Essential Oils for Keratosis Pilaris

When you have “chicken skin” you try your best to cover up those patches of dry, flaky skin and giant goosebumps so no one sees. You try to avoid scratching the already-irritated bumps, but sometimes you just can’t help it. Creams only seem to band-aid the problem for a short while, and those chemicals just aren’t what you want to be putting on your skin all the time. Is there help with a more natural approach for your keratosis pilaris? There is! Essential oils for keratosis pilaris can be used to alleviate the symptoms.

What Is Keratosis Pilaris?

Nicknamed “chicken skin” for the notable resemblance to the skin of a freshly-plucked chicken, keratosis pilaris (KP) can appear anywhere you have hair follicles. It typically is found on the upper arms and thighs, cheeks, or buttocks, but can extend down to the lower legs and forearms.

Symptoms include:

  • Large visible bumps resembling gooseflesh
  • Itchy, irritable skin
  • Sandpaper feeling to the skin
  • A pinkness or redness in the affected area
  • Worsening with seasonal changes and low humidity
  • Dry skin
  • Sometimes there is coloration to the bumps

A harmless condition that affects mostly younger children and teenagers, KP can flare up with hormonal changes around pregnancy and through puberty. As hormones begin to calm down, it usually starts to clear up around the mid-twenties. Most cases have completely resolved by 30.

Typical conventional treatments include retinol creams and chemical peels which can be very harsh and drying, especially for already dry and irritated skin. Intense exfoliation with microdermabrasion is also used with similar results.

Essential Oils For Keratosis Pilaris

Essential oils have been used for centuries as a means to treat everything from skin issues to infections to melancholy and low libido. The healing properties of plants are truly amazing. Essential oils utilize the compounds extracted from plants in a concentrated oil form. They’re often used for aromatherapy to stimulate the brain’s limbic system, but when applied to skin, some plant chemicals are absorbed.

What Essential Oils Can Be Used For Keratosis Pilaris

Because dry skin is the most common cause for KP, using natural oils is a great remedy. The carrier oils used to make and dilute essential oils are hydrating, containing many essential fatty acids that help to nourish, heal, and protect the skin. These could include argan oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oils.

#1 Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil has the ability to help soothe the itching and burning sensations that can often often accompany keratosis pilaris. It’s also very antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Since the dry, itchy skin of KP can suffer secondary infections, tea tree is useful in helping to kill harmful bacteria.

#2 Lavender Oil

Lavender is a popular oil for skin serums and healing concoctions of all sorts, and for good reason! It can support the skin cells to help them regenerate, healing the wounded skin’s lipid protective barrier. It has anti-inflammatory properties, easing the pain and irritation of dry skin. Like tea tree, it has antibacterial properties.

#3 Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil helps to deeply moisturize and smooth the skin. It helps to balance oil production and improve the skin’s elasticity and tone. This oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties and also works to improve the skin’s ability to heal and remodel.

#4 Chamomile Oil

Deeply soothing, chamomile can work to calm irritated skin. It’s been shown to have antibacterial activity and can speed wound healing. On reactive skin, like with KP, it lowers the skin’s allergic reactivity.

#5 Lemongrass Oil

Another great oil for helping to soothe irritation and prevent infection, lemongrass oil can tone and purify the skin. It can relieve the redness, itching, and swelling associated with keratosis pilaris.

Try them singularly, or create a blend of the above oils to your liking. Add a few drops of each oil to one ounce of a nourishing carrier oil like coconut oil and apply to your affected skin to relieve your symptoms.