Finally, an explanation for why your tights get 'dusty'.

Tights ‘dust’ is one of life’s great mysteries.

You know what I mean — you slide your legs (not so gracefully) into a pair of opaque tights and wear them for a couple of hours, eventually noticing the once-black material is now covered in a misty dust.

It’s not like your underwear drawer is particularly dusty, so you’re left wondering how it gets there in the first place.

According to Ellen Marmur, a New York-based dermatologist, there are a few things happening here.

“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 tells Cosmopolitan magazine.

Yes, that mysterious misty dust you ‘snap’ off your tights is dead skin. This is a wake-up call, as it could be a sign your skin is in need of hydration.

Before you gross yourself our completely, there’s another culprit for dusty-looking tights. Dr Marmur says with frequent wear, the built-up dead skin cells are joined by tiny fibres from other garments.

Watch: A white shirt is another, far less “dusty”, fashion staple. Here’s how to use it. (Post continues after video.)

“We always think about our face skin but neglect our body skin, and dry skin can be a common result of that,” she 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.”

Fear not, tights devotees — here are some simple tricks that’ll keep your skin moisturised and your tights (hopefully) dust-free this winter.

1. Avoid skin-drying showering habits.

“I always say to people with dry skin to take short and tepid showers,” Dr Karen Koh, an Adelaide-based dermatologist and spokesperson for the Australasian College of Dermatologists, told Mamamia.

Another thing: stop with your vigorous towel drying. Right now. Harsh rubbing might aggravate your already dry or sensitive skin, and it can even remove any moisture your skin obtained from your shower. (Post continues after gallery).

2. There is a time and place for moisturising.

For optimal results, there’s a prime time to moisturise — and it’s just after you hop out of the shower or bath.


“You should moisturise while you’re still wet so you can keep some of that moisture in the skin, rather than let it evaporate,” Dr Koh says.

“You’ll find it makes your moisturiser go on more easily and it feels better patting it down rather than ripping of all your skin with the towel.”

The downside of this one is that when you put lotion/cream/oil on your legs, you have to wait a while before putting your tights on, otherwise they’ll stick.

3. Exfoliating is important.

Whilst showering it is a good idea to use an exfoliator once a week. You can even make one yourself — simply add some olive or coconut oil to a small amount of granulated sugar, gently massage into wet skin, and you have yourself a skin-softening saviour.

Get that moisture into your skin. Image: iStock

Dr Marmur encourages exfoliating around your ankles and knees in particular. As she tells Cosmopolitan, "the dead skin doesn't slough off naturally in those areas very well and can contribute to tights dust if left on the skin."

4. Already moisturised? Moisturise again.

Already moisturised after your shower this morning? Dr Marmur recommends giving yourself another quick once-over before you go to bed, to avoid the pitfalls of the overnight "itch cycle".

"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," she tells Cosmopolitan.

"Therefore you tend to notice tiny itches and scratch your skin more."

Happy dust-free tight wearing.

Featured image: iStock