I have keratosis pilaris – and these are the treatments I swear by

Yours Digital Writer, Piper Huxley, shares her battle with KP – and how she’s managing it.

Yours Magazine - Keratosis Pilaris Image with products from Q+A, EmoTopic, Byoma, Tropic, CeraVe, First Aid Beauty, Balmonds

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

Finding the right keratosis pilaris treatment and advice doesn’t have to be a hard ask. After all, you don’t have to be a dermatologist to know your skin is unique. My family had always chalked my red, bumpy arms and legs down to just “bad skin”, the easy scarring brought about by “bad genes”. I believe my father suffers from the same affliction. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve given my unusual skin a name. I didn’t know it had one – it’s called Keratosis Pilaris (KP).

On my journey to find the treatment for keratosis pilaris (also known as KP, or strawberry legs), I consulted a dermatologist to help me find some answers. As such, I have undergone a huge adjustment in the way I look at and treat my skin. How do I look after it properly? There's no known cure for keratosis pilaris – but, there are some treatments that may improve and alleviate the redness, and the texture – to achieve the smooth, silky skin that you desire.

Best keratosis pilaris treatments

Budget keratosis pilaris treatment

First Aid Beauty KP Smoothing Body Scrub with 10% AHA

Best KP treatment from natural ingredients

TROPIC Super Smooth Resurfacing Body Lotion

Best intensive treatment for KP

Eucerin Extra Dry Skin Intensive 10% w/ w Urea Treatment Lotion

Best glycolic acid treatment for KP

Q+A AHA Exfoliator Body Scrub

But, what is keratosis pilaris – and what causes it? I spoke to Dr Karishma Hemmady, consultant dermatologist at Stratum Clinics about everything KP – the good, the bad and the bumpy. Keratosis pilaris is a common, harmless skin condition, known for its “small, rough bumps on the skin”, says Dr Hemmady. Affecting every age group, this condition is often found on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks – essentially anywhere except for the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, she adds.

Caused by a build-up of keratin – which is a hard protein that protects your skin from nasties – KP “blocks the opening of the hair follicle”, causing the red, textured skin that you’re familiar with. Managing keratosis pilaris takes consistency and patience, says the dermatologist. Combining regular moisturising with gentle exfoliation, your skin can improve exponentially. Below, we have the best keratosis pilaris treatments from topical treatments to creams.

Best keratosis pilaris treatment: tried and tested

To help with the redness and improve the texture of skin affected by keratosis pilaris Dr Hemmandy recommends a “combination of gentle skincare practices, topical treatments, and possibly professional interventions”. We’ve listed some recommendations below.

Budget keratosis pilaris treatment

Safe for sensitive skin and all skin types, this First Aid Beauty KP Smoothing Body Scrub with 10% AHA sweeps away the dry, rough bumps associated with KP (or strawberry skin). Chemically and physically exfoliating your skin, the fast-acting scrub uses AHAs (Glycolic and Lactic acids) to resurface the skin's top layer and pumice to smooth away bumps or any roughness. Allergen-free, this scrub will remove dead cells for a brightening effect, as well as Bisabolol and vitamin E to soothe and calm your skin.

According to a survey from First Aid Beauty, panellists with KP reposted that this product made their skin feel "exceptionally smooth (92%), and softer than it had ever been" (95%). High praise, indeed. As for Boots customers, from over 400 reviews, customers love this scrub, with an average 4.7/5 star rating. Many agree that it helped them get rid of bumps, with improvement showing after a week or so. One customer was "sceptical", however, believes it's one of the best skin care products they've ever used, with improvements right away. Now, their legs were less bumpy and red - and very soft, too. Though small, a tube lasts a while you only need a small amount (pea-sized) as it spreads well.

However, one customer says consistency is key when using this scrub. You will see results when using it daily - don't expect a quick fix from any of our product selections. KP, after all, is a tricky condition that doesn't let up easily. Some customers have had varying results. Though some ingredients are great for oily skin types (aloe vera extract and glycolic acid), some ingredients (various acids) in this scrub can potentially block pores, which those with oily skin are already prone to.

