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sensitive skin with blackheads

Posted by meandra (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 20, 07 at 17:48

Hi all--I am new here and already posted my problem as a follow-up under the "brownheads" thread, but no one has responded, so this time I am writing under a separate thread. I have a combination skin with plenty of spider veins on my legs and face, and especialy on my nostrils. I also have plenty of 'brownheads' on my nose and chin. Hot water makes my face even worse, so I am afraid of using steam to clean them up. Instead I exfoliate them everytime I shower but it hurts! Yet if I don't, they really make my nose look like a yucky strawberry--eww!! I have really large pores and I guess that is a part of the problem. Oh, I also am breastfeeding so taking horsechestnut to deal with the spider veins I guess is not an option at this point. Yet I am desperate to make my face look clean and fresh--please help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: sensitive skin with blackheads

The problem is hormones, and herbs won't do anything in that regard. Once you're past the post-delivery stage (could be months) and only nursing, they should clear up somewhat, and when you stop nursing may do so altogether. You can buy excellent (inexpensive) creams at any drugstore to take care of it. Washing with hot or cold water has no effect, though keeping your skin free of excess oil may help, but it will return until the hormones settle out.

RE: sensitive skin with blackheads

lucy5, thanks for the suggestions but my brownheads have been with me since my teenage years. I admit that my pregnancy have deteriorated the condition, but I don't think that things will settle after a couple of months. I also seem to be allergic to glycerine which eliminates most creams/treatments sold in pharmacies as an option. That's why I am looking forward to get some herbal recipes in this forum for my condition.

RE: sensitive skin with blackheads

Hi, Meandra.

Your solution is to stop using cleansers on your face all together. I have the exact same skin problems. My whole family gets this skin with age and it's no fun. My skin is the worst - it's sensitive, like an open wound, I've always had pimples and scalp problems. I'm allergic to just about everything on Earth (it seems). Sound familiar?

It sounds to me like you're heading into acne rosacea territory (strawberry nose), and the only solution I know to work is homeopathy. I use herbal remedies and natural remedies of all stripes for all kinds of stuff, but there is not a tonic that will help your skin, I promise.

The two homeopathic treatments you can use (wouldn't advise while breastfeeding - could be harmless, but I don't know): calc sulph and calc carb (Boiron has appropriate strength ready to go for this purpose). Calc sulph is for acne and boils and seems to take the red out, and calc carb is a treatment for cradle cap - does wonders for seborrheic problems of all kinds, keeps those black/brown heads down to a dull roar.

When I first started this regimen, it seemed to make my skin worse (had a minor breakout on my neck), but when that cleared up, my skin looked 100% better. My cheeks are white-ish, my nose is pink, but not red/bloody/awful.

Back to no soap on your face! Warm water rinse twice a day, use a very soft, dry wash cloth to massage (gently) your skin dry (broken veins aren't nice and irritated skin is unpleasant). No toner! You can moisturize and I find that a mild, sensitive skin type is fine... many herbal/natural moisturizers actually contain lots of things that I am sensitive to. I hate to say I use generic oil of olay, very sparingly.

Cold and hot water will make your skin unhappy! Hot especially.

My sister also put me on to flax oil and zinc. I take those too. This might also be contributing to my skin success.

Sorry for rambling - finding these things were like finding the holy grail for me!

RE: sensitive skin with blackheads

The following is not a direct recommendation to use these plants. I suggest it only for your continued information seeking. I suggest that you read about how salicylic acid can improve blackheads (which sounds like what you have even if you prefer to describe them as brown). Salicylic acid is in many plants, although you can also purchase it in clean preparations which are adjusted to the best pH range for it to help your skin. Salicylic acid has some anti-inflammatory effects (Think of its relations to aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, a well known and trusted anti-inflammatory) and, importantly for people with blackheads, also cause outermost, dead skin cells to be shed at an acclerated rate. This is what the cosmetology people call exfoliation.

