Everything You Need To Know About Milia

As anyone who has ever dealt with persistent skin issues like acne or rosacea knows, the skin is a very complex organ. With so many things happening both below and on the surface of it, it’s no surprise that it expresses those issues with any number of mystery bumps, patches, and pigments. Most of these are easily identifiable and with a clear path for how to treat, but there’s one issue that can perplex even the most savvy skin-care enthusiast — milia.

These small white bumps are in fact tiny cysts filled with keratin, a type of protein that makes up the surface of your skin. They tend to appear most commonly around the eyes and nose (though they can occur elsewhere), and they can be vexingly tough to get rid of. But you know what they say: Know thy enemy. Here, the need-to-know facts about milia to help you nix it faster and more easily.

The small cysts that make up milia are often mistaken for other issues, says Michele Farber, MD, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC. “Milia can look like other disorders involving clogged pores or benign growths,” she explains. But a few things set apart these otherwise nondescript growths: Milia tends to be white in color, less than four millimeters in diameter, and, like most cysts, hidden under the skin. “Rapid growth, persistent redness, or bleeding around the area should prompt an exam, as it may be something other than milia,” says Farber. While not exactly damaging to the skin, milia is has a tendency to linger indefinitely on the skin if not treated.

Milia can arise for a few reasons. If dead skin cells get trapped and build up under the skin, for one, that can create a cyst. But milia can also occur from using certain medications, irritation from skin-care products, or formulas that don’t properly sink into skin.

Because the factors behind milia can vary, a multi-pronged approach is your best bet for both treatment and prevention. “Retinol creams are the best at-home treatment for milia,” says Farber, who explains that gentle exfoliation can also keep the bumps at bay, too. The key word there is “gentle,” as the eye area is particularly prone to irritation and retinol is traditionally not meant for the eyes.

Or, that is, it was — when we set out to create our new Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask, we knew we wanted to find a way to bring retinol to the eye area, as it is one of the most effective ingredients for everything from fine lines to clogged pores. This led us to discover a new method of retinol delivery that brings all the transformative benefits, without any of the irritation.

Unlike traditional retinol, which is activated all at once and can thus be too harsh for some, this formula features an encapsulated retinol.  By encapsulating (read: surrounding) the retinol in soothing ingredients, it creates a time-released delivery of retinol that disperses over time. That not only makes it more stable, ensuring the retinol is at peak potency to repair and renew skin, but also allows it to penetrate deeper into skin’s layers without causing harm. On top of that, a proprietary Avo Moisture Shield complex supports healthy skin barrier function, further protecting skin with the nourishing powers of avocado and hyaluronic acid. In fact, it’s so gentle that you can use it nightly. 

Once you’ve gotten that milia managed, help prevent more from forming by avoiding too-heavy skin care and makeup formulas. With the proper care, you’ll find those annoying, mysterious bumps will disappear, leaving smooth and unclogged skin in its place.

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Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask

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