I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
Winter sucks. It takes my best features--my legs--and turns
them into my worst. In the summer I love to show off my legs with short hems
and high heels, but in the winter I feel compelled to hide them even from my
A combination of very dry skin and sensitivity to shaving gives me
irritated legs every winter. Angry, red bumps form, ingrown hairs run amok, and
most of the time, my legs are incredibly itchy and flaky.
This is the first winter that I’ve decided to actually do
something about it. A combination of exfoliation and lotions, as well as
following a few simple rules, has made my legs improve already.
In case some of
you are in the same boat, I thought I’d share my tips.
1. Don’t shower every day.
This might be gross to some of you,
but I refuse to shower every day in the winter. A hot shower wreaks havoc on my
skin, and there’s no way I’m taking a lukewarm shower in the winter.
exercise or even go into work every day of the week, so for me, it’s enough to
shower every other day and use scented wipes on the
At the very least, keep your showers short!
2. Limit shaving.
I only shave my legs once a week at the most
during winter (usually when I know I’m going to see my boyfriend). When I was
in college, ha--forget it! I could go months without shaving my legs because
nobody was going to see them anyway.
I’m not in a long-distance relationship
anymore now, but I still don’t worry about a little bit of stubble. It’s more
important to me that I keep my legs free of irritation. I’d rather have some
temporary hair than permanent scars.
3. Exfoliate before showering.
You can easily exfoliate with a
DIY combination of brown sugar and coconut oil, but I have two specific
exfoliation products that I love.
One is my Soap & Glory Flake Away Body
Polish. I got the small $5 tin from Sephora, but I’m excited to purchase the
large $20 tub when it runs out. It smells amazing and does a good job of exfoliating without
My other favorite exfoliator is my Yardley Oatmeal & Almond
Naturally Moisturizing Bath Bar, which I randomly found at CVS for about a
dollar. It’s in bar-soap form, which can be kind of annoying, but it’s
worth it. It’s moisturizing, the natural oatmeal soothes your skin, and it
has little beads that gently exfoliate as well. It comes in other scents (such
as Lavender and Almond Buttercream) and each one smells better than the last.
Best of all, their bars of soap are free of parabens and are not tested on
animals. It’s a great company.
I actually use both of these in the shower, on my legs and all
over, before shaving, and so far, it’s made a huge difference. My dry flakes are
gone and I get a much closer shave.
And remember, when you do shave, don’t use
the cheap disposable razors. I’ve been doing that for ages and after getting
tired of millions of nicks, I finally
got my act together enough to get a fairly decent men’s razor. The next time I shaved, I
exfoliated and used my men’s razor and plenty of shaving cream, and voila--no
4. Use lotion daily.
This one is so hard for me. I moisturize
my face twice a day, but I usually only moisturize my legs after showering… if
I’m lucky. I’ve been trying to be better about it.
My two favorite lotions are
Eucerin Intensive Repair for Very Dry Skin and Burt’s Bees Radiance Body
Lotion. The Eucerin is great because it’s extremely moisturizing and is
completely scentless. It’s the best no-fuss choice for hardcore dryness. The
Burt’s Bees is the fun choice, since it has a strong (but pleasant) scent and
I tend to rotate them, as I like them both equally. The
important thing is that you like whatever lotion you choose, since you’ll be
more likely to want to use it then.
5. Avoid picking and scratching.
One day, I started to examine my legs
close up, which of course led to picking at ingrown hairs and red bumps. In the
end, it just made things worse.
Don’t waste time examining every imperfection in
your legs; just treat them with care and let them heal in their own time. And
if your legs are insanely itchy, put some lotion on them instead of scratching
like a maniac--chances are they’re just dry.
Is anyone else struggling with extreme leg dryness this winter?
Is there anything else that you do that helps?