What ingredients should you avoid with Keratosis Pilaris?

Avoid coconut oil when treating keratosis pilaris, and most skin issues, frankly. It’s comedogenic, meaning it clogs the pores and tends to make everything worse (with KP, the pores are already clogged, so this would be a double-clog situation). Treating keratosis pilaris is about unclogging those pores, so don’t waste your time with coconut oil. Jojoba oil is a milder oil and might help lessen redness and inflammation around KP bumps.



This is the most important. Maintaining soft skin is how you avoid the hard plugs that clog the hair follicles, causing KP.


A wonder ingredient that exfoliates and moisturizes.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (“AHA’s”)

Gentle chemical exfoliants, including lactic acid, glycolic acid, mandelic acid.

Salicylic Acid

A common skincare ingredient, especially in acne products, it’s a chemical exfoliant as well.

Vitamin A (AKA Retinol)

Common in anti-aging products, or by prescription.



Can irritate skin, causing inflammation which exacerbates KP. Look for products marked “fragrance free.”

Coconut Oil

Clogs pores (see above).

Certain Clothing

Rough fabrics like wool, and tight clothing (like athletic leggings).


Though tempting, scratching or “popping” KP will inflame skin.

Hot Showers

Will dry out skin, encouraging more KP.

Chlorinated Water

Another cause for dry skin. Be sure to rinse and moisturize if you go for a dip.

Mass Index Recommends:

Soft Services

Smoothing Solution


3.3 fl oz

fragrance free

This is a leave-on chemical exfoliant containing 10% AHA to dissolve build-up of dead skin cells and soothing ingredients to calm visible irritation.

Soft Services

Buffing Bar


net wt 3.75 oz (2)

fragrance free

This is a set of two physical exfoliating bricks for body skin made of fine sanding crystals compressed within a moisturizing, soothing base.

Soft Services works with experts to review the accuracy of our content, but they do not endorse the products we made.

More Information

How often should you exfoliate to prevent Keratosis Pilaris?

Read Now

Does diet affect Keratosis Pilaris?

Read Now

Get Updates

There’s more to come.

Sign up to receive periodical updates on Mass Index, and to be the first to know when Soft Services launches new products. (If we don’t have any updates, we won’t email you.)

Keratosis Pilaris

Small, harmless bumps of dead skin cells that form around the hair follicle.

Also Called

KP, chicken skin, bumpy arms, permanent goose bumps

Looks Like

View Gallery

Frequently Found On

Back of upper arms, outer thighs, back of thighs, outer calves

Related Concerns

Learn More: Keratosis Pilaris