Like bad hair days, we’ve all gone through periods of congested skin. Whether it’s in the form of clogged pores, whiteheads, blackheads or all three, congested skin can be irritating and play havoc with our confidence. Thankfully, treating congested skin is possible, and it begins with just a few simple steps…

What is SKIN congestion?

Skin congestion is the build-up of sebum, impurities, sweat and dead skin cells in the pores. If the build-up is unable to leave the skin and the debris becomes trapped, the skin takes on a dull appearance and starts to form blackheads and whiteheads. Congested skin can also broadly refer to skin where there is an ‘impaction’ within a skin pore, a condition where a combination of oil, dead skin cells, tiny hairs, dirt and sometimes even bacteria concentrate within the skin follicles. The result is skin that is rough in texture with multiple open pores leading to even more dead skin cell build-up, bumpiness, and breakouts.

Environmental and lifestyle factors can both contribute to skin congestion. Internal causes include dehydration, hormone fluctuations, overproduction of oil, sweat and sebum, and diet while external causes include pollution, humidity, improper cleansing technique, using incorrect skincare products and touching your face too much especially when you have dirty hands.

How to tell if I have congested skin?

The nose and chin are the often the most congested areas of the skin followed by the forehead and cheeks. Run a test by dragging your (clean) finger across the surface of your skin to see if it feels bumpy or rough. Next check out your skin under a brightly lit mirror to see if there are any blackheads or raised imperfections. If your skin looks and feels uneven to the touch, there’s a high chance it’s congested.

How to treat congested skin

So how exactly do you treat congested skin? First of all, it’s important not to go crazy on the exfoliation front by trying to slough everything off. Neither should you go all out on harsh cleansers which runs the risk of totally stripping the skin of its oils. Doing this will trigger more of the same, as the skin will fight back. It does this by producing more oil, leaving you stuck with further breakouts and more clogged pores and redness.

And whatever you do – don’t be tempted to squeeze your spots! Doing so can result in scarring and even force the blockage deeper into the pore.


  • Keep your skin clean by not touching your face which can transfer unwanted dirt and bacteria onto already congested skin. Change or clean your face cloths, face masks, eye masks, towels, pillowcases, bedding and make up brushes regularly. Most importantly don’t forget to wash your hands often!
  • Avoid sugar as much as possible. A high sugar intake leads to various skin issues including the production of a hormone that instructs the skin to produce more oil –something you definitely don’t want!
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water will not only keep your skin plump, it will also help the lymphatic system drain out lingering toxins and impurities that lead to breakouts.
  • Mask up! Make time to apply a soothing clay mask – like our own Cannabella GreenDetox Mask – on the regular. Green clay acts as a sponge for drawing out excess oils and impurities.

How to apply the Cannabella Green Detox Mask

Cannabella’s Green Detox Mask is ideal for oily and combination skin prone to congestion. Key ingredients include green clay to draw out impurities, kale, spirulina, and wheatgrass to hydrate and nourish skin and hemp seed powder to rebalance oil production.

After cleaning the skin with a gentle cleanser pour a small amount of powder on the back of your hand. Mix with water to form a rich green paste and apply to the face and décolletage. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes (or until dry) before rinsing off with warm water. Follow up by applying your favourite Cannabella serum and Hemp Jelly to lock in moisture. As an alternative, you can also make a grainier paste to use as an exfoliating scrub.

Use two to three times weekly to get that congestion under control and say hello to clean and clear skin!