I have ingrown hairs and dark spots on my legs. So I’m always on the lookout for new products to try.
I decided to give Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy a go because it contains not one but three types of chemical exfoliants, not to mention a 4-star rating on Amazon. While it reduced my keratosis pilaris by ~50%, I didn’t see any differences in my dark spots. At the end of my 1-month trial, I was only marginally impressed by it.
Read onto the rest of the review to find out how I really feel about Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy.
Applying this product onto my skin was interesting.
On the one hand, I loved that it spreads easily and dries fast. After all, these two things are what I primarily look for in a moisturizing cream, especially since they’ll make my morning routine that much faster.
On the other hand, while the cream made my skin super soft, it didn’t feel like it sank into my skin. Rather, it felt like it formed a film on my skin. And if I ever rub (or scratch) my legs throughout the day, the product starts to pill. Which is unfortunate.
Side note: This product contains chemical exfoliants. So if you’re exposing your freshly moisturized skin to the sun, it’s important to pack on the sunscreen—you know, to prevent sunburns and skin cancers.
It Smells A Little Funky
Officially, it’s fragrance-free/unscented. Unofficially, it’s kind of stinky.
One of the ingredients—I can’t figure out which one (maybe it’s the urea)—has a pretty pungent smell. Since the product looks and feels like mayonnaise, I feel like it also smells like mayonnaise—like it’s a few weeks past its expiration date.
The good thing is that the smell dissipates pretty quickly.
It comes in an 8-ounce tub. Unlike the moisturizing creams from Cerave and Vanicream (read my comparison of these two products here), Gold Bond doesn’t come with a pump. Which is disappointing because I don’t like sticking my fingers into tubs—it’s not sanitary.
Other than that, I wish it came in a bigger size. After using it daily (on just my legs) for a month, I ran out of product. In a perfect world, I would have had enough to cover my arms as well—even if I had to pay more for a bigger tub.
Since Gold Bond recommends twice daily use, I expect that you’d end up using at least two tubs per month.
Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy Ingredients
Water, Gluconolactone, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Ammonium Lactate, Petrolatum, Potassium Hydroxide, Propanediol, Salicylic Acid, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Steareth-21, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Jojoba Esters, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Caprylyl Methicone, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Panthenol, Bisabolol, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Succinate, Stearamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol (read more about it here), Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose.
Here are some of the key ingredients found in Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy:
- Gluconolactone is a polyhydroxy acid (PHA) and a chemical exfoliant. Since PHA’s are a fairly recent discovery, it’s exciting to see that gluconolactone is featured as the second ingredient (after water) in this product. At this point, you might be wondering what makes PHA’s so special. Well, PHA’s are known as the gentler AHA, meaning that you’ll get top-notch exfoliating benefits without experiencing irritation. Read more about PHA’s here.
- Hydroxyethyl Urea is a derivative of urea. Yes, urea is a component of pee. But more importantly, it’s a component of your skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMF), so it’ll keep you both hydrated and moisturized. Sometimes urea derivatives get a bad rap, but I couldn’t find anything negative about hydroxyethyl urea—even the EWG gave it a rating of 1 (“low hazard”).
- Ammonium Lactate is a special type of lactic acid (an AHA). In
skincare, it’s useful for a bunch of reasons—it’s moisturizing, it’s exfoliating, and it’s hydrating.
- Salicylic Acid is known as a beta-hydroxy acid that—at the right pH—can travel deep into your pores to clear out dirt and oil. Also, you might recognize salicylic acid from your favorite acne products. That’s because it has anti-microbial and exfoliating properties that are bound to ward off future breakouts and heal the dark spots from your old ones. (I wrote an article on the pros and cons of salicylic acid —read about it here.)
Overall Thoughts—Did It Work?
Here’s the thing, half the reason I bought this lotion was because I thought it would help lighten the dark marks on my legs. But it barely made a difference. (I actually wrote a separate article about fading hyperpigmentation on legs—if you’re interested, you can read it here.)
And while it did lighten my keratosis pilaris (some of you might know this by another name—chicken skin), it didn’t get rid of it completely. It just reduced the redness by maybe 40-50%, so my KP was slightly less noticeable. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel comfortable bearing my legs with even the smallest hint of KP.
Of course, it wasn’t all bad news.
The good thing was that it made my skin less rough and less bumpy—yes, the product name does itself justice. I’m the kind of person who gets ingrown hairs (A LOT). And I can never seem to get ahead of the game—no matter what hair removal technique I use. As I was giving this lotion a try, I noticed that I didn’t sprout any new ingrown hairs.
Beyond that, my skin felt smooth to the touch—like baby soft. The gang of exfoliants featured in the product really did the trick.
All in all, the high points were evened out by the low points. Which is probably why I think Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy is so “meh.”
What I Liked
- My skin was ultra-smooth
- It made my keratosis pilaris less visible
- Upon application, it dried down incredibly fast (so it didn’t slow me down in the morning)
- It’s affordable!
What I Didn’t Like
- It smells kind of funky
- It pilled if I rubbed my skin
- It didn’t really do anything for my dark marks (aka my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation)
All in all, Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy is a decent and cheap alternative to some of the more expensive smoothing/exfoliating creams that are currently on the market. In terms of results, it definitely softened my skin and made a noticeable dent in my keratosis pilaris. But I also think that you need to use this at least two times a day to reap the full benefits. Check it out here on Amazon.
If you’re curious about the difference between Cerave and Vanicream (two holy grail moisturizers), check out this article.