Keratosis pilaris, also known as KP or chicken skin, is a genetic condition that causes bumpy, roughly textured skin on areas like your arms, legs, thighs, and butt. It's very common, but somewhat difficult to treat, and usually gets worse in the winter, when your skin is more prone to becoming dry. One way to deal with keratosis pilaris at home is by swapping out your usual shower gel for something more targeted. To be precise, the best body washes for keratosis pilaris are typically mild exfoliating cleansers that don't contain overly harsh ingredients, like strong peeling agents or benzoyl peroxide. To find out more, Elite Daily spoke with two top dermatologists, Dr. Jennifer MacGregor and Dr. Ted Lain. Keep reading to hear what they had to say.
Dr. Jennifer MacGregor is a board-certified dermatologist practicing at Union Derm in New York City. A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center, she specializes in laser procedures, dermatologic surgery, and injectables, and also serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center.
Dr. Ted Lain is a board-certified dermatologist practicing at Sanova Dermatology in Texas. A graduate of the University of Texas and Baylor College of Medicine, he specializes in laser procedures, cosmetic injectables, and countless other medical and cosmetic treatments related to the hair, skin, and nails.
What To Look For In A Body Wash For KP
As Dr. MacGregor tells Bustle, treating KP is tough because, “We want to thin out the dead cells at the surface (keratin layer) and smooth the bumps, but it’s also a dry skin condition, so we also need to hydrate, calm and restore the skin barrier function.” In particular, she says urea is a "magic" ingredient for KP, since it's both an exfoliant and a skin hydrator.
Dr. Lain also advises his clients to exfoliate, but he prefers an exfoliating lotion as a first line treatment for KP. “Lotions tend to be more gentle, giving an exfoliation that occurs over days to weeks.” However, he says if you do prefer to exfoliate with a body wash, pick a gentle formula that contains salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid), or an alpha hydroxy acid.
Both doctors advise not to scrub with your skin rough pastes or loofahs. And finally, since many patients with KP are prone to sensitive skin and/or eczema, sticking with a gentle, fragrance-free body wash is always a safe bet. (If, however, you don’t have particularly sensitive skin, Dr. Lain says choosing a body wash is mostly a matter of personal preference.)
Scroll on to shop five of the best keratosis pilaris treatments that you can use in the shower, including a few picks from our experts.
Shop The Best Body Washes For KP
In a hurry? Here are the best body washes for keratosis pilaris: