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    Can Heavy Moisturizer Cause Milia?

    You know those tiny white bumps that won’t just go away. They are irritating and just take forever to disappear. Those bumps might be milia and they can pop up anywhere under your skin. For me, they tend to pop up around my eyes, usually on my eyelids or just right under my eyes. Although they aren’t always very noticeable, it is honesty pretty annoying when you get them.

    While milias can pop up due to variety of reasons, heavy moisturizers are known to have an impact on your skin and cause milia, especially if you have sensitive skin. 

    What Are Milia?

    A milia is usually a bump that happens when dead skin is trapped under the surface of your skin. The dead skin is made up of keratin, this is a protein that is found on the outer layer of your skin. While it might seem to look like a whitehead, it is much different and not related to acne. Instead, it is technically just a bump of normal skin. 

    Milia can happen in people of all ages and ethnicities. They are typically found on the face, especially around the eyelids and cheek area. They aren’t itchy or painful, but they might cause discomfort for some people as it can get irritated from scratching or picking. 

    What Causes Milia?

    According to most dermatologists, milia on your face usually turn up randomly, but there are several factors that can contribute to milia appearing. It happens when the dead skin cells on the surface does not get washed away, instead they get caught under your skin and become hard to form a milium.

    A few factors that causes milia are skin damage (from injuries, rash or sun), autoimmune condition, genes or even a history of long term use of steroid medication. 

    When it comes to heavy moisturizer, it is possible that heavy moisturizers can cause milia, especially around the area of the eyes. When skincare creams cannot penetrate your skin properly, it can cause a manifest of milia. For example, the area around your eyes does not have any oil glands that can help keep the skin moist. It also has a limited circulation of blood compared to other parts of your face. Therefore, in the beauty community, people are often using specific eye creams for the area around the eyes. 

    Another reason as to why heavy moisturizer can cause milia is due to the fact that heavy cream can really help with hydration, but this also creates an additional barrier on the surface of your skin. This might hinder your skin’s exfoliation process (especially around the eyes). If your skin cannot exfoliate itself, then the dead skin will clog and contribute to milia. 

    How To Get Rid of Milia?

    Sometimes milia might go away on its own after a few months. Usually, there are no additional steps needed to be taken. As long as you do not scratch or itch the milia and keep it from becoming irritated, it should go away in a few months. 

    However, for those who do not want to wait, there are several options to remove the milia. One popular option is to use skincare products to help exfoliate and renew your skin. This usually consist of using chemical peels and retinoids. 

    You should look for products with active ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids. This is a group of ingredients that include glycolic, mandolin and lactic acids. These will help exfoliate the top layer of your skin to help reveal the younger skin underneath over a period of time. 

    In addition, you can also add retinoid to your skincare routine. Using retinoid can help increase your skin to turnover quicker to reveal a fresh and smoother layer of skin. Retinoids and chemical peels can also help with the oil production on your skin and prevent clogging. These are good ways to prevent milia from happening on your face. 

    If you do not want to wait, you could always go to a dermatologist and try removing it using cryotherapy. This is when liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto your milia to freeze it. This is often one of the most popular methods to remove milia.


    Milia generally will not cause you any long term issues. Usually, it goes away pretty quickly when it appear on newborns. For older children and adults it might take at least a few months before you start to see it disappearing. 

    If you are looking to get rid of them, you should always contact a dermatologist to see what is the best course of action before you try out the solutions. 

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