Keratosis pilaris is a very common skin condition that causes rough patches and tiny, light-colored bumps on the upper arms, cheeks, buttocks, and thighs or even on the face. Of course, these small bumps that show up on the skin of 50% - 80% of our adult population are not harmful in any meaningful way. They don’t hurt and they don’t itch but choosing a good keratosis pilaris body wash or soap can help improve the appearance.
But they are not the prettiest sight on Earth, either. And, what’s even worse, they can’t be completely cured. Keratosis pilaris simply recedes whenever it feels like it.
So, since it can’t be cured, is there anything we can do about “chicken skin”.
Best Keratosis Pilaris Body Washes and Soaps
Keratosis pilaris is mainly caused by a buildup of keratin, the protein that protects our skin from infections. The condition manifests when keratin builds up so much that it prevents the skin from opening hair follicles.
Since it occurs mostly on the dry skin, one of the only ways of alleviating keratosis is by using some a soap or body wash for keratosis pilaris.
Here, we’ll take a look at some of the best products that can help you mitigate keratosis side-effect.
#1 TheraTree Tea Tree Oil Soap
TheraTree oil soap uses a long list of beneficial natural ingredients ranging from skin conditioning Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 essential fatty acids, to tea tree and neem oils. This powerful formula addresses a wide variety of skin conditions ranging from poor complexion to simple irritation.
Although it’s not necessarily the best product for the exclusive treatment of keratosis pilaris, this soap still represents a great choice for all customers in need of a powerful and versatile moisturizer.
#2 Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar
Putting the regional reference in the name of a cosmetic product usually implies some traditional recipe and more often than not represents a simple gimmick. However, this time, that’s not the case, because each package of this product contains a hand-made, Israeli Dead Sea mud mineral.
This fine grain acts as an exfoliate removing the dead skin and allowing other beneficial ingredients like unrefined shea butter and organic palm oil to make your skin fresh, glowing and moisturized.
#3 Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for All Skin Types
Packing two 16-oz. bottles at a very reasonable price, this bundle definitely offers a lot of value for the money. But, what about the performance?
Well, as long as you know what you are getting into, it’s pretty solid as well. Namely, Cetaphil’s skin cleanser is first and foremost, a product designed for hydrating and softening the skin. Although it features rinsing particles, it’s best to use it in combination with another product.
#4 Sulfur Soap Premium 10% Sulfur Advanced Wash for Acne
As the name suggests, this soap heavily relies on sulfur to do all the heavy lifting and get you rid of layers of dead skin, thus smoothing the rough patches on the affected areas. In that regard, the soap excels.
As for the moistening? You can forget it. That doesn’t diminish the value of Sulfur Soap. We are talking about a highly specialized product with very clear mission and one of the best performances on the market.
#5 SAL3 Salicylic Acid Sulfur Soap Bar
SAL3 bar soap is a product that’s been sitting on the market ever since 1999. One of the reasons for such strong staying power is its pretty solid performance. Some customers go as far as to call it the “Miracle Soap”.
This may be due to inclusion of sulfur that dries out the skin and helps in peeling of the rough patches. This comes at a price, though, since the soap smells pretty bad. However, the package is very affordable, so there are not many reasons to complain.
#6 AmLactin Rapid Relief Restoring Lotion
This product uses the formula that operates on the same principle as the previous one. First, you get the combination of lactic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) to exfoliate the rough patches, and then the combination of three ceramides comes into play to repair and moisturize the skin.
The effects are very visible, and surprisingly fast. Also, the lotion is not oily so it could theoretically be used before going out. However, a faint medical smell and slight residue will keep you home a couple of minutes after application.
#7 NIVEA Crème Moisture Body Wash
Here’s another bundle that offers a lot of value. This time, we get three 16.9-oz. bottles. And much like Cetaphil’s product we’ve seen above, Nivea Cream is all about moistening.
Keeping that in mind, there are very few things to take away from the product. You get a premium brand doing what pushed it at the top of the market. The only thing that could be improved is residue that definitely overstays its welcome.
#8 Eucerin Intensive Repair Lotion
Eucerin is a brand that doesn’t need too much introduction. It shouldn’t come of as a surprise then that their repair lotion represents one of the best moisturizers currently on the market.
After use, your skin will look clean, fresh and glowing. There is a downside, though. The formula is oily to the point of being incapacitative. If you want to apply the lotion before going to school or work, better get yourself a head start.
#9 Glytone KP Kit Keratosis Pilaris, Exfoliating Body Wash
Glyptone’s KP kit is, for all intentions and purposes a premium package, and its price definitely shows. That doesn’t mean it’s not warranted, though.
