While the skin around elbows and knees is usually thicker and has more folds to protect our joints, the accumulation of dead skin cells and the pressure of kneeling and leaning can cause unsightly elephant-like skin.
What causes elbows and knees to darken?
Dryness – The skin on your elbows and knees have fewer oil glands than other areas, making it easier for the skin to get darker.
Unhygienic practices - Lack of exfoliation is usually the culprit and can lead to build-up of dead skin cells.
Dirt – The natural manifold on the knees and elbows tend to attract more dirt.
Friction – Rubbing against clothing can cause your knees and elbows to darken, as well as constantly rubbing against surfaces.
Sun exposure – Too much exposure to UV rays can cause darkening and uneven skin tone.
There are ways to lighten and soften your skin:
Step 1: Exfoliate
A good body scrub or a creamy body wash with small beads is helpful in sloughing off dead, dull skin cells. Pour it onto an exfoliating mitt and work it into the skin. Be careful not to scrub too hard as this can make dryness worse. You can also opt for a homemade scrub with the use of natural products like olive oil and sugar.
Step 2: Moisturize with aloe vera cream
Moisturizing daily will soothe dehydrated skin while avoiding future irritation. After showering, gently towel dry your skin. Look for a moisturizing cream containing aloe vera, glycerine, and emollient oils to heal dry knees and elbows, making them smoother and more radiant, like Corium 21 Aloe Skin Cream. It is suited for dry and rough spots as the natural ingredients deeply moisturize and nourish the skin. Massage it onto your knees and elbows using a circular motion to allow absorption to the skin for lasting moisture. You can use this on a daily basis and reapply as necessary.
Step 3: Avoid Stress
Stress may cause dry, itching skin so find a way to cope with everyday stressors. Try exercising, running, or meditating. Read more unconventional ways to de-stress
Step 4: Nourish from within
Diet also plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin. Just like for many other body features, the appearance of your skin is heavily affected by what you eat. Have a diet rich in vitamin A and E. Sweet potatoes, carrots, almonds, dried apricots, and spinach are all good choices. Also, keep your skin properly hydrated throughout the day.
Step 5: Lifestyle modifications
Try to avoid leaning on elbows and kneeling for long periods of time. When you go out, always apply sunscreen as the exposure to UV rays can make your knees and elbows darker.
Finally, remember to care for your skin every day as it will reward you with healthier and more glowing skin you can be proud to show off.