What are Milia and How Do You Get Rid of Them?

What are Milia and How Do You Get Rid of Them?

Ever notice small white bumps under or on your eyelids? Maybe you also see them on your nose or cheeks? Often mistaken as whiteheads, Milia are tiny cysts that develop when dead skin cells get trapped below the skin, and these tiny, hard, white balls can be difficult to get rid of.

How Do Milia Form?

You skin sheds dead skin cells every 28 days or so to make way for new skin.  When the dead skin doesn’t slough away, it gets trapped under the new skin, hardens, and a milium develops. 

Milia may develop if you don’t follow a thorough skin care routine that includes exfoliation, use cosmetics that clog your pores, or apply too much skin care product, especially around the eyes. Too much sun exposure can also cause milia to develop as the skin toughens and is unable to slough dead skin cells effectively. 


Woman with milia under eyes and cheeks

How to Get Rid of Milia

Although harmless, Milia can be cosmetically troublesome. You might be tempted to pick at the milia, but we strongly advise against this as it can lead to inflammation, infection, and eventual scarring. Instead, begin with a gentle and effective skin care program that includes regular exfoliation and products to soften the skin to promote the milia to pop out on its own and prevent further buildup.  Eminence Organics Stone Crop Fizzofoliant is a pro at unclogging pores and buffing skin. If you prefer a liquid exfoliant, we love to use Clear Skin Willow Bark Exfoliating Peel, especially for oily skin types. 


If the milia remain present for longer than 6 months or so, seek the care of an aesthetician.  These skin care experts can use a sterile technique to extract the milia successfully, followed by skin care products that nourish and protect the skin. 

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