Natural Ways To Treat Keratosis Pilaris

It’s unfortunate when the skin condition you have is commonly referred to as ‘chicken skin,’ but as many women know all too well, Keratosis Pilaris is one gobble of a task to tackle.

As a beauty editor, I’ve been learning about these little red bumps – usually located on the back of the arms, thighs or bum – for years. Caused by a build-up of keratin that literally blocks the hair follicle, the result is red, inflamed and bumpy skin.

Most treatments involve glycolic acid-based creams to gently exfoliate the area and unplug those blocked follicles, but this can sometimes exacerbate the problem if it dries the skin too much. You see, you have to keep your skin barrier protected and one of the easiest ways to do that is to up your moisture levels.

So, after one Happy asked for help I thought I’d look into some other options. Here’s what I found…

1. Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil

I mean seriously, is there anything these two can’t do? They’re like the superheros of the health world and now, they’re on a mission to give you smooth, bump-free skin. Simply mix equal parts organic coconut oil and organic apple cider vinegar (around ½ a cup) with 1 tablespoon of soy lecithin and mix together. You might need to put the coconut oil in warm water to encourage it to liquefy, but once mixed, use a cotton bud to smear the ointment all over the affected area and repeat daily. Sure, you’ll smell a little vinegar-y but the coconut oil counteracts most of it, plus your skin will be ultra-smooth in no time at all.

2. Castile Soap

Basically a fancy name for a soap made with pure vegetable oils (rather than animal fat), Castile soap helps nourish the skin rather than dry it out. It’s also used to treat KP when used in conjunction with a gentle loofah. Simply apply the soap to the loofah and use soft, circular motions to remove the excess lumps and bumps. Follow up with coconut oil to hydrate the area and kill any bacteria. I love Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.

3. Goat’s Milk Soap

The lactic acid in the goat’s milk also doubles as a very gentle exfoliator. Exactly what you need when you’re trying to breakdown those keratin plugs. In fact, you could also use a goat’s milk moisturiser to ensure that the lactic acid is working overtime to slowly eat away those dead skin cells. Hooray! Try Billie Goat Soap.

4. Up Your Greens, Down Your Dairy

Most skin conditions start in the gut, making all this hard external work only half the battle. If your KP is really bad, it might be time to make some tweaks to your diet as well. Start with the simple things like reducing (or preferably eliminating) as many processed foods as possible. Keep things clean, even just for a few weeks, to see if there’s any improvement. I also recommend playing around with dairy and seeing if it affects your skin. Either cut it out completely or switch to super high quality organic options instead. Finally, it’s time to up your greens. Indulge in green smoothies and juices, enjoy kale crisps and overload on the good stuff to help balance out your digestion and shift some of the old, toxic waste lying around. Oh, and take a probiotic to inundate your gut with good flora.

Tell me Happies…
Do you suffer from KP?
What do you do to fix it?
Any of these suggestions sound good?

Stay Happy,

Yaz x



  1. Edwina · May 10, 2013

    This is a Godsend thank you Yaz! I’ve been using a glycolic acid based cream for years with no effect – natural remedy seems to be the way to go!

  2. Coco · May 10, 2013

    This makes so much sense! I don’t think I have the actual condition, but battle with super fine hairs (mainly on my upper thighs) which seem to have trouble breaking through the top (thin) layer of skin. I already use Dr Bronners soap and use a loofah and moisturise (with any good oil I have handy) which seems to keep it under control. Sometimes I’ll use a glycolic shower gel, but it does strip/dry the skin A LOT so have been avoiding it lately. Then, since I’m a fretful person, just have to try and control the urge to scratch and pick the sometimes itchy, annoying little buggers. Might have a go with the ACV and coconut oil treatment…

  3. Georgia · May 10, 2013

    Hi Yaz, awesome post, thank you. I’ve suffered from keratosis pilaris for years. I LOVE the sound of the Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil concoction. However what is soy lecithin and how does it work?

  4. winterlust · May 11, 2013

    Thank YOU for posting this!

    I’ve been bothered with the bumps on my arms & legs for years (tried glycolic acid and dermatologist prescribed creams but no luck) but I’ve noticed they’ve gone away dramatically in the past 18 months due to a diet change.

    I also tried a liver cleanse called Hepatic Detox which worked but not nearly enough as I’d like!

    Will give the above a go though x

    • Lizzy · May 13, 2013

      Winterlust would you mind letting me know what diet changes you’ve made? I’ve stopped eating gluten (I’m intolerant) but haven’t noticed any change. I’m thinking maybe it’s dairy.

      • winterlust · May 13, 2013

        Hi Lizzy, gluten was my biggest problem! I think getting rid of wheat from my diet combined with doing a liver cleanse was the kick start I needed. I’ve also upped my water to about 2.2 L (body weight x 0.033) and try eat raw as much as possible! Pretty much going on a total cleanse of every toxin in my life!

        If you want, you can email me on for more information about the cleanse I’ve done 🙂

        P.S sorry Yaz!

      • Yaz Trollope · May 20, 2013

        No need to be sorry, it’s great sharing information. Yxx

  5. Lizzy · May 13, 2013

    Thank you so much for posting this Yaz! I absolutely love your blog xxx

  6. Anonymous · May 20, 2013

    I’ve never associated the bumps on the back of my arms as a condition as such BUT it could be this, it sounds very familiar! I have recently been using an organic exfoliator (it’s just a face one that every time I exfoliate my face, I use whatever is left on my hands on my arms) and then following up immediately after drying (while skin is still warm and slightly steam damp) with rosehip oil. It has cleared the bumps up amazingly and it makes you smell amazing too!

  7. MimiluvsGod · November 4, 2013

    excusee me Yaz, i’m 13 and currently dealing with keratosis Pilaris on my forehead (eyebrows) and cheeks. i’m just a bit scared to try new things, and my skin is quite sensitive to particular things. And also how long will this take for my keratosis to disappear?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s