Have you ever heard of “chicken skin?” Those unsightly, often red, raised bumps you get on backs of your upper arms and sometimes on your legs, thighs or bottom that will NOT go away? You’ve probably tried all kinds of lotions and potions and the bumps aren’t going anywhere–they have taken up residence and are perfectly happy just perched there on your arms. Today I’m going to show you two products that will have you ready to bare your summer skin in no time!
Those bumps are actually called Keratosis Pilaris and are caused by keratin building up in your hair follicle, forming a plug of proteins that looks on the surface like mild acne. It can be aggravated when your skin is dry, so when you treat it like acne by using products designed to dry out oily skin, you can actually make it worse. No one seems to know why it happens, but it does tend to be a common complaint of women over 40. Some women are so self conscious they won’t even wear short sleeves. Read on….there is help!
As I’ve gotten older and my skin has become more sensitive, I have a little bit of KP on the backs of my arms and on my thighs–front and back. I don’t like it. My skin feels rough, not soft and smooth to the touch like it should be. This seems to be a common complaint with women over 40 and often they are embarrassed to wear short sleeved shirts.
So how can you turn a chicken into a swan? Soap and Glory The Firminator Targeted Arm Toning & Smoothing Formula is specifically formulated for bumpy KP arms! Woot woot!
This 3-step approach is what worked for me. Please remember I am not a dermatologist, nor am I giving advice on how to treat this condition. This is only what I have discovered works for me–it may not work for you. If you have severe KP, visit a dermatologist and have them prescribe a course of action for you.
The first step is to exfoliate.
A product that has REALLY helped me is Reviva Labs Seaweed Soap. It is a pure vegetable base of palm and coconut oils with bits of seaweed in it to scrub away dry, flaky skin. The seaweed grains’ scrub action helps remove hidden impurities, stimulates circulation and helps discharge toxins. I love how hydrating this soap is and how it leaves my skin soft and helps my KP disappear! There is a slight spa-like scent that fills my bathroom and makes me happy. Bonus: this soap is often used to help battle cellulite too! I cannot be without this soap and it’s only $4 a bar!!!!
Step#2 Use an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid)
Soap and Glory has a brand spankin’ new product out called to help get your arms ready for T-shirt weather! The formula contains AHA’s and BHA’s to help smooth and firm the skin. Don’t worry, most AHA’s are found in the foods we eat: glycolic acid (from sugar cane), lactic acid (from sour milk), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus fruits) and tartaric acid (from grape wine). Other ingredients include caffeine, multivitamin kukui nut oil and smoothbump™ spheres.
The Firminator Targeted Arm Toning & Smoothing Formula ($34) helped the back of my arms look and feel better in less than a week! Of course this was in combination with using the Reviva Labs Seaweed Soap and Step #3 Hydration below.
The Firminator is a cross between a lotion and a gel. There are tiny beads (but not scrubbers) in this pale green pearlized lotion that you are supposed to rub into your upper arm skin. Apply with sweeping motions until every last bead has dissolved, then allow to sink in for 30 seconds before dressing. At first there is a burst of a bright citrusy scent, but then it turns into a bit of a medicinal smell until the lotion is completely absorbed into the skin. You will feel some heat and/or tingling for a few seconds after application; this mean the active ingredients are working. I used The Firminator on the upper front and back thighs as well as my arms and was amazed at how well AND how quickly it worked.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Isononyl Isononanoate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Menthyl Lactate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Benzyl Alcohol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Caffeine, Menthol, Parfum (Fragrance), Mannitol, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Mica, Disodium EDTA, Cellulose, Sorbitan Isostearate, Polysorbate 60, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Salicylic Acid, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Vanillyl Butyl Ether, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Sorbic Acid, Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Extract, Phosphoric Acid, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Geraniol, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 42090 (Blue 1)
WARNING: Do not use on sensitive or broken and irritated skin. Keep out of eyes (and rinse eyes with water immediately if product goes astray). DO wash your hands after applying.
Step #3 Hydration
Since dry skin exacerbates KP, make sure to keep your skin well hydrated. I’ve found two excellent body moisturizers that have really keep my skin nourished without being greasy and they both can be found at the drugstore!
Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion heals and relieves my severely dry skin even on tough areas like elbows and knees. The argan oil made my skin felt moisturized until the next day! I also really like the light, fresh scent; it’s very pleasant but doesn’t interfere with my perfume. The value on this phenomenal—less than $5 for a huge 18 oz. bottle!
Suave Advanced Therapy Body Lotion has rich hydrators that moisturize the skin, making it soft and touchable. The Dermatologist-tested formula heals and relieves severely dry skin. It is clinically proven to increase hydration levels by 100% and I totally believe it! The formula is impressive in that it’s not greasy and you don’t have to spend hours rubbing it for it to absorb. The scent is light, fresh and clean, almost like clean laundry or a lighter version of a dryer sheet.
Hopefully these products will work for your Keratosis Pilaris.