Winter is right around the corner, and as we see the fall season moving below the horizon and get ready with our blankets, it’s important to take care of our skin as well.
The cold weather outside comes with its unwelcome effects on our body and more importantly our skin. Think about it, the skin is our first line of defense against the environment, it protects you against dust and germs and our surroundings.
The draining weather makes our skin dry and susceptible to attacks. Ashy skin is a common condition during the hibernal and should not be neglected.
What is Ashy skin?
Ashy Skin is a synonym to dry skin. The term “ashy skin” comes from its grey whitish color which comes with a dull skin.
The skin loses its glow and gives a chalky or flaky presentation and used in relating to people with a darker complexion and less apparent in lighter skin color.
Ashy skin is the layer of dry skin cells that collect over your skin, mostly found on elbows, knees, lower legs and arms.
Ashy skin is a common problem during winter when moisture gets sucked out of the atmosphere making the skin moisture deprived and drier.
What causes Ashy Skin?
Just like any other animal we shed dead skin cells and that are replaced by new ones from time to time. These new cells travel through the epidermis and reach the top layer of your skin.
The new cells replace the old ones but sometimes the dry cells accumulate and we see dry ashy skin that did not go through skins natural exfoliation and forms a barrier for newer cells.
Ashy skin is also caused by lack of moisture in the skin or a lack of water to keep it smooth and supple.
This condition is more common in dry and arid climates and during winter when dry winds take over.
Ashy skin can happen to everyone and is just a bit more visible to people with a darker complexion, but even if it might be a bit embarrassing it affects all races.
In some professions like swimming, dry skin can be a major problem.
Swimming is a very demanding sport physically and even more demanding for the skin. That is because our outer skin is protected by a layer of lipid that lubricates our skin and keeps it moisturized, however for swimmers prolonged exposure to water can cause this layer to wear off and with nothing to lubricate the skin it gets drier.
Preventing Ashy Skin
If you are a victim of ashy skin the best solution would be exfoliation. Use a scrub that suits your skin and not the same used by your friend as some scrubs might to too hash for your skin tone. Here are some other tips you should follow to prevent ashy skin.
Drink plenty of water
A frequent advice, dry skin is caused by the dehydration. Drinking adequate water every day is the perfect way to avoid dehydration and chapped lips. Drinking water hydrates your skin from inside and out and keeps it moist. Drinking other fluids like tea and coffee also serve as a good hydrant.
Skip body lotion
Both body lotion and body cream serve the same purpose but a body lotion contains lighter ingredients. Although a body lotion might get the job done, it eventually wears off in a couple of hours and you have to keep reapplying lotion to stay moisturized. A body cream, however, is made of heavier and more effective ingredients which prolong its effect and keeps your body hydrated for a longer time.
Steer clear from hot showers
After a day’s toil and sweat, a hot shower can be a rewarding experience. But a hot shower may be stripping your skin off natural lubricating oils and using a dry thing can only make things worse. To avoid dry skin, opt for warm water and use a moisturizing body wash.
Dry skin around on knees and elbows can be itchy, but scratching it is not a solution and will only make matters worse. Try using a moisturizer to avoid itchiness.
Seal your skin with Oil
If creams fail, a body oil is an ultimate solution to all your ashy skin problems. Apply the oil directly onto your skin after a shower while skin is still damp, this will help the skin absorb the oil easily and deeply. Try applying a body cream after implementing oil to get an extra layer of protection.
Exfoliating your skin
Let’s discuss this a bit further. A dead layer of skin just waiting on top of your skin is not going to help your ashy skin problem. A great way to get rid of dry skin is by applying a shower gel onto your loofah and using it on your skin to peel away the dead skin cells.
Some useful skin products
It is important to take special care while choosing skin care products. A cheaper solution or products unsuitable for your skin can be disastrous.
Creams like Fist Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream contains heavier emollients that work to seal moisture for a longer time.
Use Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash after a shower to moisturize your body. If a moisturizer doesn’t satisfy your kin’s appetite try using Neutrogena Body Oil after a bath while skin is damp.
If your skin is itchy use a mini moisturizer like Vaseline Cocoa Butter to stop the itching.
For exfoliation, we recommend using Earth Therapeutics Super Loofah Exfoliating Mesh Sponge or a Sabon Terry Loofah Glove with a liquid shower gel.
A humidifier like Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist can help keep the moisture level indoors optimal for your skin.
Ashy skin is not a serious disease but it can be an annoying problem. No one like a white patch of skin on their elbow or knees, it is embarrassing and unhygienic and like dandruff, it gives an unhealthy appearance in public.
It's best to deal with the problem early before it accumulates onto your skin and starts causing problems.