What causes congested skin and how can you keep your skin clear?
Spots are caused by the skin bacteria Propionebacterium acnes that feed on the sebum that is naturally created by the skin.
This bacterium is also a natural part of your skin’s natural flora. But when your sebaceous glands become irritated or overproduce sebum problems can develop - spots. When the sebum is broken down by bacteria, both waste and fatty acids are formed and these can irritate your sebaceous glands, so that they become inflamed – and the trouble starts.
The inflammation first appears as sore, red, small pimples, after which they can develop into red spots that contain a yellowish pus, formed from the broken-down sebum.
What do spots and congested skin look like?
Spots can be large and small, and you can get both deep skin, and surface spots, small white pimples and blackheads. But common to all of them is that they are caused by your sebaceous glands (your pores) becoming clogged and irritated.
That said, there can be many reasons why spots develop in the first place – and in most cases, you can do a lot to clear your skin and maintain a healthy complexion.
Reasons why your skin can become congested:
- Genes – your genes can have a crucial impact on whether you get pimples or acne. If your parents had congested skin, you may inherit the same problem. If you suffer from bad acne, it may be a good idea to seek advice from your doctor.
- Hormones – when your hormonal balance changes, it can cause congested skin and breakouts. This particularly applies to teenagers, pregnant women, certain points in the menstrual cycle and other hormonal changes.
- Stress – when your body is working overtime and you are stressed – this can reduce the body’s ability to maintain its normal balances which can result in congested skin and spots. Stress is also an inflammatory condition that increases inflammation in the body which can also cause congestion and spots.
Oily hair and scalp – if you have oily hair, the oil can transfer to your face making your complexion greasy and congested. It can really help if you wash your hair often with a good shampoo that does not dry out the skin and hair.
- Clogged pores – your pores and sebaceous glands can become clogged for many reasons ranging from a lack of a good skincare routine to not changing your bedding often enough.
- Poor diet – your body is at its best when you have a healthy and varied diet. Some studies show that chips and dairy products can cause the skin to become congested.
- Too much makeup – if your skin is unable to ‘breathe’, it can cause the pores to become blocked. It helps if you use oil free makeup and importantly you remember to remove your makeup every day before going to bed.
- Don't wash your face too often – if you want clear skin, it's essential that you make sure you cleanse and care for the skin in your face properly. Frequent washing with harsh products can make the situation worse. It is best to get into a good skin care that cleanses and nourishes the skin.
Do you suffer from congested skin in certain places on your face?
Here's how to fix:
How to get clear skin with the right products
Do you dream of healthy clear skin? The answer is in a good skin care routine.
Do you suffer from congested skin? Below we have put together a bespoke skincare routine that treats and prevents acne and spots leaving you with clear skin and a radiant complexion.
Step: 1 - Face Wash
Start every morning by washing your face with a face cleanser. We recommend Face Wash from Australian Bodycare. This face wash is mild, gentle and effective all at the same time. It will deep cleanse your skin without drying it out and causing further irritation.
Do you wear makeup? If so, start by first using a makeup remover and then use Face Wash to remove any remaining makeup that may remain and to deep cleanse your pores.
Step: 2 - Face Tonic
Once your skin is cleansed, the next stage is to use a face tonic. This helps to lock in moisture, keep out the dirt, balance the skin and prepare it for the next stage. We recommend Face Tonic from Australian Bodycare, which contains natural active ingredients that do all of the above for all skins and is particularly beneficial for congested or acne prone skin.
Step: 3 - Face Cream
Once your skin is clean, it's time to moisturise and give your face that extra care. All skin types need moisture – including oily skin. We recommend Face Cream from Australian Bodycare that provides optimal moisture and care for all congested skin, whether it is sensitive, dry or oily.
Step: 4 - Face mask
1-2 times a week you can supplement your skin care routine with a good face mask. If you have congested skin, the kind and gentle clay mask from Australian Bodycare is excellent for that extra care. It gives both that extra deep clean and contains crushed sandalwood nut shell to exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells and will leave your skin feeling radiant.
