people do have skin that is more prone to acne than others. Often, this has a genetic component – but you’d be surprised to learn that you can help reduce outbreaks by using the right medical-grade products and nutritional approaches.
So the best option to prevent breakouts is to take a few steps to actually prevent the occurrence of congested skin.
For prevention, you need to understand the different causes of congested skin and why it might affect your skin.
Let’s look at a few of the most common causes of congested skin:
Decreased Cellular Turnover can lead to skin congestion over time:
- Skin cells don’t live forever – they slough off (expire) and regenerate
- The outer layer of the skin is nearly always in the process of being shedded
- The expired or sloughed off skin cells sometimes pile up on the skin’s outer surface
The process of skin renewal: how build up of dead skin cells can lead to clogged pores and pimples
- This process happens every several weeks (or several months) when you’re relatively young and healthy, and then slows down as you age.
- During your skin’s renewal cycle, your dead skin cells get pushed out
- New, fresh skin cells then take their place
So long as the dead skin cells don’t excessively build up on your skin’s surface, you’ll tend to have vibrant, smooth looking skin
How pimples form: clogged pores and acne skins
- But if your older skin cells are sluggish in turning over – or if these dead skin cells and other debris builds up on your skin’s surface – this often results in clogged pores and congested-looking skin
- Skin cells can also build up and clog pores if you have a poor diet
- So it’s important you stay healthy and maintain a good cleansing routine to remove old skin cells – but for some people, using the WRONG products (or the wrong way) or non-clean face washers or being overly aggressive – can worsen breakouts and aggravate acne
- So you need to be sure you understand what GENTLE exfoliation routine you’ll need
- And be sure to find out what specific products will best suit your skin – this is best discovered by consulting with an experienced skin care professional
Always choose a Qualified Skin Care Professional
An experienced skin care professional has made skin care and skin treatments their area of career focus.
They’ll have had Tertiary training, Degree Qualifications and Association Memberships as a Dermal Clinician.
Our Skin Care Professionals are highly-experienced Dermal Clinicians and include Sarah (above left) and Lauren (above right).
- Our Dermal Clinicians specialise in skin care and skin treatments including for Acne, Pigmentation problems such as sun damage or sun spots, Rosacea, Visible Capillaries and even facial scars or older acne scars.
Failure to remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin can result in dull looking skin, congested skin and potentially slower overall cellular turnover; our Clinicians can recommend the right products and cleansing routines for all types of problematic skin.
Excessively Oily Skin is also a factor in skin congestion
People who have to deal with excessive sebum production on their skin are ALSO at a much higher risk of getting whiteheads and blackheads on their skin.
Here are some additional factors that can impact your skin.
Acne (Condition): Congestion and Acne Breakouts
Acne is a fairly common skin condition. Acne can impact the appearance of your face (resulting in bumps and redness or a chronic state of skin inflammation) as well as congested-looking skin and even acne scars over time. (Laser treatments may help reduce your acne scars – but it’s far better to prevent them if you can).
Excessive Sebum and Oil
If you have naturally oily skin or have excessive sebum production – you can also suffer from congested skin and frequent breakouts. This is because if sebum ends up clogging your pores, it can also trap bacteria. Pollutants and bacteria reactions result in skin congestion.
Some cosmetics products contain ingredients which are not friendly to acne-prone skin and may contribute to reactive skin conditions such as acne. Be sure to use only high-quality makeup (mineral makeup may be the go!) that your skin care professional has recommended.
Using cheap makeup or very old makeup (contaminated with bacteria) might make your skin congestion and acne breakouts worse.
- Pollution, dust & dirt can also lead to skin congestion and clogged pores or redness
- Be sure to take good care of your skin, especially if you live in an area with high levels of air pollution.
Toxins can also affect the function of your skin and your overall skin health. They can lead your skin to age prematurely or appear dull.
Contact Our Dermal Clinician’s Today
If you want to get rid of congested skin, send an enquiry form today. Or phone and ask for our Dermal Clinician team on (03) 8849 1400.
We offer a range of treatments to help remedy congested skin as well as treat acne.
We also offer surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures for anti-ageing and feature enhancement.
Our highly qualified and experienced Team can provide you a custom skin-care consultation for your skin needs – so you can attain fresher, younger, and more attractive facial skin!