KP Bump Body Scrub + Glycolic Acid
We had high hopes for Olay’s KP Bump Body Scrub + Glycolic Acid, but its abrasive texture is likely to cause more harm than good. Ultimately, there are more effective (and safer) ways to treat keratosis pilaris (KP) bumps.
If you’re not familiar with KP, it’s a common skin condition characterized by patches of rough, hard little bumps that occur on the sides of arms, thighs, bum, etc. It’s a completely benign skin condition, but still bothersome for many.
KP Bump Body Scrub + Glycolic Acid attempts to be the cure by providing a combination approach of both physical and chemical exfoliation to get rid of the bumps. The problem is that the gel-cream consistency is laced with coarse particles that give this scrub a rough feel. Not only is the scratchiness damaging to skin (see More Info to learn why), it also won’t get rid of KP (trying to buff the bumps away will only aggravate skin more). For “sturdier” areas of skin (think bum), the abrasiveness may not feel as harsh, but on thinner, more delicate arm skin, it’s quite noticeable.
Had Olay omitted the gritty scrub particles, the glycolic and lactic acids (a.k.a. AHAs) would have been a step in the right direction to gently exfoliate and smooth the rough skin (and the formula’s pH of 3.5 is within the range needed for these ingredients to work properly).
Per the instructions, you’re supposed to massage the fragrance-free formula into dry skin and then rinse. We’d go a step further to mention that you’d need to let this sit on skin for at least 10 minutes or so to give the AHAs a chance to work their exfoliating action.
As for Olay touting the vitamin B3 (niacinamide), that’s a great ingredient for strengthening skin’s barrier and normalizing pore function. Theoretically, it could possibly help with KP bumps in a roundabout way, but since it’s combined with the skin-damaging scrubs particles and the formula is meant to be rinsed (meaning there’s limited contact time with skin), it’s of little value.
All told, there’s really no reason to put your skin through the ringer with this product, when there are more effective KP/ body bump treatments on the market with a proven track record.
- The formula’s pH is within the range needed for the glycolic and lactic acids to exfoliate skin.
- Fragrance free.
- Scrub particles are scratchy/abrasive which leads to aggravated, damaged skin.
- The effectiveness of key ingredients is limited rinse-off formula such as this.
Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice.
Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.
Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.
A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for it to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don’t get lulled into thinking that if you don’t see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.
Generally, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there’s no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.
References for this information:
Annals of the Brazilian Journal of Dermatology, July-August 2017, pages 521-525
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–79
When keratosis pilaris bumps pop up make sure you have Olay KP Bump Scrub on hand. It’s made with exfoliating glycolic acid and Vitamin B3 Complex. It works by loosening skin’s top layer of dead cells so you can rinse them away. Use it a couple of times a week on dry skin to exfoliate. Gently massage the body scrub onto bumpy areas and then rinse.
Starting decades ago with the now-classic Oil of Olay, this brand now offers an extensive range of skin-care products sold at drugstores and mass-market stores. Today's Olay lineup for those concerned about staving off the effects of aging skin is impressive, comprising their Regenerist, Pro X, and Total Effects lines. All of these (and several other Olay products) contain the B vitamin niacinamide. As you might expect, the claims made for it are inflated, but niacinamide is a very helpful ingredient for all skin types, capable of exerting multiple benefits.
In fact, perhaps the biggest complaint about Olay is that there are a number of repetitive formulas within and between the sub-brands make this line confusing and tricky to shop! Still, there is a lot to like about this drugstore stalwart, with its main drawback being a few formulas containing fragrance or other ingredients that have the potential to cause irritation.
For more information about Olay, owned by Procter & Gamble, call (800) 285-5170 or visit www.olay.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.