Keratosis Pilaris has been a lifelong companion, leaving me feeling self-conscious and disheartened by its stubborn presence. Countless dermatologist visits led to cortisone creams that fell short, while my daily life was filled with moments where I'd shy away from showing my arms or wearing certain clothes. I dove into blogs and textbooks, experimenting with various 'miracle creams' from the age of 15, often juggling serums and lotions to find relief—a pursuit that became quite costly.
This relentless condition became the driving force behind Natalie’s Cosmetics. I was determined to create a solution for the skin 'issues' that not only affected me but also my friends and family. The emotional weight carried by those who alter their clothing choices due to keratosis pilaris resonated deeply with me. I knew there had to be a better way to embrace life without such constraints.
1. What is Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis Pilaris (German: Reibeisenhaut) aka 'Chicken Skin' or 'Strawberry Skin' is a common, harmless skin condition that causes dry, rough patches and tiny bumps, usually on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks or buttocks that don't hurt/itch. This occurs when your hair follicles become blocked with a build-up of keratin. Keratin is a structural protein that acts as a protective shield around the hair shaft and helps your hair stay elastic. Most of the time, keratosis pilaris becomes worse during the dry and cold winter months.
During childhood, the first signs of keratosis pilaris will show, often reaching a peak between 15-30 years of age. As keratosis pilaris is a genetic condition, treatment is not curative, but solely to manage the appearance by being persistent. In addition, there is also an association with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis. Generally, dry skin tends to make keratosis pilaris worse.
Many people suffering from keratosis pilaris feel embarrassed to wear sleeveless clothing and often over treat the affected area. Please be aware, that by trying to squeeze/pop these little bumps, you will often end up with scars. In addition, using very drying products i.e. a lot of shower gel or harsh mechanical scrubs (such as walnut scrubs), will make your skin worse!
2. What improves Keratosis Pilaris?
- Water contact: Very hot showers and baths breakdown the lipid protective barrier of your skin and tend to dry it out. Thus, it is essential to use a lotion ASAP after washing. We recommend that you moisturize your slightly damp skin within 5-10 mins after showering.
- Exfoliation of dead skin cells: Lotions, such as our Smooth Lotion, containing alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids, as well as urea, dissolve the ‘glue’ between dead skin cells and exfoliate these. Not only is exfoliation crucial, but replenishing the skin with moisture to soften bumps, can reduce the redness of keratosis pilaris. Please be aware that exfoliating acids make your skin more prone to sun damage, thus it is necessary to wear SPF on the following days. It is also recommended to wait a couple of hours after shaving, as the active ingredients may slightly skin on freshly shaved regions.
- Prevention of clogged follicles: Lotions using vitamin A (topical retinoids), such as our Better Aging Lotion, work by promoting cell turnover and preventing clogged hair follicles. We have used a mild version of vitamin A, as irritation and dryness may be caused by stronger forms.
- Moisturize and hydrate: Apply our hydration body gel several times per day, to keep your skin hydrated. This gel is formulated with several calming, organic ingredients such as: aloe vera, calendula, arnica and edelweissflower. To hydrate the skin, Dr. Natalie added multimolecular hyaluronic acid and panthenol (vitamin B5), as well as several other humectants and emollients. As the hydration gel is super lightweight and absorbs very quickly, you can get dressed quickly and do not need to be concerned about staining your clothing.
- Humid air is your friend: low humidity leads to dry skin, making keratosis pilaris worse. Think about investing in a humidifier.
- Avoid friction from clothing: Tight, non breathable clothing can cause your keratosis pilaris to worsen, as hair cannot exit your skin and the friction causes dryness.
You don't need to hide behind long sleeves anymore or spend a fortune on combining numerous products. With our line-up specially formulated for managing Keratosis Pilaris, you can finally feel confident in your skin. Don't let this genetic condition dictate your wardrobe or lifestyle. With the right care, you can minimize the appearance of keratosis pilaris and embrace your skin just the way it is. Join us on this journey towards better skin health.
Get ready to love your skin again!
If you have any questions about Keratosis Pilaris or any other skin concern, feel free to contact us!