Summer Skin Series: Beautiful Legs
Summer is here and it’s time I start paying more attention to my legs in preparation for shorts and dress season. Every year I find this transition a bit nerve racking, seasons seem to change over night and exposing my skin after months of hiding under layers and layers of clothes can be intimidating to say the least. Here are a few things I’m doing to help me feel more confident and get my legs ready for the world to see.
We’ve all done it, skipped this dreaded process during the winter months when there is no incentive to tackle the trouble and pain of hair removal. Well, those days are gone. I personally prefer epilation as my main method of hair removal. “An epilator is an electrical device used to remove hair by mechanically grasping multiple hairs simultaneously and pulling them out”. The results are much more long lasting that shaving and the process is less complicated than waxing. I find I am much more tolerant to the pain now than when I first started, years ago. I find the process to be less painful than waxing, it’s also mess free and the epilator can catch little hairs and can easily be used to upkeep that smooth feeling in between hair removal sessions. Once a month I will usually give myself a “hair removal night” where I sit down with my favorite TV show, a glass of wine and my epilator, after that I simply touch up every other week to pick up new growth. I recommend you never try epilating before on your period, the skin is so sensitive which translates into so much more pain; I also find popping an Advil before the process helps take the edge of the pain. I wouldn’t recommend using the epilator in your nether regions, the skin is way too thin in that area and things can get messy and really painful.
Both Philips and Brown makes great epilators, I’ve gone through three of theirs already and they all worked great. My mother introduced me to their epilators in my teens, it’s a bit of an European tradition, and here I am years later faithful to their little torture devices that keep my skin hair free and smooth. Seriously, look into epilators, the initial investment costs as much as a waxing service but the device will last you for years.
Now that we removed the hair we need to tackle the dry, flaky skin. Exfoliation can not only give you that smooth finish but it will slough off dead skin allowing lotions to penetrate better into the skin, it will boost circulation and it’s a must if you plan to self tan. I have to mention that exfoliating is very important to ensure you don’t get ingrown hairs, which can happen especially with waxing and epilation. One of my all time favorite methods of exfoliation is dry brushing. Using a natural bristle brush, start brushing your skin from the feet and work your way up to the arms, always brushing in an upwards motion (always towards the heart as mentioned in old books). This process stimulates circulation and will remove layers of dead skin, literally, you’ll see white dust flying off your legs. I like to go in circular motions in trouble spots such as my butt and thighs where I see cellulite creeping in.
Another method to exfoliate is using scrubs which you can either buy or make yourself. My current favorite is Jealous Body Scrub* which combines my three favorite all natural scrubbing agents: coffee, salt and sugar along with coconut oil that helps moisturize the skin during the process. If you are on a budget you can simply save your coffee grinds and take them to the shower. I mix them with my favorite body wash and scrub away. I absolutely love what coffee grinds do to my skin, I am not sure if it’s the caffeine or just the exfoliation process but I feel like a supermodel after my scrub. My only advice is to make sure you have good pipes for this process, the grinds can clog things up and that’s gonna be a hard one to explain to your landlord. I would know.
This is easily my favorite part of the process, the least painful part anyway. I love using oils on my body my favorite being the Weleda ones, applied on damp skin, right after my shower, when the pores are still open and my skin slurps up them up. I will use the oil at night, as I don’t mind if there is any residue left on my pjs. Another great alternative are dry oils which sink right in, Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse* is a cult favorite for a reason, it smells divine and leaves the imparts the most wonderful glow to the skin. They can be used on dry skin as well as on hair and their shimmering oil is great for adding giving skin and tresses a subtle sun kissed shimmer. When it comes to lotion, I tend to stick to clean ones, my skin always does better with natural ingredients, I like Weleda lotions a lot because they are light and smell great, I also like the Green Beaver body lotions for more hydration or Carina Organics. Just visit your local health food store and explore the cosmetics aisle. There are so many fantastic natural cosmetics lines out there that perform just as well as commercial ones.
Like most women out there I struggle with cellulite despite working out and eating well. It’s in our genes! I do find that paying a little attention to my thighs (my problem area) can improve the appearance of that skin and makes me just a little more comfortable when slipping into those short shorts. I already stressed the importance of a good scrub, I also mentioned I work out religiously, eat well and drink copious amounts of water but the biggest difference I see is when I take the time to massage and drain the area. I will use a cellulite cream like the Clarins’ Body Lift Cellulite Control *and Lierac’s Body Slim* and massage it vigorously into the skin. These creams will help stimulate circulation and drain water and lymph which will help diminish the appearance of dimpled skin. The massage part is just as important as the creams as it will manually stimulate the circulation in the area.
*Products provided for consideration. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.