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Those skin coloured bumps under the skin might be blocked pores, they might be milla or they might be something else. How can you tell?

Pores become blocked when your skin produces too many skin cells (hyperkeratinisation) & these combine with sebum (skin oil) which itself is often over produced. You can identify blocked pores because they are ‘poppable’.

Sebum contains squalene which when exposed to oxidative damage turns into a highly comedogenic substance called squalene peroxide. Squalene peroxide causes extra sebum production plus even more skin cells to shed. This self-feeding process causes pores to become blocked again and again.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps stop sebum oxidation. Studies have shown that if you are lacking in vitamin E, then sebum oxidation is much more likely to occur. One study looked at blood samples of 96 acne patients all with varying severity & found that those with higher levels of vitamin E had less breakouts. So the more Vitamin E you have, the less bumps.

How much Vitamin E do I need? The RDA of vitamin E is around 25 IU.

How can I get more vitamin E? Diet & supplementation.

Some good sources of Vitamin E sources are wheat germ oil (1 tablespoon =100% RDA of Vitamin E), avocado (1 avocado = 20% RDA), spinach (half a cup of spinach has 16% RDA), peanuts (1/4 cup = 20% RDA), sunflower seeds (1oz = 78% RDA), almonds (0.5 cup = 100% RDA) & Asparagus (1 cup = 18%). As vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, there must be fat present for the body to be able to make use of it so make sure you have plenty of healthy fat in your diet.

Milia is when skin protein is trapped under your skin. It isn’t related to your pores or sebum, but is a result of keratin (a skin protein) overgrowth and typically happens around the most delicate parts of your skin such as the eye area. Millia are not harmful to your skin. They usually have a pearly, white sphere appearance.

Milia will clear overtime if left alone but if you want to speed the process up you need to look at increasing your skin cell turnover. Look to use an AHA acid such as glycolic acid or retinol products to speed up the turnover rate. Do not try to pop Milia as this can lead to scaring.

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