Over time skin on your legs that were once smooth and silky tend to develop perpetual ashy dry flakes that take more attention to manage. But if you stay vigilant now, I can assure you your legs will start looking smoother and more youthful.
Dry skin on legs can be caused by many factors including hot baths or showers, weather conditions, and shaving - anything that strips the skin of its natural moisturizing oils can lead to a rough, ashy texture along with those age spots that sneak up on you. Age being a major factor. With age you experience a reduced moisture barrier which allows water to evaporate out of your skin more quickly, leaving skin exposed to dryness. Here are important tips you should try.
1. Circulation is key.
Even skin on your legs needs blood flow to come in and provide nutrients, oxygen and vitamins to keep it young and healthy looking. Make sure you are moving throughout the day to insure adequate circulation. Consistent movement will refresh and restore the tissues of your legs and your skin. HIT (high intensity training) or bursts of intense exercise for short periods of time stimulate autophagy which helps dismantle old senescent (worn out zombie) cells allowing damaged particles to be discarded and recycle proteins to create newer, younger cells. This helps reduce toxins within the skin that contribute to age spots. Just get up and move! I try to remember to get up every couple of hours after working at my desk and do 10-12 laps around my house walking quickly up the front stairs and down the back stairs. This keeps everything moving. A sedentary lifestyle is pro-aging on many levels. It is essential if you are working all day in your office or on the computer. Remember this; "sitting is the new smoking".
Another way to improve circulation is by creating friction using a body brush or exfoliating towel on your legs while in the shower. This is also a perk of splurging for a body massage. Part of the great benefits of massage is the detoxification and moisturizing effects on the skin and muscle tissues. These techniques also enhance lymphatic drainage for detoxification. Spritzing your legs with intermittent blasts of warm and cool water via the shower head also works to pump up circulation and stimulate vital leg energy.
2. Fluid intake is as important.
Moisture has to be replaced daily. And that moisture comes from drinking plenty of pure, clean water. In the cooler months you may not be as motivated to drink water. Try adding a wedge of lemon to water (hot or cold) to give it a little, non-sugary taste. Antioxidant rich herbal tea, like green tea will reduce inflammation as it hydrates. Remember that caffeinated beverages dehydrate your skin. And sugary beverages lead to damaged collagen and are pro - aging.
3. Exfoliate every day, or night.
Besides using an exfoliating cloth in the shower in the morning try using an exfoliating serum at night. My favorite exfoliant for the body is Glycolic Acid. Skin on the legs is thicker than what's on your face and the smaller molecules in Glycolic Acid will penetrate more efficiently and get down deeper. They loosen up dead dry cells, removing them and creating fresher, smoother skin. This is especially effective for getting rid of those ashy, flaky, dead cells. The other perk you get from regular use of glycolic acid is that it helps lighten age spots, or at least slows down the formation of sun induced or toxin induced marks on your skin. If you have sensitive skin on your legs you can mix a few pumps Glycolic Serum in with a light body lotion and apply them together. You can choose to do this after you shower in the morning, but if you've just shaved your legs it's going to sting! So, maybe you should reserve it for just before bed. If you are not sensitive, go ahead and apply a layer of Glycolic Acid just before applying your body lotion. You'll find this method is a little more potent as it goes in a bit deeper.
4. Don't skimp on body lotion. Apply body lotion on twice a day. Once after you shower in the morning and once just before bed. When you bathe or shower your skin imbibes a certain amount of water into the lower cell layers, but that water will evaporate quickly. Leaving you drier than before. So, before your skin has had a chance to completely dry apply your body lotion to hold in moisture. Another option in the morning is to use a moisturizing sunscreen. This will give you great anti-aging protection as well as beautifully hydrated legs.
5. What are you washing with?
One of the best things you can do that will reduce skin dehydration on your body is to change the type of soap you are washing with. Bar soaps contain alkaline binders which are extremely drying. This is because the alkaline binders break the bonds between cells and allow moisture to evaporate that much quicker. All bar soaps have this quality and most, including gel soaps, have detergents like sodium lauryl sulphate which a