Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette
Sometimes when the weather begins to get colder, an Ethnic Beauty may experience ashy skin. Her knees, feet, ankles, elbows, and even the web between her fingers can appear powdery, gray, or flaky. This is a common dilemma. Sometimes slightly embarrassing, ashy skin can even appear after one has slathered on moisturizer. Ashy skin is basically dry skin which occurs when skin does not have enough hydration�enough natural water to maintain moisture. A percentage of our outer layers of skin are made up of water. However, lots of things cause us to lose that water, thus decreasing supple skin. Drying soap, the elements, dry heat, and even certain diseases/ailments can deplete skin of both natural oils and water. When this happens the skin becomes flaky and rough, which on skin of color stands out.
The way we cleanse our skin, (I know, I�m always talking about that) and even how we launder our clothing, may make a difference. There are hosts of moisturizing cleansers available, many for individual skin types, which can cause marked changes in the way dry skin appears. Also look for products with humectants. These are substances like glycerin that can attract water to the skin. Experts say that products that moisturize as they gently speed the shedding of dead skin cells and renew natural collagen are recommended. With laundering, unscented and alcohol-free substances may be a way to go, for some. Yes, since the perfumes and dyes found in numerous products may irritate, and since alcohol is drying.
Staying hydrated is a must. We have all heard that we need to ingest water. My lovelies, also please do not scratch. Your fingernails or even those oh so good-feeling brush bristles can irritate beautiful skin of color and create unsightly discolorations or marks. Perhaps a nice soak, with Aveeno Oatmeal products will soothe. I especially like these mid-priced offerings. Remember too that the temperature of the bath is also important. Yes, we love it steamy, however, dermatologist say that hot water can dry out the skin. They recommend lowering the temperature, try a warm bath.
Growing up, my mother used to use good old petroleum jelly or Vaseline on our ashy skin. Others used lanolin. I have found though, that if one is prone to acne, this is not advisable. The last thing an Ethnic Beauty wants is clogged pores, flare ups, and ashy skin! For the body, I happen to like olive oil soap. Beware though. It is not like the soap that most people regularly use. It does not create the same type or same amount of lather. If at first it does not skate smoothly over one�s skin, not to worry. Also, do not become dismayed if with increased uses, you notice the shedding of skin. Your old dead skin cells are simply sloughing off. Yay! I say that because this process will reveal fresh new skin. If treated properly, your �new� outer layer will appear much less chalky or scaly. No more kin to alligator skin.
I must tell you, I found out about this little miracle bar while thumbing through a natural magazine. (Such great tips I�ve found in those!) There were photos that caught my eye. A mature woman, in a �before� picture, looked crepe-y and perhaps a little camera shy. In the �after� photo, MaMa looked rejuvenated and her skin appeared visibly softer. That intrigued me, so I read the article. Then I asked, why not give olive oil soap a try? I�d used a ton of other cleansers that claimed they hydrated, and got nothing. Well, this really worked, for me! It may even work for you. If not, there are other offerings that may suit. Perhaps you would like to try Eucerin, which makes a moisturizer with an added benefit, sunscreen! Whatever you decide, Beautiful, remember--suffering ashy skin does not necessarily have to constitute a life sentence.