Is the surface of your skin plagued by a layer of white or grey dust? While it may look like you’ve been moisturizing with chalk, you’re probably suffering from ashy skin. 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. And although ashy skin is most noticeable on darker skin tones, anyone can have the condition.
Despite the fact that ashy skin seems harmless, it poses potential long-term consequences, such as:
Uncomfortable skin tightness
Fine lines and cracks
Gray skin hue
Hydration Is Key
Think about a bouquet of roses. When taken care of, the petals will be vibrant, soft, and beautiful. But take away the water source, and the flowers will become dry, brittle, and lifeless. Why? You’ve totally dehydrated the plant!
The same goes for your skin. While your petals won’t necessarily fall off, your skin gets dull and lifeless when it’s dehydrated. Over time, the dryness builds up, resulting in ashy skin.
Your skin isn’t always able to produce the hydration it needs to thrive. Just like a bouquet of roses can’t water itself, your skin needs to be tended to on a daily basis with safe, effective products.
But remember, roses don’t just survive on water—they need sunlight, oxygen, nutrients, and maintenance to grow. The same is true for your skin. Use these tips to combat ashiness.
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.
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.
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!
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 skincare products include:
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.
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.
You should be exfoliating on a weekly or bi-weekly basis whether you suffer from ashy skin or not. Part of the chalky look of ashy skin is caused by the buildup of dead skin cells. Those cells are visible on your skin because they are sitting there and not moving, even if they look loose and flaky.
Dry, dead skin cells can easily be removed using a gentle exfoliating scrub on your arms, stomach, and legs. If you suffer from extra dry skin on your face, use a separate exfoliating wash formulated specifically for the facial area once or twice each week.
Don’t Forget Your H2O
Drinking the proper amount of water each day has countless benefits for your skin. Although chugging H2O won’t automatically quench your dry skin, there’s no denying the facts: skin is an organ made up of cells. And skin cells, like any other cells in your body, are made up of water. Without water, your organs simply can’t function at their best.
If you find yourself struggling to meet your daily water intake quota, mix it up by drinking naturally flavored waters and teas as well. They can also help to replenish your body's much-needed moisture.
Make The Humidifier Your New Best Friend
Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which is especially crucial during the winter months when air is super thin and leaves your skin dry, itchy, and patchy. And, as if winter wasn’t already enough of a skin bully, even the heat we use to keep our homes warm during the cold months dries out our skin!
You can combat this dry spell by investing in a humidifier. Humidifiers help keep the moisture levels balanced in your home and regulate the moisture levels of your skin. Running a humidifier in your bedroom during the night helps rehydrate your skin while you sleep—perfect!
Remember, ashy skin is the result of extreme dehydration. Make sure you use products that are designed to heal and replenish your skin with exactly what’s missing—moisture.
Start hydrating your skin the healthy way, and you’ll be saying goodbye to ashy skin in no time!
Original Link: https://www.siobeauty.com/blogs/news/ashy-skin