It goes something like this: You slip on a pair of opaque tights, wear them around for a couple of hours, and then notice that they look like they're covered in dust. You snap your tights in an effort to clear away the tiny particles that have collected on them, and you suddenly see a puff of smoke-like mystery dust.
Tights dust: It's a thing. Which begs the question, what's really going on there?
Ellen Marmur, MD, a New York City dermatologist says that there are a few things happening when you get tights dust. 'If it's the first time you're wearing opaque tights and there is a bit of dust that rises when you take them off, it's dander or dead skin flakes,' Dr. Marmur says. This is a wake-up call to change your daily routine, because it's a sign your skin is too dry.
The other scenario, she says, is that you wear your tights more than once (who has time to wash their tights after every use?!), so there are not only built-up dead skin cells inside the tights, but tiny fibers from other garments.
'We always think about our face skin but neglect our body skin, and dry skin can be a common result of that,' Dr. Marmur notes. 'The cell turnover on your legs is slower because there is less lipid content and less blood supply, which is why it's really important to keep your skin hydrated in the winter.'
But it's not just about using the right lotion. Here are Dr. Marmur's tips on exactly how to keep your skin moisturized properly, preventing tights dust this season.
1. Reach for a soap-free cleanser. Look for formulas labeled non-soap or soap-free, since they won't contain moisture-stripping surfactants that other cleansers might include. She also says to look for ingredients like sunflower and argan oil or glycerin, since they'll be super-hydrating. Try Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash, which contains the ingredients you need, and will leave your skin super-soft and flake-free.
2. Exfoliate. Use a gentle creamy exfoliator when you shower. And once a week, apply a DIY scrub (make it using 2 tablespoons of grainy brown sugar mixed with your favorite cleanser or lotion). 'You'll want to exfoliate especially around your ankles and knees since the dead skin doesn't slough off naturally in those areas very well and can contribute to tights dust if left on the skin.'
3. Moisturize while your skin is still damp. Post-shower, in the morning, use a super-creamy moisturizer while your skin is still damp, so it absorbs more quickly and deeply into your skin. Ones that come in a tub tend to be thicker and will provide more moisture. Try Vaseline Intensive Care Deep Moisture Jelly Cream or Caudalíe Divine Oil—you can also just use coconut oil out of the jar as well.
4. Before you go to bed at night, moisturize again. Even it's a quick spritz of lotion, you're doing your skin a huge favor. 'The itch cycle starts at night because your parasympathetic nervous system responsible for digestion, healing, and rebalancing takes over at night when you're not wired like you are during the day,' Dr. Marmur explains. 'Therefore you tend to notice tiny itches and scratch your skin more.' A spray lotion to try: Curél Itch Defense Instant Soothing Moisturizing Spray.
Words: Carly Cardellino
Source: ELLE US