Bumpy Skin? Keratosis Pilaris?

Have you ever noticed unsightly, little red bumps on your skin? If so, they may be a condition called keratosis pilaris—something I have been struggling with since childhood. 

What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris is a fancy name for an un-fancy condition. It is a common, harmless skin condition that causes small, hard bumps that may make your skin feel like sandpaper. 

The bumps are often light-colored and they usually appear on your upper arms, thighs, and buttocks, sometimes with redness or swelling. They can also show up on your face.

Keratosis pilaris is caused by a buildup of keratin, a protein that protects skin from infections and other harmful things. The buildup forms a plug that blocks the opening of a hair follicle. 


Arm Resting on Pillow in Bed



Natural treatments for keratosis pilaris

Our newest Clary sister, Dr. Marlene Ehrler from Motherhood Medicine recommends a high quality Vitamin A and Zinc supplement.

Vitamin A plays a major role in keratinization (and in skin health in general), KP could be a sign of low vitamin A. 

With higher doses of Vitamin A, please take care if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant and check with your health-care provider.

Zinc is also vital to skin health and inter-plays with vitamin A in a symbiotic way. 


Clary oil to the rescue

I recently noticed my toddler had bumps on the back of his arms, which made me think to share this recipe with you all. I am so thankful that using our Clary Bath + Body oil on his sensitive skin has reduced them considerably. However, for teen and adult skin I recommend the recipe below. Combining this recipe along with some highly recommended supplements, I am happy to say next summer you may catch me in a sleeveless top!


Ease inflammation and stimulate circulation with the right ingredients

This recipe for keratosis pilaris cream uses baking soda to exfoliate the skin. It has a finer particle size than most other exfoliants making it gentle on tender skin, but it also has a high pH of 9, which makes it very alkalizing. Long-term, this can cause a problem, as skin is naturally acidic with a pH that ranges between 4 to 5.5. Citric acid makes the mixture more skin-friendly, with its pH of 2.2 to help balance the recipe out. (Just make sure to look for non-GMO citric acid.) If you prefer not to use citric acid, you can substitute fresh, organic lemon juice. 

Some fine, Himalayan sea salt provides a bit of extra exfoliating power and nourishes the skin with dozens of trace minerals. Turmeric powder also provides some exfoliation but it's primary use here is to decrease inflammation.

Clary Bath + Body Oil has a base of Olive Oil which is high in Omega acids and vitamin E. Our botanical infusion includes chamomile and calendula flowers, which stimulate circulation, plantain leaves which ease inflammation and lavender flowers, which soothe irritation and pain.


A handmade treatment recipe

Keratosis Pilaris Cream Recipe



2-3 times a week I use this paste and apply on the backs on my arms (or affected area), I let sit for 10-15 mins and wash off in the shower/bath tub. Then I apply Clary Bath + Body (which I use daily) directly to my skin and leave to moisturize. Well exfoliated skin will be less likely to accumulate the dead skin cells and keratin that plug hair follicles.



Beyond keratosis pilaris

Do you have dry, injured or irritated skin not caused by keratosis pilaris? The Clary Collection’s handmade, botanical All Purpose Balm soothes and treats a multitude of skin ailments.

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