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If you’ve dealt with ashy skin, you’re no stranger to the annoyance of this skin condition. For some, it’s just a minor inconvenience, but for others, it can be uncomfortable and even painful.

In this article, you’ll find out what ashy skin is and what causes it. We’ll also give you eight expert tips for treating and preventing it right at home!

What Is Ashy Skin?

Ashy skin is a form of dry skin that looks gray (or like ashes) and feels rough when you touch it. It mostly shows up around your knees and elbows with thin, cracked lines, but it can appear anywhere on your body.

This skin condition is really more of an annoyance and inconvenience to you than anything else. Most of the time it’s not a cause for concern and, luckily, can be treated and prevented at home!

What Causes Ashy Skin?

 Mom applying lotion on daughter to avoid ashy skin

Several factors play a role in your ashy skin, but once you narrow down the cause, it’s easier to tackle and defeat its drying effects.


If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, like really hot or cold weather, it could result in ashy skin. This is because both hot and cold weather can be very drying.

Cold air lacks moisture, so when you go outside, the weather isn’t doing your skin any favors. Plus, when it’s cold outside, people tend to spend a lot of time indoors, and when you run the heat in your home to stay warm, it does the same thing: dries out your skin.

With really hot weather, the sun and humidity can sometimes do more harm than good. That’s why it’s important to protect your skin with sunscreen every single day.

Thinning Skin

As you get older, your skin gets thinner and doesn’t do as great of a job at producing sebum as it once did. Sebum is an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands. It’s responsible for coating, moisturizing, and protecting your skin.

Age definitely plays a factor in your skin’s decreased sebum production. Because of this, your skin can appear ashy since it’s not naturally producing oil and moisture as it should.


It seems counterintuitive, we know! But if you’re in the water for too long, it can actually dry out your skin and leave it ashy.

It’s a good idea to become familiar with the water in your home and whether it's city water or comes from a well.

Well water can have hard mineral deposits, which can be a little rough on your skin sometimes. As a result, your skin dries out and becomes ashy. Even city water can sometimes cause ashy skin if you soak in it for too long or turn the temperature up too high.


 Kid washing hands

Anything you expose your skin to has the potential to help it or harm it, such as detergents, hand soaps, body wash, or lotions. Depending on what’s in your products, they could potentially dry out your skin.

Because your hands are sensitive and probably get a lot of attention throughout the day (hello, hand-washing!), it’s important to use a hand soap that’s going to protect your skin and give it moisture.

Our Lavender Dream Plant Based Hand Soap has a gel-like texture that glides across your skin when you wash your hands and leaves them feeling soft and smooth after washing.

Medical Conditions

If you have all of the above conditions under control, there could be an underlying medical condition causing your ashy skin.

We’re talking about skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or contact dermatitis. (These conditions require the attention of a doctor.)

How To Treat And Prevent Ashy Skin

 Mom giving son products to help prevent ashy skin

1) Try Different Skincare Products

It might be time you look in your cabinets and switch up your skincare products. Take a look at the ingredients list in each one.

You’ll want to avoid harsh ingredients, including:

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Silicone
  • Dyes
  • Formaldehyde

These are just a few ingredients that can irritate your skin and possibly leave it ashy. Avoid them at all costs and, instead, look for natural ingredients, like:

Ultimately, you want to opt for natural, organic ingredients. For example, our Oatmilk Calendula Miracle Moisturizing Face Cream is one of our best sellers and is made with the perfect blend of active botanicals to help protect your skin.

It does wonders for those with sensitive skin as well, and you can use it on your face and body. Not only is it good for adults, but your little one can use it, too!

2) Create A Skincare Routine

On top of finding the right skincare products to use, it’s important to create a proper skincare routine. This is all about consistency, which is the best way to treat and fight off ashy skin.

It’s important for moisturizing to be part of your routine. This will help maintain soft, smooth skin. To start, try our Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Hydra Therapy Face & Body Wash.

This gentle soap is ideal for sensitive and eczema-prone skin. Plus, it’s made with natural plant-based ingredients to soothe and relieve itchy and dry skin.

For even better results, pair it with our Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Daily Hydra Therapy Lotion. It’s tailored for adults and immediately absorbs into your skin. Made with colloidal oatmeal, it helps moisturize and heal.

 Babo Botanicals products to help with ashy skin

3) Drink Lots Of Water

Your skin can become ashy when your body is dehydrated. Hydrating your skin starts from within, so be sure to drink lots of water!

Aim for drinking about half of your body weight in ounces per day. So, for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink about 75 ounces of water per day.

4) Run A Humidifier At Night

Ideally, the average person sleeps about eight hours per night. If the air in your home seems a bit dry, eight hours of that air blowing directly on your skin can be rough!

Running a humidifier at night is an easy way to add moisture to the air (and your skin!) while you sleep.

5) Wear Sunscreen Daily

It’s important to protect your skin year-round, not just when you’re at the beach or playground. Your ashy skin is probably a bit sensitive and should have a layer of sunscreen on it every day.

Our Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50 is perfect for the entire family! Made with organic aloe vera and calendula, it soothes and moisturizes your skin as it protects.

 Mom applying sunscreen on daughter at the park

6) Avoid Hot Showers And Baths

Like we mentioned earlier, hot water strips your skin of its natural oils and dries it out. To combat the drying effects of water, opt for lukewarm temperatures instead of hot.

We know sometimes soaking in a hot bath or taking a hot shower at the end of a long day is just what you need to unwind. If this is true for you, try to keep your baths and showers short (no more than 10 minutes) to protect your skin.

7) Use Oil On Your Skin

If lotions or creams aren’t doing the trick to treat your ashy skin, try an oil instead!

8) Exfoliate Your Skin

When you exfoliate your skin, you’re scrubbing away all the dead skin cells that build up and possibly make your skin look ashy.

We recommend exfoliating regularly to keep your ashy skin at bay. But keep in mind that exfoliating too much can make this skin condition worse. Once or twice a week is plenty!

Say Goodbye To Ashy Skin

 Mom blowing kisses to daughter in bed

Say goodbye to ashy skin by narrowing down its cause. Remember that your environment, age, activities, and products could all be culprits behind your skin condition.

The best way to treat and prevent ashy skin is to try different skincare products and create (and use!) a consistent skincare routine. Be sure to drink lots of water and run a humidifier at night.

In addition, wear sunscreen daily, exfoliate weekly, and don’t forget to take lukewarm showers and baths (or don’t soak too long in your hot one).

To properly care for your ashy skin, having the right skincare products is essential. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we offer! Our body washes, lotions and cream, and hand soaps can all help tackle your dryness and irritation.

So, grab your favorite Babo Botanicals product and say goodbye to ashy skin today!