Colin Solves Your Problems 6: Milia


I have suffered from milia for many years and want to know which products are good for preventing and treating milia. I understand I need to exfoliate well but wondered if you could recommend a good skin care range cleanse exfoliate and moisturise that won’t add to the milia. Also is there a better foundation or blusher to use as my milia spots tend to build up on my cheeks were I would place blusher.

Many Thanks


I hate to be the bearer of bad news Leah, but this condition is a really tough one and there isn’t much I can say that will be of much help – it sounds like you are already pretty well informed on the subject.  It isn’t a particularly common condition so some readers may not have heard the name, though you will have seen the condition.  It is the small white protrusions that some people get on their skin. They look like whiteheads but last much longer and can sometimes protrude a lot more.  They are particularly a problem around the eyes and nose.

Milia – What are they?

They consist of keratin which is the same protein your hair and nails are made of. Keratin is tough stuff making them almost impossible to remove.  I actually have a few examples myself and have given up trying to get rid of them.  I can’t recommend any particular skin care range.   But I would be careful of how you exfoliate though.  There are clinical papers out there that suggest that excessive exfoliation can itself cause milia.  This was noticed when exfoliation was used to remove acne scars.  I am talking about a long time ago  when dermatologists used to use sandpaper and wire brushes as exfoliation agents.  I don’t think modern exfoliating products would be as bad but it is probably worth going for the milder products if you want to exfoliate.

Milia- Exfoliating

The first exfoliating product ever was developed as way of exfoliating acne scars without causing milia. It is called Brasivol and it is still on sale today.  I have tried to get rid of some of my milia spots with it with no success, but it might work on very small ones.  As regards a suitable blusher or other make up, I have no ideas at all.  Does anyone reading this have any suggestions?

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Note – The Mayo Clinic are usually pretty good on skin problems, but even they don’t have much to say on Milia.

9 thoughts on “Colin Solves Your Problems 6: Milia”

  1. many thanks Colin. I have been using a sample ofcrem de la mer and love it. Just hope it won’t cause more milia as I believe itis very rich?

  2. The cause of milia isn’t known, but it seems to be something to do with small scale damage to the skin so I don’t think there is any reason to think Creme de la Mer will be a problem. Enjoy it!

  3. Anecdotal evidence – I think milia could have a genetic cause for some people. Last time my mum’s side had a family reunion all my cousins were like “woah, we all have those white spot things under our eyes!” (we were small children the last time we saw each other). One of my boy cousin’s solutions was to cut them off using nail scissors, probably not the best idea.

  4. I have eczema and therefore have to be very careful what I use. I am currently finding Nars powers foundation absolutely great. Just need a very light natural oil to make sure my skin is soft before applying,

  5. hi,
    I have found that I get milia if I use a moisturiser that is too heavy for my skin. If you avoid using moisturiser altogether for several weeks the milia eventually disappear.

    1. That is an interesting observation Suzanne. I wonder if anybody else has the same experience? We don’t know what causes them and that might be an area to investigate.

  6. I knew someone who had a couple of millia – they were very tiny, very hard little balls when she removed them with a sterile sewing needle. They never came back, which I think was due to a change of skin care products. I’m sure it would be possible to go to a beauty salon to get them removed the same way.

  7. I was going to join and ask about milia and what ingredient in my eye cream was causing it. Then I saw this! I am studying to be a Master Esthetician. Milia is definitely caused by products and make-up. Daily, gently exfoliation can help. I have them around my eye area and always thought they were little tiny skin growths. Then I started school and learned about milia.

    There are a couple of ways to get rid of them. An experienced Esthetician can extract them. My instructor, who is a whiz at extractions, gently removed one of my large ones, it took her about 6 minutes, literally, for that one. This can’t be done around the eye area safely. I have lanced a couple of mine and dug them out, not so gently. My instructor wanted to use the Dermasound machine to get the rest. It uses sound waves, sonophorises, micro-current, that is all I know, since I havent learned the machine or had it used on me. Dermasound is the brand name. We also used the Vasculyse machine, which is ac/dc current on one of mine, just inserting the needle into it and zapping it. It popped right out. I had had that dang thing for years and years!

    But….. This winter my eye area was so dry I started using a sample of Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream instead of my normal eye cream. After two months the milia around my eyes was gone. I am always looking for the perfect eye cream and using different ones, paying up to $70 for them. I have always had the milia. I started using eye cream again, a different brand, and the milia came back. So for me it is product related.

    Sorry for the really long post. I hope this can help someone!

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