Like a lot of us, I tend to think of skincare as largely (or narrowly) all about the face. I notice every new line or patch of redness – and act. So why, when summer finally arrives and I whip off the leggings, do I expect my legs to look perfectly fine in a floaty frock given I’ve done bugger all to them from half past October till a quarter to May? At the reveal, they always look dazzlingly pale and very, very dry.

Dryness can be down to a number of factors including cold weather, taking too-hot baths and showers, using harsh soaps and at its most basic, ageing. What’s more, when the skin barrier becomes impaired, it’s less able to hold on to moisture, so a vicious cycle ensues.

It’s tempting, when you see flaky skin, to over-exfoliate, making matters worse. Instead, start with a once-a-week treat. One of my favourite exfoliators is Olverum Body Polish (from £39, uk.olverum.com) because its bamboo and pumice particles are suspended in a cushiony, soufflé-like cream, so you can give legs a good massage without any scratchiness.

Up next is moisturiser. A 2015 dermatological study found that the consistent use of moisturiser – i.e daily applications for four weeks – was the key factor in combatting dry skin, rather than any specific ingredients. Moral of the story: put in the legwork.

A does-what-it-says option is Vaseline Expert Care Elasticity Restore (£7.50ml for 400ml, sainsburys.co.uk). I also love a body oil that dries quickly but leaves a sheen. My current adoration is Wilder’s Goddess of Protection Body Oil (£35, wilder botanics.com), with golden grapeseed oil, green tea and sea buckthorn. A hint of a tint helps too – This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle (£40, this works.com) is a serum for instant, smooth-on, wash-off colour.

As for cellulite, let’s go deeper. It’s thought to occur when fibrous bands that connect skin to muscle thicken and pull down or simply weaken, allowing subcutaneous fat in the pockets between them to bulge into the dermis, creating a dimpled surface. And let’s get real, 80 to 90 per cent of women this side of Love Island have it to some degree (men rarely do because their skin has a different underlying structure). The reality is it isn’t a ‘problem’ unless as a personal choice, you want to help reduce its appearance.

Someone who has got real about leg care is Kate Shapland. A former beauty editor, she is the founder of Legology (legology.co.uk), a line of contouring, cooling and de-puffing products. Why the sidestep? ‘I was looking for a dedicated, feel-good leg-care brand that focused on lifestyle and the role of the lymph. I couldn’t find one. So I created it,’ she says.

According to Shapland, genetics, fluctuating hormones and ageing can all contribute to cellulite, as can an unhealthy diet, smoking, lack of activity and not drinking enough water.

Legology’s aim is to rev up a sluggish lymphatic system in order to reduce fluid retention that can exacerbate cellulite. The standout product is Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift for Legs (£45). Luscious yet light, it centres on a complex

of plant-based actives including caffeine, lemon, goldenrod and butcher’s broom. Massage in well, not forgetting to work around the knees and the back of legs too.

And finally,  as we make strides in new regimes to get better-looking legs, let’s pledge to go the distance beyond half past September.

This week I am mostly...

  • Enjoying my huge passion for gardening but looking after my hands at the same time. It can be done!
  • Ladies Bamboo Fibre Gardening Gloves (£4.68, workgloves.co.uk) have a latex side for grip and a skin-friendly, bamboo material back that’s breathable. A good choice as the weather gets warmer.
  • Heathcote & Ivory’s In The Garden range is a joy to have in your bathroom. The generously sized Hand Wash (£11, heathcote-ivory.com) smells of rhubarb so is nicely refreshing, while its olive-based cleansing ingredients are spot on for conditioning care.
  • Burt’s Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream (£11.49, burtsbees.co.uk) is a nourishing formula with beeswax to protect and soften. Lovely to dip into after a hard day’s weeding, planting and watching the bees, naturally.

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2023-05-25T13:55:18Z dg43tfdfdgfd