Get Great Summer Legs

  • Get Great Summer Legs With summer’s heat at full blast, exchanging your jeans for shorts or a leg-revealing sundress can be one of the season’s greatest perks. But most of us don’t have the flawless stems we did in our twenties—so yes, the thought of bare legs can be a bit intimidating.

    But there’s no need to hide in pants and maxi dresses all summer (as stylish as they may be.) Here are 10 ways to get your legs looking great, healthy and shorts-ready:
  • Moisturize Right According to Dr. Sandy Johnson, M.D. of the Johnson Dermatology Clinic in Fort Smith, AR, our legs are naturally hydrated in the summertime due to the extra moisture in the air. This means it’s time to put away your heavy-duty winter creams and reach for a lighter lotion instead. Johnson suggests reading the labels and picking a formula that lists water as its first ingredient.
  • Scrub Away Cellulite Caffeine can do more than just wake you up in the morning—it is proven to actually fight cellulite. To help you eliminate those pesky lumps and bumps, give your legs a scrub with an exfoliant containing caffeine. You can also scrub with warm coffee beans.
  • Do Some Squats For super-toned legs that will surely turn heads on the dock, try this quick squatting exercise, courtesy of Jennifer Aniston’s trainer Mandy Ingber. Do eight deep, slow squats, followed by eight quicker ones. Perform three sets of these three times a week for 21 days.
  • Prep Your Legs Prepare your legs for a shaving session by soaking them in warm water first—this will soften the hairs and make them easier to cut. Then slather up with a Vitamin E-infused shaving cream or gel to help reduce dryness and irritation.
  • Get Your Best Shave When you’re ready to shave, make sure you’re using a fresh, good quality razor to help you get the smoothest, closest shave possible. Always shave the opposite directions of hair growth, and make sure you’re not pressing too hard. And to prevent nicks (band-aids won’t look so attractive with that sundress!), shave especially slowly over bony areas like your knees and ankles.
  • Flush It Out You’re probably already aware that passing on the salty chips helps keep puffiness at bay. But did you know that preservatives and artificial sweeteners are also bloat-causing villains? According to nutritionist Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, those ingredients have water-retaining properties that can cause your legs to bloat. Before stepping out in your skirt, nosh on some cucumbers or celery or sip on green tea—the diuretics will help “flush out your system” and prevent bloating.
  • Use Sunscreen Of course we all want tan, sun-kissed legs. But sunburned legs? Those are neither sexy nor healthy. So before you step outside this summer (or any day, for that matter,) put on an adequate amount of sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to help protect yourself from the sun’s harmful and cancer-causing UVA and UVB rays.
  • Fake It 'Till You Make It Yes, you can have tan legs without baking in the sun. And no, tinted stockings are not the way to go—with the temperatures up this high, nobody wants tight, constricting material clinging to their legs. Plus, stockings are so 1980.

    All you need is a good, gradual self-tanner to help you build up that faux tan. Self-tanner comes in various forms, but a foam formula is a great because it is light and easier to blend. After you shower and exfoliate, dispense some self-tanner in your hands and rub it generously over your legs, paying special attention to knobby, hard-to-blend areas like your ankles, feet and knees. Once you’re finished, wash your hands with soap and water immediately to ensure the tanner doesn’t tint your hands orange.
  • Minimize Little Veins Those stubborn spider and varicose veins make putting on a bathing suit and walking around the pool seem less than desirable. While permanent solutions and treatments for the issue can cost hundreds of dollars, there are things you can do to lessen the appearance of prominent veins. Dab a heavy-duty and waterproof body concealer on the veins to help cover them up.

    How do you prevent new ones from popping up? According to Thomas F. O'Donnell, M.D., director of the Venous Center at Tufts-New England Medical Center, popping one baby aspirin a day can help keep your blood flowing, taking pressure off your veins—but make sure you ask your doctor first. In addition, don’t cross your legs. While it may be the lady-like way to sit, the position cuts off blood circulation throughout your legs.
  • Get Moving You can spend time outdoors and get a work out in simultaneously. Go for a jog, a hike or dust off your bike and hit the nearest bike trail. Swimming is a great low-impact work out that will tone your legs.