Keratosis Pilaris Dry/Sensitive Skin Care Guide

Updated on May 5, 2020
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Brittany Banks is a young woman who likes to help people in difficult situations.

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis pilaris, also known as "KP," is a common and non-contagious skin disorder. KP occurs when hair follicle pores become over-clogged with keratin. Our bodies naturally produce keratin. Skin with this disorder can look red and bumpy. Some people experience inflamed skin as well. Your goal is to prevent those hair follicle pores from getting clogged. You can achieve this if you find the right skin products. If you have dry, sensitive skin like I do, this can be a very long and difficult process. Let me guide you in the right direction.

Cleansing Your Body

Take mild temperature showers. This can help relieve your skin of inflammation and redness. Find soap and body wash that are formulated for sensitive/dry skin. For some people, changing soaps can cause irritation. I use Irish Spring bar soap. This is the only soap I have used. If you believe that your soap is causing irritation, try switching to something different. Everybody's skin is different. It can take a while to find the right soap, but you can do store returns even if you've used it depending on their store policy. When you are showering, you should exfoliate. Use a microfiber washcloth or a simple cotton one.

Cleaning and Washing Your Face

Washing your face can be tricky. Let's start with removing the makeup from your face. I prefer using cotton rounds and Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser. I would prefer to wipe the cleanser all over then use a microfiber wash cloth to gently remove makeup. I also use this method to wash my face, but I will do it twice. Some face wipes have chemicals in them that can cause more irritation. Having KP, your face is very prone to becoming inflamed.

Now let's talk about face cleansers. You need to find a cold cream face cleanser that will help with redness and not cause irritation. I love using Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser. This cleanser has helped my skin improve and feel healthy.

Once you find a cleanser, you need to buy some microfiber washcloths and only use them for your face. Use your cleanser once a day. While you are washing your face, use mild temperature water. If you have acne, take a break from using any acne cleanser. Some acne cleansers have a lot of chemicals in them and can cause your face to feel like it's burning. This burning sensation is a sign of irritation. Irritation can cause redness. Do not scrub your face and wash your face gently. Pat dry with a cotton towel, do not rub.

My Experience With Face-Cleansing Products

Star Rating
CeraVe Hydrating
1 Star
Too drying
1.5 Stars
Too drying
1 Star
Simple Sensitive Skin
Was ok
3 Stars
Too drying, but did work for redness
3 Stars
Clean & Clear
Too drying
1.5 Stars
Stings, too drying
1 Star
Eucerin Redness Relief
Didn't work for redness
1 Star
Noxema Classic
1 Star
Yes To Grapefruit
Too drying
1.5 Stars
Too drying
1 Star
Burt's Bee's Sensitive (Cotton Extract)
Decent, a little drying
3 Stars
First Aid Beauty
Too drying
3 Stars
Argan Organics
Irritates skin
2 Stars
Vanicream Gentle Cleanser
Good Ingredients, a little drying, works for redness
4 Stars


When I talked to my doctor, she told me to find an emollient cream. I tried anything and everything. Let's talk about what you should do. You need to use lotion twice a day with this skin disorder or you will not see any improvement.

Apply lotion after a shower, after you wash your face, and before you go to bed. Moisturizing your skin is very important to keep it looking young and healthy. Emollient is thicker than lotion. I found Procure Rosacare works well for my face. I order it off of Amazon for $23.00. I also go over my face at night with Azelaic Acid by The Ordinary. I use a product called E45 on my body which I also found on Amazon for $5.00.

Lotions I Have Tried

Star Rating
Burt's Bee's Sensitive
I like this lotion, but it doesn't seem too hydrating.
2.5 Stars
Eucerin Redness Relief
Don't work for redness.
1.5 Stars
Aveeno Spf 15
I love this lotion, but I didn't see any improvement.
3 Stars
Gold Bond Rough & Bumpy
I didn't like this one at all. It made my face more red and stung.
1.5 Stars
Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream
Great for hydration, not for redness at all.
2.5 Stars
Gold Bond Healing
Great for hydration not for redness at all.
3 Stars
Olay Complete SPF 30 Sensitive
Great for hydration.
3 Stars
E45 Cream
Excellent hydration, but not excellent ingredients.
3 Stars
Dermalex Roscea Cream
Helps improve rosacea and redness.
4 Stars
EltaMD Moisturizer
Contains only 3 ingredients, a little oily.
3 Stars

Overnight Skin Care

Purchase some cotton balls and pink calamine lotion. Yes, calamine lotion is great for your skin. Our parents probably used this if we ever had chickenpox when we were young. You can use calamine on anything that has to deal with your skin. This pink lotion can help with redness dramatically. You will go to bed with a red face and wake up without it.

Calamine also works for acne. Don't use acne products, because they have chemicals in them that can burn your face. Calamine is cool to the skin and will help with inflammation. I have seen improvement with my acne and blackheads. You may look like you got in a fight with a paintbrush. If you can fight the embarrassment of it, then this method may work for you. You should start seeing improvement within a month. Apply calamine lotion using a cotton ball and dabbing it on. Beware, calamine lotion is very runny but dries quickly.

Calamine lotion
Calamine lotion | Source


I hope you find the skin care products that work for you. I have been down this road that you are taking. Having keratosis pilaris can be embarrassing and frustrating. Researchers say when we get older, our skin disorder may improve. I really hope they are right for the sake of all of us going through this.

Meanwhile, we do what we can do that is best for our skin. If we treat it right, we will have good looking skin. If you haven't already, please visit your doctor. It may not be keratosis pilaris that you have, it could be something else. If you need help finding products that may work best for your skin, there is a website called and there is also These websites will help you find the products that are best for you. A lot of our skin issues come from products with harmful ingredients. Please visit these websites to see if you can find the best products for you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Brittany Banks


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