Skin

5 Genius Hacks For Great Legs

Regular workouts count for a lot, but the right products and an extra five minutes of body care each day can go a long way to helping your limbs look their best. Here, NEWBY HANDS explains how to put in the leg work

Beauty

Prep and prime

The best limb-related advice I’ve heard is from leg expert and Legology founder Kate Shapland. “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 de-puffing 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.

Want great-looking legs? Treat them with the same care as you would your complexion

Lean into your lymph nodes

Currently the most in-demand Brazilian body therapist in London, Flavia Morellato takes a focused approach to contouring limbs and shifting puffiness. “Every time you use anything on your legs – whether it’s a soap, 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 2lb], 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.”

Layer on a glam evening glow

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-based serum on shins, where the skin gets dry and crepey, as it instantly gives a real plumpness and glow.” 111Skin’s Rose Gold Radiance Body Oil is an excellent skin finisher, as it hydrates and strengthens skin while leaving a pore-blurring, glossy (not greasy) sheen behind.

Streamline with an at-home treatment

To make end-of-the-day, heavy legs look and feel lighter and more streamlined, body therapist Kirstie Garrett suggests alternating warm and cold water on the lower legs (great for kick-starting circulation and the lymphatic system) and then applying your treatment lotion or gel – ideally, chilled 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 elevated at a right angle up against the wall for 10 minutes. “This takes the pressure off the valves and gives real lightness in the legs.”

Try the A-list arsenal

With short hemlines now an off-duty summer staple for celebrities, dedicated leg treatments are as essential as regular facials. Medical-grade treatments that are used on your face can also help you achieve the best skin tone and texture on your body – lasers, radiofrequency and injectable hydrating treatments (such as Profhilo) build collagen and plump skin from the waist down (and above).

Often an overlooked area, the skin above the knees is prone to creping and sagging, but a targeted treatment, such as Exion Body – which uses a combination of radiotherapy and ultrasound to stimulate collagen formation, tone and tighten the area for a smoother appearance – can make a big difference to how it looks. Typically, you’ll need three-to-six sessions (at 10-30 minutes each) to see results, but the treatment is virtually pain-free (no numbing cream needed) and you can return to your normal routine straight away.

Likewise, according to Professor Mark Whiteley, London’s leading vein specialist, visible veins (or varicose veins) can be easily treated thanks to a new non-invasive ultrasound therapy called Sonovein HD. “It’s important to have a proper scan first to get the right treatment plan, which is key for preventing varicose veins from recurring.” Professor Whiteley also advocates a balanced diet (it can affect skin’s elasticity) and regular exercise: “Low-impact exercises such as yoga are particularly good at improving circulation. The bending and stretching movements involved help to compress and decompress the blood vessels, which can, in turn, help to boost circulation.”

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