Get summer ready with perfect legs
Seven steps to help get your legs ready for the summer season
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to baring your legs for summer – get the glow with fake tan or rock those English rose pins, go silky smooth or au naturel – the key is to feel confident as you swap your jeans and tights for summer dresses and shorts. If you’re looking for a few simple ways to get your legs looking bright and healthy, or some more in-depth salon treatments, here’s how…
Legs can look dull, dry and pallid after a long winter under cover so the first thing to do is slough off the dead skin. Use a body exfoliator – we love sugar and salt scrubs – to get rid of the dead skin cells and boost radiance. Pay extra attention to knees and the bumpy underside of the calves as these can get scaly during winter.
Brush it off
Beauty experts preach it time and time again but dry body brushing seems to be one of those things that falls by the wayside. Don’t let it! Dry body brushing is one of the most effective ways to treat the dreaded cellulite; it boosts the lymphatic drainage system and circulation and can help decrease fluid retention. Brush from your ankle upwards in quick circular motions for a few minutes everyday before showering and you’ll soon see the benefits.
Much like your face, moisturising is key to healthy, supple skin. So slap on a high quality moisturiser twice daily. You may prefer to use a lighter moisturiser that is absorbed easily into the skin in the morning so you don’t have sticky legs but an oil before bedtime is perfect so it can sink into the skin overnight. If you plan on fake tanning, oils are a great way to combat against scaliness – just ensure you apply your body oil at least 24 hours before you apply fake tan otherwise you may get patchy uneven tan marks.
Lumps and bumps
Alongside body brushing you can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite through exercise and diet. Power plate classes are also good for improving circulation. Add more lunges, thigh raises and pony kicks to your routine. Reduce your salt intake as well and aim to drink at least two litres of water a day.
Salon therapies can also help tone and firm up your legs, thighs and posterior. Contouring treatments such as Endermologie (where tissue is deeply massaged using a mix of suction and kneading) provide non-surgical skin conditioning to help improve the skin texture and appearance. A step into the semi-invasive therapies include a carboxytherapy, which is designed to shrink fatty deposits using CO² and is administered using a tiny needle.
Get set, glow
If you’re a fan of a sun-kissed glow, there’s no shame in hitting the bottle. For at-home treatments, ensure you have exfoliated beforehand. Always apply your tan to clean, dry skin with a tanning mitt – put a little moisturiser on knees, elbows and ankles before application as these can be dry and scaly. Salon spray tans are a great hassle-free way to get the ultimate bronzed look, just moisturise regularly in the days after application to prolong your tan.
Vanish the veins
Another cause of blemished legs is varicose and thread veins. “These can follow pregnancy or be a byproduct of the ageing process, and can sometimes be quite sore at the end of the day,” says Sudip Ray from Parkside Hospital, Wimbledon. “Help is at hand with new keyhole techniques such as ‘superglue’ closure of larger veins, and microsclerotherapy of smaller ones (using a small needle and a sclerosing drug which causes the veins to collapse and be reabsorbed by the body), which can be performed on an outpatient basis. It is better to see a vascular specialist and have an ultrasound scan before embarking on treatment, and remember it can take a few months to get the best cosmetic result so it’s a good idea to start early.”