Summer’s here and hemlines are rising! I recently got a few questions for how I keep my legs in shape. The fact is that they’re NOT! lol I don’t do any exercise and I’m mostly standing at work. Not only so, I think my circulation is starting to weaken even in my mid-twenties that I’m beginning to develop lots of broken capillaries, which is a sign of venous congestion and swelling of my lower extremities. In the future, I’ll probably end up with unsightly varicose veins… This blog entry will be dedicated to showing you how I tone up my legs and reduce leg swelling.
First in preparation for the summer days, I start using Vichy’s Aqua Destock daily, a week prior to when I want to start wearing skirts and shorts outside. I’ve been using this Vichy product for the past couple of summers, previously in different packaging, but all basically the same product. I just bought another tube today for about 50$ + tax and I think it’s worth it. The essential ingredients are 5% Caffeine which I imagine promotes vasoconstriction and Aquacidine which Vichy states is a “microcirculation activator” (in the past this was known as Lipocidine to loosen up adipocytes. Yeah, I know it’s all hocus pocus lol, but it works well in relatively healthy young people (obviously if you have CHF, liver disease, or kidney disease with resulting peripheral edema, this product will be nil helpful).
IMPORTANT SECRETS: I prefer to use the product at night after I take a shower. The last few minutes I blast myself with a cold stream of water which helps to seal hair cuticles and improve all the congestion in my legs that swell up even more from the heat. Then I apply the gel while lying down on my back on my bed with my legs straight up in the air. Gravity will help improve blood flow from your legs back up. Then I massage the gel UPWARD from my ankles up toward my thighs. When I’m done, I sleep without crossing my legs and being horizontal will help the product work better than if you were standing upright since gravity is working against it.
So I do the above for the next couple of nights, then it’s time to do the tanning! However, no tan is good unless you have a good scrub first and I use Laura Mercier’s Almond Coconut Milk Scrub. Head back to the shower, and use whatever loofah or scrubber to dislodge all dead cells on your legs. Wait til the end of your shower session after you’ve done your other business because the heat will help to loosen up dead cells and make your hair softer to get a close shave. Scrub in a circular motion for as long as you can. Next, get a brand new razor and shave DOWN with the direction of the growth of hair, NOT against the grain! Sure you may get a close shave, but you really don’t want ingrown hair and being Asian, my hair is already quite fine making them prone to ingrowth.
The tanning job is achieved with Clarins’ Self-Tanning Milk (been using this since Lancôme discontinued their tanning milk that I loved and sold out the Flash Bronzer lotion). I apply this immediately after getting out of the shower, don’t let your legs dry up completely, cuz all the flaking and left over dead skin will become more apparent. After the first layer is smoothed on in a circular motion, I then use Lancôme’s Flash Bronzer Tinted Gel in strategic areas just on the medial and lateral sides of both legs to give the illusion of more depth or shadowing effect. I find the gel has more of a drying effect, plus it has sparkles, so that’s why I apply it after the tanning milk which is very moisturizing.
To maintain your tan and shapely legs, I continue to use Vichy’s Aqua Destock every night before bed to let gravity work in sync with the product. Every other morning, I use just LM’s Almond Coconut Scrub to gently deflake some dead cells, otherwise the exfoliating gloves or loofah will take off too much of your tan. The scrub is ultra-moisturizing too to keep your legs well hydrated. Lastly, I apply Jergen’s Natural Glow to maintain the tan and let it build up in color over the daytime. On the off days when I’m not tanning, or if I find the tan is too deep and I no longer wish to apply more self-tanner, I use Laura Mercier’s Crème de pistache whipped body cream which smells heavenly! I really love LM’s bath and body products and have tried other products from the Crème brûlée and Fresh Fig collections, which are nice, but not as amazing as the Pistachio line 😀
Other tips to keep in mind:
– Don’t stand too long, sit when you can and have your legs up.
– Do not cross your legs when sitting!
– Do point your toes repeatedly or contract your calf muscles to improve venous return.
– Do wear pressure stockings when you can! Yes, I buy those expensive tights for this purpose! (Not the same compression stockings for peripheral edema which is thick and not so pleasant looking).
– If taking a bath or shower, don’t have the water running too hot!
– A high salt diet will cause water retention! Low sodium is essential in keeping your cardiovascular system in top shape. So always eat healthy! 🙂
^Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, chicken, half a piece of garlic+herbs bun with olive oil + light soy sauce.