Pros

  • Uses AHAs to resurface the skin's top layer
  • Pumice exfoliates and improves texture
  • Fast-acting and safe for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Not a good fit for those with oily skin
Active ingredientsGlycerin, lactic acid, liquorice root extract, willow bark extract, glycolic acid, vitamin E
PreparationBody scrub
Quantity56.7g
  • Acne-fighting - liquorice root extract and willow bark extract.
  • Brightening - liquorice root extract and alpha-bisabolol.
  • Anti-ageing - glycolic acid, tocopherol (vitamin E), lactic acid.
  • Promotes wound healing - alpha-bisabolol.
  • Moisturising and aids skin regeneration - tocopherol (vitamin E), glycerin.
  • Soothing protection - camellia sinensis leaf extract.

Best KP treatment from natural ingredients

Revealing smoother, radiant, bump-free skin, this TROPIC Super Smooth Resurfacing Body Lotion is another great pick for keratosis pilaris. What started as a market stall side hustle, Tropic is now a multi-award winning (yet ever-evolving) business, using the finest tropical ingredients. We, personally, love that their products are either refillable, recyclable or returnable. Sustainably responsible, Tropic’s KP-specific lotion blends glycolic acid and PHAs to dislodge any pesky dead skin cells, vitamins A and C for a soothing radiance, and papaya oils that will leave your skin free from impurities, as well as “plump and cushiony soft”. With a free exfoliating mitt, you're set for a fruity, effective combination.

Tried and Tested by Yours writer Piper Huxley:
"I've loved my experience with Tropic. I stumbled upon their stall at Guilford's Plant-Based Artisan Market and was given a writ of recommendation. My friend has been battling sore acne for years on her face - and Tropic's natural and effective face serums cleared it up very well. Intrigued, I spoke to the ladies working the stall and mentioned that I had KP. They jumped at the chance to tell me about the founder, who allegedly has KP, and has made the Smoothing Body Lotion with this in mind. With the exfoliating mitt and a smooth body lotion that smells like peach yoghurt, I was super happy with my purchase, safe in the knowledge that this product may be able to help me manage KP, after all.
To be used before showering and on dry skin, the exfoliating mitt helps loosen any impurities (dead skin, I imagine). I recommend massaging your skin with the mitt (gently, not rough), and then jumping into a lukewarm shower to rinse. Once towelled down, use the Smoothing Lotion. Though a little sceptical, I think this made a small difference to my KP - it reduces redness and smoothes my legs out a little. But, it's important to use this mitt and cream consistently for the best results. It's full of naturally sourced AHAs, which was a big sell for me. It's hydrating, light and smells great, too."

Pros

  • Comes with a free exfoliating mitt for great results
  • Made from naturally sourced AHA and PHAs
  • Soothing, silky with a sweet peach aroma

Cons

  • Be gentle with the mitt!
Active ingredientsGlycolic acid, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, pomegranate, shea butter
PreparationLotion
Quantity200 ml
  • Anti-ageing – glycolic acid and lactic acid.
  • Promotes wound healing – hyaluronic acid and pomegranate extract.
  • Dissolves impurities, and removes dead cells - carica papaya seed oil.
  • Enhances skin hydration - ficus carica (fig) fruit extract.
  • Calming and soothing - jasminum officinale (jasmine) extract.

Best intensive treatment for KP

Eucerin Extra Dry Skin Intensive 10% w/ w Urea Treatment Lotion 250mlEucerin

Rrp: $25.99

Price: $21.98

Another lotion pick, this Eucerin Extra Dry Skin Intensive 10% w/ w Urea Treatment Lotion is as intensive as it is hydrating. For the treatment of dry skin issues, not limited to keratosis pilaris - but it can also help with eczema, too. For the best results, the reputable brand, Eucerin, recommends applying twice a day for moisturised and protected skin. Delivering immediate relief from the rough, dryness of skin, this Eucerin lotion promises to make your skin feel smooth and supple. A non-greasy, fragrance-free formula. Urea reduces dead skin build-up, glycerin and carnitine both hydrate and protect skin and lactic acid improves skin texture.

