I've Had Bumpy Upper Arms Since I was a Kid—Meet the One Product That's Helped

One thing that’s been with me since childhood (aside from a love of John Stamos and horror movies and is decidedly less fun than the two) is bumpy upper arms, known by its government name, keratosis pilaris. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, keratosis pilaris, or KP for short, is a skin condition where tiny bumps that resemble goosebumps appear on the skin. Oftentimes these rough little bumps are on the upper arms, like in my case, but can also appear on the thighs, butt, or cheeks. The “chicken skin” condition is harmless but fairly common, affecting 50% to 80% of adolescents and approximately 40% of adults.


Courtesy of Peach & Lily

Though it was never something that bothered me too much as a kid (any skin-related agony I suffered during adolescence was reserved for facial acne and the dreaded cold sores I somehow always got on school Picture Day), if there was a way for me to finally get smooth upper arms, I wasn’t going to turn it down. Therefore, Peach & Lily’s new KP Bump Boss Microderm Body Scrub ($28) had me intrigued from the get-go. The body scrub is the first body product from the K-beauty brand (whose Glass Skin Refining Serum ($39) is a beloved product for those in the skincare community) and specifically targets keratosis pilaris if you couldn’t tell from its moniker.

Why It's Unique (and So Effective)


Courtesy of Peach & Lily



Courtesy of Peach & Lily

After 300 (!) formula iterations cooked up and tested for over two years, the KP Bump Boss finally came to be. Since exfoliation is the key element to tackling the bumps, they included both chemical and physical exfoliants: 10% AHA and PHA, and eco-friendly mineral microcrystals. There are also fruit extracts like Asian plum, apple, papaya, and grape that have different antioxidant, skin soothing, and collagen-boosting benefits. To round out the spa experience, Korean star ingredients like mugwort, barley, and cica are included, which reduces redness and inflammation while soothing the skin and offering protection through antioxidants. (Some KP, like mine, has redness, which the mugwort specifically helps calm.) “Probiotics are included for more resilient skin, and taking advantage of the in-shower humidity and water, there’s hyaluronic acid to draw moisture to skin, and squalane and cucumbers to refresh and hydrate,” adds Yoon.

My Experience Trying the Peach & Lily KP Bump Boss

To test how the KP Bump Boss scrub would affect my keratosis pilaris, I decided to use it on only my right arm for about a month. As per Yoon’s suggestion, I used it a couple of times a week when I’d shower, squeezing a dollop into my hand and massaging it directly into my arm for about a minute or so. (My left arm would be cleansed and scrubbed with my usual body wash and loofah.) I felt the difference immediately. My right arm felt much softer and smooth compared to the left. Sometimes I’d be sitting at my desk and touching my arm, impressed by its silkiness. Sorry to you, left arm.

It continued to be soft until one lazy week where I didn’t use the scrub and felt the bumps coming back. This wasn’t really a surprise to me because there’s no actual “cure” for KP, you just have to treat it by exfoliation. I liked the results of it so much I’ve made sure not to be lazy about it anymore! Next, I’m going to use it regularly on my forearms where I get bumps from shaving. If you have KP, get this scrub ASAP! It’s my saving grace until I can go to the Korean spa again.

The Results



Other Products to Use for KP

This fan-favorite scrub utilizes a strategic mix of chemical and physical exfoliators to help iron out bumps and clogged pores.

Use this as a skin-smoothing pre-game before you lather on your fave lotion or oil.

This body scrub has more going for it than its eye-catching packaging: Clarifying salicylic acid, natural exfoliating powders, plus a potent dose of activated charcoal and manuka for the ultimate skin detox.

This concoction of glycolic acid, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid is the ultimate foe for acne and unwanted bumps.

This is one of the most famous KP antidotes on the market and for good reason: It's effective. It's the next best thing to a fancy in-office treatment as it combines the skin-softening perks of a chemical peel and microdermabrasion in one, easy-to-use formula.

If you’re someone who likes instant gratification sans mess, you’ll love these convenient hand-held treatment towelettes from Dr. Dennis Gross. 

KP treatments don’t have to cost a fortune, and this targeted formula from Olay is proof.

Yep, lotions can help smooth out stubborn KP, too! This one smells a little like marzipan (so dreamy), delivers a surge of moisture to thirsty skin, and also contains a hearty helping of exfoliating acids—glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric—to help pave the way to a baby-soft finish.

Lots of bump- and acne-targeting formulas for the face and body can strip and deplete your skin. (Which ultimately makes the situation even worse!) Not this gentle formula. 

Boosted with both glycolic and lactic acid, this body scrub enhances the look and feel of the skin so it’s brighter, smoother, and polished. It will also help curb the look of aging or crepey skin. 

Most exfoliating bars leave us looking like we’ve been attacked by a stray, rabid cat. That said, this bestseller from Glossier is the one and only exception. Use it to polish your skin in soft, circular motions in the shower, and you’ll be wowed by the silky results. Make sure you top it off with some oil or lotion.

Next: Those Small Bumps on the Backs of Your Upper Arms? This Is What to Do About Them