KP or Keratosis Pilaris is more common than you think actually. It’s a harmless and noncontagious skin condition that consists of tiny red bumps and rough, dry patches. These are more commonly found on the thighs, buttocks, upper arms, and even cheeks.
But then the bumps and patches don’t usually itch or hurt as long as your daily skincare routine includes the best keratosis pilaris body washes and soaps.
There may be no cure as such for this skin condition but you can definitely manage its symptoms very successfully with gentle, pH-balanced, and moisturizing formulations.
So let’s find out the ones that have already been used by many combatting flare-ups associated with KP on a daily basis…
Top 9 Body Washes / Soaps to Manage Keratosis Pilaris
1. CeraVe Cleanser for Psoriasis Treatment
If you’ve been troubled with keratosis pilaris wreaking havoc at the back of your upper arms, this dermatologist-recommended, fragrance-free, allergy-tested CeraVe cleanser with salicylic acid and lactic acid is for you. If you pair it up with a gentle exfoliating brush, the skin on your arms is sure to feel softer, and not bumpy and rough anymore.
It also goes a long way when it comes to smoothening out the texture of your cheeks and face. Compared to other acne-fighting salicylic acid based and even lactic acid based (also for gentle exfoliation) washes, this one is even gentler plus it doesn’t exfoliate away your skin’s natural moisture barrier in the process.
The inclusion of essential ceramides, on the contrary, infuses moisture into your skin to keep the natural barrier of protection intact. After all, it is the best drugstore body wash for keratosis pilaris, psoriasis, and other such skin conditions.
- Contains salicylic acid and lactic acid for exfoliation
- Feels very gentle on the skin (non-comedogenic)
- Fragrance-free and allergy-tested – good for sensitive skin
- Essential ceramides and urea hydrate and moisturize
- Relief from itching, redness, and irritation with niacinamide
- Very watered down consistency
2. Touch Keratosis Pilaris & Acne Exfoliating Body Wash
Meet one of the very few body washes that actually give you noticeable results, even if you’ve had keratosis pilaris from childhood into adulthood. Just 1-2 weeks of use and you’ll really see most of the bumps disappearing. Your skin starts to feel smooth sooner than anticipated. And you know why that is? All because of salicylic acid and glycolic acid!
Both salicylic acid and glycolic acid, one is a beta hydroxy acid and the other alpha hydroxy acid, have been clinically tested and proven to clear the skin simply by means of gentle exfoliation. And this exfoliation takes place both on the surface of your skin and under it at the pore level.
You can use this body wash for chicken skin or keratosis pilaris on your arms, legs, back, stomach, etc. Basically, any region where tiny bumps, inflammation, redness, and even acne seem to come up quite a lot.
It’s a pH-balanced body wash with no harmful or harsh beads. And then you also have skin-soothing, moisturizing ingredients such as Gotu Kola, Vitamin E, and aloe. Finally, a body wash that actually works without drying out your skin!
- Gentle exfoliation with salicylic and glycolic acids
- Vitamin E antioxidants and aloe vera hydration
- Also contains Gotu Kola for anti-aging benefits
- Hyaluronic acid preserves/boosts natural moisture
- Added fragrance might trigger sensitive skin
3. Glytone Keratosis Pilaris Kit
The key ingredients are caffeine and glycolic acid. Glycolic acid one can understand since it’s an alpha hydroxy acid that breaks down bumps associated with keratosis pilaris to smoothen out the skin. But why caffeine? Because the topical application of caffeine minimizes undesirable effects such as skin puffiness and inflammation.
Did you also know that caffeine visibly reduces wrinkles and cellulite? And it brightens and tightens the skin as well.
The Glyotne KP Kit consists of an exfoliating body wash and exfoliating body lotion. Both are fragrance-free, which means both seem to work well on sensitive skin. Even on bumpy and rough skin of course.
With consistent use, a decrease in inflammation and bumps caused by keratosis pilaris is a non-negotiable consequence. Although your skin may become more prone to sunburn, so amp up your sunscreen game. Other than that, there’s just no hiccup standing between you and the managing of symptoms associated with KP.