The reason salicylic acid (in good PH range) can help is that it can penetrate through the oil that has somewhat sealed the blackhead pores. So the salicylic acid can cause exfoliation even within the blackhead. Also within the blackhead pores there will be the "calming" anti-inflammatory effect. Over time, the blackhead will reduce in size and prominence. But the salicylic acid must be used continuously. It is not a cure-it, forget it process.

The plants I suggest you investigate are:
Salix alba,Salix tetresperma, Salix fragilis, Populus nigra, Populus alba, Populus tremula, and Filipendula ulmaria.

However, especially with sensitive skin be careful. Other substances in plants can be irritating to skin. Also wrong pH level can make salycylic acid not useful for exfoliating and emptying the pore of dead skin cells/oil. You should investigate the proper PH if you find a plant that seems promising.

RE: sensitive skin with blackheads


Thank you very much for the suggestions. Neither my face nor my nose are not really acne prone--in fact I have been relatively acne free all my life. A lot of factors probably can count for it, but--aside from genes--I guess drinking plenty of good fluids--water, natural juice, plain herbal teas instead of carbonated drinks and you name it--and having huge pores (ironically) may have helped.

But I digress.. The fact is, while I am free of acnes, my T-zone remains invaded by the nasty black/brownheads. So,
I will definitely give homeopathy a chance. I will also try not using any cleansers--even those ph-balanced ones--for a while to see if it works. Again, can't hurt to try..


Thanks a lot for your suggestions too. Your comments on salicylic acid sound very interesting. In fact, I do have a cleanser of a well reputed company (N--------a) that I bought over the counter a while ago for my T-zone. The cleanser indeed cleaned my face very well, but the rest of my skin buuurned! I guess it was the screaming effect of those slim pores surrounded by their neighbors that are filled with excess sebum. :)) Whatever the reason was, I have stayed away from it ever since.. *sigh But, I will keep seeking. Sorry for the long ramble; big thanks for the help.

RE: sensitive skin with blackheads

Meandra - how is your scalp? Mine is also very sensitive. I have to periodically lay off shampoos and soaps entirely.

Since shampoo, in the shower, rinses onto your face, you might want to try washing it separately for a bit and see what it does. Also, I did no-poo for a while (cup of warm water with a teaspoon of baking soda, massage for a full minute and rinse very well - my hair was cleaner than if I had used shampoo).

Let me know how your skin does.


RE: sensitive skin with blackheads

I've found the below link very helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Paula Begoun's list of beneficial and irritating natural ingredients

RE: sensitive skin with blackheads

Are brownheads clogged pores, like blackheads, or are they a different skin condition? For evening complexion and some help with clogged pores, I've had good luck with a mixture of lime juice, honey, and sour cream (recipe called for yogurt, but the fridge was empty). Your skin might be sensitive to this, since the acids do strip the skin, but the yogurt/sour cream does leave some oils and moisture. Maybe a spot test?

The original proportions were 3:2:4, but I've done it in equal parts, or unmeasured, and it worked as well -- make small batches and keep them refrigerated for no more than a week. Dab it on, let it sit if you don't think it will irritate, and rinse with water. Best wishes -- those things are a pain.

RE: sensitive skin with blackheads

  • Posted by irabia South Africa (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 25, 07 at 10:58

Hi - Sound like rosacea to me and I KNOW how that is...
There are a few things that work for me - here they are;

As a cleanser and toner I use Rosewater, which I make myself.
I splash my face with tepid, almost cold water (but not cold since then here we go again Ms Strawberry..) 5 times a day, more if I'm going to be in the heat or just come out of it. It really helps.
There are spring water "facial sprays" which contain only fresh spring or mineral spa water" - they work for me too if I'm flying or driving alot.

I also tried something out of sheer desperation which worked like a bomb! I took 5 Elderberry leaves, 1 large sprig of Thyme and a handful of Yarrow (millefolium) and soaked them in about 1.5 litres of warm water overnight - it cools and then I use it on cotton wool as a wash, then water, then rosewater... Surprisingly it's worked to reduce the veins, surprisingly. My dermatologist says spider veins are much reduced and wants to know .. The longer I use it, the younger I seem to get and I'm sticking to it. Good luck

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