Exfoliation -- scrubbing off dead skin buildup to expose the fresh, new cells underneath -- feels luxurious, and it's even better when you can use stuff you already have at home. For a yummy-smelling combination that will seriously soften your skin, mix two parts brown sugar with one part olive oil, and add a bit of ground ginger. Gently massage into your elbows and wash off with a wet cloth [source: WebMD].
Regular exfoliation is a great treatment for keratosis pilaris, which is a harmless yet bothersome condition that's responsible for the "chicken skin" texture of your upper arms and elbows. (It can also appear in other places, like the thighs.) Keratin, a type of protein that's a building block for healthy skin, hair and nails, can build up in your pores, which plugs the hair follicles, causing bumps and ingrown hairs. Gently exfoliating in the shower helps soften the skin. Follow up with an over-the-counter lotion that contains lactic acid, which helps reduce keratin buildup [source: Grossman].
You're not done yet, though. Keep reading to learn how to protect your fresh, newly smooth skin.