When warm weather arrives, so does the urge to liberate your legs-in all their pale, vein-ridden or fuzzy glory. Use these fast fixes (and more serious solutions) to bare yours with confidence.
TO FIGHT FUZZ
The good news is that hair growth on your legs typically slows with age. The bad news? Because the skin on your legs also gets drier, fuzz removal is more likely to cause irritation.
1) FAST FIX: A MULTIPLE BLADE RAZOR
Razors are the gold standard for quick, easy hair removal. "Pick one with multiple blades to get the job done in fewer strokes and minimize nicks and razor burn," says Arielle Kauvar, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center. Try (1) Schick Intuition Naturals Sensitive Care ($9.50; drugstores), with four blades centered in a skin-conditioning solid that melts onto wet skin as you shave. Other keys to a clean sweep: Moisten skin with warm water first and shave in the morning, when legs are less likely to be swollen, so more of each hair's length is exposed to the blade.
Get smooth, sleek skin for summer!
2) SERIOUS SOLUTION: A FASTER, CHEAPER LASER
The new LightSheer Duet hair-removal laser is faster and less painful than older lasers. Its vacuum head gently stretches skin closer to the light source, so more energy can reach (and destroy) follicles and your body is tricked into feeling the vacuum sensation instead of the usual stinging. Bonus: Faster also means cheaper-about $800 per session, compared with $2,000-plus for traditional lasers.
TO REDUCE CELLULITE
Got cellulite? You're not alone; more than 85% of women experience dimpling, which gets worse with age-perhaps because skin's connective tissue weakens, allowing underlying fat to bulge.
Try these yoga poses to help reduce cellulite
3) FAST FIX: A CAFFEINATED LOTION
A lotion with theophylline (a diuretic agent) or caffeine-such as (2) Vichy CelluDestock ($39.50; drugstores) -can temporarily plump skin's surface, so legs appear smoother, according to Miami-based dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD. And a tinted leg spray, like (3) MAC Skinsheen Leg Spray ($26.50; maccosmetics.com), disguises the lumpy texture but is easier to use than self-tanner because it washes off at the end of the day. Another temporary fix: Do an inverted yoga pose (prevention.com/inverted for how-to's); it can drain excess fluid from fat cells, improving puckering for a few hours.
8 Moves that firm up fat fast
4) SERIOUS SOLUTION: PULSED SOUND WAVES
CelluPulse, a treatment that uses high-energy, pulsed sound waves, may help smooth bulges. It's FDA approved for treating muscle injuries, but many docs use it off label for cellulite.
"We typically see 75 to 80% improvement in the look of cellulite after six to eight sessions," says Anna Buinewicz, MD, a cosmetic physician in Doylestown, PA. The cost? Up to $3,200 for eight sessions.
TO VANQUISH VEINS
About 50% of women age 50-plus have spider veins, small, dilated blood vessels that are visible when located near your skin's surface. The usual cause is genetics, but obesity and long hours of standing or sitting with legs crossed can also cause them by compromising blood flow.
5) FAST FIX: TINTED LEG SPRAY
Hide veins with a tinted leg spray or waterproof body makeup, such as (4) Dermablend Leg and Body Cover SPF 15 ($27; dermablend.com).
Important facts about veins
6) SERIOUS SOLUTION: SCLEROTHERAPY
Veins may disappear after sclerotherapy, a procedure in which each vein is injected with a solution that causes it to collapse. Many docs are doing the procedure with Asclera, which has fewer side effects and may be more effective than traditional sclerotherapy solutions, according to West Palm Beach derm Ken Beer, MD. Treating both legs can take up to 10 $275 to $400 sessions.
Tell us: Would you ever wear shorts to work?
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