Now this is a story all about how,
my routine got flip-turned upside down.
And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there,
I'll tell you how I became the queen of at-home skincare.
(Wow, that turned out a lot better than I expected...)
Keratosis pilaris, otherwise known as "chicken skin," otherwise known as the bane of my existence, is fairly common, appearing in about 40% of the population.
What is Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris, or KP, looks like red or white acne-like bumps on the skin. It is often found on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, or cheeks. It is caused by a build-up of keratin that forms plugs around the hair follicle. The hair follicle is then blocked, resulting in bumpy, rough, often discolored skin. To get into ick territory, if you ever try extracting what is inside the bumps, you'll likely push out a curled-up hair surrounded by the plug.
How To Treat It
My KP is concentrated on my upper arms and is genetic, my whole family has it thanks to my dad's side. KP can go away with age - it is most common in young children - or not. I've had it for as long as I remember having arms and I am definitely no longer a young child. I've tried numerous products, from dermatologist prescribed creams to heavy moisturizers, chemical peels to granular scrubs. Some helped (the scrubs and peels for exfoliating the built-up keratin) but the soft skin lasted only so long. Recently, however, I discovered the most long-lasting, effective and also cheapest treatment of the bunch. Lemons.
LEMONS AGAINST KP
I was making Italian tuna (tuna, lemon, olive oil, pepper, yum) and decided while I had most of the ingredients out I would do my favorite at-home face mask (DIY to come soon). Then I thought, hey, if lemons are so great for exfoliating my face, what would they do for my body? Pretty simple thought, but it was a thought I hadn't thunk before. And so I tried an at-home treatment for my KP that has done the most to relieve the rough skin and brighten the discolored bumps.
How To: At-Home Keratosis Polaris Skin Care Treatment
1. Cut a lemon into wedges.
2. On clean skin, massage the lemon wedges onto the areas you suffer from keratosis pilaris. Let the lemon juice soak in, then massage it in again (there is a surprising amount of juice left inside the lemon even after you think you've squeezed it all out).
I repeat this step three times. Lemon absorbs into the skin without any sticky residue and I wanted my skin to have as much lemon applied as possible, which was definitely reflected in my results.
3. After you've let the lemon completely soak in, go to sleep. As lemon juice is acidic (thus the strong exfoliating power), it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun so keep this as a nighttime treatment.
4. The next morning, shower and cleanse your body, gently scrubbing the KP patches with a textured sponge (I like to use a natural sea sponge, see below.)
5. After getting out of the shower, pat your skin dry with a towel and apply your favorite moisturizer. Coconut oil or olive oil are great natural moisturizers that hydrate and seal moisture into the skin.
My rough KP patches were dramatically softened, the discolored bumps brightened, and the overall smoothness of my skin improved. What really made this treatment stand out? The results LAST. The combination of citric acid exfoliating the skin and a physical scrub smoothing the now softened area make for an impactful treatment. It's been almost two weeks since I used lemon to treat my KP and my skin is still noticeably smoother and brighter than before. In addition, it's cheap! Lemons are a few bucks for a bunch and the juice in one is all you need.
Do you have KP? Try this treatment tonight and see what I mean. Soon, you too will be a lemon devotee.