Boasting a glycolic acid-powered keratosis pilaris body wash, and retexturizing body lotion. This formula is specifically designed to exfoliate and smooth out the skin of persons suffering from keratosis pilaris. It may probably be the best performing kp-related package on the market.
#10 Sky Organics Organic African Black Soap
The products that try to be “jack of all trades” usually excel at nothing. Staying in line with this practice, Organic African Black Soap offers a solution for a range of different medical conditions ranging from acne to psoriasis, but can’t truly put an end to any of them.
However, if you need a pleasant, nourishing soap containing coconut oil and shea butter, capable of unclogging your pores and dealing with slight bumps, this is the soap for you.
#11 Aveeno Positively Nourishing Hydrating Body Wash
This is a good body wash for keratosis pilaris that will leave you smelling well long after use. Seriously, if you are an outgoing person, you may want this one just for the sake of attracting attention.
As for the performance, there’s really not much to be said. The wash features a lightly-fragranced formula designed for hydratation, so you may need to use another product to exfoliate the skin. In short - attractive price, spa-like experience and a scent to die for.
#12 Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash with Salicylic Acid
On the paper, this body wash should work. You do get all the ingredients necessary for skin care like salicylic acid, sodium chloride, camellia oleifera leaf extract, Vitamin C, and so on.
Yet in practice, the formula simply feels too mild. The results are not completely absent. They are just slightly underwhelming. But, if your skin is too sensitive, this might just be the option for you. Either way, you do get a really nice bath.
#13 Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap
Mario Badescu is another company with a very long tradition. Their roots reach more than half a century in the past. During such a long period of time, manufactures need to experiment to stay relevant.
Unfortunately, this is one of the cases where experiments don’t quite pay off. Most notably papaya extract and oat protein that made this lineup so recognizable are sorely missed. Still, this body soap manges to offer a very solid performance and earn a spot on this list.
#14 Touch Exfoliating Acne & Keratosis Pilaris Body Wash Cleanser
Here is a product that performs double duty as treatment both for acne and keratosis. Fortunately, the accent is on the latter, and the the performance definitely shows.
The list of ingredients used in the compound covers the usual suspects like glycolic and salicylic acids, Aloe Vera, and hyaluronic acid, as well as some less obvious additions such as Gotu Kola. The formula produces a very low pH value that generates great results that can be seen within just a few weeks.
#15 Murad Acne Body Wash
Murad Acne Body Wash is definitely a product that will offer the best performance on the skin that produces excessive amounts of oil.
But, it does feature beneficial salicylic acid that penetrates the skin and clears active breakouts. So, since exfoliation makes an important part of treating keratosis pilaris, as long as you use a good moisturizer afterwards, you can get a blast from rinsing your skin with this wash.
#16 CeraVe Body Wash with Salicylic Acid
Now here’s a product that means business. Formulated in cooperation with experienced dermatologists, CeraVe’s body wash has all the necessary ingredients to help you treat your keratosis in the best manner possible.
With salicylic and lactic acids that take care of the exfoliation, three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) that restore skin, solid moisturizing and really nothing to take away from, this has to be one of the strongest entries on the list.
#17 BumpKlear Bumpy Skin Wash
And for the very end we have a skin/ body wash for keratosis pilaris that heavily focuses on people suffering from the condition. So much so it includes the phrase “bumpy skin” in its name.
Appropriately, the product’s formula includes all the ingredients you would want to see in a bath like this. Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids, Vitamins E and D, oatmeal and Aloe are all there to smooth, moisturize and nourish your skin. Affordable and efficient product.
#18 Keratone KP Body Wash
With only 10% concentrated glycolic acid used in the compound, it is easy to see why this product belongs amongst the milder entries on the list. That doesn’t need to be a bad thing, though.
If you have a softer skin, and your keratosis is not that prominent, you will certainly enjoy a tender combination of apricot kernel oil, organic jojoba oil, and organic aloe soothing your rough skin patches. Also, the wash doesn’t feature any strange fragrance, making this one very appealing product.
What is Keratosis Pilaris?
It’s a skin condition, which, fortunately, is quite common and totally harmless. Keratosis Pilaris gives rise to hard, small bumps. These make the surface of the skin feel much like sandpaper.
The bumps that form are light-colored, at least in most cases. And where do they develop? The most common affected regions include buttocks, upper arms, and thighs. Swelling or redness also materializes. The bumps sometimes pop up even on the face. Although this isn’t such a common occurrence.
Keratosis Pilaris does trigger a little bit itching. But that’s about it. The skin condition doesn’t hurt. In fact, it doesn’t even run the risk of getting worse. No matter the recipient; teens and children mostly. And the bumps disappear as they grow older.
What Causes Keratosis Pilaris (Chicken Skin)?
