Warmer weather means more skin on show, so it’s time to pack away the opaques and get your legs ready for the big reveal. From how to hydrate scaly skin and the best fake tans to transform winter-weary legs, to the best workouts to reenergise your pins, we’ve got your ultimate guide to getting your legs ready for summer…
Prep and Prime
The first step towards getting your legs ready is a good scrub. Not only will it help slough away dead skin that causes legs to become flaky and take on a grey pallor, it helps prevent unsightly ingrown hairs, while the stimulation encourages better circulation. Legology’s Exfo-Lite Daily Scrub For Legs should be your first port of call; when massaged in, the lemon-scented, salt-based scrub helps reenergise legs instantly. Aside from a weekly manual scrub it’s a good idea to get into the habit of daily body brushing. Just a few swift strokes towards your heart encourages the removal of toxins, discourages fluid retention that can cause puffiness, and promotes softer skin.
To complete your daily leg regime hydration plus massage is essential. Legology’s Air-Lite Daily Lift For Legs was developed to deliver optimum hydration and keep skin feeling elastic and supple. It’s not just about what you apply though, but how you apply it; “Application is key,” according to Legology’s founder Kate Shapland, “You need to apply the cream upwards, from feet to knees and over thighs to hips. Why upwards? Because you’re aiming to send the circulation towards your heart and encourage the lymph up and out to offset puffiness around the lower leg (which is where fluid and blood pools).” Done daily, you’ll start to see real benefits, but if you struggle to make habits stick and simply want to smooth and soften skin, choose a cream or lotion that absorbs quickly and won’t interfere with a rushed morning routine. Ren’s AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum sinks into skin in seconds to hydrate without a trace, and as a bonus contains gently exfoliating lactic acid.
Glow Like A Pro
Now that your skin’s suitably smooth and soft you can start to add extras into your routine. If you want to up the ante on the shine and give legs an expensive sheen, then swap out your regular moisturiser for an oil. A dry oil like Mauli Sacred Union Scent & Dry Oil will mean you can get dressed quickly after application, or to really show off your newly buffed limbs, opt for one that’s shot through with some subtle shimmer, like Nuxe Shimmering Dry Oil Huile Prodigieuse Or.
Alternatively there’s nothing like a layer of fake tan to help you feel more confident about legs that haven’t seen the light of day in a few months. How you add colour is up to you; those looking for a full-on tan will love the latest hybrid formula in Wonder Oil from Tan-Luxe, which offers the glistening benefits of an oil with sophisticated tanning prowess, while anyone wanting a more gradual build up should try Vita Liberata’s Self Tanning Gradual Lotion. If you simply want something to blur spider veins, bruises or scars then opt for a sheer tinted layer; we love This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle which is a cinch to use.
Adjust Your Lifestyle
To maintain toned, taut legs throughout the summer and beyond, founder of Workshop Gymnasium Lee Mullins, recommends introducing leg focused exercises to your regular workouts, such as a single side leg planks, kettlebell swings and reverse lunges off a step: “For the reverse lunges begin with both feet standing on a low platform or step, with hands on hips and body upright. With your right leg slowly step backwards off the step and drop into a reverse lunge. Sit deep into the lunge so that your hips are lower than the front knee. Then stand up and return your back leg to the start position. Repeat this 8-10 times with the right leg before switching to the left leg.” To maximise your new regime try and avoid including too much and salt and processed food, and instead opt for food which will support your svelte new legs. “Some of my favourite foods to help with reducing fluid retention are asparagus, onions, leafy greens, beets and garlic”, says Lee.