17 Essential Oils For Keratosis Pilaris

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There are many essential oils for keratosis pilaris that can aid in the treatment of this skin condition. Keratosis pilaris is an extremely common skin condition that shows up as little bumps on the upper arms and thighs. While the bumps usually don’t hurt or itch, it is not yet known what causes this condition, but there are many different remedies for this disorder, including essential oils.

Keratosis pilaris is also known as KP or chicken skin. It is represented by some keratinous plugs in the pores of follicles. Keratin is the enzyme that makes the skin, nails, and hair. Keratosis pilaris, considered to be caused by a buildup of keratin on the outer layer of skin, in turn causing blockages that are unable to shed away; thus leading to hard bumps or lesions on your skin. This may also appear similar to acne, and other inflamed skin conditions. The upper exterior of the arms, the neck, the buttocks, and the legs are the most affected areas of the body.


Dry skin is the most common cause of keratosis pilaris. Which makes essential oils and moisturizing skin an excellent remedy. Part of the reason for this is because essential oils are full of antioxidants, which can help slow down aging by reducing skin oxidative damage and also helping to prevent collagen breakdown. Recommended Read: Why Should Moisturize Your Skin Every Day

Another reason is that essential oils are high in anti-inflammatory properties as well as moisturizing properties, which. Keratosis pilaris is an extremely common skin condition that shows up as little bumps on the upper arms and thighs. This may also cause great amounts of discomfort, especially if you are a swimmer or anywhere in water for long periods of time.

Before diving into essential oils for keratosis pilaris check out this dermatologist guide on keratosis pilaris:

Before you Begin

Before getting started, there are a few basics to remember when essential oils for keratosis pilaris:

  • When applying oils topically, always use a carrier oil. These are oils used to dilute essential oils, like coconut or jojoba oil.
  • Always do a patch test before applying anything to larger areas of your skin.
  • Many essential oils are toxic and shouldn’t be taken by mouth unless under the specific care of a healthcare professional.
  • Buy “pure” essential oils. There are all kinds of knock-off versions and perfume oils that don’t contain the same benefits.

Recommended Read: The Best Essential Oils for Your Specific Body Type

Essential Oils for Keratosis Pilaris

1. Lavender: Lavender is one of the best essential oils for keratosis pilaris. It contains anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and soothing properties that make it great for targeting the inflammation of this condition.

Mix 2 drops lavender with 1 tbsp carrier oil (coconut or jojoba) and gently apply to the affected area(s).km

Shake well before use. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture after applying and leave on overnight. Treat every other night.



Use as needed when flare-ups occur, usually once every two weeks and always 3 nights in a row.

2. Tea Tree: This essential oil is antibacterial thanks to terpinen-4-ol which targets the bacteria involved in causing KP. It also has anti-inflammatory properties due to its high content of terpinen-4-ol and alpha-terpineol which relaxes inflamed skin cells.  

Apply 2 drops tea tree essential oil with a carrier oil (coconut or jojoba) twice daily. Since this is an oil you should avoid the eye area, earlobes, nostrils, and other sensitive areas.

3. Frankincense: Frankincense is a great essential oil for keratosis pilaris because it helps to deeply moisturize and smooth the skin. Its high content of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes gives it powerful anti-inflammatory properties.  

Ideally, use frankincense essential oil with a carrier such as a coconut or jojoba oil to apply 2 drops twice daily.

4. Fennel: Fennel contains phytochemicals called anethole which is the compound responsible for its antibacterial activity. It also has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties because of its rich concentration of 1,8-cineol and trans-anethole.

Fennel essential oil can be applied topically in diluted form (1 drop in 2 teaspoons of carrier).

5. Chamomile: Deeply soothing, chamomile can work to calm irritated skin from keratosis pilaris.  Chamomile contains bisabolol which is a potent anti-irritant. On reactive skin, like with KP, it lowers the skin’s allergic reactivity. Chamomile contains flavonoids and polyphenols which increase blood flow to the skin, creating a healing environment for the affected area.

Blend 5 drops of chamomile essential oil with 1 teaspoon jojoba oil or coconut oil and apply to affected areas 2 times daily for best results.

6. Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is well known in the round-up of essential oils for keratosis pilaris. Eucalyptus is particularly effective in providing moisture to irritated, itchy, and painful skin rashes. The essential oil also has antiseptic properties and helps in getting rid of the infection that’s causing KP.

Eucalyptus is available as one of the ingredients in many acne creams and skin lotions to treat pimples, boils, and rashes caused by infections. It can be diluted in a carrier oil or cream before application.

Dilute 1 drop of eucalyptus essential oil with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion. Wash your hands first before applying it to the affected area to avoid any kind of irritation. Gently massage it into your skin for better results. Leave it on overnight or at least 8 hours and wash off thoroughly in the morning.

7. Geranium: Geranium is effective in treating KP because it has alkaline properties that help balance oil in the skin. It hydrates the skin and helps in the faster recovery of inflamed skin issues. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.

8. Sandalwood: Sandalwood is among the great essential oils for keratosis pilaris. It contains compounds known for reducing inflammation while promoting moisture in the skin. It also helps to alleviate the symptoms of KP such as dryness and itching. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.

9. Rosewood: Rosewood is one of the most effective solutions for treating KP because it contains a compound known to treat skin inflammation. It soothes inflamed skin while reducing irritation and red bumps on the affected area without leaving any greasy residue on your skin. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.

10. Patchouli: Patchouli is excellent for KP as is it known for reducing both pain and inflammation. These qualities are especially helpful for treating eczema rashes. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.

11. Cypress: Cypress essential oil helps to clear up KP because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It also has the ability to reduce inflammation in the skin, which is helpful for reducing swelling or redness on affected areas. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.

12. Helichrysum: Helichrysum essential oil is known as one of the most formidable treatments for treating both acne and eczema because they contain a compound called helenalin, which has been found to be one of the most effective compounds for treating contact dermatitis and skin rashes like KP. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.

13. Juniper: Juniper helps treat KP because it contains a compound called furanocoumarins, which prevents your body from over-producing oil in the affected area of your skin. This effect helps limit further build-up on top of existing lesions, further exfoliating and cleaning pores that have already clogged with dead oils cells. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.

14. Myrrh: Known as an antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory agent, myrrh essential oil treats KP by strengthening your skin’s natural defenses against bacterial growths and reducing pain associated with inflammation in the affected areas. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.

15. Thyme: Thyme essential oil contains thymol, which has strong antibacterial properties that help prevent KP from spreading and forming new lesions on your skin. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.

16. Oregano: A powerful antioxidant, oregano essential oil helps reduce swelling and redness caused by KP by soothing irritated tissue and reducing inflammation as a result of overexposure to the sun’s UV rays or other environmental pollutants in your immediate surroundings. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.

17. Wintergreen: Wintergreen essential oil is used to treat inflammatory conditions like KP because it acts as a natural analgesic for irritated tissues associated with intense itching and burning sensations caused by excess oils build up in the affected areas of the skin. Wintergreen also speeds up healing time by being an anti-inflammatory agent that inhibits damage done by free radicals and boosts collagen production in the skin. Dilute 1 drop with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil or mix it with your regular body lotion.


When using essential oils for keratosis pilaris make sure you use 100% pure essential oils that are free from chemical additives like synthetic perfumes or colors (see here for more info on adulterated/fake essential oils ). Also, choose low viscosity (thin) carrier oils such as coconut or jojoba oil for best results.