Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Smooth Joints

August 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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smooth joints 1

You rarely hear someone list elbows or knees as her best feature. That’s likely because these areas of the body lack moisturizing oil glands and are on the receiving end of more than their fair share of friction. The scaliness and crepiness seem to grow more troublesome as we age, as skin doesn’t naturally shed as quickly, but it’s unappealing at every stage.

A visit to a dermatologist is always in order to rule out eczema or other conditions that cause scaly skin. Once any medical condition is ruled out, pay your elbows and knees some extra attention by following a few simple steps.

Start by taking warm (never hot) showers, and while you’re there, use a pumice stone, loofah, or exfoliating body brush to buff excess dry skin from knees and elbows. Use a commercial exfoliating shower gel or make your own scrub with a base such as coconut, olive oil, milk, or honey and an abrasive such as salt, baking soda, or sugar. Don’t buff too hard — bright red, raw joints aren’t any more attractive than scaly, gray ones.

Moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower, applying a heavier cream or ointment on very dry patches. For additional exfoliation, look for a cream that contains lactic or alpha hydroxyl (AHA) acid, but don’t grab the same one you’d use on your face — your elbows and knees need something stronger to jolt away patches. Lotions with urea are also useful to add extra moisture while loosening dead skin. Shea butter or olive, almond, avocado, or coconut oil also work quite well for straight skin nourishment, as does a petroleum jelly, but not if you’ll be venturing out — jellies, butters, and oils will stain your clothes and make you slippery!

If discoloration of your knees and elbows is also an issue, use a hydrocortisone cream designed for rashes, apply aloe vera gel, or use a product advertised for skin lightening that may contain hydroquinone. Cutting a lemon in half and vigorously rubbing a section across each elbow and knee also lightens up the dinginess (some people prefer using raw potato halves), but avoid if skin is raw.

Since age takes its toll everywhere on the body, it makes sense to also use an anti-aging formulation on your elbows and knees. Look for products promising revved-up collagen production, smoothing, firming, and/or lifting.

Examine your daily routine to see if you are rubbing your joints unnecessarily. Practice yoga? Perhaps wear clothes that cover elbows and knees or wear light, flexible joint pads. Do you sit at a desk all day with your elbows rubbing back and forth along the edge? Buy an ergonomic elbow rest, or see if wrist extenders will do the job to raise your elbows up and off the hard surface.

Drinking additional water and reducing your exposure to moisture-sapping humidity are also helpful. A final, vital tip to take care of elbows and knees is to never skip your joints when you apply (and reapply) sunscreen.

By Lita Smith-Mines


DIY Skin Scrubs


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