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Despite being protected by clothing much of the time, the skin on your elbows and knees has a tendency to become very dry. Pressure applied to the thin skin by your joints can contribute to flaking and discoloration. While it might take extra time to reach for that bottle of moisturizer every day, it's best to catch dryness early to keep your skin comfortable. Soothe dry elbows and knees to get them looking and feeling their best again.
Prevent the Dryness
Your environment and daily habits could be contributing to your dry skin. The air is generally dry through the colder months, and indoor heating consumes even more moisture, making your home and workplace culprits. Try to stay away from direct heat sources, or turn on a humidifier to counteract them. Consume more fluids and fluid-rich foods to keep your skin hydrated from within. Eight glasses of water a day is ideal, but fruit and nonalcoholic beverages work too.
Exfoliate Rough Patches
Exfoliation removes the top layer of dry skin, while helping skin to better absorb moisture. Rough exfoliators and scrubs can be too harsh for the thin skin on your elbows and knees. Choose a creamy body wash with small exfoliating beads instead. Wet your skin with warm water, and gently massage the body wash into your elbows and knees with your hands. If your skin is peeling or flaking, pour the body wash onto an exfoliating mitt and work it into the skin. Rinse the body wash off with warm water. Always wash with warm water instead of hot water, and keep your showers limited to less than 10 minutes to avoid drying out your skin further.
Moisturize Every Day
Moisturizing daily will heal dehydrated skin while preventing future irritation. Gently towel dry your skin until damp after showering. Work a dime-sized amount of oil into your knees and elbows using a circular motion. Oils absorb deeply into the skin for lasting moisture. Natural argan oil-based products, or pure oils such as coconut and almond oil, are effective. This works best at night when the oil will have time to thoroughly sink into your skin. On a daily basis, carry a thick body butter with you and reapply it as necessary. Body butters containing shea butter and glycerin work best for deep hydration.
Tone It Up
Your skin tone can become uneven when the skin is dried out. This usually appears in the form of redness or a dark brown tint. Lactic acid is a natural lightener that won't irritate just-exfoliated or sensitive skin. Work a dime-sized amount of lactic acid-based serum into your skin while it's damp, before you moisturize. Such serums help moisturizer adhere to the skin, and applying it to damp skin will help it fully absorb. Do this daily for best results.
- Michał Ludwiczak/iStock/Getty Images