Milia: How To Get Rid Of These Stubborn White Bumps

Milia: How To Get Rid Of These Stubborn White Bumps

They’re small and stubborn, and if you’ve already tried, you know that squeezing, prodding or scrubbing gets you nowhere when dealing with these pearly bumps called Milia.

That’s because milia (plural for ‘Milium’) are small keratin cysts that form when dead skin cells that would normally shed, become trapped under the surface of the skin. But, unlike other types of skin blockages, such as blackheads or whiteheads, this hard mass of dead skin cells that form milia has no way out. So, simply trying to squeeze milia will only end in disaster for your skin.

What Causes Milia?

Milia can happen to anyone regardless of age, sex or race and can be commonly seen in newborn babies. About 50% of newborns will develop milia - believed to be caused by sweat glands that have not yet fully developed.

Although harmless, milia can be annoying from a purely cosmetic view. Mostly appearing around the eyes (including eyelids), cheeks, nose and forehead - they can make the skin look bumpy and discoloured. 


In adults milia are commonly caused from two things:

Primary Milia is the most common and is often caused by various products, lifestyle or environmental influences, such as sun damage on the skin or skincare and make-up products that are heavy and occlusive.

Secondary Milia usually develop in an area of the skin (anywhere on the body) that has been previously damaged or injured - like after a bad sunburn or blistery rash. It is believed that damage to the sweat glands may be the cause.

Milia Removal Is A DIY No-No!

Sometimes, milia will disappear on their own; however, if you have many, persistent milia that are making you feel self-conscious, then removing them is possible. Milia removal is a pretty straightforward procedure but you will want to leave it to the professionals.

That’s because milia removal will require a tiny, superficial incision to be made in the skin and must be done safely and precisely, especially if the milia is located around the eyes or on your eyelids. The process is painless and results are immediate however, you may need more than one removal session if you have lots of milia.

Prevent Milia With These Skin Care Tips:

Prevention is always the best approach. Follow these simple skin care tips to reduce milia formation.

Cleanse Daily

At home, keep your skin clean and build-up free by using an AHA based cleanser such as ASI’s Rejuvenating Foaming Cleanser. Full of restorative Vitamin C, calming Chamomile, and stimulating Citric Acid, this cleanser will lightly exfoliate the surface of your skin as you wash, helping to remove the build-up of dead skin and impurities that trap milia beneath the skin. 

Power Exfoliate Twice A week

Steps things up a notch by adding a power exfoliant to your skincare routine. 

Try ASI’s AHA Power Exfoliant which delivers a high concentration of active AHA’s through a gentle and hydrating delivery system that breaks down and removes dead skin cell plugs from inside the pores before they develop into milia

Keep Your Skin Hydrated And Soft

Dry and dehydrated skin can slow down your skin’s natural cycle, preventing skin cells to effectively shed away once they’ve worked their way to the surface of the skin.

Keep your skin soft and hydrated by using Pure Hydration Concentrate daily. Loaded with hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C, this hydrating serum will not only help to minimise the chances of dead skin cells becoming trapped under a buildup of dry, dehydrated skin but it will also prevent fine lines, wrinkles and sensitivity by stimulating collagen production and encouraging efficient cellular turnover.

If existing facial lines and wrinkles are a concern, swap out Pure Hydration Concentrate for ASI’s Multi Peptide Serum. Still featuring the hydrating power of hyaluronic acid, this serum also contains highly active peptides and growth factors that dive deep into the skin to tighten and strengthen at a cellular level.

Keep Rich Creams Away From The Eye Area

Using thick or heavy skincare and makeup around the eye area can cause milia to develop. 

The skin around the eyes is naturally very fine; much thinner than on the rest of the face. Using your regular moisturiser on and around your eyes can occlude the skin and ultimately cause milia.

If you are prone to milia, opt for a light-weight eye cream or serum such as ASI’s Hydralift Eye Gel. This firming and plumping eye treatment will keep the delicate skin around the eyes intensely hydrated and moisturised while reducing the appearance of dark circles and under-eye puffiness. The Hydralift Eye Gel can also be used on the eyelids to help lift and tighten the skin folds and crow’s feet wrinkles.

Keep Your Skin Fresh With Vitamin A

Vitamin A has long been hailed as the ultimate anti-aging skin resurfacer, able to work on and in the skin to exfoliate, smooth and encourage cellular turnover in the deeper layers of the skin.

Used as part of your night-time skincare ritual, the ASI Vitamin A Corrector and Rejuvenating Night Treatment will assist in preventing milia to develop by ensuring your skin is kept fresh and refined.

Read more about the powerful effects of vitamin A on the skin in our blog: Vitamin A - Why Every Skin Needs It.

ASI Is Here To Help You Manage Milia

ASI - Australian Skin Institute products are at a new and revolutionary level of skin absorption; with a breakthrough nanotechnology process to create active results-driven skincare like never before.

This nanotechnology allows our products' unique Transdermal Delivery System to be 10 times more effective. This ensures each formulation penetrates the deeper layers of your skin to deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients.

ASI’s potent formulations contain no BS (bad stuff)... they are vegan friendly, contain minimal ingredients and are freshly packed into beautiful airless dispensers, making them the perfect choice for any skin needing to manage milia

Want to know more? Click here to chat with one of our ASI skincare experts, 

browse the complete line-up of ASI cosmeceutical skincare or join our ASI community for daily skin tips and support. 

Back to blog