Smooth, even skin is a goal of those with keratosis pilaris, especially in the summer months. But most products don’t deliver when it comes to smoothing away those stubborn little bumps on the skin. Luckily, a surprising all-natural remedy is gaining popularity as the best product for treating keratosis naturally: An unrefined “virgin” coconut oil keratosis pilaris treatment. Read on for what you need to get great results.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for KP
Testimonials online show that many people trying virgin coconut oil are finding that their keratosis pilaris is gone within a week or two! Why is this? Keratosis pilaris appears as little bumps on the skin of the arms or legs, which occur because the hair follicles aren’t shedding properly and get clogged with a protein called keratin. Coconut oil does what’s necessary: it soothes inflammation, reduces redness, moisturizes, and sanitizes.
Most of this is attributable to the lauric acid in the oil. It’s unique fatty acids are easily absorbed for deep moisture, and it has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties. Its benefits work inside and out: Even people who eat virgin coconut oil report having improved and glowing skin without any topical application! It also doesn’t feel greasy. It absorbs fast into the skin in a silky way, leaving you soft, moisturized, and smelling downright delicious. So how can you use it for KP?
Keratosis Pilaris Treatment Plan
I’ve done some research and found five important tips, including coconut oil and other factors, to nix your keratosis pilaris problem:
- Exfoliate - KP happens because the hair follicles aren’t shedding, so you need to get rid of the build-up. Try using a natural loofah to lather up your virgin coconut oil in the shower, or use a coconut oil scrub. Sugar scrubs are great, because sugar is a natural glycolic acid (good for KP). With coconut oil, you get the exfoliating and healing benefits in one. (Try Pure Fiji Spa Coconut Sugar Rub for a coconut oil and sugar blend, or use the recipe below to make your own scrub.)
- Moisturize - After your shower, apply a small amount of coconut oil to damp skin and rub it in. Wipe away any excess if needed. You can also try the coconut oil body butter and lotion recipes below.
- Eat well – Avoid trans fats, commonly in hydrogenated oils and margarine. Virgin coconut oil has none, and is a great replacement for less healthy fats. Also, find out if you have an allergies to gluten/wheat or dairy, as food allergies can play a role in skin conditions like KP. Foods low on the glycemic index (less refined carbs, basically) are also related to improvement of KP.
- Take Supplements – Omega-3 deficiency can worsen KP. Take omega-3 or fish oil supplements if indicated for you, in addition to supplementing with unrefined, virgin coconut oil (ingesting 1-3 tablespoons daily).
- Avoid harsh chemicals – Avoid soap and lotion ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate, petroleum, artificial fragrance, mineral oil, parabens, and dimethicone. Even some coconut oil products that claim to be natural can have some of these, so check labels. A good castile or coconut oil soap is preferable. (Try Dr. Bronner Pure Castile Soap, Hemp Almond; Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Liquid Soap by Tropical Traditions; or Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Soap — my favorite.)
DIY Coconut Oil Bath & Body Recipes:
If you love the prospect of coconut oil’s benefits for your skin, yet still want something a little more luxurious than just your jar of coconut oil in the shower, try whipping up one of these three skin-enhancing beauty recipes!
Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub: Mix one part white granulated sugar, one part brown sugar, and two parts extra virgin coconut oil. Consider adding a spoonful of vanilla extract or honey for additional moisture-sealing properties.
Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter: Use a mixer, food processor, or wire whisk to whip your coconut oil into a luxurious, fluffy body butter. For this to work, the oil needs to be solid and cool — too much warmth plus the mixer’s friction can make the oil liquid. Still not sure? Try popping your coconut oil in the freezer or fridge for several minutes before whipping it. If you want, you can add one part shea butter or cocoa butter for every two parts coconut oil, a spoonful of liquid vitamin E, and a few drops of essential oil.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Coconut Oil Lotion: Mix one part apple cider vinegar and one part coconut oil and add a small bit of honey (or another emulsifier) to blend. Apply to affected area of skin.
Best Products for Coconut Oil Keratosis Pilaris Treatment
If you are in more of a hurry to get your coconut oil keratosis pilaris treatment going, I’ve compiled some products that I rate highly for their fantastic natural ingredients. I won’t list anything that claims to be coconut-oil based and natural yet also contains harsh chemicals.
|Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Soap - Coconut Oil is moisturizing (aka, an emollient), and vanilla is a humectant that helps retain the moisturizing benefits of the coconut. I love this natural soap brand so much, by the way. Everything smells good enough to eat! Seriously, it’s like heaven.|
|Pure Fiji Spa Coconut Sugar Rub- This spa scrub is made from high-quality virgin coconut oil, nut extracts, and natural sugar cane to buff skin and unclog pores. Other coconut scrubs I’ve seen for sale use salt, which I don’t think is as ideal as sugar for treating Keratosis Pilaris and red bumpy skin. Plus, this is made with cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil, not the typically refined kind in other bath products. For a similar product with a lower price, see the next entry.|
|Organic Fiji Sugar Polish (Pineapple Coconut) – Another scrub made of real organic virgin coconut oil and sugar. This one is a lower price than the Pure Fiji option above. It’s available in two scents.|
|Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54-Ounce Containers (Pack of 2)|