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What is Ashy Skin?

What causes ashy skin?

If you are with a dark brown or black skin color and you feel that sometimes your skin looks a bit gray, then you may have something that dermatologists refer to as ‘ashy skin’.

Ashy skin is common in darker skin types, and is a result of dry skin.

Dry skin leads to a build-up of dead skin cells on the stratum corneum (the outer layer of the skin) causing the skin to look gray in color.




Why Do I Get Ashy Skin?

Ashy skin is primarily caused by skin that is dry and dehydrated; therefore, daily use of a moisturizer is essential. This should be preceded by a face or body exfoliator as ashy skin is also often the result of incomplete desquamation (i.e. the shedding of dead skin cells to reveal new and fresh skin beneath).

How To Get Rid Of Ashy Skin

The most sure-fire way to get rid of ashy skin on the face and body is to regularly use an exfoliating scrub.

These remove the dead skin cells, allowing the skin to reflect light and give you radiant and glowing skin.




What Are The Best Face Scrubs To Treat Ashy Skin?

The best face scrub for ashy skin is a mechanical face scrub with abrasive beads that are not bad for the environment.

5 best exfoliating scrubs to treat ashy skin:

  1. Avene Gentle Scrub

  2. Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Scrub

  3. Pidanti Smoothing Polish Face and Body Scrub

  4. SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub

  5. VMV Hydra Balance Smart Cleansing Scrub- for allergic skin



We also love ClarityRx Down + Dirty Mask, which is a natural apricot and mineral-rich seaweed scrub that also doubles as a charcoal mask to remove the gray scales that create an appearance of ashy skin. This face scrub for ashy skin is suitable for even sensitive skin types, and will lift away dead skin cells for a healthy-looking complexion. Mineral-rich seawood supports the skin’s natural hydration process to prevent the reappearance of the dry, dead skin cells that cause ashy skin.

What Are The Best Body Scrubs To Treat Ashy Arms And Ashy Legs?

One of the best face and body scrubs for ashy skin is Pidanti Smoothing Polish Face and Body Scrub - an excellent all-round exfoliating scrub.

This face and body scrub gently removes dead, dull skin cells using a combination of exfoliating beads and 10% glycolic acid.

Glycolic acid is a low pH cleanser with alpha hydroxy acid well-known to create a smoother, more even appearance, as well as gently peel away dead skin cells from the surface of the stratum corneum.

How To Prevent Ashy Skin On The Face

If you regularly suffer from ashy skin on the face, the best way to keep it at bay is to use an effective facial moisturize r or face oil, which will keep the skin hydrated and reduce the appearance of the dry skin that causes a gray color. A face moisturizer that replaces the lipids that are commonly lost in dry skin conditions, as well as hydrates, is essential to prevent ashy skin.

One of our favorite face moisturizers to prevent ashy skin is Zerafite Barrier Repair Cream, a gentle face cream that repairs and protects the skin barrier (i.e. the stratum corneum). By doing so, this face moisturizer prevents the appearance of dry, ashy skin by locking in moisture and replenishing lost skin lipids.

Medature PSL Repair Moisturizer is a rich but lightweight face cream that combines ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids to restore the skin barrier. This helps the skin hold on to water, preventing dehydration and ashy skin on the face. This healing moisturizer is best used as the last step in your nighttime skin care routine.

Finally, SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 replaces the lipids lost in dry skin conditions to hydrate dry skin on the face and improve skin radiance. This skin barrier product is a rich cream, which some skin types may not like, but it is very effective at improving skin texture and radiance through its combination of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids.

You may also wish to try face oils to treat ashy skin. Face oils that contain argan oil in particular are ideal, as argan oil is suitable for both sensitive and dry skin types, keeps the skin hydrated, and contains linoleic acid (a type of moisturizing fatty acid), which calms the skin.

PAORR Organic Moroccan Argan Oil contains 100% organic Moroccan argan oil. We love this face oil because it soothes, protects and hydrates the skin. It is an entirely natural product, with no hidden ingredients, so is suitable for dry and sensitive skin types.

ClarityRx Glimmer Of Hope Shimmering Facial Oil is a naturally scented oil that mixes antioxidant and anti-inflammatory oils to hydrate the skin - perfect for dry and dehydrated skin. Turkish rose oil (an anti-inflammatory) regenerates and protects the skin, while antioxidants marula kernel oil and meadowfoam oil boost hydration and skin radiance.

How To Prevent Ashy Skin On The Body

Just as you would use an effective moisturizer to prevent ashy skin on the face, the body also requires hydrating body creams to prevent the return of dry, dehydrated skin following treatment with a body scrub.


These hydroxyacid body creams treat ashy skin:

Our favorite body oils to hydrate dark skin types:


What’s The Best Skin Care Routine for Dark Skin Types?

If you have a dark skin tone, selecting the correct skin care routine for your skin type is essential to prevent the appearance of ashy skin. Cleansers and moisturizers in particular have a big role in treating ashy skin.

Knowing your Baumann Skin Type can guide you on what skin care products are best to help keep your skin healthy and hydrated. Click here to learn more about skin care for black skin.




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