The Best Lotions For Keratosis Pilaris, According To A Dermatologist

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Keratosis pilaris, while generally harmless, can cause unwanted bumps and redness on your skin, usually on your upper arms, thighs, or face. And while any doctor would tell you that there is no cure for keratosis pilaris, there are a few creams and lotions that can help treat the symptoms. The best lotions for keratosis pilaris contain gentle exfoliants to promote smoother skin, as well as plenty of moisturizing ingredients to offset any of the associated dryness.

In a hurry? Here are the best lotions for KP:

According to board-certified dermatologists Dr. Faiyaaz Kalimullah and Dr. Kevin Cavanaugh, who spoke to Bustle for this article, KP is a common genetic condition that's most often seen in children, but can last into adulthood. While the exact cause of KP remains unknown, they explain that "those with KP produce too much keratin" which causes plugs to form in the hair follicles, leading to those familiar bumps.

Dr. Kalimullah and Dr. Cavanaugh tell Bustle that, genetics aside, it’s crucial that you keep your skin care habits in check, as an improper or neglected routine can exacerbate the symptoms of KP. A gentle cleanser, mild exfoliator, and nourishing moisturizer are all essential to managing KP.

Below, you’ll find the best lotions for keratosis pilaris that contain dermatologist-recommended ingredients to dissolve keratin plugs and hydrate your skin. To get shopping, scroll on.

1. A Cult-Favorite Lotion For KP: CeraVe SA Lotion for Rough & Bumpy Skin

With a combination of both AHA and BHA exfoliators, this CeraVe salicylic acid lotion is a great pick for anyone with keratosis pilaris. For $32, you'll get a whopping 19-ounce bottle of this cult-favorite lotion, which is also packed with ceramides to boost moisture in your skin. Even better, this formula is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, so there's little chance of it causing any irritation on your skin. In fact, according to Dr. Kalimullah and Cavanaugh, "you should also try to avoid products with fragrances or dyes, as these can often irritate dry, sensitive skin." If this doesn't convince you, read some of the nearly 1,200 Amazon reviews which praise this lotion as a near-cure for keratosis pilaris.

According to a fan: "I was searching for something to help my keratosis pilaris on my legs. After some research I came across this lotion and I’m glad that I did! It’s been about a week already and it has helped my itchy legs so much. The bumps are going away also. I’ve been using in the morning and at night. I’ll definitely be sticking with this lotion!”

2. Another Affordable Lotion Derms Love: AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion

This daily moisturizer has a powerful exfoliating formula featuring 12% lactic acid, to help minimize any texture on your skin. Coupled with mineral oil and glycerin, this lotion will leave your skin feeling hydrated and noticeably smoother. This 8-ounce bottle is just $13, making it a bit less expensive per-ounce than others on this list, and less expensive on the whole as well. Plenty of Amazon reviewers say this was a game-changer for their KP.

According to a fan: "I have Keratosis Pilaris and this cream got rid of 95% of my bumps on my arms in 3 uses! I use it every other day before bed and it’s amazing! Highly recommend for dry skin too, it’s very think but feels soft not super creamy. I don’t love the scent, sometimes to me it almost smells like vanilla frosting, but it works so well I don’t mind. My husband says he it has no scent to him…. Highly recommend!”

3. A Hydrating Lotion Made With Urea: Excipial Urea Hydrating Healing Lotion

I asked Drs. Kalimullah and Cavanaugh for one of their top ingredients for soothing KP, and they chimed in with urea, as it has the ability to "gradually smooth out the skin" without causing irritation. This moisturizing lotion is formulated with 10% urea to nourish and hydrate dry, itchy skin, as well as dexpanthenol, which offers similar benefits. It provides up to 24 hours worth of hydration to keep your skin feeling comfortable all day (and night) long.

According to a fan: "Must use for keratosis pilaris. A must have hydrating cream that will help keep those chicken bumps on your shoulders down. This is good to use while out of the shower and your skin is damp.”

4. A Body Cream That’s Also Great For Eczema: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

This fan-favorite body cream is packed with moisturizing emollients like shea butter, skin-soothers like allantoin and colloidal oatmeal, and strengthening ceramides to help keep your skin barrier strong, which can in turn help prevent flareups of conditions like eczema and KP. Drs. Kalimullah and Cavanaugh tell Bustle, “because KP is so closely tied to dry skin, it's important to maintain proper skin hydration” — and this rich cream is perfect for that. You can use this on your face and body safely.

According to a fan: "It seemed like I was developing KP on many different parts of my body and I gave this lotion a try even though I thought it was overpriced/wouldn't last very long/probably would not help. It has now lasted me 10 months and I use it EVERY night after my shower. My KP is pretty much all gone everywhere, and I look forward to using this lotion every night. I thought the tub versus tube would be annoying, but I actually like it more! I am super sensitive to scent, and there is really no scent at all. I can't review this product high enough!”

5. A Kit That Covers All Your KP Bases: Glytone Exfoliating Body Lotion & Body Wash

If you've tried a few things and you feel like it's not strong enough or you're becoming immune to the results, give this exfoliating lotion made with 17.5% glycolic acid a whirl. Samantha Conrad, M.D., a dermatologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago suggests using a product with glycolic acid one to two times a day. And this kit makes it easy to do just that, since it contains an exfoliating body lotion in addition to body wash. Both products use glycolic acid to promote smoother skin, and the kit comes with a pouf for in-shower use, as well.

According to a fan: "The BEST Keratosis Pilaris treatment available! [...] I tried other things like KP Touch, Amlactin, etc. and none of those products worked. I gave in to the (now increased) price of this kit and as expected, after the first use of the Glytone body wash and moisturizer, my skin was noticeably smoother.”

6. An AHA/BHA Lotion Amazon Reviewers Swear By: Touch Keratosis Pilaris Treatment

This cruelty-free body lotion works wonders on KP bumps and redness. With a powerful one-two punch of glycolic and salicylic acids, this lotion gently exfoliates away any texture on your skin with repeated use. It's also packed with antioxidants like vitamin E and emollients like soja oil that leave your skin smoother and softer to the touch. Nearly 500 Amazon reviewers sing its praises when it comes to minimizing the symptoms of keratosis pilaris.

According to a fan: "I've used a lot of products to deal with my Keratosis Pilaris. Touch is my favorite. I've been using this along with with the matching Touch KP Exfoliating Wash for about a month, and I'm really pleased. The KP isn't totally gone, but it's so much better, and I feel confident that it will continue to improve. The skin that isn't affected by KP is super soft, which is a really nice benefit. Also, Touch is cruelty-free, which is a non-negotiable for me.”

7. A Popular Drugstore Lotion For Smoother Skin: Eucerin Roughness Relief Lotion

Eucerin has been making lotions and drugstore skin care favorites for over 100 years, and their popular roughness relief lotion is a great buy for anyone struggling with KP. Not only does it have a powerful formula packed with urea and lactic acid to help exfoliate and smooth your skin. Glycerin and ceramides round out this lotion and will hydrate your skin, so your arms and legs are left soft and smoother. But, don't take my word for it: Over, 1,000 reviewers rave about this lotion, with so many saying it's the best solution they've found for keratosis pilaris bumps.

According to a fan: "My daughter has Keratosis Pilaris and uses special expensive creams. This cream is 99% as effective as the expensive ones! The only one that seems to ACTUALLY moisturize and not be super greasy. A great company too!”


Dr. Faiyaaz Kalimullah and Dr. Kevin Cavanaugh, board-certified dermatologists at the Center for Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine in Chicago

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