Tried and Tested by Yours writer Piper Huxley:
"I have very dry skin, which thanks me dearly for using this Eucerin lotion. It's deeply hydrating, which is ideal for my rough skin texture. Not only does it smooth my skin a little, but my skin feels moisturised. Though it doesn't improve my skin texture and redness greatly, I would recommend using this with a body scrub (such as the Q+A Body Scrub, below) which, combined, may improve symptoms further. It's a great, hydrating "final step" in your skincare process - and will make sure your skin doesn't dry out too much. I did, initially, find it a little greasy, but it does sink in after a few minutes - and my skin has never felt better!"

Pros

  • Suitable for mature skin and those with Keratosis Pilaris
  • Gives very dry, rough body skin the daily care it needs
  • Immediate relief and intense, long-lasting moisturisation

Cons

  • A little greasy - but will sink in and serve as a hydrating final step
IngredientsUrea, glycerin, carnitine and lactic acid
PreparationLotion
Quantity250 ml
  • Reduces dead skin build-up - urea.
  • Improved skin tone and reduced pore appearance - lactic acid.
  • Improves skin barrier function - carnitine.
  • Hydrating - glycerin, sodium PCA and carnitine.
  • Anti-ageing - lactic acid and ceramide.

Best glycolic acid treatment for KP

Yours Magazine
Price: $12.50

A summery, exotic scent and blend of AHAs and physical exfoliants, the Q+A AHA Exfoliator Body Scrub is another favourite of ours. It contains both Lactic and Glycolic Acid for a powerful punch, from anti-ageing, smoothing, and brightening to improving skin tone and reducing pore appearance. Complete with a physical exfoliant, this creamy scrub is abrasive to exfoliate away any dead skin and smooths skin texture out with its clever blend of AHAs. Plus, with grape seed oil this scrub promotes wound healing and the added glycerin helps skin feel moisturised and soft. Radiant, if you will.

Tried and Tested by writer Piper Huxley:
"Radiant, for sure. This AHA-packed scrub is just what I needed to smoothen my skin and make it look even in tone. This makes a powerful addition to any skincare routine. Combining both chemical and physical elements to hit two birds with one scrub, if you will. It’s creamy and tackles dry areas of my arms and legs with ease, for a silky-smooth scrub. You only have to apply a small amount, meaning this scrub goes a long way. Q+A recommends using this vegan-friendly scrub 2-3 times a week.
I’ve been using the Q+A scrub with an intensive moisturiser from Eucerin, which is a winning combination – scrubbing away impurities, smoothing out skin and trapping in moisture. I can leave the house, wearing clothes that don’t completely cover me up. I can't believe how smooth my arms and legs look thanks to the scrub’s invigorating (but soothing) effect. And, the tube is recyclable.
However, it's not ideal if you're allergic to or irritated by perfumed/fragranced skincare."

Pros

  • 97.5% natural, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly
  • Improves skin texture and promotes soft skin
  • Abrasive enough to exfoliate pesky dry areas

Cons

  • Contains perfuming/fragrance - may not suit all skin
Active ingredientsNatural physical exfoliant, glycerin, grape seed oil, lactic and glycolic acids
PreparationBody scrub
Quantity250 ml
  • Anti-ageing - glycolic acid and lactic acid.
  • Promotes wound healing - grape seed oil.
  • Powerful moisturising - glycerin.
  • Improved skin tone and reduced pore appearance - lactic acid.
  • Smoothing, brightening, even skin tone - glycolic acid.

Best salicylic acid treatment for KP

Yours Magaizne
Price: $15.00

If you’re looking for a lightweight lotion that not only hydrates but exfoliates the skin then this Q+A Salicylic Acid Smoothing Lotion is a great choice for you. A chemical exfoliator and soothing moisturiser combined, this lotion comes with an inviting fruity watermelon scent with floral notes. 96.5% natural, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, this lotion is not just limited to KP, as the salicylic acid is super clever and versatile, tackling acne, ageing and blackheads. It can help reduce swelling and redness, as well as unplug blocked pores. It's great if you're looking for clearer, refined skin.

Tried and Tested by Yours writer Piper Huxley:
"I love this Q+A Salicylic Acid Smoothing Lotion. Slowly but surely, it has been contributing to smooth, silky legs – ready for beachwear. I usually pop a little of this on after I’ve stepped out of the shower and towelled myself down. Because I have sensitive, dry skin, I tend to avoid fragranced products as much as I can. However, I am happy that this is a lotion that I can enjoy. It smells nice – fruity and floral – perfect for summer. For the best results, I’ve used this alongside the Q+A Body Wash (below) – for penetrative exfoliation and hydration for my sensitive skin."

