Back in the summer, I posted about a skin condition I’ve long been suffering from. I say suffering, it hasn’t been that bad, more of an annoyance that won’t go away. It started around age ten, with a few scattered bumps on my cheeks. Having always been skin obsessed, I couldn’t leave these alone. I wasn’t worried – they didn’t look like anything sinister, and my mum was also a sufferer ( yes its heredity ) – but on closer inspection, and when picked(!), these rough, red bumps could be squeezed. They contain a small, hard residue. Or gunk, to put it bluntly!
And so I got into the bad habit of picking these marks. While they don’t have a head, they certainly do make a satisfying pop. Though I quickly discovered this made my skin worse – scabbing over and the prolonging the life of these lumps. Not to mention the broken capillaries and scars I caused from all that trauma to my skin.
Fast-forward ten years to my twenties, and these little bumps had now spread to my arms. It wasn’t until a few years ago, though, that I realised these bumps had a name! After saving my pennies, and booking a trip to a pricey dermatologist, I was finally given some answers. The specialist explained I was suffering from Keratosis Pilarious.
So what is this, exactly? It’s basically a condition that effects those of us with dry skin, and it gets worse in the winter months. An overproduction of keratin – a protein – builds up in the hair follicles causing a lumpy, goose bump appearance (hence the nickname chicken skin!). It’s a common complaint, and after my earlier post, I couldn’t believe the response it received. Men and woman of all different ages came forward to share their KP stories. It turned out I was far from alone in my suffering.
This condition mostly targets back of the arms, the face and also the legs. Over the years, I’ve tried everything. I have scrubbed, rubbed, exfoliated, buffed. There’s been masks and loofahs and retinols and creams. It’s safe to say I’ve spent a small fortune – investing in all sorts of gorgeous, premium creams intended for my face and decollate. I tried products with much lower price points, too. Epsom bath salts and magnesium. You name it, I’ve bathed in it. And what’s worse, the dermatologist’s prescription didn’t help my KP either. I was sent away, ‘assured’ that the condition would clear up in my fifties. I was thirty-six at the time.
And so I wanted to speak frankly about this skin complaint. I wanted to share my advice on what works, and what doesn’t. I have to be honest, there’s no quick fix, but with some dedication and patience, you should see some improvement in around six weeks. Stick with it, and I hope, like me, you feel and notice a difference. Because while my KP hasn’t totally gone, I’d say with regular care, I’m ninety percent bump-free!
There is a range of products I suggest investing in. Though the good news is, they won’t break the bank.
- Ameliorate Transforming body lotion (£9 for 50ml, available at spacenk.comKeratosis Pilaris – Explained). This lotion MUST be used religiously twice a day. Once a day just won’t cut it (for the first six weeks, anyway). Containing sweet almond oil and vitamin E, I love how easily absorbed this is. It’s important to know that this formula contains Lactic and Hydroxy acid, which, while stimulating the skin’s natural exfoliation and renewal process, also makes your complexion much more sensitive to sunlight. The whole range contains LaH6 hydration complex, leaving skin feeling moisturised and, over time, bump-free. It can also be used on children over three, but again, please use a sun screen or you’ll burn like I did!
- Ameliorate Smoothing Body Exfoliator (£9 for 50ml, available at spacenk.com). This is a serious game changer, leaving my skin feeling noticeably smoother. Use this fine-granule paste on dry skin BEFORE showering. Rub onto the affected areas and leave for a few minutes so it really works it magic, then rinse off in the bath or shower. It’s suitable for even the most sensitive KP sufferers.
- Ameliorate Nourishing Body Wash (£10.50 for 200ml, available at amazon.co.uk). Smother this all over, as you would a normal body wash, but with particular focus on any problem areas. It’s the perfect in-shower treatment to hydrate and smooth your skin.
- Ameliorate Softening Bathing Powder (£19.50 for 350ml, available at amazon.co.uk). Add a few scoops of this to a bath and recline like Cleopatra in soothingly milky water. Containing oats and sweet almond oil, as well as LaH6 Hydration complex, this is more of a luxury than the other three steps. But go on, spoil yourself!
I’d really love to hear how you get on with these products. Or, indeed, if you have any tips of your own. I was really excited to share this post, as my friends, Nadine Baggott and Jini Sanassy, encouraged me to keep going and care for my KP. So thank you, girls. And good luck!
And by the way I am not being paid by Amerliorite!