12 Steps To Summer-Ready Legs

Summer might still feel a way off, but you’ll reap the benefits if you put a bit of work into your beauty regime now. From the importance of a good body brush to the professional treatments and at-home tricks worth trying, here three experts share their advice on how to get your legs ready for summer…
ANI DIMI / STOCKSY UNITED
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DIY REMEDIES…

Legology founder Kate Shapland shares her at-home leg prep tips…

Be Abrasive

“At Legology, we believe in good abrasion – by which we mean regular exfoliation and body brushing to improve the surface of your skin. Doing both daily will make your legs feel smoother, unclog blocked pores, and get rid of ingrown hairs so skin has a healthy glow. The latter occurs by bringing fresh, nutrient-rich blood to the surface – especially when you use a dry brush. The technique stimulates your lymph, which encourages waste to move out of your system, giving limbs a brighter, more invigorated appearance. Make sure you’re brushing either before, during or after a shower, and over your entire body – not just your legs.” 

Get Your Technique Right

“If you’re going to start body brushing, make sure you do it right. Most experts recommend buffing with large sweeping strokes up towards your heart – so feet or hands up. Doing it this way works with the body’s lymph flow, encouraging drainage – just make sure you focus on the right spots for this, so behind your knees and under your arms. Other lymph drainage experts advise buffing in small, circular patterns, taking a soft approach, starting near the upper part of your body (around your collarbone). Whichever technique you choose, you’ll see results.” 

Invest In Good Ingredients

“It’s all very good scrubbing and exfoliating, but if you want proper results, you should also be investing in products that contain good ingredients. Try to use scrubs that have actual grains or salt inside, or give smoothing acids a go, like AHAs (lactic acid) or retinol. These ingredients will improve the skin’s surface on your legs quite quickly, while making them softer to the touch, too. This, combined with daily scrubbing, will have a big impact on the appearance of your body. You’ll find the right ingredients will get rid of keratosis pilaris, too – aka red, chicken bumps. Also, apply your products when the skin is warm (post-shower or a bath) and circulation is up, so that the ingredients can penetrate deeper with ease.” 

Play With Exfoliants

“It doesn’t matter if you use a cream or chemical exfoliant, but try to find one that incorporates the ingredients mentioned above. They are a brilliant way of removing the upper, dead layers of skin cells, and giving your legs that fresh pinkness. Plus, the right formulas will prime skin for a moisturising cream or oil, which delivers additional smoothness and suppleness over time. Likewise, buffing or brushing beforehand allows for speedier absorption of anything that follows, so you’ll find less of your product just sits on the skin’s surface.”

 Don’t Pay A Fortune

“If you don’t have budget to invest in exfoliants, then do a simple kitchen raid. Oat flakes, table salt, milk and a squeezed lemon make a great combination. Use this on the skin to gently buff and release red, angry bumps of inflammation. If all else fails, don’t forget the power of scrubbing with a hot soapy flannel or sponge – this will help create smoothness, especially when done over the course of a few weeks.”

Pay Attention To Your Shins 

“Many of us often get dry, flaky skin on our shins, which is usually a result of dehydration. Swift strokes with a body brush will get rid of the issue in seconds – especially if you brush daily. My advice here though is to take a lighter approach. The skin on your shins is very thin and fragile – something like 0.5mm thick, as opposed to 2.5mm on your upper arms and thighs. It can be easily damaged, so use deft, gentle strokes and never go too heavy.”

Stay Active 

“All the above steps are great, but it’s important you keep active for healthy-looking legs. Try and do your daily 8k steps – this is a good target to keep the lymph flowing freely and to prevent water retention from building up. Too much retention compromises leg shape and can cause cellulite. It’s key to drink plenty of water to help flush your kidneys out, too, in turn removing congestive waste. If you’re prone to puffy legs, take a tablespoon of oat bran daily with natural yoghurt to keep acidic bloating and trapped fluid to the bare minimum – trust me, it works.” 

Visit Legology.co.uk
 

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EXPERT TREATMENTS…

Consultant Venous Surgeon, Mark Whiteley, shares the treatments and services for better-looking legs…

Don’t Ignore Spider Veins 

“If spider, thread or varicose veins are your bugbear, you do have options,” explains Mark. “The best way to combat them is with micro-sclerotherapy. This involves injecting a diluted solution through a very small needle into the veins, which then permanently destroys the dilated blood vessels. It sounds intense, but it’s minimally invasive and requires very little down time. Likewise, you can prevent them from getting worse. While nothing other than professional treatment can eradicate them fully, increasing your blood flow will help. Until you can seek the help of a specialist, watch your diet too. Replace refined sugar with vegetables and fruit, and get moving as much as possible – elevate your legs regularly, too.” 

Try An Indulgent Treatment 

If you want to boost circulation while also firming and cooling the skin on your legs, there are several treatments worth trying. Firstly, Margaret Dabbs now offers a Toning Black Leg Masque Treatment. Designed to soothe heavy, weary legs, it aids circulation, removes congestion and gives a sculpted effect we love. Admittedly, the results are short-term, but it’s a brilliant option before heading to an event, or for boosting sluggish skin. Likewise, The Body Contouring Massage with Tania Probby-Holova is not to be missed. It’s an investment, but a worthy one. Expected oils to be massaged into each leg from ankle up with a rhythmic kneading that feels so satisfying. The addition of her Venus Freeze machine means any dimpling will be smoothed, while your legs themselves will look and feel more refined.

Visit TheWhiteleyClinic.co.uk
 

QUICK-FIXES…

Make-up artist Kenneth Soh shares his tips for smoother-looking legs…

Rely On Body Make-Up

“We all have uneven tone and skincare issues on our limbs, but if it’s affecting your self-esteem or you want some handy quick-fixes, body make-up can be useful. Often easier to blend than fake-tan, it lends great coverage and it’s easy to remove. Powder is the easiest formula – especially one with shimmer that reflects the light – however, they don’t always last that long. Use liquid formulas as they dry fast and can replicate the glow-giving benefits of fake tan. Use a mitt to apply it, taking long strokes for even distribution – you don’t want to go over the same area more than once. If you want more depth, do another layer, but always finish everything first before doing another.” 

Work Quickly 

“To prevent streaks, work quickly, focusing on the part of the body you want to even up. Try to work systemically – if you’re doing the arms, make sure you connect to your shoulders and surrounding areas, too – it’s important to do this while the product is wet so you can blend for a smooth finish. When working on your legs, take your time to even up product – never rush or you’ll end up with harsh unblended edges.” 

Use Brushes Or Your Hands

“It doesn’t matter which, but it does depend where. If you’re focusing on legs, try using your hands with long, firm strokes, really working the make-up into your skin like you would a body cream. For knees, try taking on a patting motion as often colour can go darker here as it’s an area that needs more coverage. If you want to even everything up, invest in a big, fluffy kabuki brush with dense bristles – this will help disperse body make-up evenly and finely over your legs.”

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CREDITS: ANI DIMI / STOCKSY UNITED
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