Dry, dark skin is more than just irritating -- it can also be unsightly. Whether your skin woes are caused by genetics, the climate you live in or just a particularly harsh winter, you can beat the dry-skin blues by making a few small changes to your routine. Adding moisture to your epidermis whenever possible is key to warding off dry, dark skin and the discomfort that may come along with it.
Exfoliate your skin before cleansing by polishing in circular motions using a soft washcloth or loofah. This removes the buildup of dead skin cells, priming your skin and allowing your cleansing and moisturizing products to work better. Opt for a cream or oil-based scrub to hydrate while you exfoliate. The process primes your skin for your soap and moisturizing products to work better.
Replace your soap with a moisturizing cleanser. Soap that is not specifically formulated for dry skin can exacerbate your problem. Switch to a liquid formula with gentle, all-natural ingredients that is labeled for dry skin. Use your hands or a loofah to lather up your body.
Apply a moisturizer containing urea or lactic acid. These ingredients not only deliver a heavy dose of moisture to parched skin, but they also help skin to retain moisture so that it doesn't dry out and crack as frequently between applications. Additionally, lactic acid has lightening properties, suppressing melanin formation within skin cells. A moisturizer with this ingredient packs a powerful one-two punch.
Change your cleansing routine. If you frequently wash your hands or immerse them in water, avoid doing so for several days until your skin heals. If you take very hot showers or baths, turn down the temperature of the water; hot water is much more drying to the skin than warm-water temperatures.
If you live in a particularly dry or humid climate, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. This helps your skin to retain moisture and aids in warding off dry patches.
If your condition does not improve, consult a dermatologist. A dermatologist may recommend prescription-strength products to treat your dry, dark skin.