What is Milia & Benefits of Mineral Makeup

Dear Laurel: I have little white bumps on my face and around my eyes. They look like pimples, but when I try to pop them they don’t come out. What are they and how do I get rid of them? 
Shawna ~ Lexington

Dear Shawna: Without having the opportunity to see your skin firsthand, I can only assume that what you are talking about is commonly referred to as milia. Milia can occur anywhere on the skin, but is often prominent around the delicate eye and lip area. Milia are deep seeded white bumps that form when skin cells become trapped rather than exfoliate naturally through your normal skin cleansing routine. These trapped cells turn into little cysts that appear like white bumps below the skins surface. The natural reaction when seeing one of these annoying bumps is to squeeze it out, yet the only thing you will be getting out is a loud “OUCH!” Trying to remove milia by squeezing, is not only extremely painful, but ineffective and may result in scarring as the cyst-like bead tries to penetrate the surface of the skin. You don’t necessarily need a medical degree to remove milia; however the safest and least painful way to remove them is to seek the help of an esthetician or dermatologist. A sterile lancet or small needle is used to gently open the skin over the milia, pressure is then applied, and the milia typically pop right out. Although this technique seems quite simple, it is rather difficult to take this on yourself, especially around the eyes where the skin is thin and easily torn. Milia may occur for a variety of reasons, some of which you have no control over on account of the genetic cards you were dealt, but if you have not always been prone to these pesky bumps, you may want to reconsider the cosmetics and skin care products you are using. A good exfoliating product can go a long way in helping to deal with skin prone to milia. By exfoliation, I don’t mean scrubbing off the top layer or your skin, but using a gentle exfoliating scrub to keep the surface of the skin smooth and clean. You may also want to avoid cumulative sun exposure that can cause thickening of the skin, hindering your quest for proper exfoliation. While practicing a consistent home care routine that includes exfoliation will help keep milia at bay, keep in mind that clearing any skin condition takes some time, so be patient and remain consistent in your skin care routine.

Dear Laurel: I’ve heard more and more hype about mineral makeup lately and that it is supposedly better for my skin. What is the difference between mineral makeup and the traditional makeup I’ve been buying from department stores for years?
Pamela ~ Arlington

Dear Pamela: Mineral makeup has become extremely popular in the past few years, and for good reason. Mineral makeup is non-comedogenic (does not block pores) and is manufactured with minerals found in the earth as opposed to synthetic products. These minerals are sterilized and pulverized into a very fine powder which is then mixed with a variety of natural inorganic colorings to produce a variety of colors. Because the prime ingredients are inorganic, bacteria and microbes cannot live in the makeup and infect the skin. This is great news for those suffering from rosacea, dryness, acne or other troublesome skin conditions, because mineral makeup will not exacerbate the existing problem. Using inorganic ingredients also means that no preservatives are needed, and the shelf life of mineral makeup can be extremely long, provided that reasonable care is taken when applying and caring for your brushes. The benefits of mineral makeup over traditional cosmetics are quite significant. Mineral makeup does not damage the skin with oils and chemical additives. It does not block the skin’s pores or provide a breeding ground for bacteria. It usually includes beneficial ingredients to guard the skin from the sun’s harmful rays and to feed and nourish it. And it provides you with a healthy and natural glow. It is little wonder mineral makeup is flying off the shelves.

Email Laurel your questions at: laurel@indulgencedayspa.com