June 19, 2012

Keratosis Pilaris and a Homemade Body Scrub

Have you ever heard of keratosis pilaris? It's better known as the "chicken skin" disease where your skin looks like...well, chicken skin. Basically, what KP is, is a genetic condition where the body produces excess amounts of the protein keratin. This excess protein likes to clump up around hair follicles causing tiny red bumps on arms, legs and pretty much any where on the body. There is no  detrimental effects other than cosmetic, but believe me it can be annoying.

I was obviously born with this disease, however I never really thought of it as a problem until I hit puberty when it really flared up. At this time I had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that my arms, legs and scalp were covered in bumps and were dry and rough. I remember going to my mom and asking her about it. She really didn't know what was going on either, but she said that she had the same thing and eventually "grew out of it" to where the KP wasn't that much of a problem.

Although her words were comforting, I still remember scrubbing my arms and legs vigorously to where they were almost raw in the shower and then slathering them in lotion twice a day. But it seemed that no matter what I tried, nothing was making these red bumps go away. 

It wasn't until a few years ago, that I finally had a name for this thing that had caused me a lot of time (let alone lotion). I had been watching one of my favorite YouTube channels and came across a video they did where they talked about their niece's struggle with "chicken skin." Listening to the story, I found so many similarities and at the end they offered some suggestions on how to lessen the number of those pesky bumps, the main one being an exfoliating body scrub.

So I did some research and found a body scrub to try. It worked great, but the downside was the amount you got for what you paid. It's just insane! So that is why last night I decided to try to make my own using two ingredients I had around the house.

A while ago, I had gotten some coconut oil to help replace some of the butter I use when I'm cooking/baking. Coconut oil is great for the body and lately there has been a craze of using it in homemade lotions so I thought why not try and use it in my scrub for a moisturizer. But baby oil and olive oil would work well too! The second ingredient I used was sugar, but salt would also work for this. All I did was take two parts sugar and one part coconut oil and mixed it up well. Simple as that!

Next was to decide how much exfoliating I wanted to do, since it was getting pretty late and decided on making it a "spa night" and used it on my feet and legs before I gave myself a pedicure. I have to tell you, my legs have never felt this good, and I didn't even put lotion on them yet and it's been a few hours (normally they are dried up with in thirty minutes)! Plus they feel so soft and smooth, something I'm not used to even with proper moisturizing. 

So if you suffer from KP or just need a good exfoliate for the summer, I recommend you try making your own at home using what you have on hand (most people have olive oil and sugar or salt at home). It's so easy to make (2 parts sugar/salt to 1 part oil) and it will save you a pretty penny when compared to buying it. And you can customize the scent to anything you prefer by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil!

P.S. Don't forget, there is a giveaway for a custom blog header or button open until June 30th. For more details click here!