The skin condition takes form due to keratin buildup. As you might already know, keratin’s a protein responsible for protecting your skin against infections and such harmful things. When there’s a buildup, it creates a plug which blocks your hair follicle opening.
A dry skin surface is more inclined toward developing Keratosis Pilaris. So it only makes sense to assume and even believe that the condition and winter months aren’t good friends. When it’s cold, the level of air moisture is quite low. So you can expect Keratosis Pilaris to clear up during the summer season.
The condition also tends to affect those already dealing with other skin problems like eczema. And you don’t have to go about getting tested for Keratosis Pilaris. Simply pay a visit to your doctor. And he/she will identify it immediately. One look by a medical professional is all it takes.
How to Get Rid of Keratosis Pilaris
So how do you manage the skin condition? Keratosis Pilaris appears on excessively dry skin. Blocked hair follicles are also another cause. Therefore, you have to take steps to get rid of your dead skin cells AND clear out your pores. And while doing so, keeping the skin well hydrated is also a must.
This means exfoliation. But not with abrasive loofahs and soaps! They tend to do more harm than good. You might not be able to see this damage with your naked eye. But that doesn’t mean you invite infections unnecessarily.
Instead, opt for the following methods:
Use a Body Wash for Keratosis Pilaris with Glycolic, Lactic, or Salicylic Acid
Let me make one thing very clear here. Chemical exfoliators such as hydroxy and beta acids work slower than scrubs. However, they remove dead skin and clean out pores without causing any damages. In fact, these components also moisturize the surface. But I would still advice you to apply body lotion post-application.
As for using a loofah, sponge, or washcloth, pick one that’s not very rough. And instead of rubbing, simply massage using the soap.
Here’s another very important piece of advice. Change your loofah or mitt often since it’s highly likely to harbor bacteria.
Use Exfoliating Lotions, Creams, and Moisturizers
For your showers, feel free to use an exfoliating moisturizer or cream. As you’re probably aware of, products that treat such skin conditions are equipped with salicylic, lactic, or glycolic acid.
They might tingle or burn a little when applied. And that’s normal. So don’t be alarmed if it happens. Unless the tingling or burning sensation is severe. Also, when treating children, it’s best to talk to the doctor first about the use of gentler products.
How about regular moisturizers? I mean does that work? These don’t have an exfoliant. But they are very thick, thus hydrating. So apply a lot of it to notice a significant improvement.
Wear Sunscreen and Avoid Sunburn
After exfoliation, the surface of the skin becomes slightly more sensitive. Particularly if you have used salicylic or glycolic acid. The ingredients make your skin more defenseless against sunburn. So now you have a solid reason to put on your sunscreen before stepping outdoors.
Home Remedies for Keratosis Pilaris That Actually Work
The best Keratosis Pilaris body washes that I've reviewed are meant for treating the condition, obviously. But this form of treatment is as variegated as it’s extensive. All of them, even though effective, play only a part in managing this common condition.
So let’s take a look at some of the alternatives you can adopt. To alleviate your problem and successfully bridge the period until Keratosis finally recedes.
Can a warm bath unclog your blocked pores? YES, it can.
During the bath, use a stiff yet gentle brush to rub the skin. This removes the bumps quite effectively. You should also make sure your bath is a short affair, and not a long one. Otherwise, the natural oils present in your body also get washed away.
What is coconut oil popular for? Its excellent anti-inflammatory properties. You can add it to your homemade sugar scrub for exfoliating and soothing dry, itchy skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar
How does this work? Apple cider vinegar is an astringent, right? So its innate ability is to unclog and shrink your pores. This keeps keratin buildup at bay. Apple cider vinegar also offers anti-inflammatory benefits to soothe skin discomfort.
It’s a chemical-based exfoliating agent. Perfect for getting rid of extra skin cells that are plugging your hair follicles!
And did you know that apple cider vinegar contains lactic acid and malic acid? Together, these two balance your natural skin pH level.
What does a humidifier do? It adds moisture in the air, which keeps your skin form drying out. This means a drastic reduction of itchy or other such flare-ups.
Don’t wear Tight Clothing
The thing about tight clothes is that they cause friction. And friction just simply cannot live without irritating the skin.
Keratosis Pilaris Pictures
Keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that is more irritating than harmful. Although its side-effects currently can’t be successfully healed, they have a tendency of slowly fading away as the time goes by.
The best thing you can do to help this process is to keep your skin moisturized and prevent further irritation. We hope that some of the keratosis pilaris body washes and soaps we presented above will prove to be helpful.
However, none of these options is a substitute for proper medical therapy, so make sure your doctor is on board with any kind of treatment you plan to undergo.