The Best The Ordinary Products for Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris also called “chicken skin” is a common harmless condition that causes dry tiny bumps or patches on the skin. These usually appear on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks, or buttocks. Although benign, it causes a lot of discomfort in people.

Unfortunately, KP has no cure and can only be managed and in this post, you’ll discover the best The Ordinary products that will do the trick. 

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What type of skincare products help with Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis Pilaris is caused by an overproduction or build-up of keratin in the skin’s hair follicles leading to their blockage. Keratin is an essential protein found in the skin that helps protect it from infections. However, this protein sometimes tends to build up and cause the appearance of tiny bumps or rough patches on the skin.  

This condition is mainly genetic and non-contagious. If you have KP, your skin usually feels like sandpaper and you sometimes develop small red or brown bumps. Because this condition is associated with dry skin and rough skin texture, hydration, moisture, and exfoliation are essential to get rid of chicken skin.

Below is a list of the type of skin care products you should use if you are dealing with KP:

Moisturizing creams

When struggling with chicken skin helping your skin retain moisture is very important. As such, you want to make sure you use moisturizing creams or lotions that are rich in emollients like shea butter, sunflower oil, jojoba oil … etc to seal up moisture in your skin.

Make sure you apply them on damp skin after you shower for maximum water retention. You also want to reapply your moisturizing on the affected areas multiple times throughout the day. 

Hydrating products

Humectants that help draw moisture from the air work hand in hand with moisturizers that seal the moisture. You want to include products in your routine that contain strong humectants such as hyaluronic acid, panthenol, glycerin, and urea.

Urea is generally recommended for the management of KP because it has a descaling effect. This is ideal to get rid of dry patches on the skin.  

Depending on what part of your body you are experiencing KP you can choose a hydrating serum, body/facial wash, or cream. 

Exfoliating products

Exfoliating your skin regularly will help get rid of the excess keratin buildup causing the rough texture you are experiencing. Therefore, you should have at least one exfoliant in your routine.

AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid will work well to loosen the bond between skin cells for smoother skin.

BHAs like salicylic acid will work as well. However, do not forget that the use of these exfoliants should be spaced out to 3x a week to avoid risks of irritating your skin. 

Topical Retinoids

Retinoids (Vit A derivatives) have the capacity to increase the skin cell renewal process. This means that when applied to the skin, they speed up the rate at which dead skin cells are shed and reveal, younger, brighter, and softer skin. This property is particularly good news for anyone dealing with KP. When applied, retinoids will help get rid of the excess keratin buildup responsible for the rough skin texture. 

On the other hand, there are things to avoid when dealing with Keratosis Pilaris:

Mechanical exfoliation

A lot of people are tempted to scrub their skin in order to get rid of KP bumps but this practice may be counterintuitive. Although scrubbing your body with a brush, loofah, or sugar scrub may prove a temporary solution, you may run the risk of causing inflammation on your skin. 


If you are experiencing chicken skin on parts of your body that require shaving, you may want to think twice before waxing or razor shaving. This will lead to more bumps on your skin. If you can get laser hair removal. If not make sure you use salicylic acid to exfoliate your skin a couple of days after shaving to unclog your pores. 

Long and hot showers

Taking hot showers for too long will increase your chicken skin flare-ups. Hot showers tend to dry the skin, and the dryer your skin is the worse your flareups will be. It is best to take warm showers of not more than 20 minutes. 

Bar soap

Bar soaps are very alkaline in nature and can dry your skin out thus, increase flare-ups. It is best you switch to a mild, soap-free cleanser. 

The Best The Ordinary Products for Keratosis Pilaris

There is no known cure for keratosis pilaris, however, you can use skincare treatments to manage the condition over time. Here is a list of all The Ordinary products that will be suitable for managing KP:

At a glance:

  1. Lactic Acid 5% + HA: Exfoliates and hydrates; available in 5% and 10% strengths. Learn more >
  2. Salicylic Acid 2% Solution: Deep pore unclogging; strong, use with caution. Learn more >
  3. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: Deep hydration; soothes and smooths skin. Learn more >
  4. Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: Potent exfoliator for improved skin texture; start sparingly. Learn more >
  5. Mandelic Acid 10% + HA: Gentle exfoliation; suitable for sensitive skin. Learn more >
  6. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution: Powerful exfoliant; use max twice a week. Learn more >
  7. Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion: Skin renewal without irritation; improves texture and tone. Learn more >
  8. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA: Intense hydration; contains natural skin hydrators. Learn more >

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%+ HA

The ordinary lactic acid + HA

This serum contains lactic acid (an AHA and a humectant ) and hyaluronic acid. These will help exfoliate the bumps on your skin and hydrate it for softer and smoother skin. It can be applied to all parts of your body where you are experiencing flare-ups. It also comes in a 10% concentration.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution 

The Ordinary Salicylic acid 2% solution 

This product contains salicylic acid at its highest concentration. When applied to the skin it will penetrate to the deepest layers of the skin to unclog your pores and get rid of the KP bumps. It can be applied to all parts of the body, however, if your skin is extremely sensitive you may want to avoid this product as it’s very potent. Instead, you could try a milder lactic acid.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

This serum is a hydration powerhouse, perfect for smoothing out the rough texture of Keratosis Pilaris. It combines three types of hyaluronic acid to deeply moisturize different layers of your skin. Added Vitamin B5 soothes and repairs, making it great for sensitive skin.

