HOW TO TACKLE KERATOSIS PILARIS
KATHERINE SPOWART on MAY 10, 2019
Keratosis Pilaris, otherwise known as “chicken skin”, is a common skin condition where your hair follicles have an excess build-up of keratin, a protein naturally found in skin, hair and nails. It often occurs on your arms, thighs or backside, and feels like rough goose-bumps. Know what I’m talking about? Yeah, it’s super common! There is no go-to cure for everyone, but I found taking several small steps really helped reduce the bumps. Here’s how I got a smoother, softer appearance to my keratosis pilaris.
1. GENTLE SCRUBBING
Anyone who has this condition has probably tried to scrub their body at some point or another. This can be disastrous, and I know for myself it led to inflamed skin and even bleeding. You cannot simply scrub these bumps off! Due to this nasty experience, I stopped physically exfoliating my bumpy skin altogether. This also didn’t help, because our skin does need some level of exfoliation. Now I’ve found a happy medium- I use a very lightly exfoliating washcloth in the shower. This helps without rubbing my skin raw and irritating the bumps. I highly recommend incorporating some gentle buffing to your shower routine.
① Korean Body Scrub Shower Glove RANDOM COLOR 5ea
② TOSOWOONG Perfume Almond Body Scrub Wash 160g
③ NATURE REPUBLIC Love Me Bubble Sugar Body Scrub Grapefruits 200g
④ Elizavecca Milky Piggy Greentea Salt Body Scrub 600g
2. CHEMICAL EXFOLIATION
On the flipside, chemical exfoliation can also be helpful. I’m specifically talking about AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids. AHAs dissolve the bonds between skin cells, which results in the removal of dead cells and smoother skin. This is a very personal one because not everyone’s skin reacts the same to chemical exfoliators, and you should start slowly to see what works for you. I simply wipe a cotton pad soaked in The Ordinary Glycolic 7% Toning Solution across my upper arms and upper thighs several times a week. I only use this because I have several bottles in my stash that I also use on my face. Alternatively, there are body creams that include AHAs such as Paula’s Choice Skin Revealing 10% AHA Body Lotion. Note: you need to ensure that you’re wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen or covering your skin after use, as these products increase skin’s sun sensitivity.
① Elizavecca Hell-Pore Clean up AHA Fruit Toner 200ml
② Commleaf AHA Green Tea Peeling Liquid 100ml
③ NAKEUP FACE 10% Glycolic Acid AHA Scaling Cream 30ml
④ Isntree Clear Skin 8% AHA Essence 100ml
This is so extra, but using a hydrating toner on my body has changed my life. No joke. I had a spare toner and filled a mist bottle with it. Now whenever I get out the shower, I spritz my body with the toner before moving onto cream. It’s not a necessary step, but it really preps my skin and adds an extra layer of hydration that I think my keratosis pilaris really benefited from.
① Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Toner 200ml
② ROUND LAB 1025 Dokdo Toner 200ml
③ the SAEM Urban Eco Harakeke Toner 180ml
④ NACIFIC Real Calendula Floral Toner 180ml
4. CREAM AND OIL
I used to only use cream and didn’t honestly see much difference in the rough texture of my keratosis pilaris. However more recently I’ve been incorporating body oils into my post-shower routine, and my skin has hugely benefited. Oils can form a barrier which prevents moisture from escaping. After using a toner and a cream, I slather my entire body in oil and let it absorb for around 10 minutes. My favourite oil so far has been I Woke Up Like This Mommy To Be Luxurious Firming Body Oil. This is formula dedicated to mothers-to-be but is a gorgeous choice for anyone. It contains an abundance of natural oils, the scent is heavenly, and it deeply nourishes the skin.
As with any other skin issue, consistently treating my keratosis pilaris has been the biggest learning curve for me. I used to apply moisturisers every day for a few weeks, then stop again. And I’d wonder why my skin felt so rough within about a week of stopping! But I’ve learned that for my keratosis pilaris, I need to be intensely moisturising every single day after I wash, and keep up the exfoliation routine. Doing this consistently has meant that I can enjoy the smoother texture and avoid the irritation, itching and uncomfortable feeling that comes with this common skin condition.
Do you deal with keratosis pilaris? What have you tried that has worked for you? It would be great to share our experiences and remedies!