If you were expecting a post about getting the shape of your legs ready for summer, you are hilarious –I have no idea how to do that. But with all the seasonal hype about getting beach-ready bodies, one crucial detail is often overlooked: the skin on top of the legs you’ve been lunging.
Getting your legs ready for summer is a little like cleaning your tub –if you wait until 30 minutes before weekend house guests arrive to clean it for the first time in 4 months, you’ve got your work cut out, and I can promise the results are going to be less than satisfying for everyone involved. (Also, that’s just kind of gross. Clean your tub.)
Especially if your climate is dry, the toll winter takes on your skin can be severe, and really difficult to bounce back from if it isn’t cared for regularly –but wipe your tears, there is hope.
Moisturize. And then moisturize some more. And then maybe again.
Partially due to being raised in a desert climate, I think there are more lotions, body butters, and creams than any other “beauty supply” in my closet. I can’t get enough of them. I’ve worked moisturizing into both my getting ready and bedtime routines, so that it’s been a long time since I’ve had to deal with itchy, flaky, embarrassing skin. When shorts-season is sprung upon us, I don’t have to moisturize seven times a day hoping no one notices my ashy knees.
The razor makes all the difference.
Cheap dollar store razors might work for some people, but I think those people are lying –or have never invested in a slightly better razor and don’t know better. I use the word “invest” lightly, they aren’t that expensive for a much more satisfying result (I have had razor burn for days trying to trim my budget and go cheap on razors. It’s much less painful to start buying off-brand paper towels or cut down Starbucks visits.) Whether or not you choose to take the plunge into the word of 3-blades and beyond, having a sharp, new razor is always critical for preventing unsightly razor burn and irritation.
I’m an advocate for Gillette Venus products, the Olay 5 Blade is my favorite –but their disposable counterpart options work perfectly fine.
Exfoliate. And then exfoliate some more. And then maybe again.
(But don’t overdo it –you still want to have skin.) It’s difficult to feel pretty with dry, scaly skin –so get rid of it. Exfoliating will slough away dead skin cells and make your legs much more receptive to moisturizer.
I use an inexpensive drugstore exfoliator every few days all over, (there are nicer products out there for when I feel a little splurgy, but I find my cheaper bottle does its job just fine for regular use.) But once every two weeks in the summer my favorite way to exfoliate comes from this simple recipe:
- 2 cups plain, white sugar from your baking cupboard
- 3/4-cup oil (olive, canola, coconut, scented body oil- whatever is at your price point. Keep in mind the scrub will leave you smelling faintly of whichever oil you choose. For me, smells are a big deal.)
- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice (freshly squeezed or bottled)
Now for the fun:
1. Mix it all up in a bowl.
2. Draw a warm bath.
3. Soak for 5 minutes. (Ah, the best part.)
4. Perch yourself up on the edge of the tub and shave one leg.
5. Take a big handful of sugar scrub and scrub away at the leg you just shaved. Rinse.
6. Shave this leg again.
7. Repeat step 5 and scrub the same leg again.
8. Repeat this process on your other leg (shave, scrub, rinse, shave, scrub, rinse.)
9. Pat dry and lotion up!
Tip: Rinse out your razor frequently through the process. You’re removing hair and dead skin. It’s incredible (if by incredible, I actually mean a little gross –but hey, the results rock.) It isn’t a Robin Karber Original, but I’ve seen it a hundred different places, always slightly tweaked to preference, and this is mine. It’s not an exact science -make it work for you.
While skin maintenance may feel burdensome, having freedom to not hide beneath heavy denim or shoe-skimming hemlines when the temperatures rise is worth the little extra love for your legs year-round.
What tricks do you have for soft skin? Favorite body cream? I’d love to hear them, comment below!