It’s light, non-greasy, and doesn’t clog pores, leaving your skin feeling soft and plump. Use it after cleansing for the best results, as it prepares your skin to absorb other products more effectively. Ideal for anyone seeking deep hydration and a smoother skin texture.

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

This toner contains glycolic acid, the strongest AHA, and will exfoliate the surface layer of your to improve its texture. This product although formulated for the face is also recommended to use on your body due to its potency. Some people find it irritates their skin so use it sparingly to start with and only once or twice a week. If your skin tolerates it you can then use it more often.

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA 

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA 

Ideal for tackling the rough texture associated with Keratosis Pilaris, this serum uses Mandelic Acid, a gentle alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). It works to exfoliate the skin softly, effectively smoothing out bumps and enhancing skin softness. Its larger molecular size makes Mandelic Acid a great fit for sensitive skin, as it ensures a slower, more controlled penetration, minimizing irritation.

The formula is also enriched with hyaluronic acid, which aids in hydrating the skin, creating a perfect balance with the exfoliating action. Use this serum in the evening routine for a clearer, smoother skin texture, and don’t forget to follow with a moisturizer for optimal results.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This powerful peeling solution is expertly formulated with a blend of AHAs and BHAs, targeting the top layer of skin for effective exfoliation. It’s specifically designed to enhance the skin’s texture and appearance, making it a strong ally against Keratosis Pilaris.

While it’s suitable for use on the face and body, it’s important to remember its strength. To avoid over-exfoliation, limit its use to twice a week and not daily. This careful approach ensures you get all the benefits of the product without stressing your skin, paving the way for smoother, clearer skin over time.

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

This creamy serum contains an advanced retinoid technology that allows the skin to benefit from all the skin-renewing properties of retinoids without the common side effects like dryness, irritation, and skin peeling.

It can be applied to all parts of the body and combines the actions of ​​Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Retinol, and Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract to improve skin texture, even skin tone, and reduce signs of aging.

The Ordinary has a wide range of retinoids to choose from based on how well your skin can tolerate them. Others include: 

  • Retinol 0.2% in Squalane
  • Retinol 0.5% in Squalane
  • Retinol 1% in Squalane
  • Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane
  • Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

This moisturizer is ideal for managing KP as it contains essential moisturizing factors naturally present in the skin to boost its hydration and guarantee moisture retention. It is rich in amino acids, ceramides, glycerides, hyaluronic acid, and urea.

Although it can be applied to all parts of the skin, it is sold only in quantities of 50ml and 100ml. This means you will have to repurchase often if your flareups affect mostly your legs, thighs, and buttocks. 

How to use The Ordinary products for Keratosis Pilaris

There is no standard way to use The Ordinary products for keratosis pilaris. You can experiment with the different products and find the combination that works best for you. Most people will start with one of the AHAs or BHAs listed above and then add a hydrating product like the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA.

If you have sensitive skin, you may want to start with a lower concentration of AHA or BHA and work your way up as your skin becomes more tolerant. You should also avoid using these products every day as they can cause dryness and irritation. Start with two or three times per week and increase as needed.

Here is how you can layer The Ordinary products for keratosis pilaris:

1. Cleanse your skin with a mild cleanser.

2. Apply a pea-sized amount of the AHA or BHA product to your skin and massage in gently. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend using The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA as it is gentler than other AHAs.

3. Follow with the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum.

3. Apply the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA cream to hydrate and protect your skin.

4. Apply sunscreen if you will be going outside as these products can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

If you also want to try using retinoids on your KP, you have to keep in mind that you shouldn’t combine AHAs or BHAs with retinol as this could cause some serious irritation. However, you could try using AHA in the morning and retinol at night but in any case, you have to remember to use sunscreen every day to avoid serious sun damage.

Pay attention to how your skin responds and adjust accordingly. If you find that your skin is drying out or becoming irritated, reduce the frequency of use.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to keratosis pilaris. What works for someone else may not work for you, so it’s important to experiment until you find the right combination of products and frequency of use for your individual needs.

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Petra Nakashian (previously Kravos) is a dedicated natural health and beauty blogger, driven by the loss of her parents to cancer, which led her to meticulously research beauty product ingredients. With over 10 years of experience, her in-depth knowledge has made her a trusted expert in the field. Founder of Be Healthy Now and Green Beauty Talk, Petra recently expanded her expertise with Beauty Insights Hub, exploring a wider range of beauty treatments. Committed to transparency and honesty, her work is a vital resource for navigating the complex world of beauty.