Step 5: Spot Stick
Do you have a spot developing? Then spot stick from Australian Bodycare is perfect. It quickly and effectively prevents and treats the spot before it can develop too far. You can use it as an additional part of your skincare routine when the need arises.
12 tips for clear skin:
1. Wash your hair
Do you tend to have oily hair? Or use styling products such as wax in your hair? Bacteria and oil can be easily transferred from your hair to your face. This is why it is important to make sure you wash your hair regularly and keep it away from your face.
Remember, it can damage your hair when you wash it frequently. Therefore, you should choose a mild shampoo such as Australian Bodycare Hair Clean.
2. Keep your fingers off your face
Your fingers are coated in dirt, oil and bacteria, to prevent this from transferring to your face and potentially causing spots it is important that you try to avoid touching your face.
We all touch our faces much more than we might think – The best thing you can do is to try and keep your hands off your face.
3. Leave that spot alone
It can be difficult, if not impossible, to leave a spot alone. But the best thing you can do is just that - leave it alone. By touching or fiddling with it you risk spreading the inflammation elsewhere to your face resulting in more spots – and possibly scars from the damaged skin.
If you can't help it, make sure you do it right. Disinfect the area before and after – The Australian Bodycare Spot Stick is perfect for this.
4. Remove your makeup – every day
Sometimes it may be tempting to go to sleep with your makeup on, but it's one of the worst things you can do for your skin. It closes the skin in and creating the optimal conditions for bacteria to thrive and cause spots.
So, always make sure to remove your makeup every single day.
5. Be careful with headgear
Hats, helmets, scarves and so on can be full of bacteria and they cover the skin preventing air flow and so creating the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow.
Drop the headgear and let your skin breathe – or at least be sure to wash your hat or cap regularly. If you are going to wear a hat or cap choose materials which allow your skin can breathe. Avoid fabric like polyester and choose cotton or natural fibres instead.
6. Eat a healthy and varied diet – and exercise
Although no direct link has been established between unhealthy food and congested skin – your body and well being is just better off by eating healthily and exercising.
That said, there are studies that have shown a link between congested skin and dairy products and chips. If you are suffering with congested skin it may be worth experimenting by cutting out milk and chips.
7. Beware of smoking, alcohol and coffee
Smoking, alcohol or coffee are not very healthy – and any of them can cause your skin to become congested and dull. Therefore, if you want clear skin, stay away from cigarettes and cut down your intake of coffee and alcohol.
8. Use sunscreen
You may have heard that sun can help reduce spots and pimples? It does – for a while. But the consequences of exposing your skin to a lot of sun are far worse in the end.
Therefore, be sure to protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen on your face every day (including in winter) and drop the tanning bed completely. The sunscreen should be used after you apply your face cream such as Face Cream from Australian Bodycare.
9. Make sure you get enough sleep
Your body is much more resilient when it gets enough sleep. Be sure to get your 7-8 hours each night. It does wonders for your body, and one of the additional benefits is that it significantly helps your body develop healthy and clear skin.
10. Clean your phone
Your phone is full of germs, so if you talk a lot on the phone, try to keep your phone a little away from your face or use headphones.
Also, it is a good idea to clean your screen from time to time with alcohol wipes that are made for the purpose.
11. Avoid ingredients that may irritate your skin
Although a skin care product might say that it reduces congestion and spots, it is always worth checking. Ingredients such as alcohol and perfume in the product can irritate your skin and actually make the situation worse.
Try and stay away from ingredients like perfume – fortunately, there's none of these in the facial care range from Australian Bodycare.
12. Be careful with old wives tales
Common ideas such as toothpaste helps reduce spots, homemade scrubs and other "good" housewife advice should always be taken with a pinch of salt.
They may work for some, but in general you need to be careful with homemade remedies, as they are often too harsh on the skin and can become breeding grounds for bacteria.
Instead, choose proven products that have a proven effect for your particular problem – that's the best way forward if you want clean skin.