When your skin gets dehydrated (when’s the last time you grabbed for that moisturizer?!), it can begin to look dusty or chalky—hence the term “ashy.” In reality, that ash is the result of dead, dry skin cells.
Ashy skin is most common during the cooler months when the air is dry and harsh. Dry patches usually show up on people’s lower legs, arms/elbows, and feet but can affect their entire body in certain cases.
Despite the fact that ashy skin seems harmless, it poses potential long-term consequences, such as:
- Uncomfortable skin tightness
- Chronic itching
- Rough skin
- Fine lines and cracks
- Gray skin hue
- Hydration Is Key
Top Tips For Treating Ashy Skin
1) Pay Attention To Your Moisturizer
First and foremost, it’s important to hydrate your skin with a quality moisturizer. However, not all moisturizers are as effective as you would think. The best healing creams will leave your skin feeling moist for hours after application.
2) Opt For Salicylic Acid
Look for the ingredient salicylic acid when shopping for moisturizer. It’s a beta-hydroxy acid known to penetrate skin and loosen dead skin cells, naturally exfoliating them.
3) Stay Away From Sulfates
Ditch products containing harmful sulfates. You know that squeaky-clean feeling after washing your face? That’s usually from sodium lauryl sulfate. The problem with sulfates, though, is that they strip your skin of natural oil.
While that may seem like a good thing, your skin actually needs its natural oil for protection and longevity, so you don’t want to wipe it all away!
4) Keep It Alcohol-Free
Avoid products with certain harsh alcohols in them, which can also strip the moisture from your skin. Alcohols to avoid in skin care products include:
- SD alcohol
- Denatured alcohol
- Isopropyl alcohol
5) Go Au-Naturel
Some of the best nourishment comes from food-based ingredients, like eggs and avocados. You can also look for a cream that uses pure essential oils or herbal extracts. Plant-based ingredients like these are amazing for ashy skin.
6) Show Your Ashy Skin A Little Less Heat
Are you the type of person who looks forward to taking a long, hot shower at the end of the day? While it may feel ahh-mazing, washing your body with hot water only dries your skin out more, strips it of natural oils, and can cause itching—especially if you take extra-long showers.
Hot showers affect the outermost layer of your skin, the epidermis. During a hot shower, your epidermis takes a serious beating.
But turning the temperature dial to cold doesn’t do you any good, either. As opposed to going to either extreme, try using lukewarm water, and don’t stay in for too long.