Hands up in the comments section if this is you: You're so wrapped up in caring for the skin on your face, using nothing but the best products and treatments on the market, that you've totally neglected the skin on the rest of your body. Sound familiar? You're not alone. We have this bad habit, too. Dry, cracked and flaky body skin can often be signs of general neglect🙋♀️🙋♂️ That being said, there can be indications of other things going on with the skin on your body like those tiny little bumps on the backs of your arms and legs. We call that KP and they *actually* require a little more attention than you may think.
Keratosis pilaris also referred to as, "chicken skin," or "strawberry skin," is an excessive buildup of dead skin cells within the hair follicle. They often present as tiny, hard and dry bumps along the arms and legs but can even be found on the cheeks. Currently, the root cause of KP is still unclear, however, there is an identified genetic correlation (thanks, dad!) and tends to plague those of us already suffering from dry skin issues (like eczema). The look of KP can vary from person to person. For some, these tiny bumps or "plugs" can be dry and scaly but overall the same skin tone as the rest of your body. Others experience KP along with red and inflamed skin. Which one do you suffer from?
Now that you understand why your KP occurs, how the heck can you treat it? Well, the not-so-great news is that keratosis pilaris is known as a chronic condition with no cure. Sometimes, your symptoms may flare up (similar to eczema and rosacea sufferers) due to certain environmental triggers and other times, with the help of these tips and tricks, you'll be able to manage your KP. The key here is to create a body skincare routine that you'll *actually* follow consistently to help manage the frequency and severity of flare-ups. So, without further ado, here are our top tips to help treat your KP.
Select a gentle body cleanser that leaves the skin hydrated not stripped.
Did you know that our president, Ann Marie, formulated our Body Collection with the treatment of KP in mind? Our Body Cleanser's formulation doesn't leave your skin stripped of its natural oils and instead, actually appears stronger thanks to some major antioxidant protection! She also made sure to pump it up with salicylic acid - one of the best BHA's to help break down the buildup of keratin or dead skin cells. Body Cleanser is truly a wash-and-treatment-in-one!
Moisturize your body immediately after bathing and apply it directly to wet skin to seal in all the moisture.
It's only fitting that our Body Silk is formulated with aaaallll the right ingredients to help heal your skin and lock in the hydration. We've added 2% of niacinamide (the highest concentration permitted in a skincare formulation!) which is proven to gently stimulate micro-circulation and stops the skin from losing water content (also known as transepidermal water loss). All incredibly important when trying to shed any dead cells while repairing your skin barrier.
KP-fighting ingredients to add to your routine:
- AHAs are incredible at breaking down the keratin build-up that is keratosis pilaris. Opt for products with lactic acid like our AHA Cream (safe for face and body!).
- Urea is known for its hydrating properties (under 10%) but can help with the exfoliation of dead skin when used in higher percentages.
- Retinoids have been shown to aid in the treatment of KP, especially for those suffering from redness and irritation. Remember to start low and go slow!
- Avoid the use of harsh scrubbing motions (say goodbye to the loofa) and instead, consider adding gentle scrub to your routine 1 time a week. Our Body Polish is infused with lactic acid and our Enzyme is so gentle, even our most sensitive skin types can use it🙌
Do you have any helpful insider tips to help manage your KP? Let us know below!