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What is Keratosis Pilaris and How Can Redheads Combat it?

Bye Bye, KP!

Redheads have more sensitive skin and sometimes that leads to skin conditions that impact the surface of our skin. One of those conditions that many redheads may struggle with is Keratosis pilaris (KP). It is a common skin condition characterized by small, rough bumps on the skin, usually on the arms, legs thighs, cheeks, or buttocks. It occurs when excess keratin, a protein that protects the skin, clogs the hair follicles. While it can affect anyone, people with fair skin, including redheads, may be more prone to KP.

There isn’t an exact known cause of KP, but many skin experts and dermatologists suspect it may be linked to your genetics, may be worsened by the weather or other skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis

While harmless, KP can be annoying or unsightly, so redheads may want to combat it for smoother, more even-looking skin. To combat keratosis pilaris, redheads can try the following:

  1. Moisturize regularly: Apply moisturizers or emollients to keep the skin hydrated, which can help soften the bumps and reduce their appearance.
  2. Gentle exfoliation: Use mild exfoliating scrubs or loofahs to gently remove dead skin cells and unclog the hair follicles. Be careful not to scrub too harshly, as it may aggravate the condition.
  3. Avoid hot water: Hot showers or baths can dry out the skin, so it’s best to use lukewarm water instead. Also, limit the time spent in the water to prevent further drying of the skin.
  4. Use gentle cleansers: Opt for mild, fragrance-free cleansers that won’t strip the skin of its natural oils. Harsh soaps can worsen the condition.
  5. Moisturizing ingredients: Look for moisturizers containing ingredients like urea, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). These can help exfoliate and soften the skin.
  6. Sun protection: Protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure is crucial, as it can worsen the appearance of KP. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen and cover up with clothing when spending time outdoors.

Before treating your KP, confirm with a doctor or dermatologist that you have KP. Many other skin conditions can mimic the symptoms and you want to make sure you’re treating your skin correctly — especially if it is more sensitive. Once you’ve determined that you do have KP, you can use KP-specific products to help combat it. We’ve linked some of our favorites below: 

6 KP Products Recommended for Redheads

1. DERMAdoctor KP Duty Dermatologist Formulated Body Scrub Exfoliant

DERMAdoctor KP Duty Dermatologist Formulated Body Scrub: $52

2. Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA 

Paula's Choice Weightless Body Treatment: $12

3. AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin 

AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Lotion: $16

4. Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt Body Scrub 

Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt Body Scrub: $20

5. First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub Exfoliant

First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub: $24

6. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream with Salicylic Acid

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream: $30

Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: Bumpy Redhead Skin? It May Be Keratosis Pilaris + This Is How To Treat It

READ: 12 Products TikTok Made Me Buy: Redhead Edition