Is your skin sporting a gray appearance? Have you been dealing with dry skin? If you answered yes to both questions, you might have ashy skin. While the thought may be a bit embarrassing, there’s no need to worry—it happens to the best of us. With a few simple tweaks to your skin care routine, you can make avoiding ashy skin as simple as possible. Ready to make ashiness yesterday’s news? Follow along as we share everything you need to know about ashy skin, including skin care product recommendations to upgrade your routine.
WHAT IS ASHY SKIN?
First things first, you need to know what exactly ashy skin is before you can take action. As we started to touch on above, ashy skin is when your skin tone has a gray, whitish appearance. Ashiness is often found on the arms, elbows, and knees.
Typically used to describe how dry skin looks on dark skin tones, ashy skin is particularly easy to spot when skin is darker. Keep in mind, however, anyone can fall victim to ashy skin, no matter your skin tone.
WHAT CAUSES ASHY SKIN?
When it comes to ashy skin, the main culprit is a lack of moisture. Regularly moisturizing skin helps to keep it smooth, supple, and hydrated. When skin is stripped of moisture, it can cause ashy skin to make an appearance. Ashy skin may rear its ugly head during the winter season or if you’re in a dry or cold climate.
Another reason that your skin may be on the ashy side is due to dead skin cell buildup. Every time you exfoliate, you slough away dead skin cells that can build up on the skin. If you skip this essential skin care step, a collection of flaky old skin cells can give your skin a dull-looking appearance. In turn, this keeps your skin from fully absorbing moisturizers, which will ultimately lead to ashy skin.
6 TIPS FOR MANAGING AND PREVENTING ASHY SKIN
Ready to learn how to tackle ashy skin? Here are six tips to try.
1. MOISTURIZE YOUR SKIN DAILY
One of the easiest ways to manage ashy skin is to moisturize regularly—and once a day won’t get the job done. Every solid skin care routine requires a round of moisturizer twice a day, morning and night.
Try using a water-based moisturizer, like the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Dry Skin, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Oily Skin, or the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin on damp skin. All three moisturizers are formulated with aloe vera water and hyaluronic acid and will envelop skin with moisture.
Editor’s tip: This rule goes for skin below your neck as well! Be sure to use a nourishing body cream or lotion on damp skin to help lock-in moisture.
2. AMP UP THE MOISTURE
If dry skin is the bane of your existence, sometimes your moisturizer alone may not be enough. This is when layering oil and moisturizer onto skin works to your benefit. By applying oil to your skin after moisturizer, you’re able to help seal in and add an extra layer of nourishment that can help keep ashy skin at bay. Head on over to our article, Should You Apply Oil Before or After Moisturizer? for some pointers.
3. OPT FOR A HUMIDIFIER
Whether you live in a dry, cold climate or spend a lot of time in air conditioning, the lack of moisture in the air can play a role in ashy skin development. To keep your skin in tip-top shape, you may want to consider investing in a humidifier. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a humidifier adds moisture into the air, which can help keep your skin moisturized. Try setting one up in your bedroom, so your skin isn’t drying out overnight.
4. USE GENTLE SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
By now, you likely know that using harsh skin care products can wreak havoc on your skin. The AAD shares that deodorant soaps, alcohol-based toners, and products with fragrance can irritate dry skin, which is the last thing you need. Always make sure to use gentle, nourishing products.
5. WASH WITH LUKEWARM WATER
Hot water may feel like the ultimate delight, but it’s bad news for your skin. Simply put, super-hot H2O can strip skin of its natural oils, which can leave you with dry and ashy skin.
6. REACH FOR PETROLEUM JELLY
Another way to give ashy skin the boot? Petroleum jelly! Commonly used to moisturize dry skin, this beauty staple can work wonders to relive ashy skin. If you find that your skin is extra thirsty for moisture, apply petroleum jelly to damp skin.