Best Scrubs & Exfoliators for Dark Knees & Elbows

How to Exfoliate your dark knees & elbows
How to Exfoliate your dark knees & elbows

Did you know that Exfoliating your dark knees & elbows will help not only treat hyperpigmentation but also make them feel softer and smoother as well? 

But it needs to be done correctly so in this article we will guide you on everything you need to know.

How Exfoliating Dark Knees & Elbows Works

When you exfoliate, you get rid of dead and old skin cells and help smoothen the surface of the skin. 

Exfoliating also encourages collagen production which leads to tighter-looking skin. 

Eventually, your skin will become more evenly toned, smoother, more firm and healthier. 

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Types Of Exfoliation For Dark Knees & Elbows

If you are trying to lighten and tone your dark knees or elbows you can use either physical or chemical exfoliation

Physical exfoliation will be things like scrubs that you use to buff away dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. They are usually DIY recipes or even commercial products that contain ingredients like sugar, salt, oatmeal, etc. They literally scrub away dead skin cells. 

Chemical exfoliation, however, will include acids that penetrate the upper layers of the skin. These will chemically break up the bonds between skin cells to get rid of the old and dead ones. 

The most common chemical exfoliators used today are acids such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid and salicylic acid. They will give you faster and longer-lasting results but they are harsher on your skin. Chemical exfoliators can also be used in the form of toners that can be left on the skin. This is the least aggressive option.

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How Often You Should Be Exfoliating Dark Knees & Elbows

How often you need to exfoliate your skin will depend on the kind of exfoliation technique you are using and your skin itself. 

Physical exfoliation can be done 1-3 times per week but the frequency can vary for everyone. 

You should not exfoliate your skin every day. This will be too much and can irritate and even injure your skin. If you have sensitive skin, you may need to exfoliate even less. 

I always recommend that you start gradually. This way, your skin has time to adjust to your new routine. 

Start by exfoliating your skin 1 time per week. If after 6-8 weeks you do not see a significant difference in your dark knees & elbows, you may increase the frequency to 2 times per week. 

Chemical exfoliation, though, is typically done at least 2 weeks apart. This will depend on the kind of chemical you use, the strength, how your skin heals, and the results afterward. Some people may need more than one application and others may just need one every few months. However, if you use a toner, then those are designed with gentler formulas for daily application.

Related Articles:

How to use Baking Soda to Lighten Dark Knees & Elbows

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How long do the results take?

Results after exfoliation will also depend on the kind of exfoliation you use and how bad your dark knees & elbows are. It also depends largely on your skin’s reaction to the treatment. 

However, generally, consistent physical exfoliation can produce visible results for people with mild to moderate hyperpigmentation within 2-8 weeks. 

Chemical exfoliation most commonly shows results soon after your skin has healed. This is usually within a few weeks as well.

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Best Physical Scrubs For Exfoliating Dark Knees & Elbows

The best physical exfoliators for dark knees & elbows are usually the DIY scrubs that you can whip up at home. 

They are easy to make, they work pretty great, and they can be used anywhere on the body (other than your privates)!

Click here to learn more about the Best Scrubs & Exfoliants to Lighten Dark Inner Thighs

And here for How to Exfoliate Armpits – 6 Best DIY Easy Natural Scrubs 

Here are some of my all-time favorite recipes:

1- Lemon-Sugar Scrub


  • Lemon Juice
  • Granulated Sugar


  1. Mix a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of honey and juice from half a lemon in a clean bowl
  2. Combine all the ingredients until they form a textured paste.
  3. Apply the scrub mixture to your cleansed inner thighs. 
  4. Spread and massage in a gentle, circular motion all over the area for 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Let it sit for another 10-15 minutes. Then rinse your skin with some plain water.
  6. Dry and moisturize your skin. 
  7. Repeat 2-3 times per week or as needed.

