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rubbing cream on knees

How to Treat Dry, Dark Knees and Elbows

Is a Solution for:
Dry Skin, Dull Skin
Reviewed by Christina June 3, 2014 6 Comments

The skin on elbows and knees is thicker than elsewhere to protect our joints, but add to that the pressure of leaning and kneeling and the accumulation of dead skin and you have the dreaded rough, dry dark skin that's been referred to as "elephant hide." If this sad state describes your elbows and knees, fret not — there are ways to soften and lighten your skin.

Step 1: Exfoliate

The first step toward improving the skin on your elbows and knees is exfoliation. A dry cleansing facial brush such as our Ultra Clear Facial Cleansing System can also work well to remove dead, dull skin cells on your body. Also helpful for sloughing off buildup is a good body scrub. S.W. Basics Body Scrub ($22) uses demerara sugar and organic shredded coconut to gently exfoliate and coconut oil to moisturize dry skin. Kat Burki Raw Sugar Body Scrub ($48) uses sunflower, coconut, kukui, and macadamia oils to restore moisture and soften skin while it polishes away dry, dead cells. Red Flower Bioactive Berry White Peat Exfoliant ($66) removes dead skin cells and toxins and improves cell turnover with sea salts, white peat extract, and aloe and seaweed extract. Remember: Scrubbing too hard can actually make dryness worse, so resist to temptation to vigorously overscrub.

Step 2: Moisturize

After exfoliating, the key is moisturizing — heavy duty moisturizing for this hard-working skin. Natural oils, shea butter and glycerin are good ingredients to look for, but if your elbows and knees have hit the critical zone, try using creams contains glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid.

Retrospect Feet, Knees & Elbows ($38) is a lightweight lotion formulated with keratin, lanolin and castor and olive oil extracts to treat extremely dry and/or cracked skin. The Organic Pharmacy Body Lotion ($79) is an effective moisturizer containing emollient oils and shea butter as well as phospholids, which actually attract water and hold on to it. Ideally suited for dry skin and rough spots, Living Nature Ultra Rich Body Cream ($40) contains manuka honey and cupuacu and murumuru butters to deeply moisturize and nourish the skin.

Arcona Pumpkin Lotion ($35) is infused with pumpkin extracts and glycolic acid — two strong exfoliators and lighteners. Anti-bacterial clove oil and collagen-building fructooligosaccharides are also among its ingredients. The reformulated Mukti Pink Grapefruit Body Lotion ($47) contains salicylic acid and sorbic acid, cocoa and shea butters, coconut oil and four citrus essential oils to hydrate, nourishe and protect skin. Stemulation Relance Body Lotion ($98 in the shop) gently exfoliates while intensely hydrating with ingredients such as lactic and fruit acids, shea butter, botanical oils and glycerin. Plus, stem cell growth factors help to increase cell turnover and improving skin's firmness.

Lifestyle Tips

Finally, keep in mind a few lifestyle tips that will help: Try to avoid leaning on elbows and kneeling for prolonged periods of time, and don't forget to apply sunscreen on these areas when you're going to be getting a lot of sun exposure. Cleanse your elbows and knees well to avoid buildup of dirt and germs in the folds of skin. Also, keep your skin properly hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day.

Read more:
Lift Sagging and Wrinkling Knees
Surprising Body Parts That Age You
Five Best for Body

  • June 4, 2014

    by Terri Batchelor

    I have wanted to purchase the Ultra Renew Sculpt for quite sometime now. I have all the other TIA tools with the exception of this one. I always end up spending on other products here, yet I had made an honest attempt to save for this one, unfortunately not quite there. I absolutely love all the other tools and they do a fantastic job for their intended purpose. But what I truly like about the Sculpt is it's a multi purpose tool. Every thing from lifting to pain relief. I would be very greatful to be chosen to review the Sculpt, but if not I will continue to keep saving till I can purchase this outstanding tool!

  • June 4, 2014

    by Julie

    I have the ultra renew for the face and it has done wonders for me. I will be 60 this year. I have sagging knees and other areas. I would love the rest of my body to look like my face

  • June 4, 2014

    by Joyce

    I dare to try and put this to the test! At age 64 my knee skin is just starting to get saggy. I bike and hike and live in a hot dry state. I'd like to keep wearing shorts for this but this year I started to notice my knees looking like a old lady's due to the wrinkles. I have always moisturized my legs am and pm . I'll dare to only test one knee with this device to give a real test as currently they look the same

  • June 3, 2014

    by Sandra K

    This, and other anti-aging gadgets, are very high on my TO BUY list for 2014. I've been the route of botox, dermal rollers, good skin care products and various additional attempts to successfully deal with what I've noticed has been slowly happening to my facial area & body in the past 6 years since I turned 40. I feel it's time to utilize some of the quality tools on the market which can have longer lasting, more effective results and have been very specifically interested in TIA's gadgets made for this purpose. Would love a chance to try this particular one that is now up for review as it would assist me in making decisions regarding my future purchases of TIA's skin care/body care tools.

    Thanks for the consideration! :-)

  • June 3, 2014

    by Jan

    I would love to try the Ultra Renew Sculpt! I am 58 and have what I describe as old lady legs and knees. The skin on my knees is sagging and they get used and abused in the summer. I do a lot of gardening and am on my knees a lot. I also still wash my floors on my hands and knees. I would love to see if the Sculpt can improve the condition of my knees and other areas of my body.

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