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Even with the masses of beauty advice at my disposal, there are some beauty problems where I leapfrog over all of the tips and just divulge into some (pretty shoddy) self-diagnosis. Not with any accuracy or scientific grounding, I’ll admit, but suddenly I’m an expert.
No problem attracts more of this kind of amateur analysis than those weird bumps on the tops of arms. You know, the ones that make your skin look like you’ve got permanent goosebumps even though you could be in the middle of a Saharan heat-wave for all your arms might care. It turns out everyone else is just as proficient in bumpy skin diagnostics. It takes all of my will not to stamp my feet in frustration when people tell me their ‘best cure ever’ for it – which invariably means it’s useless because they’ve never had the problem so don’t know that nothing works. Nothing.
For as long as I can remember these little bumps have taken unwanted residence on my upper arms and refuse to shimmy along no matter how had I try to persuade (read: scrub) them into submission. Volunteering myself as the willing office guinea pig, I have finally said, after many failed missions, that I am up for anything.
First step – a proper, medical diagnosis. The name is Kerarosis Pilaris, or chicken skin as most people refer to it as. It’s caused by the build up of keratin and dead skin cells in the tiny hair follicles in your arms. In case you’re freaking out - it’s totally harmless and not something that you actually have any control over as it’s typically genetic. But it’s (to my delight) very much something that you can treat.
Step 1: Stop scrubbing (stop!)
Thinking that you can put in some elbow grease and physically scrub the bumps off your arms is exhausting and useless. Harsh scrubs can actually scratch your skin’s surface and cause even more inflammation, so step away from the loofahs ladies – they are not your friends.
Step 2: Get dirty
Avoid all forms of soap. Ok too far, we’re not suggesting you play at being Medieval until they’re gone, but perfumed soaps in particular are really drying. If your skin flakes more, there are more dead cells to fill up those hair follicles so you’ll get more bumps. Stick to non-soap body washes from ranges like Aveeno or Sukin.
Step 3: Acid is your friend
Acid may seem like a pretty lethal solution but lactic acid speeds up your skin’s natural exfoliation process and also draws moisture to it too. Pop it on your shopping list - the Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Lotion, £17.50, is packed with the stuff but just remember to use it every day.
Step 4: Pop a supplement
I’m a supplement fanatic as it is (seriously, I pop about nine fish oil tablets a day – excessive much?), so for me this was the most thrilling cure. A curcumin supplement (a compound also found in the spice tumeric) is an anti-inflammatory so will help to calm bumpy, angry skin down.
So that’s a bye to the bumps from us.