TZR posted "KP Bumps & ‘Chicken Skin’ Are No Match for My Smoothing Shower Routine," featuring Visha skincare founder, Dr. Purvisha Patel, who confirms that some people are genetically predisposed to developing bumpy keratosis pilaris or "chicken skin".
One day, literally overnight, the bumps just arrived. During my briefing from the dermatologist about the side-effects of Accutane, not once did the possibility of excess KP (that’s keratosis pilaris) come up. My facial skin was totally spot-free, but much of the texture just migrated further south, with the built-up keratin popping up in little patches on the backs of my arms, tops of my thighs, and just below my butt. While flesh-colored and innocuous, I was over it. I’d already come so far in this all-out war for smooth skin — if finding the perfect KP solution products to be rid of bumps for good was the final battle, so be it.
While my “chicken skin” was triggered by medically-induced dryness (Accutane is designed to drastically decrease sebum production), for most, it’s just luck of the genetic draw. Board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, Dr. Purvisha Patel, previously told TZR that it’s a typically an inherited trait that “prevents the skin from exfoliating — resulting in the keratin forming plugs over the hair follicles, causing a prickly feel and appearance of the skin.” Though it’s often worse in the winter thanks to drier air and clothing friction, summertime is when you want all your limbs on display. That makes a year-round KP-killing routine crucial for those prone to the bumps.
Ahead, everything in my arsenal for clearing keratosis pilaris bumps and keeping them at bay, through summer and well beyond.
G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush
A pre-shower skin scrub with a dry brush is such an important part of clearing away my KP bumps that I have three, including a miniature-sized version for travel. Not only does it physically slough away much of the congestion, but it also stimulates blood flow and makes everything else so much smoother too, laying the groundwork for all the products to follow. This long-handled, diagonal-headed Goop brush is great for the middle of your back.
Buffing Bar Microcrystal Exfoliant
Once in the shower, I hit all of the most KP-ish areas with an exfoliating bar after a quick wash with liquid soap. This one is physical exfoliating, but especially along the backs and tops of my thighs, it’s never overkill — partly thanks to the microscopic buffing crystals in it.
The Body Oil
Once I’m done washing and am still totally dripping wet in the shower, I drizzle Nécessaire’s amazing (fragrance-free!) body oil all over and just stand there for a while as it soaks in. The hefty bottles comes with a long dropper for dispensing product, but I just pour it directly onto my skin instead because I like to use so much of it. I’ve tried so many other body oils in the past few years and this one is just built different — it’s all organic and no-frills for max efficacy.
Soft Lounge Robe
Here’s where you have to trust me — just get rid of post-shower towels for everything but your hair. Yes, it takes a lot longer, but air-drying with body oil all over is the true key to maximizing moisture and defeating KP. When I’m just a little bit soggy, I pull on a light, breathable cotton SKIMS robe to move on to the next steps of my routine. It makes accessing every necessary area a lot easier, and doesn’t add KP-exacerbating friction when your pores are most vulnerable.
Butt Acne Clearing Lotion
Yes, I must confess, I do turn this bottle around in the cabinet so I don’t have to look at the words “BUTT ACNE” in giant letters every time I open it. KP and pimples aren’t the same thing, but they can be triggered by similar actions. They’re both just clogged pores at the end of the day, but exercise-induced clothing friction can make my KP a lot worse around my butt and thighs. I use this exfoliating serum down there once I’ve air-dried and it’s kind of wild how quickly it smooth the bumps out — both kinds, I’ll be real.
Intensive Repair Body Lotion For Very Dry Skin
It sounds incredibly specific, but this Eucerin lotion is the only one I’m using from the waist-down these days. For some reason, my top half can handle thicker, more buttery moisturizers (more on that in a second), but anything other than a sensitive skin-friendly formula often leaves me with more KP and even sebaceous filaments. This lotion is incredibly hydrating, fast-absorbing, and majorly helps with smoothing out roughness, bumps, and texture.
And here we have my arm and torso essential. The upper arms and backs of the forearms are a classic spot for KP patches, and that’s definitely where much of mine manifests. Perhaps it’s due to sun exposure, but my arms can handle (and need) a much richer moisturizer. Despite its thick, scoopable consistency, Susanne Kaufmann’s body butter doesn’t sit on top of the skin but rather quickly penetrates for a silky-smooth finish. Non-KP-related, but also so excellent on elbows and shoulders.
Retexturizing Gel Aqua Peel
The final piece of the exfoliation puzzle happens overnight, with a tiny amount of an AHA-based treatment on the backs of my arms while I sleep. This gel-consistency Amala peel helps with congestion and fine lines all over, but I think it really earns its keep when slathered on the arms and chest. Not only are congestion bumps flattened with regular use, but it’s great for my fellow side-sleepers — it helps iron out those boob-crease chest lines.
Dirty Vanilla Candle
Though not technically a beauty product, a decadent candle is actually an essential element in the KP process — for me, anyway. I find myself often going down the skin-picking rabbit hole, busting out the magnifying mirror and my sharpest tweezers for excavations that only make KP so much worse, leading to inflammation, scarring, and discoloration. One tip I learned is to turn off the bathroom overheads and do all body and skin care just by candlelight instead. You literally won’t be able to discern any individual bumps or breakouts, taking so much of the temptation out of the equation altogether.