Black Head, White Head, Milia?

What causes me to have these white little bumps on my face? When taken out, they can not be squeezed out, they are really hard and round. They are not black heads, and I am not sure if you call these white heads.

Thanks so much for your great question.  The bumps you are describing sound like milia. White heads and black heads are the common “street names” for closed and open comedones (respectively.) Comedones are the result of clogged pores and can be extracted fairly easily.

Milia are a bit different in nature, and usually show up around the eyes, lips and nose (although they can be seen anywhere on the face.) They occur when cellular waste (dead skin cells and debris) gets trapped in the pore, hardening under a superficial layer or two of skin. This makes them nearly impossible to manually extract at home without breaking the surface of the skin. Infants are highly prone to getting milia, as well as excessively oily skin types. However, anyone at any age can experience them.

Fret not, Margit! Milia can be easily and safely extracted by an esthetician or dermatologist. They can be prevented at home by using clean, lightweight products without petroleum-based or occlusive (pore-clogging) ingredients like beeswax, mineral oil, silicone, etc.) It’s also very important to exfoliate regularly (about 2-3 times per week.) *Be careful not to over-exfoliate, though, as this can lead to dryness, inflammation and irritation.

Here are my favorite options for at-home exfoliation:

Option #1: Cleanser / Toner Combo

Sanitas Glycolic Citrus Cleanser and Sanitas Glycotoner 5% (used 2-3 times per week at night, this combination of cleanser and toner does a fantastic job of dissolving cellular debris on the surface of the skin as well as dropping the pH in order to allow skin nutrients to travel easily into the skin.)

Option #2: Facial Scrub

Sanitas Lemon Cream Scrub (used 2-3 times per week after cleansing, this scrub mechanically exfoliates dead skin cells – best used on skin not prone to breakouts)

Option #3: Exfoliating Serum

Sanitas Retinol Resurfacing Treatment (used after cleansing 2-3 nights per week, this serum will keep skin cells moving up and prevent a build up at the surface. BONUS – Retinol, Vitamin A, is also a powerful antioxidant!)

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2 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website? My website is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would definitely benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thank you!

  2. bien-être
    bien-être says:

    I don’t mind at all. Be sure to credit Jennifer Laz of bien-etre spa and link back to the article you are quoting from! Happy to help promote skincare education and inspiration!

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