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We want to help you understand your skin, so that you know what’s going on with it, what to put on it, and how to care for it. Sciency stuff that answers so many of your skin questions, written in a clear and simple way. Penned by our founder, Ee Ting Ng.

Focus & Fixes - Blackheads & Clogged pores

14 January, 2018

Focus & Fixes - Blackheads & Clogged pores

Congestion can affect any skin type, from the oiliest to the driest.

What causes congestion?

Congestion occurs when sebum and skin debris gets stuck within pores. If the opening is exposed to air, it oxidises and appears as a blackhead. Otherwise, it remains enclosed and becomes a flesh-coloured bump under the skin known as clogged pore.

Some people are naturally predisposed to congestion. However, it can also be caused by using products that are too rich for the skin.

Daily routine focus


  • Right technique
  • Make sure you are cleansing long enough (at least 50 seconds). Apply circular motions, going through every crevice of your face, emphasising on areas prone to congestion.

  • Rinses off completely
  • Your cleanser removes unwanted oil by binding them to itself. Thus it's important that it rinses off completely, without leaving any residue on your face.


  • Salicylic acid
  • Being oil-soluble, it can dissolve the sebum trapped within pores, clearing them out. It's particularly great for combination to oily skins.

  • AHAs
  • AHAs prevent congestion by promoting skin renewal i.e removing dead skin build-up on skin surface.


  • Oil-free
  • Certain oils e.g. plant butters/oils, waxes, encourage blocked pores due to their chemical composition. Choose oil-free versions instead.

  • Light-textured
  • Products of thick/heavy consistency occlude skin thus promoting clogged pores.

Other tips

Sometimes there's nothing like manual extraction for stubborn congestion. If you are doing it yourself, the best time is after a warm shower, with clean face and hands. Focus on one blocked pore at a time, apply light pressure on opposing sides to release its content. Do not exert or force anything out!

Prevention is key in treating congestion. Find products right for you and be diligent with your routine!