First of all, stop feeling weird about it. 50% of the population is affected by what it formally known as Keratosis Pilaris. I have several clients who have seen a dermatologist for the condition and been unable to clear up these annoying and sometimes unsightly bumps that can especially plague the backs of the arms and thighs.
Fear not, I’ve got you covered.
Most websites tout the benefits of alpha-hydroxy acids as a cure and this is somewhat true. But most websites are also failing to tell you what not to do.
Keratosis Pilaris (KP), is trapped keratin under the skin. Is it that the skin is making too much keratin or is it that it’s just getting caught in there? Who knows really. But I do know what works and what doesn’t.
All of my clients, and I mean each one who has come to me with KP have had a significant improvement and most have completely gotten rid of KP on their body.
There are two things they do and two things only that have cured them of "chicken skin".
1. No Soap
No gentle soap, no mild soap, no “oil-free” soap, no natural soaps, nothing that makes a bubble of any kind should be used on KP skin.
All soaps and detergents strip the skin of naturally occurring oil that your body put there for a reason. The skin oils itself just like you oil your car and for very similar reasons. The body wants the skin to last longer, not experience cracking with motion, have less wear, and keep the pores flowing so that sweat and toxins can exit freely. Each and every time you putting a sudsing agent to your sweet epidermis, you are undoing all the good work it was trying to accomplish and it has to start all over again.
Just like a hungry animal will naturally over-eat when presented with food finally, your skin works to overdo oil when it feels it is lacking. Imagine a skin-panic each and every day of your life and then the damage this causes in the long-run. So KP is not curable with soap present.
The second thing that soap accomplishes with the removal of the oil is tight pores. Closing all those trap doors of your skin doesn’t sound like a way for keratin to exit naturally, does it?
2. Things to Treat KP: Mineral Salts, Shea Butter, and Coffee
There are other ingredients that further speed the healing of KP and help the skin even more with problems like KP (cysts, acne, etc) and those would be argan oil, karanj seed oil, certain essential oils.
My coffee scrubs with shea butter are now the best sellers for KP and those clients wouldn't be coming back if it weren't working, but why?
The caffiec acid in the coffee seems to have a very effective promotion of allowing the keratin to exit. The same is true for the naturally occurring caffiec acid in argan. This acid has also been proven to kill skin cancer cells, so why not use it as good measure towards some natural prevention?!
Shea Butter is largely composed of stearic acid. This stuff is magical. It is not a soap. It does make bubbles. But it does work as a cleanser extremely well. Stearic acid is added to wealth of beauty and cleansing products for this reason. It reduces the surface tension of water and allows water to wash away oils without stripping ALL of the oil the same way that soaps do. I always prefer to find star ingredients in their natural habitat, and this is a case where use unrefined shea (with all of its other great fatty acids and vitamins) is a superior choice than using just stearic acid that has been seperated from shea butter.
These are the first steps to clearing up KP, but this article is not meant to diagnose or cure any ailment. It's meant to share experience.