Although lactic acid is one of the go-to exfoliators in most KP treatments, SkinCeuticals Body Retexturing Treatment takes it to another level with two other ingredients that build upon its efficacy. "It combines urea and sulfonic acid to enhance exfoliation and improve the skin barrier," says Prather, who also appreciates the hydration supplied by the lotion's hyaluronic acid.
Specifically, New Jersey-based board-certified dermatologist Shari Sperling says alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids are the way to go. "When treating keratosis pilaris, it is important to look for products with lactic, salicylic, or glycolic acid to help smooth skin," she says.
A more affordable combination of lactic acid and urea is available at the drugstore. "Eucerin Intensive Repair Lotion is an effective over-the-counter option that combines urea and lactic acid, both powerful exfoliators, while protecting the skin barrier with shea butter and ceramides," says Prather. "Because people with KP have a genetic tendency towards allergies and skin sensitivity, it is important to be mindful of products with fragrances, which can be irritating," Prather says.
Both Sperling and Bhanusali recommend Amlactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion because of its 12-percent lactic-acid formula. "It is important to have lactic acid in a regimen to help break down keratin in the hair follicles," Sperling says.
It's not just exfoliating lotions and scrubs that help smooth the look and feel of keratosis pilaris — body wash can make a difference, too. "I really like the two-step approach in the KP Kit by Glytone that pairs a glycolic acid-based body cleanser and body lotion with vitamin E for extra hydration," Prather says.
Texas-based board-certified dermatologist Heidi Prather says KP happens because of a dysfunction in the hair follicle. "[It results] in small bumps resembling 'chicken skin' that can occur on arms, legs, or even your face. " And just as KP can look similar to acne, the approach to reducing it is similar to that of acne. "Treatment of KP responds best to a combination of exfoliation and hydration.
However, different products and treatments may work differently on different people. "Keep in mind there are many types of KP that may require a customized approach based on your presentation and symptoms," Prather says. "See your board-certified dermatologist for evaluation, diagnosis, and a customized treatment plan, including topical therapies and possible in-office laser treatments that can help improve the discoloration and rough texture from KP.
Even if you've avoided glycolic acid for your face-care regimen, you may not want to rule out a 10-percent glycolic-acid formula like Lancer's The Method: Body Nourish cream for KP on your arms or legs. "Glycolic is a great AHA that can be sometimes strong for the face but does well for the body," says Bhanusali.
If you're experiencing areas of little, rough bumps that look more like red goosebumps than zits, you may be dealing with keratosis pilaris, or KP. "Keratosis pilaris is a build-up of keratin — a hair protein — in the pores that clogs up and blocks the opening of growing hair follicles," board-certified dermatologist Doris Day has previously told Allure. "As a result, small bumps form over where the hair should be.
Dermatologists recommend these lotions, scrubs, and cleansers for KP's rough bumps. https://t.co/3WtVDVOMBx— Allure (@Allure_magazine) February 25, 2020