Keratosis Pilaris – Explained

IMG_6407Back 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.

  1. Ameliorate Transforming body lotion (£9 for 50ml, available at spacenk.com). 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Share:

22 Comments

  1. Katy
    January 12, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    Lisa thank you so much my daughter age 10 suffers from this on her forehead so glad I now know what it is!! Are the products you mentioned ok to use on the face? Katy xx

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      January 12, 2018 / 10:16 pm

      Hi Katy, I’m so happy this has helped you and your daughter. I use it on my cheeks so I would assume as long as you don’t get in her eyes I’m sure it’s fine. Please be careful as it does make the skin sun sensitive, and I would hate her to burn. So be really careful. LSxx

  2. Becca Vanden Taylor
    January 13, 2018 / 12:50 pm

    I’ve just ordered some for my teenage son Ethan … thank you so much Lisa for sourcing all this info … it’s a great help as he’s always worrying about it … have a lovely weekend beautiful lady … Becca x

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      January 13, 2018 / 1:24 pm

      You’re so welcome! Good luck with it. Remember be patient and be persistent. LSxx

  3. Carla
    January 14, 2018 / 3:08 pm

    Definitely going to try this! I find mine improves in warmer climates

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      January 14, 2018 / 3:19 pm

      Yes mine too, winter months it’s always worse. LSx

  4. Sharon McDermott
    January 14, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    Lisa iI have had this on my arms since i was a teenager. Now glad to know what it is, and will be looking at making a purchase when i get paid. Can i also say loved your post about the
    acupunture face lift.

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      January 14, 2018 / 6:58 pm

      Hey Sharon. Glad I could be of help. It’s been frustrating for me for a very long time. Hope the product helps you too. LSxx

  5. James
    January 14, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    I find lotions and scrubs containing Salicylic Acid work best for kp. I use St Ives Apricot body scrub..

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      January 14, 2018 / 8:11 pm

      Hey James. Thanks for that. Happy you e found something that works for you! All the best. LSx

  6. Michelle
    January 16, 2018 / 7:29 am

    Hi Lisa, I’m going to buy this for my 16 year old nephew. He’s suffered with this condition for a while but didn’t know what it was. I really can’t thank you enough, he’s hated his skin for so long and now I hope this will turn things around. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. Michelle xx

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 8:46 am

      Hey Michelle, it can be quite frustrating, and I am hoping this product work for him. As I said in the piece please be patient and use religiously twice a day (cream) and the scrub in dry skin and wait a few. Also sunscreen if and when you go away. All the best. LSx

  7. Colette
    January 17, 2018 / 4:30 pm

    Lisa, another great product is Neostrata Lotion Plus, it’s excellent. I suffer with KP too, it’s common with pale irish skin apparently! But this lotion is the only thing that’s cleared it. Give it a go. It’s 15% glycolic acid. Well worth the money.

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      Colette. Thanks for this. Always on the look out for good products and love a recommendations! Thank you. LSxx

  8. Samantha wyatt
    February 13, 2018 / 10:59 am

    Very informative thanks Lisa. My 14 year old daughter Millie has it on her arms so we will give it all a go. Sam

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      February 15, 2018 / 1:35 pm

      I feel for Millie, it can be quite frustrating but hopefully this product with work for her. LSx

  9. Claire Brennan
    April 14, 2018 / 7:05 pm

    Lisa, I have had this on my arms since I was a young girl but had no idea that it had a name. I am now 48 so had just got used to it being that way. So pleased I came across your post and will definitely give this a go. Thank you for sharing. Claire x

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      April 29, 2018 / 7:07 am

      Hello Claire, have you tried this yet? I have to say the scrub is really working for me atm, I use on dry skin and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing off in the shower. LSxx

  10. Clare Ruby
    May 2, 2018 / 9:49 am

    I am so glad i came across this blog! I’m getting married in 3 months and im desperate for my arms to look nice. Buying immediately and i cannot wait to try it! x

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      May 2, 2018 / 5:54 pm

      Clare! That’s enough time to get this condition under control and to have gorgeous smooth arms in time for your special day! LSxx

  11. Amy
    September 30, 2018 / 10:03 pm

    💚Hi Lisa,

    I’ve been following you for ages on Insta and I remember you posting a video about your keratosis pilaris a while back. I’ve recently joined Tropic Skincare and was at their latest product launch, there is a brand new product that I really think you’d benefit from trying.
    Susie Ma herself said she suffers with the same condition and has formulated a wonderful product called Perfect Skin…. its a resurfacing body lotion made natural with plant AHA’s pomegranate enzymes and noni fruit extract!! It comes with an exfoliating mitt for you to use pre showering and then once you’re dry from the shower you would apply the lotion. Would I be able to arrange to send you a Perfect Skin to try?
    I always love sharing Tropic with people, it’s all natural, vegan and cruelty free and my skin has been the best it’s ever been since moving to this green beauty brand 💚 x

    • Lisa Snowdon
      Author
      October 5, 2018 / 3:51 pm

      Hi Amy. Thank you for getting in touch. This sounds amazing. As you may have seen I did a post here in YGG all about my condition after hearing and receiving so many messages for men, women and teenagers all suffering with KP too. Please DM me on my Instagram so we can talk more. Thanks again. LSxx

Leave a Reply