In my previous blog post “First Day,” I mentioned that I exfoliate not only to clean my skin well but also because it boosts my confidence. I suffer from a common skin condition called Keratosis pilaris, often called KP, in which a protein in the skin called keratin forms hard plugs within the hair follicles. Keratin is a cream colored natural protein in the skin, but in KP, the body produces excess keratin which surrounds and entraps the hair follicles in the pore. This causes the formation of hard plugs in a process known as hyperkeratinization. Most KP bumps contain a hair that has become an ingrown hair because the keratinized skin “caps off” the hair follicle. The hair is prevented from exiting and it grows encapsulated inside the follicle.
KP is harmless, and medical treatment is neither needed nor necessary. Most people, myself included, just cope with it. Others seek out cosmetic alternatives including urea, lactic acid, glycol acid, tretinoin, laser therapy, vitamin D, or tropical retinoids. I’ve been dealing with KP for so long that it no longer bothers me. My own regimin is taking long, hot baths or showers followed by deep exfoliation of the areas of KP with a coarse washcloth or stiff brush. This helps unplug my pores.
My favorite exfoliate is a homemade concoction of coffee scrub. Since I drink a lot of coffee and I also exfoliate, why not kill two birds with one stone?
- 1 cup coffee grounds
- ½ cup white or brown sugar
- 1 cup coconut oil
Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. After bathing or showering, massage the scrub on your wet skin and rinse with warm water.
After exfoliating with the coffee scrub, your skin will be soft, hydrated, and ready to be bared in your favorite warm-weather ensembles.