Pros

  • 97.5% natural, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly fruity lotion
  • Exfoliates the skin, targets blemishes from build-up of dead skin
  • Perfect for those prone to ‘backne’ and unwanted skin texture

Cons

  • Contains perfuming/fragrance
IngredientsSalicylic acid, colloidal oatmeal, white willow bark extract, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, oat kernel flour
PreparationLotion
Quantity250 ml
  • Acne-fighting – Salicylic acid and willow bark extract.
  • Aids with skin elasticity – Colloidal Oatmeal.
  • Anti-ageing – Colloidal Oatmeal, rapeseed oil, glycerin, salicylic acid.
  • Blackhead reducing - Salicylic acid.
  • Hydrating – Glycerin, rapeseed oil, colloidal oatmeal, hyaluronic acid, sodium gluconate.
  • Prevents oil build-up - Colloidal oatmeal.
  • Soothing – Willow bark extract.

Best shampoo shower gel for KP

Yours Magazine
Price: $29.95

Extra gentle, the Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash is great for dry, sensitive skin. Whether face, hands or body, this non-irritating two-in-one has been formulated with skin problems in mind. Crafted from natural plant and herbal extracts, this wonderful formula is free from any nasties, synthetic irritants, fragrances and sulphites. It’s perfect for sensitive skin – and is suitable for all ages (from six weeks). Though this has not been formulated to treat KP (like the Q+A Body Wash with Salicylic Acid), Balmonds are a great fit for those prone to dry skin conditions.
Tried and Tested by Yours writer Piper Huxley:
"I adore this Balmonds pick. When choosing a soap or shower gel, I get super anxious about whether it’ll dry me out or not. Conventional bars of soap are a no-go, as they leave my skin feeling drier than ever (I’ve read about the acidity, breaking down our skin’s protective barrier).
So, when looking for a body wash or soap, I opt for something reparative and regenerating. I love Faith in Nature’s refillable Seaweed and Citrus body wash, for example. But, I wanted something to try fragrance-free. And, Balmonds two-in-one is a great option. Use in tandem with a lotion, balm or Balmonds Body Oil (below) to make the most of this gentle, restorative shower gel. It doesn’t flare up my eczema (which is sensitive) and lathers well, for a soothing, calming shower.

Pros

  • Free from fragrance, soap, SLS and parabens
  • Suitable for all skin types and ages (from 6 weeks)
  • Non-irritating and extra gentle for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Smell may not suit everyone
Active ingredientsGlycerin, chickweed, chamomile, nettle, lemongrass and calendula
PreparationShampoo and body wash
Quantity200 ml
  • Anti-ageing - Marigold flower extract, glycerin, hydrolyzed soy protein, sesame seed oil.
  • Hydration - glycerin, rice bran extract, sesame seed oil, nettle extract.
  • Soothing - Marigold, nettle and several honeysuckle flower extracts.

Best body wash for KP

Salicylic Acid Body WashYours Magazine
Price: $10.50

The gel-based Q+A Salicylic Acid Body Wash not only exfoliates the skin but also targets blemishes and softens it, thanks to the blend of BHAs and naturally found extracts. A blend of Salicylic Acid, White Willow Bark and Green Tea Extract gives this wash the potential to rid your dry skin of its unwanted texture, from acne to keratosis pilaris. Similar to the Smoothing Lotion, this vegan and cruelty-free wash has a delicious, fruity and floral scent. It’s perfect for use 2-3 times a week, alongside a hydrating moisturiser. Enriched by the power of BHA, this Q+A Body Wash targets blemishes, and breakouts for smoother, clearer skin.

Tried and Tested by Yours writer Piper Huxley:
"Lathering easily, this body wash is a great pick for your skincare routine. The Salicylic Acid takes care of removing dead skin cells, and excess oils for smoother skin. I’ve been using this on my arms and legs, which are the most KP-heavy areas. Since using a combination of both this wash and its lotion counterpart, my skin has never been so smooth – it’s unrecognisable, in fact. I love that it’s vegan, cruelty-free and has been made for sensitive skin. Q+A says it cleanses, softens, soothes, exfoliates and renews – and I’ve felt all of these benefits. And, the Q+A range is budget-friendly, which is a plus.
It’s gentle, yet effective. Soft, bump-less skin, here you come."

