Ashy skin is so dry that it looks dusty or chalky in appearance. It is often more pronounced in people with dark skin tones, although anyone can have the condition. Ashy patches are most commonly seen on the legs, arms and feet, especially around the heels, and they tend to worsen in wintertime and in dry climates. Combat ashy skin with daily care to bring the glow back to your complexion.
Bathe with lukewarm water and take short showers. Hot water strips your skin of the oils that it naturally produces.
Wash with a light, non-deodorant bar soap. Deodorant soaps may be too harsh for skin prone to ashiness.
Apply an alcohol-free moisturizer to your skin right after bathing, while your skin is still damp. The alcohol present in many skin care products is very drying. Moisturize again later in the day if your skin feels dry or itchy.
Pat your skin dry with a towel. Do not rub to dry it.
Exfoliate your skin once or twice a week with a pumice stone or a gentle exfoliating cleanser. The ashy look can be caused by a layer of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Be careful, though -- you could cause sore spots if you rub too much. Exfoliate a little at a time and moisturize the dry areas often as you work.
Run a humidifier during the winter months, or year-round if you live in a dry climate.
- “Sauer's Manual of Skin Diseases”; Brian J. Hall, et al.; 2010
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