Pimples may be a pain in the face, but the devil’s in the details: My experience tells me it’s the less conspicuous milia seeds that mar your mien the most.
So what are milia seeds, anyway? Think whiteheads, only a tad bigger: About 2 millimetres in width, and usually found dotting your nose and cheeks. Crammed with keratin (yup, the very same stuff found in your nails), these congested cysts are painless but persistent, and can linger for what seems like forever.
Unhappily, because these little lumps are lodged deep within the skin, squeezing these suckers like you would regular spots are a no-go. Instead, here’s how to minister to your milia the “right” way:
#1. Make a stab at it. Because milia seeds aren’t “open” the way blackheads are, you’ll need to lance them to empty their contents. Here’s how. Sterilise a sewing needle with rubbing alcohol, then use the pointy end to pierce the centre of each “seed”. Once there’s an opening, use the pads of your index fingers to press gently around the periphery.
Some popping pointers: Resist digging your nails into the flesh; and cease and desist if the milia seed doesn’t pop after a few seconds; When in doubt, leave it to the pros; most dermatologists and aestheticians offer milia seed removal services.
#2. Resolve it with retinol. Most beauty buffs should be be familiar with retinol, that near-miraculous multi-tasker that’s one of a select handful of ingredients boasting a scientific stamp of approval for alleviating acne.
Here’s how it works to mollify milia. Retinol ramps up the skin’s cellular turnover rate, allowing it to slough off excess keratin, the key culprit of milia seed formation. Not sure where to start? Consider checking out La Roche-Posay’s lovely Redermic R range (from $79.90), which comes rigged with a next-gen, timed-release form of retinol and the brand’s beloved thermal spring water for maximum efficacy and minimal irritation.
As always, wee caveat: Always spot test on the nook of your elbow, and start slow; once every other night should suffice.
#3. Peel it off! A professional-grade chemical peel may be your best bet for banishing particularly persistent milia seeds. Consult with your go-to skin doctor for a tailored treatment plan, or do it yourself with this terrific trio of at-home pore-tightening poultices. Good luck!
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