What is milia and how do you get rid of it?
Today, I would like to talk about a common skin concern. One of our readers asked us about milia and I thought it'd be a great topic for the blog since so many of us will experience it at one time or another.
Have you ever noticed tiny white bumps that look like they are right under your skin? Perhaps you have. Milia can appear around the eyes, forehead, nose, and cheeks. They seem to linger and are resistant to typical acne treatments. Just what is milia and how do you get rid of it? Let's find out!
What causes milia?
Milia can occur for several reasons. I know that I have heard so many women say, "but I wash my face thoroughly." The truth is that it is not because your skin isn't clean enough.
Our skin naturally sloughs off dead skin cells. Sometimes, though, the skin doesn't shed those cells and what happens is that sebum and keratin will get trapped underneath the epidermis. When this happens, they build up and get lodged in sweat glands and hair follicles rather than being shed. Before you know it, cysts form and you'll notice those little white bumps that do not seem to go away.
There are several skin care ingredients that may contribute to milia. I will share those with you in a moment.
Long term, cumulative sun exposure is also a known cause of milia. If your skin is damaged by the sun, it is thicker which can make it harder for skin cells to slough off on their own.
Your genetics also play a role in whether you will have milia or not. Sometimes there just isn't another reason other than the fact that you are genetically more prone to the condition.
What can you do eliminate milia?
- Sometimes, milia will go away on its own if you determine which product is the trigger and you stop using it. Once you've looked over your products and find the ingredients causing the problem, it will often resolve itself once you've gone a few weeks without using the offending product. Be patient -- milia is slow to go away.
- Do NOT pick milia. I know it can be tempting, but please don't. You risk scarring.
- Ingredients such as topical retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids can help speed up the exfoliation process and cut down a bit of the length of time your milia lingers.
15 Ingredients You Should Avoid Using On Your Face If You Have Milia
- Cocoa Butter
- Mineral Oil
- Isopropyl Isostearate
- Isopropyl Myristate
- Isopropyl Palmitate
- Linseed Oil
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Wheat Germ Oil
- Bismuth oxychloride (commonly found in the most popular mineral makeups)
- D & C Red # 3, 17, 21, 30, 36
- Vegetable-based beeswax alternatives
- Oils with "hydrogenated" in the label
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