Twice a week
The best advice I’ve heard is from Kate Shapland, a long-term sufferer of water retention, who used her own experience to create Legology, an excellent range of reshaping products. “If you want to see a real difference, think about prepping your legs in the way that you regularly prime your face,” she says. Her routine (try it twice weekly) starts with a good skin scrub: “Crunchy salt and oil scrubs are great, especially those with diuretic Himalayan salt, as they help shift trapped fluid.” Adding salts to your bath (Epsom in particular) will also aid the depuffing process. “Next, give heavy legs the Scandi spa treatment by using the shower head to alternate warm (not hot) and cold water over feet, ankles, legs and buttocks.” Try 20 seconds on each section, repeating three times.
Currently the most in-demand Brazilian body therapist in London, Flavia Morellato, creator of the incredible hands-on Morellato Method, takes a focused and results-driven approach to contouring limbs and shifting puffiness. “Every time you use anything on your legs – whether it’s soap, a scrub, body lotion, gua sha or massage – work with purpose. After gently stimulating the lymph nodes in the groin and at the backs of the knees (by gently pressing about 10 times), massage upwards from the knee to the hip, then work from the ankle to the knees. Morellato also advocates drinking more water: “The more water you drink, the less water your body retains,” she says. “Aim for 35ml for every kilogram you weigh [approximately 1floz for every lb], and if you know you have a party or a sushi dinner, plan ahead and drink more water. It will prevent puffiness the morning after.”
For evening glamour
As the woman famous for prepping A-list bodies for shoots, film sets and red carpets, Nichola Joss suggests layering up your products to achieve glowing skin: “A self-tan makes a great base, but it can look ‘flat’, so you need to finish by adding shine and dewiness to the skin – especially down the front of the shin and over the arch of the foot. It’s also good to use a hyaluronic-acid serum on shins, where the skin gets dry and crepey, as it instantly gives a real plumpness and glow.”
The at-home treatment
To make end-of-the-day heavy legs look and feel lighter and more streamlined, body therapist Kirstie Garratt suggests using your shower head to run cold water just from the feet up to the knees. “I’m a huge fan of water jets and thalassotherapy in spas. At home, alternating warm and cold water on the lower legs is amazing for circulation and the lymphatic system.” Next, apply your treatment oil or gel – ideally, chill these in the refrigerator beforehand. “Circle your hands quite firmly around the ankle and either slide them up slowly to above the knees, or press and release as you work upwards. Do this five times on each leg and you’ll see a difference. Finally, lie on the floor with your legs at right angles up against the wall for 10 minutes. “This takes the pressure off the valves and gives real lightness in the legs.”