How to prevent those tiny skin coloured bumps?

Those flesh-coloured bumps lurking beneath the surface of your skin might be blocked pores, millia, or another skin concern. How can you discern the difference?

Blocked pores arise when your skin generates an excess of skin cells (hyperkeratinization), combining with sebum (skin oil) that is often overproduced. Identifying blocked pores is relatively straightforward—they are "poppable."

Sebum contains squalene, which, when exposed to oxidative damage, transforms into a highly comedogenic substance known as squalene peroxide. This compound triggers additional sebum production and an increased shedding of skin cells. This self-perpetuating cycle results in recurrent blockages of pores.

Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant, plays a crucial role in preventing sebum oxidation. Research indicates that a deficiency in vitamin E increases the likelihood of sebum oxidation. In a study involving 96 acne patients with varying severity, those with higher vitamin E levels experienced fewer breakouts. Essentially, higher Vitamin E levels lead to fewer bumps.

So, how much Vitamin E is recommended? The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E is approximately 25 IU.

How can you boost your vitamin E intake? Through both your diet and supplementation.

Excellent dietary sources of Vitamin E include wheat germ oil (1 tablespoon equals 100% RDA of Vitamin E), avocado (1 avocado equals 20% RDA), spinach (half a cup of spinach provides 16% RDA), peanuts (1/4 cup equals 20% RDA), sunflower seeds (1 oz equals 78% RDA), almonds (0.5 cup equals 100% RDA), and asparagus (1 cup equals 18%). Since vitamin E is fat-soluble, ensure sufficient healthy fats in your diet to optimize its absorption.

Milia, on the other hand, occurs when skin protein is trapped beneath the skin. Unlike blocked pores, it is unrelated to sebum or pores and results from an overgrowth of keratin (a skin protein), typically occurring in delicate areas like the eye region. Milia appears as pearly, white spheres and, while not harmful, can be addressed by increasing skin cell turnover. Consider using an AHA acid like glycolic acid or retinol products to accelerate this process. It's crucial not to attempt popping milia, as it can lead to scarring.

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