Products to Smooth Out Your Keratosis Pilaris Once and For All
"You have such perfect skin — you look like a porcelain doll!" This is a compliment that I'm used to brushing off. (I do have pretty good skin, but I swear it's all about the foundation brush!) Don't hate me just yet, though: only the skin on my face looks flawless. My upper arms, thighs, and butt are covered in tiny little red bumps that I thought were breakouts for years. Turns out, they're actually caused by a common skin condition called keratosis pilaris (KP).
According to Dr. Jennifer Linder, dermatologist and PCA Skin chief scientific officer, this is a common misconception, and a damaging one at that. "Avoid picking at keratosis pilaris — it causes inflammation and irritation." Instead of sebum buildup like a blemish, KP is caused when the "keratin in the skin forms hard plugs inside of hair follicles," Dr. Linder explained. If you have it, you know how annoying that plucked-chicken texture is. It mars the look of a sleeveless top, ruins hot-dog-leg poolside selfies, and must feel awkward and rough to a new snuggle buddy. And, it flares up in the cooler months because of low humidity, which dries out the skin.
But there is hope! When treating KP, keep skin exfoliated and hydrated. "Lactic-acid-based chemical peels can be a good starting point to smooth the skin," says Dr. Linder, as well as topical products with lactic acid, urea, and glycerin to hydrate and resurface your complexion. I was especially psyched to hear that this isn't a permanent condition! Dr. Linder told me that KP tends to resolve itself before middle age, so I now have a reason to embrace getting older. After years of my trial and error, read on to discover the products that have really helped my KP.
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