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Post in Skincare Aware

How do I prevent milia?

I often get milia on my face. Milia is little white bumps that consist of dead skin cells trapped on the face. To clear the face of ones that already exsist, I go to my dermotologist and have her pierce the surface and extract the dead cells. However, I would much rather find a way to prevent the milia from developing in the first! Has anyone found a solution to this problem?


As a side note I would also like suggestions on how to prevent blackheads...they are so annoying!


Thanks in advance!

Re: How do I prevent milia?

I have milia under my eyes and find that the most effective way to prevent the milia from growing too large is to not use overly rich creams. Don't use face creams under your eyes- use a light weight cream made exclusively for under the eyes.


Drinking hot water and lemon first thing in the morning can help prevent blackheads because it is an ultimate internal cleanser. If you have a jar of honey and see that the honey is crystalizing, use that with lemon juice as an exfoliator, gently rubbing the crystalized honey into your skin until it melts into a moisturizer.

Re: How do I prevent milia?

As milia can be either an overproduction of skin cells that in turn get trapped just below the surface layers of skin or can be from just skin cells trapping and clogging pores, one of the easiest at home remedies for this is exfoliation.


Physical exfoliants like ones that contain particles that you can feel while working with the product work on surface/topical layers of skin, helping to massage and buff away rough or uneven layers prevent these from building up and causing issues like milia or even causing the complexion to be lackluster.


Chemical based exfoliants are ones that rely on enzymes or acids from various sources to break down dead skin at not just the surface layers of skin, but also work on a cellular level by promoting new and healthy cellular regeneration. So you're not just helping to remove excess skin at the surface, you're also promoting new cell growth to boost whatever is trapped in the middle layers to the surface to be rid of them faster.


Take a look at this thread where I go over in detail the different types of exfoliants available in both categories and give product recommendations for each type:


With physical based exfoliants and chemical based exfoliants, keep in mind that proper usage is critical. Since physical based exfoliants tackle topical layers and use a more abrassive manner, keep usage to one 1-2x a week. For chemical based exfoliants that can come in the form of pads to facial washes, depending on the item/product itself, can be used 1x a week or even daily a they're not physically going against the skin.


If your milia occurs around the eye or under eye area, note that exfoliating washes may be too rough for the area, regardless of chemical or physical. Instead, look for an eye product with a chemical based exfoliant as it won't have to use physical particles to brush against the delicate/fine skin on that area and will be formulated properly to treat but also be balanced and gentle enough to use on that sensitive area.


Ole Heriksen's Truth is in the Eyes serum/gel is perfect to help remove excess build up from around the eye/under eye area without irritating. A tiny drop between both eyes works well and you can follow it up with a regular eye cream if you find you do need more moisture once it's fully absorbed.


Ursidae mentioning a good point in not using products that are too rich or thick. This can cause heavier formulas to just sit on the top of skin and linger rather than be absorbed and utilized. Heavy or rich products just left sitting on the surface can combine with dead skin to further clog pores and cause issues.


In terms of blackheads, this is caused by the oxidation of sebum, oil, bacteria, and environmental pollutants that linger on skin and turn to a black shade due to the reaction of oxygen and your own body's pH levels. There is the option of going to a dermatologist or skin care therapist for an extraction service (leave it to the professionals, don't try to do this yourself as you may end up bruising sensitive areas or damaging your skin further) where they clean, steam, extract/remove black heads through a series of pinching motions and use of an extraction tool that looks like a silver lace with a looped end meant to apply pressure to a concentrated area to force the oxidized portions out of the pores, sanitize, and hydrate to close off. Extractions can range in a pinch sensation to even mild pain or pressure depending on your tolerance to the procedure. If you opt to have this done, be sure to comunicate to your skin care therapist or professional if/when the sensation is too much.


Aside from going to seek the extraction service of a professional, at home treatments or options to minimize the occurrance of blackheads is with use of salicylic acid based products along with products infused with witch hazel. Salicylic acid is covered in the above thread as a beta hydroxy acid, which is a chemical based exfoliant that targets not just removal or dead cells, but also rids skin of bacteria, helping to purify the pores. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that helps in also purifying the pores and controlling and regulating excess oil/sebum production.


Something as simple as using a toner with these ingredients, like Murad's Clarifying Toner can help cut down on black heads and it's infused with conditioning ingredients that won't cause the witch hazel to dry out your skin:


For something to combat excess skin cell production, boost clarity, and help with exfoliating along with black heads is Peter Thomas Roth's Anti-Aging Gel Cleanser. It combines glycolic acid (alpha hydroxy acid, chemical based exfoliant, covered in the first link) and salicylic acid to even skin tone, texture, purify pores, and keep skin balanced.


To further boost the effectiveness of the wash and other items that help combat black heads, try investing in a Clarisonic if you can. The pulsating sensation of the brush head helps bring trapped issues that are just lurking under the surface of the skin to the surface to further help purify and provide a deeper cleanse!

Re: How do I prevent milia?

There is a paticular product called Glytone that is especially made for the treatment of millia. You can research the product by just looking it up on the internet or if you have  questions feel free to ask.Also you can prevent these(just now saw your whole question sorry)by not using harsh chemicals excessivly and staying out of the sun.Hope this helps!

Re: How do I prevent milia?

I use both physical and chemical exfoliants to combat milia which I have had since the age of 12.  I have very dry skin in areas of my face so tend to use heavier creams.  To prevent them (once they are there, they have to be removed), I use the Clarisonic brush twice a day and I also use an 8% AHA lotion.  Both methods of exfoliation are gentle enough to use daily and keep milia at bay.  Of course there are so many other benefits of exfoliation.  It should be part of everyone's daily routine.

Re: How do I prevent milia?

I get these a lot and I have had a surgen remove them with a needle.  They are full of sebum or a waxy substance.  They are caused when the pores get clogged by cosmetics that are to oily for this skin but in reality you can't tell which one's will be to oily!!  If you don't get rid of them they can turn into sebasious cysts and they can cause more problems...believe me I found out the hard way and went to a very reputable cosmetic sergeon to remove them...the cysts, that if you can get the out on your own it will save you a lot of money...a steril needle will have to get the little white pearl out completely so it wont come back.  You can use an exfoliating the one Laura Merciere makes and I also use the Clairsonic which helps a lot and I also do not over load on moistureizer products...I use them very sparingly

Re: How do I prevent milia?

Old school method here...BufPuf.  You control the pressure, frequency and target the areas that need results.  Try using it regularly on a test patch to keep the surface sanded down smooth and then keep the pores clean with a BHA exfoliant.  Your skin is also telling you that you need waaay less moisturizer than commercials would have you believe.   Try the BufPuf and just sand the milia open, drain the contents and keep the pores clean from buildup regularly. No need for the MD. PS I removed milia from my eyelid two days irritation- clear for the last 4 years.  We're never without a BufPuf in our home ! Good luck.

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