- Glycolic acid based kit for exfoliating dead skin cells
- Cleanser + body lotion smoothen out rough skin texture
- Caffeine also added for skin tightening and anti-inflammation
- Clean, light fragrance and a shower pouf included
- Increases the likelihood of sunburn
- Lotion too thick/heavy, so it might clog hair follicles
4. CeraVe Body Wash with Salicylic Acid
Another exfoliating salicylic acid CeraVe formulation for keratosis pilaris that actually gets rid of dead skin cells to bring out the smoothness of natural skin. But this one’s an actual body wash, unlike the previous CeraVe product which was a cleanser for both body and face.
But just like that one, this too contains niacinamide and essential ceramides. Where one calms irritated, inflamed skin, the other restores and preserves your skin’s natural moisture barrier. And both are allergy-tested, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free.
Both men and women have noticed reduced KP symptoms in the form of skin feeling calmer and looking much less red. So if you’ve tried everything but CeraVe, you know what your next purchase is going to be.
- Salicylic acid body wash that loosens dead skin cells
- Hyaluronic acid added for moisture retention
- Skin-calming niacinamide relieves KP irritation
- Also enriched with essential ceramides to restore moisture
- Gentle on skin – allergy-tested, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic
- Doesn’t produce enough lather/foam
- Leaves a slightly sticky residue post-shower
5. Keratone KP Body Wash
When you’ve had to deal with keratosis pilaris for as long as you can remember, it’s only natural to lose faith in skincare products as a form of treatment when it comes to managing KP symptoms. But then have you ever tried using Keratone KP Body Wash?
This brand, which doesn’t add parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, and any other such ingredients that may or may not trigger skin sensitivities, has created this formulation with 10-percent glycolic acid. And as far as gently exfoliating the skin is concerned, glycolic acid really knows how to do that in order to alleviate skin irritation, redness, and even bumps.
Just in 2 weeks, the skin at the back of your upper arms or on your legs begins to feel and look a whole lot smoother. And this, just so you know, also includes a significant reduction in bumps containing ingrown hairs.
- Glycolic acid based body wash for deep exfoliation
- Organic aloe, jojoba oil, and apricot kernel oil
- Organic Gotu Kola added too for anti-aging benefits
- Gets rid of acne, ingrown hair, and KP symptoms
- Zero smell, hence zero stinging (great for sensitive skin)
- Bottle/quantity is too small
6. Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash
Aveeno is affordable, Aveeno is skin-friendly, Aveeno is dermatologist-recommended, Aveeno is hypoallergenic, and a lot more good things that work in the favor of your skin. This means all that dryness and bumpy texture caused by keratosis pilaris are most likely to not bother you anymore.
Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash does indeed bring about instant relief from itching and dryness. Even if your skin tends to dry out excessively despite living in a warmer climate, you can rely on this nourishing, soothing oat formulation to do away with dry patches on your elbows, legs, etc.
And the refreshing citrus smell is in no way indicative of any added fragrances. Everything is soothing without actually messing with the natural moisture barrier of your skin.
- Hypoallergenic body wash (allergy-tested)
- Gentle for daily use, even if you have sensitive skin
- Enriched with oat to calm skin irritation
- Natural ingredients only with no artificial fragrances
- Lacks creamy foam
7. ReTone Keratosis Pilaris Exfoliating Body Cleanser
This body wash’s exfoliating properties reduce the “strawberry” effect on your legs that is often brought about by keratosis pilaris. Just a week of consistent use and your skin starts to look and feel much better. It even gets rid of whitehead bumps (or keratin plugs) caused by the skin condition.
After all, glycolic acid is added for gently exfoliating away those bumps, along with getting rid of dead, rough skin cells. What glycolic acid really does is rejuvenate the surface of your skin.
So if you really want smooth-looking legs free of ingrown hairs, bumps, and overall bad skin, ditch manual exfoliants that usually just end up irritating the skin further for this non-abrasive exfoliating body wash with glycolic acid.
- Glycolic acid based body wash breaks down bumps
- Leaves skin feeling refreshed and moisturized
- Mild, pleasant scent
- Highly recommended for sensitive skin
- No setbacks
8. DermaHarmony Sulfur and Salicylic Acid Bar Soap
This keratosis pilaris soap with sulfur and salicylic acid by DermaHarmony suds up really well, so it becomes so much easier to spread the creamy, nourishing lather all over your body.
Bye, bye back acne as well. Be it cystic acne on the back, chest, or even ingrown hairs, seborrheic dermatitis, and keratosis pilaris, this formula actually works. It surely knows how to clear up troubled, irritated, inflamed, and/or dry skin.
