Welcome to the first Let's Get Natural post! I've been wanting to do a series focusing on natural products, remedies and household alternatives for a while now. The awesome people at Vitacost agreed to help out and provided me with some great natural products to try and feature in ways that I hope can be helpful to you!
So wait... what is keratosis pilaris? Also known as "chicken skin," KP are those bright red bumps and dots typically found on your arms. In doing research for this post, I found out about 50% of the world's population has it, but no one really knows what it's called or that it's so common.
(If you're still unsure, you can see a picture on the Wikipedia article HERE.)
KP is unsightly, but doesn't cause any lasting harm. I've suffered from KP for as long as I can remember. I don't ever remember not having it. There's no cure for it, but there are ways to manage it. When I was in 8th grade I got a prescription from my dermatologist for a special lotion that was supposed to help. I'm sure it was filled with all kinds of nasty chemicals (I remember it smelled pretty gross), and didn't do much to clear up my arms.
For the past 15 or so years I haven't done much to keep it under control, but as I've gotten older my KP has gotten worse. So a couple months ago I started researching ways to treat it. I found a few products specifically made to get rid of KP with reviews that were hit or miss.
One thing that caught my attention was coconut oil. A blogger claimed it got rid of her KP almost entirely. So I bought some and used it as she directed in her post. Rub it on your arms in the shower, let it sit for a few minutes and rinse off. I was doing this for a couple months and while it wasn't the miracle cure she had promised, I did notice about a 50% improvement in the look of my skin.
But since then I've found 2 ways to use coconut oil that has cleared my KP up to 90%. Seriously. My arms have never been as smooth as they are now in my entire life.
Ingredients you'll need:
A cool thing about coconut oil... it's solid at room temperature. Kind of like Crisco or Vaseline. It has a melting point of 75 degrees so as soon as you touch it the oil melts into a liquid.
Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub
Exfoliating skin with KP is essential in managing it. For a while I was using a basic Neutrogena scrub on my arms. It seemed to work while I was in the shower but as soon as I was dry those pesky bumps started showing up again. No bueno! I recently made this homemade scrub and it is amazing. It exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time, which is key for anyone with KP.
To make a small batch, I combined 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon raw honey and 4 tablespoons coconut oil.
I use it in the shower and let it sit on my arms for a few minutes before washing it off.
Coconut Oil Lotion Bar
A super easy way to keep your arms moisturized is with a homemade lotion bar. Regular drugstore lotions aren't great to use because the chemicals can actually irritate KP more. To make the bars, just melt equal parts beeswax beads and coconut oil (I did 2 tablespoons each). When it's all melted, add a few drops of essential oils, and pour in to a mold.
It made enough to fill a small silicone baking cup. Next time I make one I'm going to use an empty deodorant container as a mold. I apply the lotion when I get out of the shower and before bed. And any other time I think about it.
Like I said, with these 2 easy homemade beauty products, my KP has been kept at a minimum. Both the bumpiness and redness on my arms has significantly diminished. And the best part? The scrub and lotion bar made a huge difference the very first time I used them. I'm so thankful to have finally found a natural, chemical free solution!
A few things to keep in mind:
- This isn't a cure for Keratosis Pilaris, but a way to manage the condition.
- Keep up the routine. The scrub and lotion bar regimen keep my KP under control for about 24 hours. If I go longer than that without a shower I'll make sure to apply the lotion often to keep my arms hydrated, but it's really the scrub that seems to nip the bumps in the bud.
- Remember, I'm not a doctor and this post shouldn't be used as a substitute for proper medical treatment.
Disclaimer: The products in this post were given to me free from Vitacost. I received no other compensation. All words, photos and opinions are 100% my own.