Rough, uneven skin is typically thought of as a problem for the winter and fall months. But truth be told, as it gets warmer, clothes get shorter! And if you’re going to be showing all that skin this spring and summer, you might as well make sure said skin looks good AF.
Now that doesn’t mean you have to be completely perfect, but it does mean that it’s time to intensely moisturize those dry spots; fade that concentrated melanin known as hyperpigmentation; and find you a warm weather-friendly skincare routine.
Ready to start your journey to achieving the smooth, even-toned skin of your dreams? Here’s how you do it!
The Rough Spots: Knees and Elbows
Skin is the human body’s largest organ, but it’s certainly not the same all over your body. In fact, different regions require different treatment and care. As you probably already know, your elbows and knees have a much thicker, and often rougher, layer of skin cells.
While a little ash every now and again is no big deal, chronically dry elbows and knees can really become an issue over time. Skin becomes cracked; painful friction between your skin and clothes occurs, and a lack of moisture can make hyperpigmentation worse.
So, how does one deal with this pesky, but all-too-common problem? There are actually three big things you need to do:
- Add a retinol serum to your moisturizer. Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A that is known to smooth cracked and wrinkled surfaces. This is a step you especially need to take if daily moisturizing isn’t helping the rough texture of your knees or elbows.
- Treat them overnight. Take some petroleum jelly or one of your favorite oils and apply it to your knees and elbows before you go to bed. For a little extra care, try wrapping the areas in silk or even plastic to deepen the moisture penetration.
- Protect them more often. Friction is one of the main causes of worsening skin texture and if your constantly rubbing your elbows on tables or knocking your knees into things, this is your sign to protect them more often.
The Dark Spots: Armpits and Inner Thighs
For black women, having regions of concentrated melanin on our bodies—like between our thighs or under our arms—is not only common, but normal and pretty harmless. However, it can still be a point of insecurity for many of us who wish to have even-toned skin.
For many of us, this is a naturally occurring thing that has absolutely nothing to do with our current skincare or hygiene habits. For others, dark thighs and armpits are your cue to switch something up in your routine. A few ideas:
- Exfoliate more. A lot of times, hyperpigmentation will noticeably fade after a good exfoliation. Invest in a dry body brush, a good sugar or salt scrub, and exfoliate your problem areas a few times a week.
- Stop shaving. Friction caused by shaving will only make your thighs and armpits darker over time. If you know this is the cause of your issue, consider waxing, chemical hair removal, or laser hair removal.
- Double up on moisture. Dryness leads to skin that’s both rough and darker than preferred. Simply grab a thicker, heavier moisturizer or layer your current body cream with a nice oil to better seal in the moisture.
The Dry Spots: Lips and Feet
Dry, cracked, and chapped lips and feet can be a rough thing to deal with—literally and figuratively! But did you know that these are the regions of our body that we tend to ignore and neglect the most in our skin and body care routines?
Yup! It’s unfortunately true, but doesn’t have to be your reality. Taking care of your dry lips and feet is relatively simple. Here are a few ways to get you started:
- Opt for medicated balms and salves. Medicated balms and salves are usually blended with ingredients like eucalyptus and peppermint, making them a great combo of soothing, healing, and moisturizing.
- Do them first. Not properly caring for your lips and feet might just be a matter of forgetfulness. So keep it simple and care for them first and foremost!
- Try a full body steam or mask. These are all-inclusive ways to make sure you get the spots you tend to forget. You can’t really miss much of anything when you do a full body treatment, like a steam or mask.