Keratosis Pilaris...rough arm pimples?
It's common to have these patches of stubborn dry, rough clogged pores on the back of your upper arms or your cheeks. Sometimes they have pimples, other times just hardened whiteheads or dead skin stuck to each tiny hair. They are frustrating and often don't respond to your smoothing attempts. What should you do?
In my experience, these need a combo of 3 things to stay soft and clear.
First, exfoliation. This is nothing new, you know it's important to remove extra dead skin. You can use a loofah, body brush, or a product with little scratchy particles. Do it in the shower or bath, after the skin has been softened by warm water or steam. Avoid apricot scrub or products that list crushed walnut shell as an ingredient, these are way too sharp and leave microscopic cuts in your skin that can get infected or inflamed. Also avoid using super hot water on your skin, because it's drying and causes more roughness later.
This is where most people stop, and that's why they get no results. Don't skip these next two steps or you won't get results.
Second, water-based hydration. Drinking water doesn't count for this, because it won't reach the surface of the skin when coming from inside our body. You need to apply a product that contains water and hyaluronic acid (holds the water like a magnet). My favorite is the Cucumber Hydration Toner from SkinScript Rx. It smells great and hydrates better than anything I've ever found. Rub it in, you'll notice your skin is thirsty and absorbs it fast. When our skin doesn't have enough water in it, it can't dissolve bonds to release our dead cells, causing them to stay attached and build up.
Third, moisturize with products that contain plant-based essential fatty acids. These are so softening, and help our skin to hold in the crucial water! They protect our skin from dry air (def something we have in Salt Lake!), wind, and friction. Most lotions use petroleum (mineral oil) instead of plant oils. Unfortunately, mineral oil has no nutrition for our skin and isn't very helpful...it's just a cheap and easy shortcut companies like to sell us for high profit. I sell an organic silk lotion for $8 that would be perfect for this! If you're shopping elsewhere, read the ingredient label. Don't buy if it contains petroleum, petrolatum, or mineral oil. Look for plants; there are too many to list them all, but a few might be nuts, seeds or kernels, rosehip, borage, sea buckthorn, hemp, avocado, meadowfoam, neem, and safflower. Send me a text if you're not sure :)
Adding these two extra steps will help clear up the bumps and keep them from coming quickly back. You'll be able to maintain softer, smoother skin without hassle or expensive extras.
I can work on keratosis pilaris during your facial, massage, or back facial too. If these bumps are bothering you, add the "Rough, bumpy arms" upgrade to your appointment for only $10.
One last thing to consider...should you try to pop these? Squeeze 'em out? Actually because they are so dry and tough, they won't come out easily...or at all. You are very likely to bruise or tear the skin if you try, and could get an infection or scarring. If you leave them and follow the three steps, they will soften gradually. Your body will begin to dissolve and release the dead skin cells, and you shouldn't need to pick each one individually. If there are large ones, I can address them with professional extraction to reduce the risk of scar or infection. Please don't risk it!