If you're someone who deals with keratosis pilaris, or KP for short, you've likely found yourself on the perpetual hunt for the best keratosis pilaris treatments. KP differs from person to person, so finding the right treatment for you will likely involve some trial and error before you land on your holy grail product. So, which products should you test out, and what exactly is keratosis pilaris? Let's break it down.
What is keratosis pilaris?
According to esthetician Heather Wilson, "Keratosis pilaris is a condition in which the skin produces too much keratin, blocking hair follicles and resulting in dry, bumpy skin." Often mistaken for pimples, keratosis pilaris is also referred to as "chicken skin" due to the fact that it has a similar appearance to the skin of a plucked chicken. While primarily found on the backs of arms, KP can also appear on the thighs, face, or buttocks.
How do you treat keratosis pilaris?
According to Wilson, in order to properly treat KP, it's important to be gentle on affected areas. "While the condition is harmless, it can be annoying, which often results in people going to great lengths to eliminate the bumps, often overtreating the skin in the process. To best address the condition, it is recommended to keep it simple. Use a gentle body scrub two to three times a week in the shower, and take caution to not over scrub the skin – although it will be tempting. Over scrubbing can cause dryness, irritation, and also risks the skin continuing to produce keratin too quickly, which will only result in more rough, bumpy skin."
What ingredients should you look for in a keratosis pilaris oil, lotion, or cream?
When looking for products to help with keratosis pilaris, being mindful of the ingredients in these creams, scrubs, and serums is the first step to success. "Be sure to look for a clean body scrub that is free of sulfates, fragrance, synthetic waxes, or silicones as these ingredients can strip the skin or cause clogged pores," suggests Wilson.
So, what does she recommend you use on your skin? Oil! "Keeping the skin moisturized is key in reducing and preventing KP symptoms. My best recommendation is to apply a pure body oil, such as organic argan oil or fractionated coconut oil, directly to wet skin after every shower. By using a pure oil you are ensuring that the product you’re applying is nourishing the skin and you’re eliminating exposure to fillers, synthetic waxes, silicones or artificial fragrances that might otherwise irritate the skin." Alongside body oils, it's important to look for hydrating products containing alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or urea, as these ingredients are known for their ability to loosen and remove dead skin, which helps clear out congested pores and allows KP to subside.
The Best Keratosis Pilaris Treatments
When it comes down to it, KP is a condition that requires routine maintenance to ensure the skin heals and remains its healthiest. Now that you know what should (and should not) be in your treatments, are you ready to say goodbye to itchy, chicken skin? Keep scrolling for the 12 best keratosis pilaris treatments for smoother skin all over today.