Pros

  • 97.5% natural, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly
  • Contains salicylic acid to improve skin texture
  • Smells fantastic - plus, a little goes a long way!

Cons

  • It's best worked in tandem with Q+A Smoothing Lotion
Active ingredientsSalicylic acid, glycerin, aloe vera, green tea extract and white willow bark extract
PreparationBody wash
Quantity250 ml
  • Anti-acne - Salicylic acid.
  • Anti-ageing - Green tea extract, salicylic acid, glycerin.
  • Blackhead reducing - Salicylic acid.
  • Hydration - Aloe vera juice, glycerin, propanediol, sodium gluconate.
  • Soothing - Aloe vera juice, green tea extract, willow bark extract.

Best bath oil for keratosis pilaris

Balmonds Bath & Body OilYours Magazine
Price: $19.95

Formulated for eczema-prone skin and the whole family (from six weeks), the Balmonds Bath & Body Oil is a one-stop shop for relaxation, as well as nourishment. You can use it as a massage oil and as a pre or post-shave conditioner. An all-purpose moisturising body oil, it has been crafted from a nutritious blend of botanicals, from hemp to chamomile. The chamomile extract soothes skin sensitivity, whereas the hemp can be responsible for hydration or anti-ageing. Plus, with sunflower, lavender and safflower extracts to boot, this natural, fragrance-free oil has been equipped to promote wound healing with its anti-bacterial formula for all.

Tried and Tested by Yours writer Piper Huxley:
"Wow – what a great product. I (finally) had my first bath with this Balmonds Bath Oil. And, I must say, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt as nourished from an evening soak. The addition of all three extracts (chamomile, hemp, lavender) fostered an environment of relaxation, alongside supporting my dry, KP bumps and eczema-prone skin. I adore Balmonds and their commitment to natural, cruelty-free products that are gentle. Though the scent is a little strong, this left my skin feeling soft and moisturised. This is a great body and bath oil for those of us with dry, eczema and KP-prone skin."

Pros

  • 100% natural, fragrance/cruelty-free, and suitable for vegans
  • A nutritious blend of botanicals: hemp, lavender, chamomile
  • All-purpose nourishing oil for your body or your evening soak!

Cons

  • Some customers didn't like the smell - but it doesn't stay forever!
IngredientsHemp seed oil, chamomile, calendula, sunflower, safflower, lavender
PreparationBath and body oil
Quantity200 ml
  • Anti-ageing - cannabis sativa oil, sunflower seed oil.
  • Healing and antibacterial - lavender oil.
  • Hydration - cannabis sativa oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower seed oil.
  • Promotes wound healing - safflower seed oil.
  • Soothing skin sensitivity - chamomile oil.

Best smoothing cream with urea

SA Smoothing Cream PotCeraVe

Rrp: $26.78

Price: $22.79
Alternative retailers
Walmart$35.27View offer

Developed with dermatologists, the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream for Rough and Bumpy Skin gently alleviates rough and bumpy skin texture. Crafted from Salicylic Acid and Urea, the CeraVe Soothing Cream is fragrance-free, non-irritating and suitable for those prone to KP. Recommended for use in conjunction with CeraVe Soothing Cleanser, this pick guarantees to alleviate your skin from its rough, bumpy feel. Complete with three essential ceramides, your skin will feel hydrated and regenerated, thanks to this fast-absorbing cream. Niacinamide evens out skin texture and is anti-inflammatory. Made to gently exfoliate, protect and moisturise your skin – for the smoothest, softest feel.

Tried and Tested by Yours Writer Piper Huxley:
"I must admit, this CeraVe SA Cream smooths my skin out very well. And, it suits a lot of people with KP and eczema, according to its reviews on Amazon UK. It reduces the bumpy roughness and some of the KP redness subdues. However, it flared up my eczema, so may not be the best for some of us prone to atopic dermatitis. I’ve done some research on the ingredients and found that phenoxyethanol (used as a fragrance and preservative) may trigger an eczema flare-up."