Related Article – How to Use Lemon Juice to Lighten Dark Inner Thighs

2- Turmeric, Sugar, and Coconut Oil


  • 1 cup white sugar (white sugar is less aggressive than brown sugar or salt)
  • ¼ cup sweet almond oil or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric powder
  • 10-12 drops of essential oil (I used lavender and lemon)
  • Optional: add ½  teaspoon of rosehip oil or Vitamin E oil or a teaspoon of castor oil
  • Optional: a teaspoon of citric acid


  1. If you are using coconut oil that is solidified, melt it first.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir well.
  3. Once evenly mixed, transfer to an airtight container, such as a mason jar.
  4. To Use: Apply to wet skin and massage on skin in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water and pat dry with a towel.

3- Baking Soda + Lemon Scrub


  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 lemon


  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with the juice of 1 lemon
  2. Apply directly to armpits without exerting too much pressure
  3. Leave it on for 3-5 minutes and then rinse off with warm water
  4. Repeat 1-2 times per week or as often as needed
  5. Do not apply the mixture after having done hair removal, or just before sun exposure

Alternative Commercial Scrubs

Now if DIYs aren’t your thing, here are a few body scrubs I think do a great job as well:

1- Tree Hut Vitamin C Shea Sugar Scrub

This scrub is made of granulated sugar and shea butter, but it is also packed with Vitamin C and some AHAs to help lighten and brighten the skin. The sugar crystals are the perfect size to buff away dead skin cells and the shea butter leaves the skin feeling soft and conditioned. 

You can Click here to see the Tree Hut Vitamin C Shea Sugar Scrub on Amazon.

2- MAJESTIC PURE Himalayan Salt Body Scrub with Lychee Oil

This body scrub is made of pink Himalayan salt and is infused with lychee oil and sweet almond oil. Pink Himalayan salt is an amazing exfoliator that also works well with the skin’s pH. Lychee oil and sweet almond oil both help to hydrate and soften the skin. Consistent use results in toned, soft skin.

Click here to see the MAJESTIC PURE Himalayan Salt Body Scrub with Lychee Oil on Amazon. 

3- M3 Naturals Turmeric Scrub

This scrub contains gentle and effective exfoliating agents such as turmeric root extract, sea salt, and sugar. It also has shea butter, coconut oil, hyaluronic acid, grape seed oil and jojoba oil to hydrate the skin while collagen and retinol tackle skin texture. This blend even contains carrot extract, vitamin C, and citric acid to aid turmeric in lightening and brightening the skin.

You can Click here to see the M3 Naturals Turmeric Scrub on Amazon.

Best Chemical Products For Exfoliating Dark Knees & Elbows

When it comes to chemical exfoliators, these need to be used with caution. 

Many are available commercially that you can use on your own, but if you are new to chemical exfoliation I recommend that you consult a professional first. 

However, if you plan to use chemical exfoliators at home, then I recommend starting with a toner. Here are the ones that are best for gentle and gradual exfoliation:

1-Paulas Choice Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

This toner uses salicylic acid which mimics the natural exfoliation process of younger skin by helping it shed extra layers while unclogging and clearing pores.

It is a non-abrasive and leave-on exfoliant making it gentle enough for daily use on all skin types. It exfoliates dead skin cells while clearing pores for a more even tone, plus it visibly reduces fine lines & wrinkles.

Click here to see the Paulas Choice Salicylic Acid Exfoliant on Amazon.

2-Pixi Glow Tonic

This tonic exfoliates and purifies the skin with Glycolic Acid. Its Ginseng component improves circulation and energizes, while its Aloe Vera component soothes and hydrates.

This tonic refines the appearance of pores and it gently accelerates cell renewal which helps improve your complexion. It also balances and soothes healthier-looking skin. It is Alcohol-free, toxin-free, and suitable for all skin types

You can Click here to check out the Pixi Glow Tonic on Amazon.

Chemical Peels

If you have more stubborn dark knees & elbows and you want to use a stronger treatment, you may need a chemical peel. 

And yes, these are not only for your face!

However, chemical peels should not be done at home. I recommend visiting your dermatologist so that you can discuss:

  • Your skin’s condition
  • Which chemicals will be right for your skin
  • Concentration and depth of the peel needed
  • The procedure
  • Expected side effects, downtime, and results

Click here to read more about Chemical Peel For Hyperpigmentation: Ultimate Guide.

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