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I've spoken many times about my keratosis pilaris (KP): this is a harmless but sometimes-uncomfortable skin condition whereby the hair follicle becomes blocked with keratin (usually it appears on the arms and legs). It's not 'curable' and we don't know exactly what causes this to happen, so it's really about managing the texture / bumpy red appearance (if that's something your conscious of) and keeping the associated dryness in check. Today I'm going to walk you through an affordable, maintainable and simple routine to tackle this issue using products from CeraVe that you can probably pick up from your local Boots...
As I'm sure you know with your facial skincare: cleansing is often the most stripping part of your routine, and the same is true of the skin on your body (especially on the arms and legs where KP is most common). For the last couple of weeks I've been reaching for and loving the CeraVe Hydrating Foaming Oil Cleanser* | £12.50. This can also be used on the face and it lives in my shower, but I personally reach for it as a body wash. The name and colouring might be a little misleading for some: this is essentially a foaming gel cleanser that's gentler and more moisturising because it's formulated with oil-based ingredients. Alongside the skin barrier building ceramides and water magnets like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, we have squalane, a plant oil that's recognised by our skin as similar to the oils it produces itself. This offers a gentle cleanse in the shower that still gives a satisfying foam for those who just need that, without stripping the skin and causing that KP itch we all want to avoid...
Straight out of the shower you're going to want to pat your skin dry gently with a towel then lock in the hydration with the the CeraVe Moisturising Cream | £15.99 (454g). This is another product that can be used on both the face and body if you like to keep things quick and simple. This rich cream contains the three ceramides that are found across the line (supported by cholesterol, which is another component of the skin barrier), as well as the hyaluronic acid, glycerin and fatty alcohol. We also have petrolatum, which is highly occlusive, meaning it seals hydration in. All-in-all: this is a well-balanced cream to draw water into the skin, soften, nourish and replenish it and then seal all that goodness in. It's fragrance-free, very simple and great for keeping the dryness and itchiness at bay.
Finally, in the evening (3-4 times a week will do): I recommend reaching for the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream | £12.50 (177ml). I used to use the cleanser from this range on my body for KP but started picking this up instead because it's a little more heavy-duty (being a leave-on product) and I was just getting through bottles and bottles of the cleanser ridiculously quickly. It's totally personal preference but I find this the more effective option for me. We have ceramides alongside shea butter and fatty alcohols to really moisturise and soften the skin, but this is also an exfoliating moisturiser. It contains lactic and salicylic acids, as well as 10% urea. Lactic acid is an AHA, resurfacing the skin and smoothing the top layer, whereas salicylic acid is your oil-soluble BHA chemical exfoliant that gets into the hair follicles to help unblock them and reduce the origin of the KP. So, half of this pairing is helping the superficial appearance of the bumps and half of it is getting at the source. Urea is a really interesting addition to this formula; it's a natural moisturising factor and is both softening and hydrating for the skin, but at this concentration, it also has mild exfoliating properties too. All in all, this is an incredible product for really treating that bumpiness and smoothing out the skin. Even just from one week of using this, you'll notice you're waking up every morning with smoother, less flaky skin.
Do you suffer from KP?
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