9 Weird Ways To Smooth Rough Elbows, Knees & Heels

Winter is rough on skin everywhere, but I never realize the full extent of it until spring comes. Some time around May, I unload all of my skirts and dresses and sandals from my closet, put them on, and think, "What are these dry patches on my elbows and knees?" Needless to say, knowing how to smooth rough elbows, knees, and heels becomes my next priority.

In fact, dry skin is something that affects the vast majority of people, and dry skin is caused by many factors — everything from hot, dry, or humid weather, to dehydration, harsh soap products, and inadequate moisturizing. It’s relatively harmless, but if left untreated, skin can crack so severely that small cuts form, leaving it vulnerable to infection.

Thankfully, unless your cracked elbows, heels, and knees are so severe that you need to visit a dermatologist, this is something that you can fix at home, entirely on your own. Keeping dry skin at bay essentially breaks down into three distinct routine-alterations: Your shower routine, your before-bedtime routine, and your on-the-go routine. Follow these simple yet effective tips, and you’ll be enjoying smooth and hydrated skin in no time.

In the Shower, Dried-Out Pores Are Especially Receptive To Moisture

Moisturizing is especially important during a shower, as your pores are wide open and extra absorbent.

Coconut Milks Softly Sloughs Away Dry Patches

First Botany Cosmeceuticals Coconut Milk Exfoliant, $15, Amazon

Exfoliation is essential for removing dead, dried out skin, but you need to remember that if skin is cracked, it’s already a little bit damaged. Excessive exfoliation can do more harm than good, as it irritates cracked skin and could prompt an infection. First Botany Cosmeceuticals coconut milk exfoliant has Dead Sea salt to gently buff away old skin, but it’s also packed with things like vitamin E and coconut milk, which has tons of fats, nutrients, and minerals that protect, hydrate, and nourish skin. This non-greasy moisturizer also contains healing ingredients like almond oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil, and reviewers say that this stuff smells great and moisturizes like nothing else.

Sweet Almond Oil Protects Skin With Vitamins E, A & D

Lux Organic Sweet Almond Oil, $20, Amazon

Lux Organic's sweet almond oil is an awesome alternative to chemical-filled moisturizers because it has just one ingredient: 100 percent pure, organic, and cold-pressed sweet almond oil, which makes an incredible moisturizer because it’s packed with deep-penetrating vitamins like E, A, and D, which all work to help skin repair itself, keep it soft, and increase healthy cell turnover. The formula is great for those with sensitive skin, as it’s non-greasy and won’t clog pores, and it comes in a convenient pump-bottle for easy shower use.

Antibacterial Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Hydrate Skin

Raw Shea Butter Bar Soap, $8, Amazon

If you’re not careful, your choice of soap can entirely dictate whether your skin is smooth and supple or dry and cracked. Why? Most soaps have super harsh ingredients that kill natural bacteria and strip all of your skin’s hydrating oils. Raw Shea Butter bar soap, though, is formulated with organic shea butter, which is one of the most effective natural balms for moisturizing cracked skin. It also has organic coconut oil (which has naturally-occurring anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties) and rosemary extract, which are incredible when it comes to making your skin soft and healthy. That being said, skin still feels clean and smells great, and reviewers have widely deemed this “the best soap they’ve ever used.”

Skin Repairs Itself While You Sleep, So Work Moisturizing Into Your Bedtime Routine:

Moisturizing before bed is a great idea for two reasons: 1). Since you’re not doing anything except lying there, moisturizers are far more likely to have some time to sink in, and 2). You’ll wake up with healthy, glowing skin.

Penetrate Cracked Heels & Other Dry Spots With Antiseptic Peppermint

The Yellow Bird’s All Natural Moisturizing Foot Cream, $17, Amazon

The Yellow Bird’s foot cream is a rich, nourishing balm that contains ten simple organic ingredients, including coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. Plus, aromatherapeutic ingredients like peppermint essential oil, lavender essential oil, and tea tree essential oil create a fragrant mix with soothing and antiseptic properties. All of these ingredients together penetrate deep into the skin to heal and hydrate cracked areas, and while this balm was originally made for dry heels, it’s effective on any part of the body, from elbows to hands. Best of all, it smells awesome, and there are no chemicals whatsoever.