Plus, the price tag is just the cheapest. On top of that, one bar of soap lasts for a whole month, even with daily use. Also important to note here is that there’s no pretty smell, which is actually just what you need if you have sensitive skin (meaning no fancy, artificial fragrances that tend to sting).
As for the list of ingredients of this best soap for chicken skin, you get salicylic acid (gentle exfoliation), glycerine (moisturizing properties), and coconut and palm oils (break down of keratin build-up).
Now the inclusion of coconut and palm oils has been linked with clogged pores but then you should know that the formulation also consists of sulfur, which UN-clogs very effectively.
- Salicylic acid based soap exfoliates the skin gently
- Sulfur also added for acne-fighting and pore-unclogging
- Mild enough for use on sensitive areas
- A light sulfur scent remains on the skin
9. SAL3 Acne Bar Soap
Another best bar soap for keratosis pilaris that has sulfur because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s actually very good for alleviating inflammation on the skin caused by keratosis pilaris, and it’s not harsh like other skincare ingredients.
The soap bar formula also consists of salicylic acid, so all the dead skin cells are loosened. With salicylic acid, dry skin is also moisturized and softened. In short, your KP symptoms and even acne become less and less prominent.
Be it bumps on the upper arms or even redness of the skin, this sulfur-based soap wash fights fungi and bacteria to eliminate the most common skin problems like keratosis pilaris, psoriasis, acne, and more.
- Formulated with sulfur to reduce skin inflammation
- Gentle exfoliation with salicylic acid
- Naturally scented, so no fragrances/perfumes
- Multipurpose use for KP, eczema, acne, psoriasis, etc.
- Sulfur, in itself, smells a bit pungent
What Is Keratosis Pilaris? (Chicken Skin)
Keratosis Pilaris or KP is a very common skin problem marked by rough, dry patches and bumps. These bumps are actually a result of dead skin cells clogging hair follicles. And they appear as brown or red dots. The most commonly spotted on thighs, upper arms, buttocks, and even cheeks.
Now of course the skin condition is not contagious at all. There’s no itching caused by it either. Only during the colder months of the year, when your skin is most likely to become very dry, that KP gets worse. And even during pregnancy, hence these safe body washes & soaps for pregnant women.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure that has completely solved the problem here. But then there are skincare products to keep the symptoms associated with keratosis pilaris under control. Overall though, it is a harmless skin condition indeed.
When excessive keratin (the hard protein that makes up skin, hair, and nails) build-up takes place, pores get clogged, And that turns a smooth surface into patches of bumpy, rough skin.
Not really sure why there’s this excessive accumulation of keratin in the hair follicles. It could be because of genetics or other skin concerns like atopic dermatitis. Even when your skin type is too dry, it can aggravate a condition like keratosis pilaris.
The appearance gives it away, right? So that would be noticeable bumps on your skin that look like goosebumps. The best way to describe this is just to picture chicken skin.
And this texture and appearance can be found on just about every part of the body that has hair follicles. That means the palms of the hand and soles of the feet are excluded. So the most common areas are the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks.
Other signs include redness surrounding the bumps, skin irritability or itching, excessive dryness of the skin, sandpaper-like bumps, or brown, black, red, pink, or white bumps against your natural skin tone.
Why Buy A Soap or Body Wash for Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris and acne have a lot in common. Both come into existence as a result of the clogging of pores or hair follicles. So both common skin conditions can be managed with the help of a combination of gentle exfoliation and deep hydration.
And only body washes and soaps specifically formulated for keratosis pilaris work like a charm since they contain AHA and BHA (salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid) to gently exfoliate away dead skin cells and other such impurities that seem to be blocking your pores/follicles. These actually get rid of dead skin cells to reveal soft, smooth skin underneath.
At the same time, the body washes and soaps also don’t contain harsh or synthetic ingredients that might lead to skin irritation, redness, inflammation, or excessive dryness. Meaning they’re easy and gentle on your skin for daily use.
Plus these are non-comedogenic as well (so no clogging of the pores), unlike regular body washes and soaps filled with ingredients that tend to congest pores. Such as olive oil, soy oil, beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and more.
Apart from the obvious, these formulations are also enriched with soothing ingredients such as niacinamide and oat along with moisturizing ingredients like essential ceramides and aloe vera. And no artificial fragrances, on top of that, means zero chances of triggering skin irritation and dryness.
