How to Get Rid of Dry, Rough Elbows
Even if you don’t consider your complexion to be overly dry, there’s a strong possibility that you’re dealing with dryness in at least a single spot: your elbows. Think back to last time you tried to get a faux glow. You surely had to pay your elbows extra attention, thoroughly exfoliating them help reduce the chance the self-tanner would soak into any dry patches. The thick skin over your elbows certainly seems to be more prone to dryness, but why? That’s what we wanted to know—and why we reached out to an expert for help. Find out the answer—plus, how to get rid of ashy elbows—below.
What Causes Dry, Rough Elbows?
To discover the source of dry elbows, we spoke with medical aesthetician and skincare.com consultant, Jamie Steros, who revealed that you won’t find a singular answer to this question. As with most complexion concerns, there are a multitude of reasons your elbows might be affected. According to Steros, common causes of dry elbows include, “genetics, environment, and/or inadequate hydration.”
How to Get Rid of Dry, Rough Elbows
While dry, rough elbows are something almost everyone has dealt with at one time or another, there’s no reason to believe nothing can be done. You may not be able to get rid of dry elbows (or dry skin in general) in the blink of an eye, but you can easily take steps to start improving their appearance and feel. Try these tips to get smoother, softer, more hydrated elbows:
1. Step up exfoliation. Are you exfoliating enough? Steros recommends increasing exfoliation to your elbows by using a gentle scrub two to three times a week in the shower. This can help remove a buildup of surface cells that could be causing a dry, rough feel.
2. Turn down the water temp. The temperature of the water you bathe in could be playing a part in just how dry your elbows are. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests that those with dry skin switch from hot water to lukewarm water, which can be less drying. In addition to putting a stop to steamy showers, consider cutting your showers short if you bathe for longer than five to ten minutes.
3. Moisturize post-shower. Take another tip from the AAD and moisturize immediately after your shower, before drying off. It’s undeniably the best time to apply moisturizer because you can help trap existing moisture onto your skin.
4. Break out a humidifier. Changing your environment may seem easier said than done, but if it’s the cause of your rough elbows, it’s possible to make helpful adjustments. Living in a dry space, whether that’s due to your location or simply an overactive air conditioner, could play a part in how dry your elbows are. While you most likely can’t pick up and move, you can make the air in your home less dry. According to the AAD, using a humidifier to add moisture into the air can help relieve dry skin. Plug one in by your bed and sleep soundly knowing you’re doing something good for your skin.
5. Apply moisturizer with AHAs. Don’t forget, body scrubs aren’t the only way to exfoliate. You can kick dry, flaky skin to the curb with chemical exfoliants too. If you already have your cleansing routine figured out, swap your standard body lotion or cream for a hydrating moisturizer formulated with exfoliating acids. Steros suggests using the moisturizer in both the morning and night to help regularly boost moisture. We’re fans of the SkinCeuticals Body Retexturizing Treatment; it’s ideal for patches of dull, rough body skin, and can be used daily.