With tank tops, short shorts and bikini season under way, keratosis pilaris can make it seem daunting to rock any of these hot weather essentials. If you are feeling at all embarrassed or clueless on how to treat your “chicken skin” fear not! Here are some of the best tips for getting your keratosis pilaris under control this summer.
1. Limit Your Shower Time
Keratosis pilaris is a dry skin condition that is easily aggravated by bathing for too long and too often. Now I know what you’re thinking, you are not about to give up any long precious showers during your stickiest and smelliest days of the year! But hear me out.
The skin on our face and bodies greatly benefits from limited wash times and frequencies. This, in turn, helps to diminish the damage done to our skin barrier and can prevent any future KP flare ups from happening. If you MUST wash daily try keeping it to once a day for 10-15 minutes max. Your skin will thank you in time.
2. Get A New Cleanser
Ask any dermatologist and they will tell you, people with keratosis pilaris should stay away from harsh detergents and fragrance in their body wash. Things like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate are damaging, drying and only exacerbate the issue.
Fragrance as well, whether it is natural or synthetic, can often lead to sensitized skin. Try instead a mild and fragrance free cleanser like the CeraVe Hydrating BodyWash or Avène Xeracalm A. D Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil.
3. Exfoliate Properly
One effective way to control your Keratosis pilaris is to gently exfoliate, whether it be in the shower with a washcloth (rub lightly) or afterwards with a keratolytic lotion or cream. Try both for best results. Stay away from abrasive salt, sugar or coffee scrubs with irritating fragrance and essential oils because it’ll definitely rub you the wrong way.
Try AmLactin Rapid Relief Restoring Lotion as a great chemical exfoliant. Apply to dry skin on the affected areas (upper arms, upper thighs, legs, buttocks or back) followed by your regular moisturizer for best results.
One of the key tips for controlling your keratosis pilaris is to moisturize all day, everyday! Dry skin needs constant care and attention so apply, at the very least, once in the morning and once in the evening. Don’t forget to apply your keratolytic lotion beforehand on the days you are exfoliating! Also, a fantastic tip for all you lazy people out there, apply your cream directly after you get out of the shower or bath to wet skin.
This will help prevent transepidermal water loss, a technical way of saying that it will help stop the evaporation of water from your skin. Try using thick, fragrance free, hypoallergenic moisturizers that contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid for best results. Some great options include CeraVe Moisturizing cream or E45 Dermatological Moisturizing Cream.
5. Protect Yourself From The Sun
One of the most damaging things one could do to their skin is get a tan. Right up there with smoking and sleeping with your makeup on, soaking up UVA and UVB rays can result in premature aging, DNA damage and skin cancer. Unfortunately, it can also make your keratosis pilaris look a lot better.
Understandably a tempting and quick fix, it is only temporary and does more harm than good in the long run. Instead, try applying sunscreen everyday before sun exposure and if you crave that bronzed complexion, there are plenty of self tanners out there that can get the job done.
6. Don’t get lazy!
Keratosis pilaris is a chronic skin condition aggravated by eczema, allergies and dry sensitive skin. There is no cure and it will only start easing up in old age. All these tips will help to control and lessen flare ups, but to get those results one needs to provide maintenance on a daily basis.
With a proper skincare routine, the right products and (yes) a little discipline, you should have no problem sustaining a glowing and healthy complexion all year round.