Pros

  • Fragrance-free moisturiser for gentle body exfoliation
  • With salicylic acid and urea, it's made to smooth skin
  • Locks in moisture for continuous hydration for 24 hours

Cons

  • Though it smoothed my skin, this product flared up my eczema/atopic dermatitis
Active ingredientsGlycerin, urea, salicylic acid, niacinamide, ceramide, vitamin E, sodium hyaluronate, butylene glycol, jojoba, aloe vera
PreparationSmoothing cream
Quantity340 g
  • Anti-ageing - Asparagopsis armata extract, ceramide AP/EOP/NP, cholesterol, golden chamomile extract, glycerin, niacinamide, phytosphingosine, sweet almond oil, sodium hyaluronate, tocopherol.
  • Brightening - Niacinamide.
  • Even skin tone - Tocopherol.
  • Hydration - Aloe vera extract, ascophyllum nodosum (algae), ceramide AP/EOP/NP, cholesterol, dimethicone, ethylhexylglycerin, glycerin, jojoba extract, maltodextrin, sweet almond oil, sodium hyaluronate, sorbitol.
  • Oil control - Maltodextrin.
  • Pore minimiser - Niacinamide.
  • Promotes wound healing - Salicylic acid, sodium hyaluronate, urea.
  • Soothing - Aloe vera extract, ascophyllum nodosum (algae), golden chamomile extract, niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, tocopherol.

Best KP treatment for hydration

Nourishing and protective, this Pharmaceris Emotopic Hydrating, Lipid Replenishing Body Balm is a lightweight solution for sensitive, dry and very dry skin. Thanks to its hydrating properties, it prevents dryness and minimises flare-ups. Plus, it can be used from birth. Crafted from olive wax, lanolin and rice oil, this body balm replenishes and prevents moisture loss. And, the addition of canola and hemp oil gives this Emotopic balm its soothing, anti-itch application. Upon application, it absorbs quickly, cooling the skin and giving it a much-needed boost.

Tried and Tested by Yours writer Piper Huxley:
"For much-needed soothing hydration, I turn to this product. It’s gentle, non-greasy and helps with itch-relief. It feels very gentle and protective when I’m smoothing it over my KP bumps. However, I feel like it should be used with an AHA or BHA scrub – to conquer the redness and roughness. Like several lotions above, this Emotopic pick serves as a great end-of-final step of a skincare process. It’s hydrating, soothing, and helps manage a skin condition a little bit easier. Plus, if you’re battling with eczema, like myself, it’s great for preventing any future flare-ups."

Pros

  • Protects skin from harmful environmental conditions
  • Rich in natural vitamins E, K and soothing phytosterols
  • Hypoallergenic - safe from birth and on sensitive, dry skin

Cons

  • Not suited for oily skin
Active ingredientsGlycerin, mineral oil, vitamin E
PreparationBody balm/lotion
Quantity190 ml
  • Anti-ageing – cannabis sativa oil, canola oil, glycerin, rice bran oil, tocopherol.
  • Evens skin tone – tocopherol.
  • Hydration – cannabis sativa oil, canola oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride (derived from coconut oil), dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, liquid paraffin, petrolatum, rice bran oil.
  • Oil control – sodium polyacrylate.
  • Soothing - Honeysuckle flower extracts, petrolatum, tocopherol.

Best body polish for KP

BYOMA BODY Smoothing Body PolishYours Magazine

Renewing, gentle and hydrating, this BYOMA BODY Smoothing Body Polish is another great chemical and physical exfoliator. They work together to target and balance rough and bumpy skin – stripping the skin barrier safely. Not only does the added PHA improve the texture of the skin, but the panthenol smooths and hydrates. Maintaining hydration levels is a key element of treating keratosis pilaris, and this BYOMA BODY pick protects and maintains skin barrier function. Texture, begone. Dermatologist-tested, this pick is vegan and cruelty-free.

Tried and Tested by Yours writer Piper Huxley:
"I’ve used BYOMA’s face washes in the past – and have always been impressed by how light and gentle they are, helping to balance my combination skin. So, I was excited to try their Smoothing Polish, packed with PHAs and panthenol to help smooth out my legs. It's a fantastic product - helping my legs soften and smooth out - with a little redness limited, also.

