Latest Stories

Makeover 911

How to deal with dark knees and elbows


AVONAnew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel

People of all ages come to me all the time to ask: Why is it that Caucasians and mestizas have pink elbows and knees while women of color, even the light-skinned ones, have brown or even grayish elbows and knees?

Don’t even get me started on underarm and groin areas.

It seems unfair, but honestly, the melanin (dark pigment) present in women of color is what makes their skin look younger for years to come. They translate into wrinkles a lot later in life but skin will be very resistant to freckling, which is a sign of skin damage.

But, of course, there’s a bad side to everything. Melanin-rich races are prone to dark areas that need only the slightest provocation from friction and hormonal imbalance for the darkness to surface.

The good news is there are products to check the darkness. The bad part:  You still have to enforce discipline on yourself to stop bad habits and maintain results.

For aggressive treatments, consultation with the dermatologist or doctor might be needed to determine if the ingredients would suit one’s constitution.

Prices may be a bit steep so perhaps the high expenses would force us to discipline ourselves and stop resting on our elbows, knees and inherently dark areas.

Refrain from overdoing treatments. These are best used in the evening because the daytime sun’s rays may cause further darkening and possible blisters.

Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel —these pads contain glycolic acid as well as a rough and smooth side. One pad is enough for use on both knees and elbows. It exfoliates, smoothens and evens out skin tone.

Extraderm Maxi Peel Exfoliant astringent #3 or #4 —Contains tretinoin and hydroquinone.  Tretinoin removes dead skin cells by drying the top layer of skin and peeling it off while hydroquinone lightens the dark spots.

Chat 2%—It contains clindamycin for pimples, hydroquinone for skin whitening (which fades dark spots and scars), alum aka tawas (which lightens and mildly exfoliates skin), and tretinoin 2 percent (which gets rid of thick dark dead skin cells and allows the pink, smooth, lighter baby skin to emerge).


BEACH Hut Max 100 sunblock

Maintenance products that can be used as daytime treatment are Neostrata AHA 15 lotion and Belo Essentials Body Lotion.

They may also be used as night-and-day treatment by women who have sensitive skin and react badly to products from the aggressive line:

Reminders: 1. Stop leaning with your elbows on the table or any hard surface. Even if you wear long sleeves, the pressure and friction will cause calluses that darken. 2. When kneeling in church, bring those kneeling pads if the pew happens to be barely or not at all padded, so there is sufficient cushion bearing that weight. 3. As much as possible, do not expose treated area to the sun as it will be more sensitive to darkening due to the whitening ingredients. Wear long pants or long sleeves in dark color as whites and pastels allow the sun’s rays access. 4. Do not scrub the areas vigorously with a loofah, washcloth or scouring pad. It may seem like you are removing the dark skin layer but you are actually scarring the areas with excessive friction. They will first turn pink then it settles to a dark brown. 5. Apply Sunblock SPF 60 or above on these treated areas if you have no choice but to expose them to the sun, especially when you’re on the beach. I use Beach Hut SPF 100 or Hawaiian Tropic SPF 70, which I reapply every two to three hours as long as it’s daytime—rain or shine as you never know if the sun’s rays are penetrating those clouds somewhere.

Note: For the Neostrata AHA 15 lotion Plus, call (632) 2424242; for Chat 2%, call (632) 8993643.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: beauty , Dark Elbows , Dark Knees , Lifestyle , skin

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  3. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  4. Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  5. Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  6. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  7. A tale of two Priscillas: my mother Prissy and Chona Recto Kasten
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  1. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  4. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  7. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  8. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  9. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  10. This is not just a farm
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • 2 teenagers killed in Mlang, North Cotabato
  • No sympathy from North Korea over ferry disaster
  • 4 French journalists freed from Syria captors home
  • De Lima on Gigi Reyes: Let’s wait and see
  • South Korean relatives divided over whether to raise ferry
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Lifestyle

  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus