Congested Skin Home Remedies
There are many things that cause congested skin – and as your largest organ, our skin is something that is affected by both genetics and lifestyle choices, which covers everything from sun exposure to our daily diet. In order to maintain healthy skin, it’s important to ensure that we’re leading a healthy life for the majority of time, drinking ample amounts of water and following a nutrient rich diet. However, sometimes, despite our best efforts, a healthy lifestyle simply isn’t enough to reap the benefits of a glowing complexion. Environmental factors such as weather, air condition and pollution can all have an impact on the quality of our skin, and so, while many think of congested skin as an ailment only teenagers have to deal with, it’s something that can occur at any stage of life, irrespective of gender, location or age.
Consequences of congested skin
More commonly known as blocked pores, congested skin can result in blemishes, pimples and blackheads forming on the surface layer of your skin. This happens when the small openings in your skin – scientifically known as pores – becomes clogged and consequently fail to work properly to release your skin’s natural oil production (also known as sebum). Congestion thereby occurs when your skin’s natural sebum gets blocked from being fully released from your glands. Any number of things can cause such issues to arise, but it most often happens when some sort of debris – such as make-up, smoke pollution or dirt, grime and bacteria – mixes with sebum and consequently gets ‘trapped’ in the pores of your skin.
Prevention over cure
As with many things, congested skin can be easier to prevent than to treat, and there are steps you can take to prevent blocked pores such as ensuring that you clean your face thoroughly and frequently, don’t go to sleep with make up on, and avoid heavily polluted areas, but some external factors are unavoidable, and many people do have skin that is more prone to blocked pores than others. Often, this is down to genetics – but there too are a number of steps you can take to both avoid and treat congested skin.
If you want to avoid falling prey to blackheads and acne, the best way to stop your pores from clogging is to follow a good daily skin care regimen incorporating a cleanser, toner and moisturiser. Add into this routine regular exfoliation of your skin, which will remove dead skin cells, oil, dirt and other impurities that lead to clogged pores.
And while there are many products on the market to help with treating congested skin, sometimes it’s better to turn to nature for a tonic. And so, from home steaming to sugar scrubs, to baking soda and beyond, we’ve rounded up seven of the very best home remedies for congested skin, that will unclog your pores and rejuvenate your skin.
Probably the cheapest home treatment you’ll find when it comes to decongesting pores is a home steam. Perfect for when your skin is looking lackluster and dull, you’ll need nothing more than a large bowl or a sink and a towel. Simply boil a kettle, and fill the bowl or the sink with the water and lower your face towards the water (being careful to make sure you don’t actually touch it!). If you’re prone to break outs, try adding a few drops of tea tree oil to the water which will be of extra benefit to clogged pores. Steam for 10-15 minutes and follow up with some toner and a dab of suitable moisturiser.
An integral part of a skincare routine that will keep clogged pores at bay is a decent facial scrub. But while those found in-store can often boast a plethora of unknown ingredients, a home-made sugar scrub is a brilliant and completely natural alternative. While some scrubs can be a little harsh, especially if you’ve go sensitive skin, sugar is a gentler substitute and works as a natural exfoliating agent to help break up scar tissue and unclog skin pores. A simple but effective recipe is to take two tablespoons of sugar, mixed with a half a lemon (juice) and a little bit of water. Crush it all together until you get a thick paste and gently massage it into your skin, then wash it off.
DIY Clay Mask
While there are ample clay markets available to buy in store, why not try doing it yourself for a great congested skin home remedy. You’ll need to buy some powdered clay from your local heath store, and then simply add three equal parts to oatmeal and water, mix into a mask-like substance and leave on your face until the mixture dries. We recommend using this home remedy in the summer months as it can have a drying effect on winter skin.
Pick Some Parsley
Feeling green-fingered? Try picking some parsley for a brilliant congested skin home remedy. As well as being great for alleviating dark spots, this fragrant flower makes for a great pore cleanser as well. Use it every other day by soaking a small head of parsley in warm water and then dip a wash cloth in the water and apply it to your face for 10 to 15 minutes.
Raw Honey Massage and Mask
Much like sugar, honey is a wonderful natural ingredient that most people will already have in their store cupboards and is something of a miracle product due in part to its healing properties. Equally good for preventing clogged pores, it not only keeps the skin hydrated, but also can help reduce excess oil and tighten pores. There are a number of ways in which you can use honey to treat congested skin. Try applying raw honey on the affected skin area before massaging it into the skin and leaving it there for a few minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and do this two or three times a week to prevent clogged pores. You can also try making a face mask with two tablespoons of plain yogurt and one teaspoon each of honey and olive oil. Mix all the ingredients and then apply it to your face before leaving it on for 15 minutes and then washing it off with lukewarm water. Using this face mask once a week will help to remove impurities and nourish your skin.
Fresh Lemon Juice
Another seemingly miracle ingredient because of the citric acid content which acts as a natural exfoliant, try incorporating fresh lemons into your beauty regime to help de-clog your pores. Try adding a few drops of lemon juice topically to your face and leave it on for ten minutes before washing your face with warm water, patting it dry and applying a mild moisturiser. Do this every other day for maximum effect. Alternatively, using the rind as an alternative to your cleanser. Great for softening skin and preventing clogged pores, simply rub the rind over the skin and let it stand for five minutes before rinsing your face with lukewarm water. Follow this simple home remedy twice a week to help decongest your skin.
If you’ve got a tub of baking soda lying around at home, you’re in luck, as this powder-like substance makes for an easy deep pore cleanser that also acts as a gentle exfoliant. Another easy face mask to do at home, add two teaspoons of baking soda to a teaspoon of water for a excellent pH balancing mask. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes and then wash it off. Of course, as with all the masks, you can also add a teaspoon of honey into the mix.
For those who are too lazy for all of this home remedy stuff, please see our post on skincare routine for congested skin