I'd recommend using this with Byoma's Smoothing Serum for the best results. Byoma's step-by-step process on their packaging tells me that I need to Exfoliate, Cleanse, Treat, Moisturise and Protect."

Pros

  • Combination of chemical and physical target rough areas
  • A blend of prebiotic complex, PHA and panthenol
  • Improves skin texture and protects skin barrier health

Cons

  • Recommended to be used with Byoma's Smoothing Serum
Active ingredientsPanthenol, glycerin, pumice
PreparationBody polish
Quantity300 ml
VeganYes
  • Anti-ageing – Citric acid, cyanocobalamin, gluconolactone, glycerin, rhamnose.
  • Even skin tone – Gluconolactone.
  • Hydration – Anhydroxylitol, glucomannan, gluconolactone, glucose, glycerin, panthenol, propanediol, water, xyliotol, xylitylglucoside.
  • Promotes wound healing – panthenol.
  • Soothing – Cyanocobalamin, panthenol, rhamnose, xylitol, xylitylglucoside.

Best KP spray treatment

AMELIORATE Transforming Body SprayYours Magazine
Price: £7.60 (RRP £11.40)

www.ameliorate.com

Looking for an easy KP hack? This AMELIORATE Transforming Body Spray has the potential to reduce signs of KP with just two sprays. Suitable for all skin types, this spray has been designed to target hard-to-reach areas – complete with the 360-degree spray nozzle. Featuring notes of Orange Blossom, Juicy Mandarin, Delicate Jasmine and Velvet Musk, this multi-action mist has been packed with Lactic Acid for an effective exfoliation, Glycerin for locked-in hydration, Hyaluronic Acid to soothe and Urea to smooth bumpy skin. Plus, with the added Sweet Almond Oil, this pick is intense hydration – for 24 hours of protection and reduced symptoms. What did our tester think?

Tried and Tested by Yours writer, Piper Huxley:
"Though the smell isn't my favourite, this spray locks in hydration - and makes my skin appear less bumpy, and rough, smoothing out my leg bumps well. I've tested this on a few parts of my body - and found that my legs have the best result. Ameliorate recommends using for four weeks, applying twice daily. After that, it's perfect to slip into your bag - and give yourself a touch-up, when needed. It’s rather nourishing – and could be a great addition to your routine."

Pros

  • A simple way to manage KP symptoms on the go
  • Increases moisture, promotes surface skin cell renewal
  • Softens and smooths for healthier skin

Cons

  • The scent is not the loveliest!
Important ingredientsLactic acid, sweet almond oil, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, urea
PreparationSpray
Quantity145 ml
  • Anti-ageing - Glycerin, lactic acid, serine, sodium hyaluronate, squalane.
  • Evens skin tone - Lactic acid, urea.
  • Hydration - Ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate, ethylhexylglycerin, glycerin, lactic acid, pentylene glycol, serine, sodium hyaluronate, sodium lactate, sorbitol, squalane, urea.
  • Promotes wound healing - Sodium hyaluronate.
  • Smooths bumpy skin - Urea.
  • Soothing - Allantoin, sodium hyaluronate.

Verdict: Which is the best?

I would buy something that combines the chemical with a physical exfoliant - like the Q+A AHA Exfoliator Body Scrub. However, I would consider throwing an intensive moisturiser in the mix, such as the Eucerin Extra Dry Skin Intensive 10% w/ w Urea Treatment Lotion just to keep the hydration levels tip-top. But, it's completely up to you. Think: cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate and protect. And, if your skin is super sensitive and your shower products aren't cutting it, I love the Balmonds range, especially the Bath Oil.

FAQs

What causes keratosis pilaris?

Although the exact reason behind KP is unknown, several factors can contribute to its development in your skin, says Dr Hemmandy, who has helped us put this guide to KP:

Genetics means it often runs in families.

Dry skin sufferers are more likely to develop KP, worsening in the winter months.

Skin conditions come hand-in-hand with KP; those with eczema are more prone to it.

Age is a factor – as it commonly affects children and adolescents, right into adulthood.

Hormonal changes such as puberty, menopause or pregnancy can exacerbate KP.