Body Brushing Before Bed Stimulates Circulation For Smoother Skin

Dry Skin Butter Mania And Body Brush, $22, Amazon

When it comes to healthy, hydrated skin, this combination can work wonders, especially if you’re someone who showers right before bed. The Butter Mania cream has seven of the best natural ingredients for hydration, including almond oil, coconut oil, argan oil, cocoa butter, and mango butter. It’s thick and rich, but it absorbs into skin quickly for a non-greasy application. The accompanying body brush is also exceptionally healthy, as body-brushing is known to increase circulation, stimulate the lymph system, reduce stress, and gently exfoliate — all of which lead to smoother skin over time. This particular brush is made from natural bristles, and it has a convenient strap for easy, full-body brushing. Because both items are high-quality and effective, users say that this set is a game-changer.

Hydrate Heels Overnight in Cozy Aloe Vera Socks

Earth Therapeutics Aloe Socks, $6, Amazon

If you suffer from painful, cracked heels, these Earth Therapeutics aloe socks might just change that overnight. Unlike normal socks, these ones are infused with aloe vera gel to hydrate and moisturize while you sleep. As they’re ultra-stretchy and comfortable, they fit most foot sizes, and since they’re soft and plush, you’ll hardly realize you’re wearing them. For double the healing therapy, apply one of the above moisturizers and lock in the hydration all night by putting these on over it — you’ll wake up with soft, smooth feet, from heel to toe.

Soothe & Treat Dryness On-The-Go, Right When It Strikes

If your skin is especially dry, it might not be enough to moisturize after a shower and before bed. Ideally, you should be able to tackle dryness whenever it hits, including when you’re out and about.

Combine Aloe Vera & Cocoa Butter in Stick Form For Quick Heel Relief

Miracle of Aloe Miracle Heel Stick, $10, Amazon

This Miracle of Aloe heel stick makes it easy to apply healing aloe vera, tea tree, shea, and cocoa butters to your feet wherever you happen to be, because it comes in a balm-like stick that you simply rub on. It cools and eases the sensation of pain, so it’s especially great for use under socks or with sandals when you’re walking or running, and reviewers say it’s the best heel-repair solution they’ve tried so far.

Beeswax Makes It Possible To Tidily Apply Nourishing Coconut Oil

CocoMe Body Stick, $16, Amazon

Coconut oil makes an incredible moisturizer; not only does it hydrate and soften, but it nourishes skin with fatty acids and vitamins that can easy penetrate pores without clogging them. CocoMe's body stick takes all of the healing qualities of virgin coconut oil, but ditches the messy application. Instead, it comes in an easy-to-apply stick that contains nothing else except a little bit of beeswax — also great for skin, as it locks in hydration. It’s concentrated, so a little goes a long way, and it’s great on every single area of your body, from elbows to face. Because of the beeswax, the stick will stay mostly solid (unlike regular coconut oil), so it’s great for travel, and reviewers say that because it’s convenient and versatile, it’s a must-have in anyone’s bag.

For Mess-Free Relief On The Go, Lotion Wipes Make Moisturizing Easy

e.l.f. Lotion Wipes, $6, Amazon

For the convenience of lotion in disposable, mess-free, single-application wipes, look no further. These are infused with aloe vera, cocoa butter, vitamin E, sweet almond oil, and coconut milk to revitalize skin wherever you happen to go, and because they smell great, absorb easily, and won’t leave a sticky residue, reviewers love them for planes, work, post-gym, and anywhere else you might not want to lug a huge bottle of moisturizer. Even those with sensitive skin say that these are gentle and effective, and because the lotion goes on evenly, they’re great for full-body use.

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Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (9)