Most Effective Tips to Manage Keratosis Pilaris
Gentle, Fragrance-Free Body Washes and Soaps
This is a must since what you cleanse your body with really matters. Anything that feels too harsh or contains just too many artificial ingredients is most likely to do more harm than good, especially if your skin is already troubled, sensitive, or damaged.
And also, while bathing, use gentle, massaging strokes, even with a loofah, washcloth, or sponge (but get one that’s not too abrasive or rough), to soap your body. Don’t forget to change the loofah now and then because you don’t want to encourage the growth and spread of bacteria.
Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, and Lactic Acid As Exfoliants
These are chemical yet gentle skin exfoliants (AHAs and BHAs) that do a wonderful job when it comes to getting rid of dead skin cells that seem to be congesting or blocking your pores and hair follicles. They clean them out without disrupting your skin’s natural moisture barrier or causing any major or minor damage to the skin.
Two very fitting examples include Touch Keratosis Pilaris & Acne Exfoliating Body Wash (salicylic acid + glycolic acid) and this CeraVe Cleanser for Psoriasis Treatment (salicylic acid + lactic acid).
These alpha and beta hydroxy acids may work slow and even burn or tingle initially but they eventually settle down on and into your skin and get the work done. And this work includes not just exfoliating away dead skin cells but also soothing and hydrating your skin.
Apply Sunscreen to Avoid Sunburn
After you exfoliate your skin using glycolic acid or salicylic acid, its surface is naturally going to become a little more UV-sensitive.
For instance, when you use this Glytone Keratosis Pilaris Kit, the chance of sunburn does increase. But you should be wearing sunscreen daily anyway. So now you have yet another compelling reason to not skip sunscreen before you head out that door.
FAQs About KP Treatment
Can Laser Treatment Cure Keratosis Pilaris?
You can ask a dermatologist and even he/she will tell you that there’s no solid cure for keratosis pilaris. But laser treatment can indeed drastically reduce all that bumpy texture and redness often accompanied by KP. More specifically, this is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser treatment. It targets and compresses your skin’s red vessels.
Anywhere between 3 and 6 sessions of this type of laser treatment, with a gap of 1 month in between. As for the cost, per session may cost over $400.
And then you also have laser hair removal that is more concerned with smoothening out skin’s roughness caused by keratosis pilaris. Because even trapped hairs inside the follicles give rise to bumps on the surface of the skin. Hence, the hair removal laser treatment destroys hair itself to avoid any such mishaps.
Anywhere between 4 and 6 sessions (spaced 6 weeks apart) and over $300 per session.
Can “Chicken Skin” or Keratosis Pilaris Go Away Completely?
Keratosis pilaris or “chicken skin”, more often than not, goes away on its own when you’re done with your teenage years. But then there are 30-something adults still dealing with KP symptoms all the time. So there’s no fixed age, or solution as a matter of fact.
But if you consistently keep using proper skincare products (like body washes and lotions), then the condition, with its undesirable appearance and texture, does start to dial down quite a bit.
Also, you should remind yourself that chicken skin comes and goes. Meaning your symptoms of keratosis pilaris may flare up during the winter months. Then the surface of the skin becomes comparatively smoother during the summer. Or it can all get inflamed once again because of constant fluctuations in one’s hormones and stress levels.
Is Keratosis Pilaris A Type of Eczema?
Keratosis pilaris, often also known as chicken skin, has a bumpy appearance much like goosebumps. It’s a medical skin condition that affects those who have or are also dealing with other problems like skin allergies, respiratory concerns like asthma, and of course eczema as well.
Do I Need to Shower Daily Because of Keratosis Pilaris?
Just make sure you’re using one of the best exfoliating, nourishing, soothing, and hydrating body washes or soaps, and you can safely shower everyday even with keratosis pilaris. As long as these daily showers are quick, 10 minutes or less, you’re fine.
And That’s All There Is!
Your skin may be feeling rough, bumpy, and textured right now but that doesn’t mean it can’t get any better. Be it on your thighs, legs, arms, or anywhere else!
The thing about keratosis pilaris or KP or “chicken skin” is that it’s very, very common. So there are many body washes and soaps to target these areas and bring about smoothness.
These formulations, even though so incredibly effective, are pH-balanced, gentle, and skin-friendly. Even with exfoliating agents like salicylic acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid, they do not cause any further harm. On the contrary, these mild exfoliants calm your skin with additional ingredients to restore your skin’s natural moisture barrier.