Close up of Keratosis Pilaris symptoms
©Photo: HengDao / Getty

How do I prevent KP?

Due to its genetic component, keratosis pilaris (or strawberry legs) can be challenging. However, Dr Hemmandy says it can be managed and minimised “with a consistent skincare routine”.

Skincare Tips

Gentle cleansing with mild, fragrance-free soaps and cleansers to avoid irritation. Dr Hemmandy adds that harsher soaps can “strip your skin of oils”, drying it out and making it more prone to KP.

Exfoliate gently to help remove dead skin and prevent buildup of keratin. Scrubs with AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid), or BHAs (salicylic acid) are best. She says to avoid harsh scrubs that can irritate the skin.

Moisturise regularly using thick, emollient-rich creams daily to ensure your skin is hydrated. Dr Hemmandy recommends urea, lactic acid and glycerin, which help “lock in moisture and smooth the skin”.

Avoid hot showers as they can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness. Instead, Dr Hemmandy suggests using lukewarm water when bathing or showering – and limit your time in water.

Humidify your environment, which will “add moisture to the air and prevent your skin from drying out,” says Dr Hemmady. By using an at-home humidifier, your environment may be a little better for your skin.

Wear soft fabrics such as cotton, which are breathable and may reduce any skin irritation. Dr Hemmady recommends avoiding rough fabrics, such as wool, which won’t help your KP.

Lifestyle Tips

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Maintain a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, which can “promote overall skin health”, says Dr Hemmady. She adds that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (fish, flaxseed) can help.

Avoid picking or scratching at the KP bumps, as this can lead to irritation and can even scar, says Dr Hemmady. She adds to keep your hands away “to prevent exacerbating the condition”.

Senior woman drinking water from bottle in park
©Photo: Maskot / Getty

Does keratosis pilaris go away?

Yes – KP can improve over time and may even go away on its own, says Dr Hemmady. However, this can vary from person to person. In some people, she adds, “it never completely resolves”. She’s helped us put together a list of three factors, which may help your KP reduce by itself.

Age-related improvement is our first point. For me, KP appeared during my adolescence – but, it can appear as early as childhood. Many people notice a reduction in the redness, and bumpy texture by their late 20s or 30s. However, this is not the case for everyone.

Seasonal variations can be the root of KP rearing its bumpy head. Keratosis pilaris can be “more pronounced during the winter months when the skin tends to be drier” says Dr Hemmady and may improve when humidity improves and we finally (!) have some sun.

Hormonal changes can be good news or bad news for your skin. Times such as puberty, pregnancy or menopause can affect the severity of KP, says Dr Hemmandy. Sufferers may see an improvement or a worsening during these periods of hormonal changes, such as perimenopause.

Can laser treatment remove keratosis pilaris?

An alternative to exfoliating and moisturising your skin, laser can be an effective option if you’re looking to reduce the appearance of KP. When other treatments have not provided satisfactory results, laser treatment may improve the skin’s bumpy texture and remove some redness. Laser treatment is more commonly used for hair removal or corrective eye surgery.

We spoke to Dr Hemmandy about how laser treatment can help with keratosis pilaris:

Vascular lasers (e.g. PDL) target the redness and inflammation in KP via the blood vessels. Pulsed Dye Lasers improve “the appearance of the affected areas”, says Dr Hemmandy.

Fractional laser resurfacing (e.g. Fraxel) stimulates the body’s healing process and promotes collagen production by creating micro-injuries. This can smooth out textured skin.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is said to be similar to laser treatment, but, instead, uses broad spectrum light, points out Dr Hemmandy, which can improve all symptoms of KP.

Does KP pose any health risks?

A benign condition, keratosis pilaris does not pose any health risks, says Dr Hemmady.

Meet the experts:

This article contains expert advice from Stratum Clinic's, consultant dermatologist Dr Karishma Hemmady. Having trained in India, she moved to the UK to broaden her experience. Dr Hemmady is a Locum Consultant in Dermatology with experience in Clinical Dermatology, Dermato-surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology.

Piper Huxley is a Homes, Garden and Wellness Product Writer for Yours, an all-rounder who will write on anything from décor to wellness. When not scouring the net for the best home bargains, Piper is listening to a musical soundtrack and tending to her houseplants.

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