Today, I am sharing 5 products that have helped me reduce the look of my Keratosis Pilaris on my arms, and on my legs. I hope this post helps you with your Keratosis Pilaris, too.
For those of you that have Keratosis Pilaris, you know just how frustrating and difficult it is to get rid of it. It’s one of those things that often gets shrugged off by doctors and doesn’t get a ton of interest with dermatologists, but for those who have it – it’s super annoying.
I used to have smooth KP-free arms. But, over the last few years my arms have gotten a bit bumpier, blotchy, and red, and getting them back to what they were before has posed to be quite the challenge.
I wish it was just as easy as using a specific type of lotion for X amount of days – but it’s just not.
Getting rid of Keratosis Pilaris takes quite a bit of thought, consistency, and care – otherwise, it’ll just keep coming back. Or, at least that’s what I’ve found.
Thankfully, I have discovered a few products that have improved my Keratosis Pilaris significantly over the last few months.
While it does still always come back, I have found that when I use these products regularly, my arms look a less red, blotchy, and bumpy, and that makes me to feel more comfortable and confident in my favourite sleeveless tees.
What is Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis Pilaris (also known as “chicken skin”) is a common skin condition caused by a buildup of keratin in the hair follicle. It makes the skin appear and feel dry, patchy, and bumpy. It often shows up on the arms or legs and it’s more common with those who have dry skin types and those who already deal with dermatitis and eczema. It is considered harmless, though it can be frustrating to get rid of.
If you have Keratosis Pilaris, Don’t Ever Do this:
We’ve all had a blemish that we decided to pop or pick at and we’ve regretted it. We’ve all done it – we noticed a small zit, poked at it, and turned it into a painfully bright red mess. Do not do that with your Keratosis Pilaris. Keratosis Pilaris is not acne and doing this will just irritate your skin and make it worse. I know it’s tempting, but don’t do it!
The 5 Products I Use to Treat my Keratosis Pilaris
1. Charcoal Soap
The first thing I do to take care of my Keratosis Pilaris is to wash my arms with a bar of charcoal soap. The soap I’ve been using for the last few months (nearly a year, I think?!) is The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Facial Soap.
This soap costs $7.50 and it’s typically used as a facial cleansing soap, however, I tried it on my arms and have been hooked on it ever since. To me, this is just the best first step to soothing and getting rid of my Keratosis Pilaris.
The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Facial Soap has charcoal (from the Himalayan foothills) as well as tea-tree oil, which is great for purifying the skin and targetting blemishes. It’s gentle enough that it doesn’t dry out my skin but effective enough that it definitely does deeply clean my skin.
2. Body Scrubs
While I haven’t exactly found a “holy grail” body scrub, in general, I find exfoliating the areas my Keratosis Pilaris is the worst (ie. my arms) a couple of times a week to be a really essential part of treating it.
For the last few months, I have used the MANNA KADAR BEAUTY Champagne Charcoal Scrub which I really do like.
I actually received it in my FabFitFun box a few months ago, but on its own, it costs $24.00 for 18.34oz. It’s worked really well as a body exfoliant and I do feel like it’s helped my KP, though it is not specifically formulated for KP. There are a few scrubs out there that specifically target Keratosis Pilaris, but they often come with a hefty price tag. However, I am still really curious to try out the DermaDoctor KP Duty Scrub.
How often do I use a body scrub?
I do use body scrubs every day in order to exfoliate my skin and keep my arms as KP-free as possible, however, this may be too much for some people. If you have very sensitive skin then I recommend you start with 2-3 times a week and see how your skin reacts before increasing use.
How do body scrubs help improve the look of Keratosis Pilaris?
Since Keratosis Pilaris is caused by plugged hair follicles, exfoliating gently with body scrubs or products that contain acids like salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acid can help clear those follicles which will reduce the look and feel of Keratosis Pilaris.
However, overusing body scrubs or using them to vigorously can actually make your skin appear redder and irritate it which may have the opposite effect. In addition, overusing acids can irritate the skin and make it much more sensitive so you also want to be careful how often you use those on your skin.
3. CeraVe SA Lotion For Rough & Bumpy Skin
The CeraVE SA Lotion has been a game-changer for me. As soon as I tried it, I noticed a pretty immediate improvement in my Keratosis Pilaris.
What is in the CeraVe SA Lotion For Rough & Bumpy Skin?
This lotion contains salicylic acid and lactic acid which help exfoliate the skin as well as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, niacinamide, and more. In the last few months, niacinamide has become a bit of a trending ingredient in the skincare world as it is anti-inflammatory which means it helps fight acne.
While Keratosis Pilaris isn’t acne, it is a sign of inflammation in the body which niacinamide improves. So, with the exfoliating power of the salicylic acid and lactic acids, the hydration and protection from the hyaluronic acid and ceramides, and the anti-inflammatory benefits of niacinamide, the CeraVe SA Lotion For Rough & Bumpy Skin is kind of a miracle product for KP.
How often do I use the CeraVe SA Lotion For Rough & Bumpy Skin?
Because I run pretty much every day, I also shower every day. However, that doesn’t mean I use the CeraVe SA Lotion For Rough & Bumpy Skin every single time I get out of the shower.
While online it says you can use it as often as you like, in general, I find that my skin gets very sensitive when I use acids too frequently. So instead, I use this about twice a week on Mondays and Fridays, and I use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid (which I’ll be talking about next) once a week on Wednesdays.
And, how much does it cost?
Online, this product costs around $15.00. However, you can also find it at most drugstores like Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs.
4. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner
While most people would use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner for their faces, I decided to try it out on my arms.
In general, acid treatments for the body tend to run a pretty high price tag which is why when I was doing some research for a body treatment, I ended up looking in my own beauty cabinet and realizing that The Ordinary Glycolic Acid toner could be a perfect product to try out. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner is only about $9.00 for 8oz. It’s super affordable and you actually get a pretty decent amount of product.
So, I incorporated it into my routine (using it about once a week, sometimes twice if my skin is particularly bad) and noticed again, another improvement in my skin.
I simply just pour a few drops into my hands and pat it over the areas where my KP it worst – right over my upper arms.
5. Dry Brushing
One of the main things recommended to me for my KP has been dry brushing. However, I personally find that the skin on my arms is pretty sensitive, and sometimes dry brushing just feels too rough for my skin there.
BUT – I do like dry brushing my legs as the skin on my legs is not quite as sensitive and doesn’t get irritated as easily. And since I do have had KP on my legs as well, I have been including dry brushing in my routine to target it on my legs which is why I wanted to mention it here today, too.
Unlike my arms, I’ve found that simply exfoliating, moisturizing, and dry brushing to be effective enough to keep the KP on my legs at bay. The KP on my legs isn’t quite as bad as what I’ve experienced on my arms, but it’s still there and it’s still something I try to treat so that it doesn’t get worse.